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Devil Rays Nip Yankees 7-6 on Wild Pitch (AP)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays' Carl Crawford, right, beats the tag by New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for a seventh inning triple Wednesday night Aug. 17, 2005 in St. Petersburg, Fla.  (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)AP - Alex Gonzalez homered and drove in four runs and Jonny Gomes snapped an eighth-inning tie when he scored on Tanyon Sturtze's wild pitch, giving the Tampa Bay Devil Rays a 7-6 victory over the New York Yankees on Wednesday night.


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Beltran Leads Mets Past Pirates 5-1 (AP)
New York Mets' Carlos Beltran tosses his bat after taking his second walk of the night against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the eighth inning Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2005 in New York. Beltran, playing in his first game since colliding with Mike Cameron last Thursday in San Diego, finished the night with two runs scored on one hit and two walks. The Mets won 5-1.  (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)AP - Carlos Beltran scored twice in his return from a frightening injury, sparking Tom Glavine and the New York Mets over the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1 Wednesday night.


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Royals Lose Club-Record 18th Straight Game (AP)
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher D.J. Carrasco, left, and catcher Paul Phillips talk after Carrasco gave up another hit to the Seattle Mariners in the first inning, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2005, in Seattle. Carrasco gave up a walk and three hits, including a grand slam, and four runs in the inning. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)AP - The Kansas City Royals lost their club-record 18th straight game, moving within three of matching the longest skid in American League history by falling 11-5 to the last-place Seattle Mariners on Wednesday.


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Titans, Jones Finalize Five-Year Contract (AP)
AP - The Tennessee Titans finally reached a deal with top draft pick Adam "Pacman" Jones on Wednesday night, ending their longest contract holdout since relocating to the state of Tennessee.

U.S. Beats T&T 1-0 to Near World Cup Berth (AP)
Trinidad & Tobago's Stern John brings the ball in as the U.S. Men's National Team's Gregg Berhalter moves to defend in the first half of a World Cup qualifying match in East Hartford, Conn., Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2005.  (AP Photo/Bob Child)AP - Brian McBride scored the second-fastest American goal in World Cup qualifying, moving the United States to the brink of its fifth straight appearance in soccer's showcase tournament.


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Hugs and Handshakes As Ward Returns (AP)
Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis carries the ball during a drill at the Ravens training camp in Westminster, Md., Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2005. (AP Photo/Chris Gardner)AP - The Pro Bowl wide receiver finally showed up at training camp, an apology to his teammates in hand, no longer a distraction or a source of concern to a team that went deep into the playoffs last season and expects to do so again.


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Heat's Mourning to Return for Another Year (AP)
AP - Miami center Alonzo Mourning announced Wednesday that he will return for another season with the Heat.

Mets Get Beltran Back but Lose Piazza (AP)
New York Mets' Carlos Beltran takes batting practice before the start of the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2005 in New York. Beltran worked out with the team for the first time since colliding with Mike Cameron last Thursday in San Diego. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)AP - On the day Carlos Beltran returned to the lineup, the New York Mets got another bad break. The Mets learned that catcher Mike Piazza will miss at least a few games because of a broken bone in his left hand. The injury, a hairline fracture of the pisiform bone, happened when Piazza was hit by a foul tip during Tuesday night's 6-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.


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England Stumbles to Worst Loss in 25 Years (AP)
England captain David Beckham, center, is looked at by teammates Michael Owen, left, and Wayne Rooney following the goal by Denmark's Jon Dahl Thomasson during the international friendly soccer match at the Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark, Wednesday Aug. 17, 2005. Denmark won the match 4-1. (AP Photo/PA, Gareth Copley)AP - Denmark sent England to its worst loss in 25 years, Zinedine Zidane scored in his return to France's national team and Russia's chances of qualifying for the World Cup were hurt with a tie at Latvia on Wednesday night.


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OLN to Air NHL Games for Next Two Seasons (AP)
AP - NHL games will air on Outdoor Life Network for at least the next two seasons.

2005 preview: Defensive line
If Kevin Williams can make the Pro Bowl with very little help, imagine what he'll do in a rebuilt Vikings defense.

Owens returns to training camp (AP)
Terrell Owens ran routes, caught passes and joked around with his Philadelphia Eagles teammates -- quite a different T.O. from the one booted out of training camp a week ago. This Terrell Owens smiled, laughed and even tutored some of the younger receivers on the sidelines Wednesday. ``He was fine today.

Titans finally reach deal with ``Pacman'' (AP)
The Tennessee Titans finally reached a deal with top draft pick Adam ``Pacman'' Jones on Wednesday night, ending their longest contract holdout since relocating to the state of Tennessee. Jones had missed the first 20 days of training camp. But with his agent Michael Huyghue meeting with the Titans on Tuesday and Wednesday, they finally reached agreement in principle on a five-year deal with $13.5...

Report: Favre has chronic hip condition (AP)
Brett Favre has a chronic hip condition that almost prevented him from being traded to the Green Bay Packers 13 years ago, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Wednesday. Favre and former Packers general manager Ron Wolf said Tuesday at training camp that the three-time NFL MVP was diagnosed in 1992 with avascular necrosis, a condition that can lead to hip replacement surgery.

Bengals sign first-round pick Pollack (AP)
David Pollack, the Cincinnati Bengals' first-round pick, ended his 19-day holdout on Wednesday by signing a five-year contract. ``We're excited to have this deal concluded,'' said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. ``We're excited to get started with David, for his and our future.'' The Bengals scheduled a 2 p.m.

Panthers give Morgan five-year extension (AP)
The Carolina Panthers signed Pro Bowl linebacker Dan Morgan to a five-year, $28 million contract extension Wednesday, locking up an anchor of the defense through the 2010 season. The deal includes $13 million in bonuses over the next two years and could be worth as much as $31 million if Morgan meets certain incentive clauses, said agent Drew Rosenhaus, whom Morgan hired during the offseason to...

Fans show mixed feelings on Owens saga (AP)
One man inexplicably wore a black bikini, high heels and carried a sign. Other fans waved banners and welcomed Terrell Owens back to the Eagles with cheers or boos. Owens returned to practice on Wednesday, one week after he was dismissed from camp following a heated dispute with coach Andy Reid. Several dozen fans waited outside Philadelphia's practice facility early in the morning to greet the...

Chiefs K Tynes charged with felony (AP)
Kansas City Chiefs kicker Lawrence Tynes was charged Wednesday with breaking a bouncer's nose in a bar fight, a felony with a maximum penalty of 3 1/2 years in prison. Tynes, the NFL's first Scottish-born player, turned himself in Wednesday morning and made his first appearance in Pierce County Circuit Court on one felony count of substantial battery and one count of misdemeanor battery.

Win-loss record
Cleveland ranks among the NBA's big offseason winners, while the Lakers have languished as one of its losers.

Mourning to return to Heat (AP)
Miami center Alonzo Mourning announced Wednesday that he will return for another season with the Heat. The 35-year-old Mourning had been contemplating retirement since the Heat were eliminated by the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference finals two months ago. ``I remain more committed than ever to bring a championship to Miami,'' Mourning said in a statement released by the team.

With Finley on market, interest is high (AP)
Michael Finley's arrival on the free agent market Tuesday had an impact on Latrell Sprewell, whose agent said he'll wait at least a week before signing in Detroit, Houston or elsewhere. The Mavericks' decision to waive Finley late Monday night changed the complexion of the free agent market, throwing a two-time All-Star into the mix at a time when the majority of NBA teams have already made most...

Sixers' Green will miss 6-to-9 months (AP)
Philadelphia 76ers restricted free agent Willie Green will miss six to nine months after undergoing successful surgery on his left knee Tuesday. The 6-foot-2 guard was scheduled to sign a $20 million, six-year contract, but the restricted free agent injured his knee in a pickup game. While contract terms were reached, the deal was never signed.

Many NBA players waived, teams avoid tax (AP)
Michael Finley would still be with the Dallas Mavericks if they could have acted with their hearts. Instead, they had to make the right financial decision. The Mavericks were one of 18 teams to take advantage of a one-time chance to escape luxury tax obligations for any single contract on their books, waiving their captain just before the deadline late Monday night.

Brian Grant, Suns close in on deal (AP)
Free agent power forward Brian Grant will likely sign a two-year, nearly $4 million contract with the Phoenix Suns, agent Mark Bartelstein said Monday. The Chicago Bulls also were interested. ``It's a great opportunity,'' said Bartelstein, adding his client will ``make a final decision'' on Tuesday. ``They have the best record in the league.

Bulls match offer for Duhon (AP)
The Chicago Bulls kept guard Chris Duhon on Monday, matching an offer sheet the restricted free agent signed with Toronto. The Raptors reportedly had offered a three-year deal for more than $9 million. Duhon, a second-round draft pick from Duke in 2004, averaged 5.9 points and led all NBA rookies with 4.9 assists a game.

Mavericks re-sign Darrell Armstrong (AP)
Guard Darrell Armstrong re-signed with the Dallas Mavericks on Monday. Terms of the deal weren't released. Armstrong played 52 games for the Mavericks last season after being acquired from New Orleans in a trade Dec. 3. He averaged 2.3 points and 2.2 assists in 11.1 minutes per game for Dallas. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Armstrong has averaged 10.8 points, 4.7 assists and 1.56 steals over 11 NBA seasons,...

Canucks sign Carter to one-year contract (AP)
The Vancouver Canucks signed free agent forward Anson Carter to a one-year, $1 million contract on Wednesday. The 31-year-old right winger bounced around the NHL during the 2003-04 season. He played a total of 68 games with the New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, and Los Angeles Kings and had 15 goals and 13 assists.

ESPN turns down NHL's ``final offer'' (AP)
NHL games will air on Outdoor Life Network for at least the next two seasons. The league finalized a two-year deal with Comcast Corp. -- the owner of OLN -- late Wednesday night after ESPN declined to match the agreement that will pay the NHL $65 million this season and $70 million in 2006-07. The agreement between Comcast and the NHL was approved by the league's board of governors last week.

Laviolette to coach '06 US Olympic team (AP)
Peter Laviolette left the Olympics feeling unfilled after his second and final trip as a hockey player. Two appearances without a medal will do that to an athlete. He didn't think he'd get another chance to redeem himself, but that came Tuesday when the Carolina Hurricanes coach was picked to lead the next group of Americans back to the Olympics next February.

Coyotes sign G Curtis Joseph (AP)
Curtis Joseph signed a one-year contract with the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday, guaranteeing competition for the No. 1 goalie spot on a team that was weak in the net until a few weeks ago. Brian Boucher, who set a modern-day NHL mark with five consecutive shutouts for the Coyotes during the 2003-04 season, didn't sign his new contract until Aug.

Capitals sign draft pick Chris Bourque (AP)
The Washington Capitals signed 2004 draft pick Chris Bourque and re-signed defenseman Dwayne Zinger on Wednesday. Bourque, son of former Boston Bruins great Ray Bourque, signed a three-year deal. The 19-year-old forward was a second-round draft pick last year. He attended Boston University for one season, then in March signed an amateur tryout contract with the Portland Pirates.

Panthers sign C Jozef Stumpel (AP)
The Florida Panthers signed veteran center Jozef Stumpel to a two-year contract on Wednesday. Stumpel had eight goals and 29 assists with the Los Angeles Kings in the 2003-04 season. During the NHL lockout last season, he had 13 goals and 26 assists in 52 games with Slavia Praha HC of the Czech Elite League.

Devils sign Mogilny to two-year deal (AP)
Alexander Mogilny, the right winger who earned a Stanley Cup ring with New Jersey, signed a two-year contract Tuesday night to return to the Devils. Mogilny came to the Devils late in the 1999-00 season and helped New Jersey to its second championship with four goals and three assists in the playoffs.

Man behind the curtain
The drivers get the credit, but it's Brian Whitesell who is pulling many of the strings at Hendrick Motorsports.

NASCAR visits Charlotte to look at Hall of Fame bid (AP)
Touting a rich racing history and the city's role as NASCAR's current hub, Charlotte leaders presented their pitch Wednesday to build a hall of fame for the stock-car series.

Aikman's new NASCAR teams lands primary sponsor (AP)
DALLAS – Texas Instruments Inc. will be the primary sponsor for a NASCAR team run by former Dallas Cowboys...

Atlanta makes pitch for NASCAR Hall of Fame (AP)
ATLANTA – The city's tourism officials revved up their engines Tuesday, hoping to blow past the...

One driver injured, another suspended after race fight (AP)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – A bloody fight after a NASCAR-sanctioned race at Bowman Gray Stadium has resulted in...

Stewart fined for Busch bump (AP)
Tony Stewart was placed on probation for the rest of the year and fined $5,000 Tuesday for intentionally running into another car after the Busch series race Saturday at Watkins Glen International.

Stewart, Kyle Busch fined for incidents at Watkins Glen (SportsTicker)
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) - Tony Stewart's temper put a blemish on his near perfect weekend at Watkins Glen International.

Kyle Busch penalized for post-race altercation (AP)
Kyle Busch was fined $10,000 and placed on probation until the end of the year by NASCAR on Tuesday for hitting another competitor's car after the Nextel Cup race at Watkins Glen International.

NASCAR star Stewart honored with parade (AP)
Thousands of people greeted NASCAR driver Tony Stewart along a parade route through his hometown Monday.

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