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Red Sox Rally Yet Again to Beat D-Rays 7-4 (AP)
Boston Red Sox'  John Olerud, third from left, celebrates his three-run home run with Jason Varitek, second from left, and  Trot Nixon (7) in the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005, in Boston. Tampa Bay catcher Toby Hall kneels at right. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)AP - John Olerud homered twice and drove in six runs Thursday night as the Boston Red Sox came from behind for the third consecutive game, beating the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 7-4 to complete a four-game sweep.


Angels Draw Even With A's Atop AL West (AP)
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Ervin Santana throws to the Oakland Athletics during the fist inning Thursday, Sept. 30, 2005, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)AP - Rookie Ervin Santana pitched into the ninth inning and Robb Quinlan homered Thursday night in the Los Angeles Angels' 3-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics.


Crafty Agassi Overcomes Karlovic at Open (AP)
Andre Agassi makes a return against Ivo Karlovic, of Croatia, at the US Open tennis tournament in New York, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)AP - Size doesn't matter in tennis. Neither does age. Andre Agassi stood 11 inches shorter than 6-foot-10 Croatian Ivo Karlovic, spun serves about 50 mph slower, and logged far fewer miles on court.


Comets Rally to Beat Storm in Game 2 (AP)
Houston Comets forward Sheryl Swoopes celebrates a shot late in the second half against the Seattle Storm, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005, in game 2 of the first round Western Conference playoffs at KeyArena in Seattle. The Comets beat the Storm 67-64, and the teams will meet again Saturday in the deciding game 3 of the first round. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)AP - Sheryl Swoopes converted two defensive stands by Houston into four points in the final three minutes, and the Comets rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit to beat the Seattle Storm 67-64 Thursday night.


Ravens Defeat Redskins 26-20 in Overtime (AP)
Washington Redskins quarterback Patrick Ramsey is sacked by Baltimore Ravens' Tommy Polley during the first quarter of a preseason game  Thursday, Sept.1, 2005, in Baltimore.(AP Photo/Matthew Gunby).AP - Jamal Lewis ran for 15 yards on six carries in his preseason debut, and third-string quarterback Derek Anderson threw a 66-yard touchdown pass to Randy Hymes with 12:39 left in overtime to lift the Baltimore Ravens over the Washington Redskins 26-20 Thursday night.


Flood concerns distract New Orleans football team (Reuters)
The National Football League donated $1 million to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina on Wednesday and began the search for a temporary home for the New Orleans Saints. Connie Kate tries to salvage some of her belongings from her house that was flattened by Hurricane Katrina in Gulfport, Mississippi August 31, 2005. Authorities struggled on Wednesday to evacuate thousands of people from hurricane-battered New Orleans as food and water grew scarce and looters raided stores, while U.S. President George W. Bush said it would take years to recover from the devastation. (Frank Polich/Reuters)Reuters - The New Orleans Saints pro football team played their last exhibition game on Thursday but said the havoc back home weighed heavily on their minds at a time many players are looking forward to the new season.


Pistons Fan Gets Jail Time for Fight (AP)
AP - A Detroit Pistons fan who threw a coin at the Philadelphia 76ers' Allen Iverson, hitting him in the back of the head, received a five-day jail sentence Thursday.

Nats Call Up Rick Short, Kenny Kelly (AP)
AP - The Washington Nationals called up Rick Short, who flirted with hitting .400 in the minors, and former University of Miami quarterback Kenny Kelly after Thursday night's loss to the Braves.

Mexico Confident Heading Into U.S. Game (AP)
AP - With a World Cup berth virtually assured, Mexico's national soccer team is relaxed for its qualifier against the United States.

Canucks Sign Goalie Brent Johnson (AP)
AP - The Vancouver Canucks signed free agent goaltender Brent Johnson and re-signed winger Jarkko Ruutu on Thursday.

The unbearable likeness of QBing
OWINGS MILLS, Md. – For Derrick Mason and Samari Rolle, Kyle Boller's struggles are strikingly similar to their ex-Titan teammate.

Saints play through devastating times (AP)
Joe Horn planned to head for Houston with the intent of helping one refugee family hurt by Hurricane Katrina. He'll go by limo, van or rental car. Across the country from their devastated city, the New Orleans Saints somehow played a competitive football game when it's probably the last thing some of them wanted to do -- and then they turned their thoughts to assisting those in need and reuniting...

Colts reach agreement with Corey Simon (AP)
The Indianapolis Colts, hoping to fix their one glaring weakness, reached a multiyear agreement Thursday with Corey Simon, a Pro Bowl defensive tackle released by Philadelphia in a contract dispute. Simon wanted a long-term deal with Philadelphia and refused to sign a one-year franchise tender. The Eagles removed the franchise tag on the former first-round draft pick Sunday, making him an...

Bruschi will ``definitely play next year'' (AP)
New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi says he plans to play next year after taking this season off to recover from a mild stroke. Bruschi, in an interview with The Boston Globe, broke his silence about his future, which he said includes conducting a public awareness campaign about strokes. He was stricken in February.

Commish: Saints unlikely to play in N.O. (AP)
NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue says it's unlikely the Saints will play in New Orleans this season after the devastation Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath inflicted on the city. ``At this point you have to proceed on the assumption ... that they may be unable to play in New Orleans at all for the entire season,'' Tagliabue said Thursday in an interview with CNBC.

Brees sprains ankle as Chargers win (AP)
Drew Brees hobbled off the field, his night's work done after throwing a touchdown pass and spraining his right ankle. ``It's always kind of a sigh of relief after the preseason is over and you look at your squad and we're relatively healthy right now,'' Brees said after the San Diego Chargers beat the San Francisco 49ers 28-24 in an exhibition finale Thursday night.

Favre, McNair play three series each (AP)
Mike Sherman is certain his Green Bay Packers aren't ready for the regular season. For Jeff Fisher and his young Tennessee Titans, go ahead and bring on the opener. Craig Nall tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Walt Williams early in the fourth quarter, and Mike Hawkins intercepted a pass in the end zone with 2:26 left as Green Bay beat Tennessee 21-17 on Thursday night.

Panthers' Davis returns from surgery (AP)
The Carolina Panthers were in a celebratory mood after losing, pleased with the return of Stephen Davis and an efficient series from their starters. The Pittsburgh Steelers weren't nearly as pleased, unsatisfied after Thursday night's 21-17 preseason victory over the Panthers because the first-team offense continued to struggle.

T.O., McNabb sit out preseason finale (AP)
Even being spectators didn't bring Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens together. McNabb watched from the press box and Owens looked on from the bench as the New York Jets' backups dominated the Philadelphia Eagles' junior varsity in a 37-14 victory Thursday night. Chad Pennington played one series for the Jets, completing all three of his passes and leading the offense into the end zone.

Not guilty plea in McDougle shooting (AP)
Four teens charged in the shooting of Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Jerome McDougle pleaded not guilty Thursday. Charles Edward James, 17, Birmmengham Guirand, 19, Lance Grant, 17, and Leonard Jenkins, 15, were charged with robbery and attempted felony murder. McDougle, 27, was shot July 28 after three armed robbers approached him while he was sitting in his silver Mercedes coupe in southwest...

Yao signs $75M extension with Rockets (AP)
Yao Ming signed a five-year contract worth more than $75 million Thursday, keeping the 7-foot-6 center with the Houston Rockets through the 2010-11 season. The extension, the maximum allowed under the NBA's new labor deal, ended days of speculation about Yao's future. Owner Leslie Alexander called the agreement ``as important as anything I've done as an owner.'' ``I think he could become one of...

Bulls, Chandler agree to contract (AP)
Tyson Chandler and the Bulls agreed Thursday to a multiyear contract, keeping the restricted free agent and former No. 2 overall draft pick in Chicago. The team declined to release the length of the contract or the terms, but Chandler said it's a six-year deal. ``I'm ecstatic that this contract is done,'' said Chandler, who was drafted out of high school in 2001.

Finley decides to sign with Spurs (AP)
Michael Finley was being pursued by several rising powers in the NBA. Ultimately, he decided to join the team that's already on top, the San Antonio Spurs. On Wednesday, Finley ended weeks of courting by San Antonio, Phoenix, Miami and Minnesota by letting them all know he'll be wearing the silver and black of the reigning champions.

Webber fined $100K in booster case (AP)
Philadelphia 76ers player and former Michigan star Chris Webber was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine Wednesday, nearly two years after he pleaded guilty to a federal criminal contempt charge in the University of Michigan booster scandal. U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds fined Webber the maximum allowed after she ruled that Webber's conviction should be treated as a misdemeanor rather than a felony,...

Some Hornets' staff working in Houston (AP)
Some members of the New Orleans Hornets' front office have relocated to Houston and are working out of the Toyota Center. ``Our staff is kind of scattered around the country, but we have about 15 members in Houston,'' Hornets chief marketing officer Tim McDougall told Houston television station KRIV on Wednesday.

Union to launch Katrina relief effort (AP)
The NBA players' association said Tuesday it is launching an immediate effort to assist in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. ``We are in the process of contacting every player in the league to solicit their support and ideas on how we can make a difference as quickly as possible,'' said union president Antonio Davis of the Chicago Bulls.

Traylor fails physical, won't join Nets (AP)
Free agent forward Robert Traylor failed a physical and will not join the New Jersey Nets this season. Team president Rod Thorn declined to announce further details Tuesday. The 28-year-old Traylor became a free agent in June when the Cleveland Cavaliers declined to pick up the option on his $1.76 million contract for the upcoming season.

Wings not close on Datsyuk, Zetterberg (AP)
As the NHL moves toward resuming play, the Detroit Red Wings are not close to re-signing restricted free agents Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg. ``We're nowhere near a deal with either player,'' Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Thursday. ``We've made a number of offers and they've made offers, but we still have a long way to go to reach deals.'' It's a priority for the Red Wings to...

Canucks re-sign F Jarkko Ruutu (AP)
The Vancouver Canucks re-signed winger Jarkko Ruutu on Thursday to a one-year contract worth $600,000. In three seasons with the Canucks, the Finn had 13 goals and 21 assists in 185 games. Ruutu spent the 2004-05 season with HIFK Helsinki of the Finnish league, where he had 10 goals and 18 assists. ``We are very excited to once again have Jarkko Ruutu in our lineup,'' Canucks general manager Dave...

Ovechkin comes to D.C., signs with Caps (AP)
Alexander Ovechkin, the No. 1 pick in last year's NHL draft, arrived in the nation's capital Wednesday and signed his three-year contract with the Washington Capitals. The Capitals also signed defenseman Jeff Schultz, another first-round in the 2004 draft. Ovechkin, 19, agreed to terms Aug. 5, and is scheduled to be formally introduced at a news conference Thursday.

Thrashers sign Hartley to extension (AP)
The Atlanta Thrashers gave coach Bob Hartley a one-year contract extension through the 2006-07 season on Wednesday. Since he was hired midway through the 2002-03 season, Hartley has posted a 52-56-13 record, including a franchise-best 33-37-8-4 record in 2004-05, his first full season. ``We feel that with Bob's leadership, professionalism and winning track record, he is the coach that will guide...

Penguins re-sign F Ryan Malone (AP)
The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed forward Ryan Malone on Thursday. The 25-year-old Malone scored a team-high 22 goals and had 21 assists in 81 games in the 2003-04 season. He was tied for third in assists for Pittsburgh and ranked fourth among NHL rookies in goals. He was the first Penguins rookie to score 20 goals since the 1992-93 season when Shawn McEachern had 28.

Rangers-Flyers begins NHL's TV schedule (AP)
The NHL returns to TV on Oct. 5 when the Outdoor Life Network broadcasts the opening night game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers. The league released its television schedule for NBC and OLN on Wednesday as it prepares to resume play after last season was wiped out by a lockout.

Sullivan named assistant on Olympic team (AP)
Boston Bruins head coach Mike Sullivan has been named an assistant coach on the 2006 United States Olympic men's ice hockey team, USA Hockey announced Wednesday. Sullivan joins the staff of head coach Peter Laviolette, who coaches the Carolina Hurricanes. ``We're pleased to have someone with Mike's knowledge and passion on board to assist in guiding our Olympic team,'' said Don Waddell, Team USA...

NASCAR's biggest gamble
The Chase was vastly unpopular when introduced and implemented. Things have changed.

Gas prices hurting NASCAR teams, too (AP)
Rising gasoline prices are having just as big an impact on NASCAR's teams as they are on everyone else in the...

Super Bowl champion QBs teaming up (AP)
FORT WORTH, Texas – Troy Aikman didn't win a game as a rookie starting quarterback in the NFL, and Roger...

Racing pioneer Marlin was one of NASCAR's good ol' boys (AP)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Long before the huge salaries, private planes and luxury homes, racing was a mere hobby...

One-time open wheel powerhouse second tier in NASCAR (AP)
When Chip Ganassi made the jump from open wheel racing to the top stock car series part way through the 2000...

Rookie Sorenson docked 50 points, crew chief Pattie suspended (SportsTicker)
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) - Rookie Reed Sorenson's bid for a Busch Series championship has been dealt a serious blow by his own crew.

Pattie suspended six races for soaking tires at Bristol (AP)
Busch Series driver Reed Sorenson's crew chief was suspended for six races Tuesday for soaking tires at Bristol Motor Speedway.

After 1,272 lefts, why Dale Jarrett turned right (AP)
The short answer to why there are so many crashes in NASCAR: Strip away the 800-horsepower engines, the flame-retardant suits, the 3,400 pounds of steel and the drivers go about their business pretty much like everybody else. They laugh, they cry, they win a few and lose all the rest. They show up at work, get their feelings hurt, get mad, and sometimes, they get even.

Two to go: Chase race heats up after Bristol (AP)
Jeff Gordon is in, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is out and Matt Kenseth suddenly is knocking on the door.

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