OAKLAND (AP) - Billy Beane considers Jon Lester a proven ace who can carry a pitching staff through the playoffs, just like he did last fall. The general manager acquired Lester to make sure Oakland gets there first.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Once most players had gone inside from practice on a hot day, there stood Antoine Bethea working to perfect a handshake with new 49ers teammate Demarcus Dobbs.
STANFORD (AP) - Venus Williams advanced to the Bank of the West quarterfinals Thursday night, beating fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 7-6 (1).
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational. Not just from back surgery, but from making bogeys.
Baseball fans were still trying to sort out the dizzying deals for postseason aces Jon Lester and John Lackey, Home Run Derby champ Yoenis Cespedes and All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera when they were treated to a most curious sight Thursday.
OAKLAND (AP) - The Oakland Athletics have traded left-hander Tommy Milone to the Minnesota Twins for outfielder Sam Fuld.
NAPA (AP) - Chimdi Chekwa has dealt with so much in his first two NFL seasons that a matchup with wide receiver James Jones in practice seemed fairly easy in comparison for the Oakland cornerback.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) - Marshawn Lynch's holdout is over, ending one distraction so far for the Super Bowl champions.
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - Dustin Johnson is taking a leave of absence from golf to seek help for "personal challenges," a swift end to his season that will keep him from playing the PGA Championship, the FedEx Cup playoffs and the Ryder Cup.
OAKLAND (AP) - Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis confirmed he has met with San Antonio officials but declined to disclose whether he has any interest in relocating the franchise to Texas.
HOUSTON (AP) - In the first inning against Houston, Jason Hammel picked up right where he left off since coming to the Oakland Athletics.
OAKLAND (AP) - Ray Guy built a Hall of Fame career of making other people wait.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - San Francisco wide receiver Anquan Boldin laughs - a big, hearty guffaw - and shakes his head.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Jean Machi and the San Francisco Giants ended their six-game losing streak in the most wacky way. They don't care how it happened, any break is welcome these days.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The House That Wooden Built is waterlogged.
ALAMEDA (AP) - The Oakland Raiders fired coach Dennis Allen on Monday night four games into his third season.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Jim Harbaugh has no time for Deion Sanders, Trent Dilfer or others who question whether the fourth-year coach has lost his locker room or the faith of his players.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Three years ago, Drew Storen was the confident, young closer for the Washington Nationals, a first-round draft pick who saved 43 games.
OAKLAND (AP) - David Lee learned to block out trade talk during his days with the New York Knicks when just about everybody on the roster was rumored to be on the move at some point.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Jamaal Charles proved he is back to full speed for the Kansas City Chiefs.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The San Francisco Giants have proven themselves to be elimination experts.
NEW YORK (AP) - When it comes to baseball's MVP debate, sometimes the names change from year to year more than the arguments do.
• AJ Hinch hired to manage Astros : HOUSTON (AP) - A.J. Hinch was hired as the manager of the Astros on Monday, and general manager Jeff Luhnow is confident he'll be the man to return Houston to success.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - The San Francisco 49ers got Frank Gore involved in the offense again, and it returned them to their winning ways.
LONDON (AP) - The Oakland defense still needs plenty more improvement, and both sides of the ball could do with fewer injuries.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - At the end of a long and sporadic regular season for the San Francisco Giants, Hunter Pence held the microphone to his mouth and gave fans at AT&T Park a pep talk.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - The Oakland Athletics waited until the last day of the regular season to finally clinch their third consecutive playoff berth.
A look at the American League wild-card playoff between the Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics:
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Mike Glennon hit a diving Vincent Jackson for a 5-yard touchdown with 7 seconds remaining to lift Tampa Bay to a stunning win.
PEBBLE BEACH (AP) - John Cook won the First Tee Open on Sunday at Pebble Beach for his 10th Champions Tour title, closing with a 3-under 69 for a one-stroke victory over Tom Byrum.