WASHINGTON (AP) - Thanks to strong pitching from Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper's burst of energy and Adam LaRoche's slugging, the Washington Nationals won enough from April through September that even a loss on the first day of October could not stop them from clinching the NL East.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Miguel Cabrera had four hits, including a homer during a five-run sixth inning, and the Detroit Tigers held off the Kansas City Royals 6-3 Monday night to clinch the AL Central title.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Lance Briggs plucked the ball out of the air and started rumbling down the field. As the Chicago linebacker approached the end zone, he fully extended his right arm over his head with the ball in his hand.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - San Francisco's defense has a little inside game of its own going on in practice each week: "Takeaway Thursday."
ALAMEDA (AP) - For the Oakland Raiders, the bye is coming at just the right time.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - Keith Smart believes changing the attitude of the Sacramento Kings starts with taking the team out of Northern California.
ATLANTA (AP) - Matt Bryant kicked a 40-yard field goal with 5 seconds remaining and the Atlanta Falcons remained unbeaten, rallying past the Carolina Panthers 30-28 on Sunday.
BALTIMORE (AP) - The Baltimore Orioles clinched their first playoff berth since 1997, extending their winning streak to four by beating the Boston Red Sox 6-3 Sunday as Nate McLouth, J.J. Hardy and Chris Davis hit solo homers.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Carlos Beltran homered from both sides of the plate for the ninth time in his career and drove in five runs, and the St. Louis Cardinals closed in on the NL's second wild-card berth by beating the Washington Nationals 10-4 Sunday.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The New York Jets were a delicious treat for the San Francisco 49ers.
DENVER (AP) - Instead of coming from behind, Peyton Manning spent the second half piling it on.
OAKLAND (AP) - Yoenis Cespedes hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning to move Oakland a win closer to the club's first playoff berth in six years, and the Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners 5-2 on Sunday to stay right on the heels of Texas in the AL West race.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Pinch hitter Xavier Nady homered off Huston Street to tie the game with one out in the ninth and Hunter Spence hit a go-ahead, two-run shot as the San Francisco Giants rallied to beat the San Diego Padres 7-5 Sunday.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Referee Jeff Triplette struck a triumphant tone before Sunday's Saints-Packers game at Lambeau Field, announcing during the pregame coin toss that "it's great to be back, gentlemen!"
MEDINAH, Ill. (AP) - Erasing some of their worst Ryder Cup memories, the Europeans wore the image of Seve Ballesteros on their sleeves and played their hearts out Sunday at Medinah to match the greatest comeback in history and head home with that precious gold trophy.
NEW YORK (AP) - The Brooklyn Nets acquired guard Marcus Thornton from the Sacramento Kings for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans on Wednesday, removing two little-used veterans from their aging roster and hoping a younger one can rediscover his scoring touch.
SAN JOSE (AP) - The San Jose Sharks are close to being a complete team again even without a couple of stars still over at the Olympics.
PHOENIX (AP) - At first glance, Oakland catcher Stephen Vogt appears to be lobbying for a spot on the A's opening day roster.
In 1792, President George Washington signed an act creating the U.S. Post Office.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - The setbacks that limited Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro to 127 games last year have done nothing to tarnish the optimism and gusto he brings to the game.
PHOENIX (AP) - For each of his first five major league seasons, Luke Gregerson came to spring training smack dab in the middle of suburbia, surrounded by shopping malls and restaurants.
OAKLAND (AP) - The Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings are likely returning from the All-Star break without their franchise centers.
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - If Yu Darvish is feeling any pressure after leading the majors in strikeouts last season, it isn't showing.
MARANA, Ariz. (AP) - Rory McIlroy makes his American debut this week in the Match Play Championship. The only goal is to make sure it's not a short week.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Kevin Harvick popped in for what he thought was a quick hello with a bedridden Tony Stewart.
PHOENIX (AP) - Major League Baseball managers are getting ready to test the expanded instant replay system.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Jim Boeheim has known it since the season started, and two straight nail biters only has reaffirmed it: his top-ranked Syracuse Orange may still be unbeaten, but they're certainly not invincible.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - LeBron James won't assume the eventual date with Indiana that so many others expect.
PHOENIX (AP) - Despite getting hurt late last season, A.J. Griffin has already shown he can handle a heavy workload for the Oakland Athletics.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Mike Morse is healthy again, and he thinks he's ready to return to the form that made him one of the top hitters in the National League in 2011.