Astros erupt late in 9-4 win over Cardinals
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Jeff Keppinger had two hits and four RBIs, including a key hit during a go-ahead three-run eighth inning, and the Houston Astros won their sixth straight to spoil Jake Westbrook's St. Louis debut with a 9-4 victory over the Cardinals on Monday night.
Albert Pujols homered for the third straight game and Westbrook worked six strong innings for St. Louis, which lost for only the second time in 13 home games. The Cardinals have lost four straight at home to Houston, falling a half-game behind the Reds in the NL Central.
Brett Myers extended his franchise-best streak to 22 consecutive starts of 6 or more innings to start the season. Keppinger's RBI double off Mike MacDougal (1-1) tied it at 4. Carlos Lee scored the go-ahead run by beating a wide throw home from second baseman Skip Schumaker on Chris Johnson's bases-loaded chopper.
Cowboys hurt rookie Bryant still catches balls
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Former Oklahoma State standout Dez Bryant is still catching a few balls despite that bulky protective boot on his right foot.
Bryant caught a few light tosses from Dallas Cowboys receivers coach Ray Sherman while standing on the sideline as practice got started Monday. Once drills got under way, the first-round pick was an observer watching with Sherman or another coach while the offense went through its plays.
Coach Wade Phillips says it's still too early to determine how quickly Bryant could be back after sustaining a high right ankle sprain Friday. The initial prognosis was four to six weeks, which means the rookie receiver could miss the entire 5-game preseason schedule.
The coach says he's glad that Bryant is getting his "mental reps."
Cowboys need different booming kicks from Buehler
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - David Buehler understands the uncertainty others have now that he is expected to be more than a kickoff specialist for the Dallas Cowboys.
Buehler led the NFL with 29 touchbacks last season as a rookie after the Cowboys had none the year before.
But now Dallas expects him to also kick field goals, something he didn't get the chance to do last season.
The Cowboys are giving Buehler every opportunity. He is the only kicker in training camp and has a nearly constant companion in former Dallas kicker Chris Boniol, who is Buehler's designated instructor.
Former Pro Bowl kicker Nick Folk was released after missing 10 field goals in 14 games last season. Shaun Suisham finished the year but wasn't re-signed.
UConn back on Sooners' schedule
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Coming off its second straight Final Four appearance, the Oklahoma women's basketball team has scheduled another marquee matchup against defending national champion Connecticut this season.
The Sooners released their schedule Monday, including the Valentine's Day trip to face the Huskies on their home court in Storrs, Conn. It's the third straight year the women's basketball powerhouses will face one another.
Connecticut has won all eight previous meetings against Oklahoma and carries a 78-game winning streak into the upcoming season.
The Sooners' schedule also features nonconference road games at Ohio State on Dec. 5 and at Arkansas on Dec. 19. The Bedlam rivalry games against Oklahoma State will be played on Jan. 29 in Stillwater and March 2 in Norman.
Oklahoma opens its season Nov. 13 at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
NASCAR's Jack Roush upgraded to fair condition
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) - NASCAR team owner Jack Roush's condition has been upgraded to fair as he recovers from last week's plane crash in Wisconsin.
The 68-year-old Roush is at the Mayo Clinic. His team said Monday he will remain at the Minnesota clinic indefinitely to treat facial injuries.
Roush was attending the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. The aviation buff also survived a crash in 2002.
The longtime owner has been a fixture in NASCAR garages for decades. He received a boost Sunday when Roush-Fenway driver Greg Biffle won the Cup race at Pocono. Before taking the checkered flag, Biffle said, "This one's for Jack."
NBA surpasses 2 million followers on Twitter
NEW YORK (AP) - The NBA has surpassed two million followers on Twitter, easily the most for a sports league.
The league says its official feed at http://www.twitter.com/nba, plus feeds from its 30 teams and more than 165 players have drawn more than 23 million combined followers.
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant used his feed last month to announce he had signed a contract extension, and many other players and teams use the site to share news.
The NFL had nearly 1.7 million followers on its official page as of Monday night, while Major League Baseball was around 970,000.
According to Twitter, the NBA set a record on the site when fans generated 3,085 tweets per second following the Lakers' victory over the Celtics in Game 7 of the NBA finals.