MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The San Francisco 49ers have become one of the NFL's most feared and revered teams under coach Jim Harbaugh, using a punishing, disciplined defense and a mistake-free, balanced offense to brand themselves as arguably this season's Super Bowl favorite.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Francisco Peguero celebrated his first major league hit, Yusmeiro Petit celebrated his first start in three years and the San Francisco regulars were able to relax a day after their own celebration.
NEW YORK (AP) - Grant Balfour watched as Alex Rodriguez's high fly soared toward right field and thought the worst. Hard to blame him after Oakland's first two games at Yankee Stadium.
OAKLAND (AP) - The Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers spent the offseason implementing new offenses designed to rely heavily on running games that could take a little pressure off their passers.
NEW YORK (AP) - Russell Martin led off the bottom of the 10th inning with a homer off Sean Doolittle, and the AL East-leading New York Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics 2-1 Friday night for their sixth straight win.
ATLANTA (AP) - Jim Furyk, the only American on the Ryder Cup team without a win this year, put himself in position Friday to join them.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Alex Smith and the San Francisco 49ers understand the value of taking a sack.
SAN FRANCISCO (2-0) At MINNESOTA (1-1)
PITTSBURGH (1-1) At OAKLAND (0-2)
ALAMEDA (AP) - Oakland free safety Michael Huff says he isn't sure where he'll be lining up when the Raiders come out on defense against Pittsburgh on Sunday.
PRATTVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Defending champion Lexi Thompson shot a 3-under 69 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead into weekend play in the Navistar LPGA Classic.
NEW YORK (AP) - Safety Kenny Phillips has been fined $30,000 by the NFL for unnecessary roughness, one of four New York Giants disciplined for their conduct in last Sunday's win over Tampa Bay.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Matt Barkley apparently figured one way he could help Southern California bounce back from a disheartening loss at Stanford was with an unusual blast of bravado.
NEW YORK (AP) - Melky Cabrera ended the debate over whether a suspended drug cheat should be able to win a batting title. The San Francisco outfielder asked Major League Baseball officials to disqualify him and on Friday they agreed.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Vikings are in the early stage of their plan to return to perennial playoff contention with a team supporting a power running game with smart, productive passes and backs that up with a stingy, turnover-forcing defense.
YANKEES 4, RED SOX 1: NEW YORK (AP) - Michael Pineda won while pitching with some substance smudged on his hand as the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 4-1 Thursday night.
PIRATES 5, CUBS 4: CHICAGO (AP) - Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run seventh inning and Jason Grilli retired Emilio Bonifacio on a bases-loaded grounder to end the game, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.
DENVER (AP) - Justin Morneau laces up his cleats right next to the locker once belonging to Todd Helton, the first baseman whose shoes he's now trying to fill.
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) - Surrounded by statues of the game's greats, Tony La Russa was simply awe-struck as he contemplated his place in baseball history.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - No nerves. No worries. Adam Scott never knew the opening round at Augusta National could be so enjoyable.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Manny Pacquiao's latest pastor wants him up at 5 a.m. every day for prayers. The eight-division champion sometimes has 100 people and a yappy dog named Pacman in his home after training sessions, playing darts and carousing into the night.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Carli Lloyd scored two goals less than three minutes apart in the first half as the United States defeated China 3-0 Thursday night in a women's soccer friendly in the first game since Tom Sermanni was fired as coach of the Americans.
NEW YORK (AP) - Rick Nash scored the winning goal with 1:42 left, on New York's third shot of the third period, and the Rangers clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a 2-1 victory over the NHL-worst Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Jim Johnson struggled again. The Oakland Athletics picked up their new closer with a strong finish.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Paul Goldschmidt hit a three-run homer and sacrifice fly to pound Tim Lincecum again, and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the San Francisco Giants 7-3 on Wednesday night.
ANAHEIM (AP) - Patrick Maroon scored two goals, John Gibson made 36 saves in his second NHL start, and the Anaheim Ducks clinched their second straight Pacific Division title with a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - A quick stroll across the manicured landscape of Augusta National afforded a glimpse of why this Masters is so hard to figure out.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Dorell Wright hit a 3-pointer with 7.9 seconds left and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the late-charging Sacramento Kings 100-99 on Wednesday night.
NEW YORK (AP) - Now that they're no longer receiving awards, Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman are getting their names on some.
BALTIMORE (AP) - Nelson Cruz was branded a cheater and punished accordingly. As he waited to be introduced on his first opening day in Baltimore, the former All-Star wondered how Orioles fans would react in the aftermath of the 50-game suspension he received last year for using performance-enhancing drugs.