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Surging Indians Sock Orioles 9-3 (AP)
AP - Coco Crisp had three hits and drove in two runs to back a strong pitching performance by Jake Westbrook, leading the Cleveland Indians over the Baltimore Orioles 9-3 Thursday night.

Rockies Rip Cards 7-0 for Rare Road Win (AP)
AP - Rookie Jeff Francis pitched three-hit ball for six innings, and Garrett Atkins and Danny Ardoin homered Thursday night to lead the Colorado Rockies over the St. Louis Cardinals 7-0 for only their sixth road victory of the season.

Brewers Clip Cubs 10-6 to Dodge Sweep (AP)
AP - Carlos Lee homered twice, including a first-inning drive off Greg Maddux, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 10-6 Thursday to avoid a three-game sweep.

Venus Overpowers Sharapova at Wimbledon (AP)
AP - Venus Williams traded loud shrieks and powerful shots with Maria Sharapova as flash bulbs popped in the fading light, and when it was over, Williams celebrated her Wimbledon semifinal victory as if the title were hers again.

Three Share Early Lead at Western Open (AP)
AP - Ben Curtis' game is starting to come around, just in time for the British Open. The 2003 British Open champion shot a bogey-free, 7-under 64 Thursday, giving him a share of the lead at the Western Open with Jim Furyk and Todd Fischer. The score was one shy of the course record, and gave the three a two-stroke lead over Harrison Frazar and former Western champ Robert Allenby.

NFL Slaps Coach Tice With $100,000 Fine (AP)
AP - Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Tice was fined $100,000 by the NFL on Thursday for scalping his Super Bowl tickets.

Bulls' Curry Awaits Medical Clearance (AP)
AP - Bulls center Eddy Curry met with a cardiologist in Los Angeles on Thursday and the team awaited word on his condition.

Three Braves Tossed in Game With Marlins (AP)
AP - Atlanta Braves catcher Johnny Estrada and manager Bobby Cox were ejected in the first inning of Thursday night's rain-delayed game against the Florida Marlins along with left-hander Mike Hampton, who's on the disabled list with an injured forearm.

Atletico Paranaense to Play Sao Paulo (AP)
AP - Atletico Paranaense advanced to the championship of the Copa Libertadores with a 2-2 tie Thursday night against Mexico's Chivas and will play Sao Paulo in an all-Brazilian final.

NHL's Complaints Given to NLRB Attorneys (AP)
AP - The NHL's complaints to the National Labor Relations Board, accusing the players' association of threatening to decertify agents for representing replacement players, have been forwarded to the board's legal counsel.

Offseason notebook: Still armed and dangerous
Who'll be this year's Drew Brees, the QB who fares much better than expected? Here are five candidates.

Tice fined $100K for scalping tickets (AP)
Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Tice was fined $100,000 by the NFL on Thursday for scalping his Super Bowl tickets. Running backs coach Dean Dalton and special teams coach Rusty Tillman were also each fined $10,000 for scalping their tickets. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue notified the three coaches of their punishment in a letter.

Kraft gives Super Bowl ring to Putin (AP)
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft says he likes the way Vladimir Putin is quarterbacking Russia -- and that's why he gave him his diamond-encrusted 2005 Super Bowl ring. Kraft was among a group of U.S. business executives who met with the Russian president Saturday at Konstantinovsky Palace near St.

Suggs acquitted of assault charges (AP)
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was acquitted of an assault charge from a playground altercation. ``I wasn't shocked when I heard the verdict,'' Suggs said Wednesday. ``You all have watched me grow up here. I've never once been in trouble.'' Suggs, who left Arizona State early, was the No. 10 pick in the 2003 NFL draft.

Lions DE Kalimba Edwards pleads guilty (AP)
Detroit Lions defensive end Kalimba Edwards pleaded guilty to charges of disorderly conduct and failing to produce a driver's license during a traffic stop in May, and was sentenced to one year of probation. Edwards entered the pleas Wednesday to the two misdemeanor charges, the court said Thursday. Because of the pleas, a felony charge of resisting and obstructing police was amended to the...

Patriots sign kick returner Chad Morton (AP)
The New England Patriots signed free agent kick returner Chad Morton on Tuesday. Morton injured his right knee last year and appeared in just six games for the Washington Redskins. He was released earlier in the month. Morton has three career touchdowns on kick returns, including two in the same game in 2002, when he played for the New York Jets.

Man shot at Arrington-Peterson party (AP)
Police are investigating the shooting of a security guard at a pool party hosted by NFL linebackers LaVar Arrington and Julian Peterson. Investigators don't believe Arrington was near the spot where James Sidney was shot and injured, although the Washington Redskins player was present at the party, police spokesman Lt.

Skins' Taylor could get three years in jail (AP)
Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor would face a minimum prison sentence of three years if convicted on charges of pointing a gun during a dispute about an all-terrain vehicle. A trial date was set for Sept. 12, the day after the Redskins open their season. State prosecutors filed charges Friday against the 22-year-old former University of Miami star.

Kerr's Eleven
NBA free agency won't feature any superstars, but there still will be talent, starting with these 11 studs.

Bogut goes first, Tar Heels go often (AP)
Andrew Bogut had long since left the building by the time Mickael Gelabale of France proudly strode onstage sporting a mop-top of dreadlocks that couldn't be contained by his brand new Sonics cap. The shaggy-haired forward was one of 11 international players picked in the second round of Tuesday night's NBA draft as several teams tried to find the next Manu Ginobili -- a player drafted 57th...

Heat's Damon Jones a free agent (AP)
Damon Jones decided not to exercise the option year of his contract with the Miami Heat on Thursday and was to become a free agent. Jones, the Heat's starting point guard this past season, had until midnight Thursday to invoke a $2.75 million option for 2005-06. He can negotiate with teams starting Friday, but cannot sign with the Heat or any other club until July 22.

Deron feels ready to take over Jazz (AP)
Deron Williams talked about his love for passing the ball and playing defense when he was introduced as the Utah Jazz's point guard of the future. No wonder coach Jerry Sloan already likes him. ``We felt like some of the things he has will make our players better,'' Sloan said Wednesday. ``Not every player who plays this game can do that.'' The rookie out of Illinois already is being considered by...

Bogut visits Bucks, glad draft is over (AP)
Now that the NBA draft is over, Andrew Bogut is ready to show the Milwaukee Bucks just what they got with the No. 1 pick. Bogut was introduced by the Bucks on Wednesday, one day after the former Utah star was chosen with the first selection in the NBA draft. The 7-foot center is looking to get some rest, learn about his new teammates and concentrate on basketball -- a game he started playing at 11...

Sonics make offers to Radmanovic, Evans (AP)
The Seattle SuperSonics extended qualifying offers Thursday to four restricted free agents, including key reserve forward Vladimir Radmanovic and starting power forward Reggie Evans. Ronald Murray and Damien Wilkins also got offers. Both came off the bench for the Sonics last season, when the club won 52 games and the Northwest Division title.

Suns trade 57th pick Gortat to Magic (AP)
The Phoenix Suns have traded second-round draft pick Marcin Gortat to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday for future considerations. Gortat, a 6-foot-11 forward-center from Poland, was the 57th selection overall. The move left the Suns with one selection from Tuesday night's draft -- guard-forward Dijon Thompson of UCLA.

Players ratify NBA labor agreement (AP)
NBA players approved their new labor agreement Tuesday, and Chicago Bulls center Antonio Davis was elected president of the players' association at the union's annual convention. About 60 players were in attendance, and the vote to ratify the tentative labor agreement was ``overwhelmingly in favor,'' union spokesman Dan Wasserman said.

Knicks complete draft-day deal with Suns (AP)
The Phoenix Suns used their first-round pick to select Nate Robinson on Tuesday night, then sent him to New York to complete the trade of Quentin Richardson to the Knicks for Kurt Thomas. The deal has been in the works for some time, but wasn't finished until the Suns selected the dynamic 5-foot, 9-inch University of Washington guard with the 21st pick.

Lakers draft 17-year-old center (AP)
Instead of shooting for immediate help following one of the worst seasons in franchise history, the Los Angeles Lakers looked to the future Tuesday night, making 17-year-old center Andrew Bynum the youngest player ever taken in the NBA draft. The Lakers took Bynum with the 10th overall selection despite the fact that highly touted, experienced players such as Sean May, Hakim Warrick, Joey Graham...

Panthers sell AHL affiliate San Antonio, Coyotes ink deal (SportsTicker)
GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) - The San Antonio Rampage had one whirlwind of a day.

NHL's complaints forwarded to labor board's legal counsel (AP)
The NHL's complaints to the National Labor Relations Board, accusing the players' association of threatening to decertify agents for representing replacement players, have been forwarded to the board's legal counsel. That decision was made this week because the case has national prominence and could set a precedent in labor matters outside of hockey, Elbert Tellem said Thursday.

Ducks offer Babcock a one-year contract extension (AP)
The Mighty Ducks offered coach Mike Babcock a one-year contract extension Thursday and then waited for his answer. ``He has asked for time to think about it, which I understand,'' new Ducks general manager Brian Burke said. Babcock's original deal, a two-year contract with a one-year extension, expired Thursday.

Panthers sell interest in AHL franchise (AP)
The Florida Panthers sold their interest in the San Antonio Rampage, a franchise that will become the AHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes. Spurs Sports & Entertainment in San Antonio obtained full ownership of the Rampage, who signed a multiyear affiliation deal with the Coyotes. ``We look forward to working with the entire Coyotes organization, one that is closer geographically to San Antonio,''...

Lemieux, Sakic, Yzerman, Iginla head Team Canada invitees (SportsTicker)
TORONTO (Ticker) - Team Canada has rounded up the usual suspects for the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy.

Ogrean returns to USA Hockey as executive director (SportsTicker)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Ticker) - Dave Ogrean has returned to his former position of executive director of USA Hockey.

Turek signs with HC Ceske Budejovice (AP)
Former NHL goaltender Roman Turek signed a contract with HC Ceske Budejovice on Thursday. Club president Jaroslav David said Turek signed a contract with HC Ceske Budejovice for the two next seasons. The Czech canceled his contract with the Calgary Flames in April. Turek played for the club before his eight seasons in the NHL and during the NHL lockout last season.

Senators re-sign GM Muckler (SportsTicker)
OTTAWA (Ticker) - John Muckler will spend at least the next few years trying to build the Ottawa Senators into a championship team.

Predators president resigns, new position established (AP)
Jack Diller, the only president in Nashville Predators history, is leaving the team. Diller, 67, became president of the expansion Predators in July 1997, more than a year before the club played its first NHL game. He will remain as the chairman of the Predators Foundation, the team's nonprofit organization.

Happy ending
SONOMA, Calif. – As his Cup career winds down, Mark Martin couldn't be enjoying himself more.

DEI chief blames struggles on crew swap (AP)
The former crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. acknowledges that the team made a costly mistake by swapping crews and cars with teammate Michael Waltrip during the offseason.

Gordon looks for more restrictor-plate dominance to get back into championship chase (AP)
The time is now for Jeff Gordon to get on the gas and race his way back into NASCAR's Chase for the Championship.

Elderly couple turns garage into Richard Petty shrine (AP)
MONROE, Wash. – The recreation room in Chuck and Gloria Etter's two-story house already was overflowing...

Mexican driver set for four more NASCAR races (AP)
Mexican star Adrian Fernandez will drive in four more NASCAR Busch Series races this year.

Sooner or later, Patrick will need to show she's not one-shot wonder (AP)
Danica Patrick may want to start looking in her rearview mirror. And not, as some of her more chauvinist critics might suggest, to make sure her lipstick is on right. No, she needs to look because the window of opportunity which opened so wide for her in Indianapolis may be beginning to close ever so slightly.

France assesses state of NASCAR (AP)
Brian France is pleased with the way things are going for NASCAR, even if two of its biggest stars -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon -- are in danger of not qualifying for the Chase for the Nextel Cup championship.

Toyota will withdraw from Indy-car after 2006 season (AFP)
Japanese automaker Toyota delivered a major blow to the Indy Racing League, announcing the engine maker will withdraw from the US-based open wheel racing series after the 2006 season.

Stewart wins another road race (AP)
Tony Stewart has set some pretty high standards for himself.

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