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.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Tony Stewart will not race Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, the third Sprint Cup race he's skipped since his car struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car race.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - When star quarterback Braxton Miller cried out in pain and crumpled to the ground during No. 5 Ohio State's practice on Monday, coach Urban Meyer wasn't certain what had happened.
MILTON, Del. (AP) - Jeff Gordon may as well have been any average sports fan, sliding up to the bar and ordering a beer.
NEW YORK (AP) - Top-ranked Serena Williams is seeded No. 1 as she seeks her third straight U.S. Open title.
LONDON (AP) - Barcelona will be barred from signing any players in 2015 after FIFA rejected the club's appeal against a one-year ban for breaching rules over the transfer of youngsters.
CHICAGO (AP) - Jake Peavy pitched seven solid innings in his fifth start with San Francisco, and the Giants rolled past the Chicago Cubs 8-3 on Wednesday, hours after they won a protest regarding a rain-shortened loss from the night before.
OAKLAND (AP) - The New York Mets still consider themselves a contender in the NL East chase even with a daunting deficit to make up over the final month.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Wide receiver Stevie Johnson hopes the 49ers have to give up a third-round draft pick next year.
CHICAGO (AP) - Anthony Rizzo slammed a two-run homer, Tsuyoshi Wada pitched five strong innings, and the Chicago Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 2-0 on Tuesday night in a game that was halted after 4 1/2 innings because of unplayable field conditions following rain at Wrigley Field.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Phil Dawson converted 49 of his 50 pregame kicks, even a pair of 58-yard field goals going from each direction. That's about as accurate as San Francisco's veteran place kicker has been in recent years.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Lining the brightly lit hallways of Populous, one of the leading architectural firms behind college sports, there are hundreds of scale models and graphic renderings of college football stadiums in various stages of renovation and construction.
CLEVELAND (AP) - Browns coach Mike Pettine isn't quite ready to name his starting quarterback. Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel haven't convinced him they deserve the job.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio State star quarterback Braxton Miller will miss the 2014 season, dealing a severe blow to the fifth-ranked Buckeyes' national title hopes.
ALAMEDA (AP) - Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Tuesday the team will decide by next week whether cornerback DJ Hayden is healthy enough to start the season on the active roster or if he will go on the physically unable to perform list.
CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cleveland Indians have signed veteran right-handed reliever Scott Atchison to a contract for next season.