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.
SEATTLE (AP) - Robinson Cano, Kendrys Morales and Logan Morrison homered, and the Seattle Mariners beat Oakland 4-2 on Friday night to pull within a half-game of the Athletics for the top spot in the AL wild-card chase.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Madison Bumgarner struck out eight and took a share of the major league lead with 18 wins, and the San Francisco Giants moved within one game of NL West-leading Los Angeles by beating the Dodgers 9-0 on Friday night.
NEW YORK (AP) - Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been fined $8,268 by the NFL for his kick to the face of Cleveland Browns punter Spencer Lanning last Sunday.
OAKLAND (AP) - Derek Carr has followed the Houston Texans closely since their start as an NFL franchise.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - If somewhat unknown before as a backup, Colin Kaepernick's breakout performance against the Chicago Bears two years ago helped make him a star.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Madrid awaits. Spain doesn't.
CHICAGO (AP) - It's been 11 weeks since Jimmie Johnson's last victory and he suffered through one of his typical summer swoons.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - As a fourth-round pick with nothing more than a fill-in performance on his NFL resume, San Francisco 49ers rookie Dontae Johnson knows what to expect when Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears see him matched up against a wide receiver Sunday night.
ALAMEDA (AP) - Oakland Raiders running back Maurice Jones-Drew missed his second straight practice with a right hand injury, putting his status for Sunday's home opener against Houston in doubt.
Three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart will find out no later than next week whether authorities will pursue charges in the death of a driver he struck during a sprint car race in upstate New York last month.
BALTIMORE (AP) - The dismissal of Ray Rice wasn't a distraction for the Baltimore Ravens.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - It didn't start out as the best of weeks for Floyd Mayweather Jr.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Frank Gore wants those around him to notice just how hard he's running at age 31, seemingly as energetic as ever when everybody is beginning to question when he will slow down. Or break down.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - The San Francisco 49ers suspended veteran broadcaster Ted Robinson on Wednesday night for the next two games following comments this week on a San Francisco radio station about the Ray Rice domestic violence case that were deemed insensitive.
Maybe the NFL schedule makers did the Baltimore Ravens a big favor.