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.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - So much for all that talk of distractions, letdowns and doubts surrounding San Francisco's longtime dominant defense. One impressive first-half sequence handled all of that.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Running back LaMichael James was released by the San Francisco 49ers on Monday.
ALAMEDA (AP) - The offseason plans to beef up both lines are still a work in progress for the Oakland Raiders.
Ray Rice cut after release of video: BALTIMORE (AP) - Ray Rice was let go by the Baltimore Ravens on Monday and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after a video was released showing the running back striking his then-fiancee in February.
DETROIT (AP) - Matthew Stafford improvised brilliantly on two early touchdown passes to Calvin Johnson, and Detroit beat the New York Giants 35-14 on Monday night in Jim Caldwell's first game as Lions coach.
CHICAGO (AP) - Eric O'Flaherty wasn't able to help the Oakland Athletics' ailing bullpen.
CLEVELAND (AP) - Josh Hamilton's sore right shoulder is better, but not improved enough to get him back on the field.
NEW YORK (AP) - Serena Williams is building a new house, complete with a karaoke room and a purse room for her "bag problem."
NEW YORK (AP) - Marin Cilic was barred from last year's U.S. Open during a doping suspension he still says was unjust.
DETROIT (AP) - Detroit rookie Kyle Lobstein earned his first major league win, and Miguel Cabrera homered for the third time in two days in the Tigers' 6-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday night.
OAKLAND (AP) - A day after a dramatic comeback victory, the Oakland Athletics had quite the letdown.
NEW YORK (AP) - Standing on the field with a microphone, the end of his baseball career likely three weeks away, Derek Jeter remained as cool and collected as his play at shortstop over the past two decades.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers can put a tumultuous offseason behind them. They have a rusty Tony Romo to thank for making the opener a little easier.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Derek Carr held his own for two quarters, looking as though just maybe he could help end the Oakland Raiders' woes in the East.