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Astros Edge Phils 4-3 to Lead Wild Card (AP)
Houston Astros starting pitcher Andy Pettitte throws against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning Monday, Sept. 5, 2005, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/H. Rumph, Jr.)AP - Andy Pettitte pitched 5 2-3 scoreless innings, Lance Berkman hit a three-run homer and the Houston Astros moved into first place in the NL wild-card standings with a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night.


Ageless Agassi Advances to Quarterfinals (AP)
Andre Agassi gestures to fans after defeating Xavier Malisse, of Belgium, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 4-6, 6-2 at the US Open tennis tournament in New York, Monday Sept. 5, 2005. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)AP - Andre Agassi became the fourth man over 35 and the first in 14 years to make the U.S. Open quarterfinals Monday, outlasting Xavier Malisse 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 4-6, 6-2. Two points from a straight-sets win, Agassi couldn't find answers when Malisse cranked up the intensity and evened the match.


Hernandez Pitches Mariners Past A's 2-0 (AP)
Seattle Mariners' Felix Hernandez releases a pitch against the Oakland Athletics in the third inning Monday, Sept. 5, 2005, in Oakland, Calif.. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)AP - Teen phenom Felix Hernandez dazzled again, and Adrian Beltre and Greg Dobbs each had an RBI to provide the necessary run support in the Seattle Mariners' 2-0 win over the struggling Oakland Athletics on Monday.


Receiver Rice Ends Superb 20-Year Career (AP)
Jerry Rice, one of the most dominate wide receivers in the NFL,  smiles as he recalls the final drive in Super Bowl XXIII as his most memorable moment in the NFL during a news conference where he announced his retirement in Denver on Monday, Sept. 5, 2005. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)AP - Jerry Rice finally called a halt to his glorious career. The 42-year-old Rice, the best receiver ever and perhaps the best player at any position, quit after it became increasingly clear he was sliding down the depth chart with the Denver Broncos, with whom he spent training camp.


Giants Edge Dodgers 3-1 on Throwing Error (AP)
San Francisco Giants' Ray Durham, right, slides into home plate scoring past Los Angeles Dodgers' catcher Dioner Navarro in the fifth inning in Los Angeles on Monday, Sept. 5, 2005. Durham scored on a sacrifice fly hit by Yamid Haad off Dodgers pitcher Derek Lowe.(AP Photo/Francis Specker)AP - Julio Ramirez scored the go-ahead run on a throwing error by third baseman Mike Edwards in the eighth inning, helping the San Francisco Giants defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 on Monday night for their sixth straight victory.


Porter Expects to Be Ready Vs. Pats (AP)
AP - Ever since he injured his hamstring early in training camp, Oakland receiver Jerry Porter has vowed to be ready for Thursday night's season opener against New England.

Nashville Offers NHL Arena to Hornets (AP)
AP - The Nashville Predators are offering the displaced New Orleans Hornets a chance to play 12 games this season in the NHL team's arena.

Orioles send Palmeiro home to rehabilitate knee, ankle (Reuters)
Reuters - The Baltimore Orioles sent veteran slugger Rafael Palmeiro home to Texas on Monday to rehabilitate his knee and ankle injuries, but the club insists he is expected back sometime before the season ends.

Brazil Surges Into World Cup Soccer (AP)
AP - Brazil surged into the World Cup with a display of artful soccer that presents its coach with an enviable problem: Where to put so much talent?

Red Wings' Datsyuk Signs With Russian Team (AP)
AP - Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk has signed with Russian Super League team Avangard Omsk, but it was unclear whether the deal contained an "out clause" that might allow him to remain with his NHL team.

The wrong route
Jerry Rice earned the right to decide when he would retire. Too bad the Broncos decided for him.

Jerry Rice retires, ends 20-year career (AP)
The greatest receiver of all time realized he would be no better than the fourth receiver for the Denver Broncos. It was no way for Jerry Rice to end his career, so he called it quits after 20 sensational seasons. ``I never thought I'd ever see this day,'' Rice said Monday during an emotional news conference at Broncos team headquarters.

Giants-Saints part of Monday night DH (AP)
The Giants-Saints game, driven from New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, will be played as part of a nationally televised doubleheader starting at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Monday, Sept. 19. The game, already moved to the Giants' home in the New Jersey Meadowlands, will begin on ABC, then be switched to ESPN at 9 p.m., when ABC goes to the regularly scheduled game between Washington and Dallas in Irving, Texas.

Steelers, WR Ward agree to 4-year deal (AP)
Hines Ward now knows how much he is valued in Pittsburgh. The four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver is one of the few players to walk away from contract negotiations with the Steelers with more money than he expected to get. Ward, on the verge of becoming the leading receiver in franchise history, agreed Monday to a four-year contract that could be worth as much as $25.8 million and includes $10 million...

Porter expects to start vs. Patriots (AP)
Ever since he injured his hamstring early in training camp, Oakland receiver Jerry Porter has vowed to be ready for Thursday night's season opener against New England. Porter missed all four preseason games as he tried to avoid any setbacks, but said Monday he's ready to start alongside Randy Moss for the first time in the opener.

Rookie Frye chosen as Browns backup QB (AP)
Charlie Frye is no longer an ordinary NFL rookie. He's a backup quarterback, too. Just one snap away from being Cleveland's starter. Frye beat out veteran Doug Johnson and was named the Browns' No. 2 QB on Monday by first-year coach Romeo Crennel, who is confident the former Akron star could capably fill in for starter Trent Dilfer.

WR Price settles in with Cowboys (AP)
Peerless Price is thrilled to be catching passes from Drew Bledsoe again. Now the Dallas Cowboys have to figure out how many he'll get. Price joined his new club Monday and immediately began learning a new position and a new playbook. Coach Bill Parcells said he would force-feed as much information as the speedy Price can handle before deciding whether to use his new deep threat in the opener Sunday...

Eagles claim RB Lamar Gordon off waivers (AP)
The Philadelphia Eagles filled their need for a big running back, claiming Lamar Gordon off waivers from the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Second-year pro Bruce Perry was released to make room for Gordon. ``Lamar is a big back with good speed and quickness,'' Eagles coach Andy Reid said. ``He also has the ability to catch the ball, which will help him in this offense.

Saints WR Horn visits Katrina refugees (AP)
Three-year-old Aaron Carter timidly hoisted a small football skyward to Saints receiver Joe Horn, who reached down and gave the boy a hug before signing. The boy's grandmother, Jeanne Carter, says seeing Aaron happy made her smile for the first time all week. For thousands of Hurricane Katrina refugees inside the Astrodome on Saturday, meeting Horn was a much-needed morale boost.

Eagles surprise again by cutting Douglas (AP)
The Philadelphia Eagles aren't afraid to make unpopular decisions. The latest surprise move came Saturday when affable defensive end Hugh Douglas was among 19 players released to reach the roster limit of 53. A three-time former Pro Bowl selection, Douglas was well-liked by his teammates and had been a leader on the field and in the locker room throughout his six-year career with the Eagles that...

Predators offer arena to Hornets (AP)
The Nashville Predators are offering the displaced New Orleans Hornets a chance to play 12 games this season in the NHL team's arena. Hugh Lombardi, general manager of the Gaylord Entertainment Center, said he has contacted the NBA about the offer. The New Orleans Arena is next to the Superdome, and the NBA has informed teams the Hornets may relocate.

Lakers tab Abdul-Jabbar as special asst. (AP)
Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a six-time NBA MVP and the leading career scorer in league history, has been hired by the team as a special assistant coach. The 58-year-old Abdul-Jabbar played in the NBA for 20 seasons -- six with the Milwaukee Bucks and 14 with the Lakers. He scored 38,387 points before retiring in 1989.

Finley officially signs with Spurs (AP)
Prized free agent Michael Finley officially signed with the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs on Friday. ``We are extremely pleased to have a player of Michael's caliber joining our franchise,'' coach Gregg Popovich said. ``He brings an All-Star level of talent to the floor and a high degree of character to the locker room.'' The 32-year-old swingman had been courted by several rising powers...

Pistons ink Maurice Evans to 3-year deal (AP)
Maurice Evans signed with the Detroit Pistons and is expected to provide depth behind starting small forward Tayshaun Prince and shooting guard Richard Hamilton. ``Maurice is the kind of player we think is going to fit in with our team and our culture,'' president of basketball operations Joe Dumars said Saturday.

Raptors waive F Lamond Murray (AP)
The Toronto Raptors waived small forward Lamond Murray on Friday. Murray barely played during his three seasons in Toronto, averaging 6.0 points, 2.7 rebounds in 95 games. The 11-year veteran had one-year and $5.25 million left on his contract. Toronto general manager Rob Babcock wanted to clear a roster spot and allow Murray to sign with another team.

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...

Cavs F Varejao to miss start of season (AP)
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao had arthroscopic surgery Friday to repair his dislocated right shoulder and is expected to miss the start of the season. The 6-foot-11 Varejao, a key contributor off Cleveland's bench as a rookie last season, was injured last month while playing for his native Brazil in a World Championship qualifying game in the Dominican Republic.

Wings' Datsyuk signs with Russian team (AP)
Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk has signed with Russian Super League team Avangard Omsk, but it was unclear whether the deal contained an ``out clause'' that might allow him to remain with his NHL team. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Datsyuk's agent, Gary Greenstin, told him Monday of the signing with the Russian team.

Fresh faces welcomed to US Olympic camp (AP)
If the U.S hockey team skates off with a gold medal in the Turin Olympics, no one will call it a miracle or rush to make a major motion picture. Truth is, it might not be all that surprising. This is not 1980 and these players aren't unknown college kids like the ones who shocked the world by beating what was thought to be an invincible Soviet team during the height of the Cold War.

Canadiens sign G Theodore to 3-year deal (AP)
The Canadiens re-signed goaltender Jose Theodore to a three-year, $16 million contract on Friday. Theodore, who will turn 29 on Sept. 13, is entering his ninth season with the Canadiens. Montreal's second choice, the 44th overall, in the 1994 entry draft, he played in a career-high 67 games with the Canadiens in 2003-04 and had a career-best 33 wins with a 2.27 goals-against average.

Thrashers sign goalie Mike Dunham (AP)
The Atlanta Thrashers added some insurance in net Friday, signing veteran goalie Mike Dunham. Starting goalie Kari Lehtonen is only 21 and backup Pasi Nurminen was lost for the season with a career-threatening knee injury, leaving the team without adequate depth and experience at the position. The 33-year-old Dunham has played 358 NHL games over eight seasons with New Jersey, Nashville and the New...

Devs assistant Carpenter to miss season (AP)
New Jersey Devils assistant coach Bobby Carpenter said Thursday he will not coach with the team this season, citing personal reasons. Carpenter said several factors influenced his decision, including his father suffering a stroke in June and the need to undergo several operations. ``There are some things I have to get done that would affect the way I do my job,'' Carpenter said.

Penguins sign D Lyle Odelein (AP)
Lyle Odelein signed Friday with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have been looking for a steady and physical defender to complement a group of mostly offense-minded defensemen. Odelein, 37, has played for four teams since being chosen as the Columbus Blue Jackets' first team captain in 2000, also playing for the Blackhawks, Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers.

Youth is served
FONTANA, Calif. – After Sunday's win at California, Kyle Busch no longer is living – or driving – in his brother's shadow.

Earnhardt Jr. first of big names that could miss "The Chase" (SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin SportsTicker Contributing Editor

Race is still on for Chase spots (AP)
Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray are in. Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon and Elliott Sadler are out -- for the moment.

Rookie Busch youngest Nextel Cup race winner; points shaken up (AP)
Kyle Busch elbowed his way into the spotlight with a record-setting victory at California Speedway.

Kyle Busch becomes youngest NASCAR winner at Sony HD 500 (SportsTicker)

Earnhardt Jr. sees Chase hopes go up in smoke (AP)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. watched any hope of qualifying for NASCAR's Chase for the championship go up in smoke.

Carl Edwards wins Busch Series Ameriquest 300 (SportsTicker)

Edwards races to Busch win (AP)
Carl Edwards took control late in the race and drove away to an easy victory Saturday night in the NASCAR Busch Series race at California Speedway.

Edwards wins first Cup pole; leads Roush sweep of top four (AP)
Carl Edwards led a Roush Racing sweep of the top four spots in Saturday's qualifying for the NASCAR Nextel Cup race at California Speedway.

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