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Atlanta Braves showing interest in signing Griffey

Washington’s Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom celebrate a record.  (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington’s Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom celebrate a record. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Still seeking a proven bat for the outfield, the Atlanta Braves say they’re interested in acquiring Ken Griffey Jr.

Braves general manager Frank Wren told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Saturday the team is interested in “several available outfielders, including Griffey.”

Atlanta has been looking for more offense from its outfielders, who combined for a major league-low 27 home runs last season. Griffey has 611 career home runs, including 18 last year with the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox.

Recent speculation has suggested Griffey would return to Seattle, where he was a perennial All-Star until he was traded to Cincinnati in 2000. But this week at a California golf tournament, Griffey downplayed reports of his possible return to Seattle as “rumors.”

Golf

Wie falls short

Angela Stanford spoiled Michelle Wie’s bid for a victory in her first start as an LPGA Tour member, overcoming a three-stroke deficit to win the season-opening SBS Open in Kahuku, Hawaii, by three shots .

Stanford closed with a 2-under 70 for a 10-under 206 total at Turtle Bay. Wie had a 73 for her second straight runner-up finish in the tournament.

•Johnson leads by four: Dustin Johnson followed his plan by overpowering the par 5s at Poppy Hills in Pebble Beach, Calif., for a 5-under 67, giving him a four-shot lead over Mike Weir heading into today’s final round at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Johnson is at 15-under-par 201.

•Morgan, Jenkins tied: Gil Morgan shot a flawless 7-under 65 and finished tied with Tom Jenkins after two rounds of the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton, Fla., benefiting greatly from a late collapse by Bernhard Langer, the first-round leader.

NHL

Green breaks record

Mike Green broke the NHL record for consecutive games with a goal by a defenseman, scoring on a power-play at 5:33 of the second period to give the Washington Capitals a 4-0 lead on their way to a 5-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Tampa, Fla.

Green broke the record set by Mike O’Connell for Boston in 1983-84.

•Blackhawks rout Stars: Martin Havlat had two goals and an assist, Jonathan Toews added a goal and two assists, and the Chicago Blackhawks rolled to a 6-2 victory over the Dallas Stars in Chicago.

•Predators upset Bruins: David Legwand beat Manny Fernandez in a shootout after scoring twice in regulation in the Nashville Predators’ 3-2 victory over the NHL-leading Boston Bruins in Nashville, Tenn.

College basketball

Stanford routs Cal

Jayne Appel scored 22 points and had 14 rebounds, Jillian Harmon added 18 points and the No. 6 Stanford women overcame their lowest scoring half of the season to beat No. 3 California 58-41 in Pacific-10 Conference play in Stanford, Calif.

The Cardinal (20-4, 11-1) snapped the 12-game winning streak of the Golden Bears (20-3, 11-1) and put the Bay Area rivals into a tie for first place in conference play. Arizona State is a half-game back.

Appel scored five points in the first half when Stanford was held to 18 points.

•Thabeet sparks UConn: Hasheem Thabeet had career-highs of 25 points and 20 rebounds and just missed his second triple-double in two weeks with nine rebounds, helping the top-ranked Connecticut men win their 13th straight game, 62-54 over Seton Hall in Big East Conference play in Newark, N.J.

•Wake Forest rolls: Al-Farouq Aminu tossed in 17 points and Jeff Teague scored 15 to lead the No. 7 Wake Forest men past visiting and 25th-ranked Florida State 86-63 in Atlantic Coast Conference action.

Tennis

Nadal reaches final

Rafael Nadal beat Gael Monfils of France 6-4, 6-4, setting up a final against Andy Murray in the ABN Amro in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Murray overcame a slight injury to his right foot to rout two-time champion Mario Ancic of Croatia 6-1, 6-1 in the earlier semifinal.

•Fish tops partner: Mardy Fish cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 victory against injured doubles partner James Blake in the semifinals of the SAP Open in San Jose, Calif.

Fish advanced to today’s final and will face the winner of the semifinal between top-seeded Andy Roddick and Radek Stepanek later Saturday.

•Williams withdraws: Amelie Mauresmo defeated Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 0-6, 6-1 in the Open GDF Suez semifinals in Paris to set up a meeting with Elena Dementieva, who advanced after top-ranked Serena Williams withdrew with a knee injury.

Miscellany

Cruz keeps belt

Cristobal Cruz retained the IBF featherweight title, earning a close unanimous decision over Cyril Thomas in Saint-Quentin, France.

Two judges had it 115-113 and the other 116-112, all for Cruz, who improved to 38-11 with one no-contest. Thomas dropped to 33-3 with four draws.

Riesch wins slalom: Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. fell and did not finish after deciding to compete in the slalom despite cutting her thumb on a broken champagne bottle, and Maria Riesch of Germany went on to win at the world championships in Val d’Isere, France.

Defending champion Sarka Zahrobska of the Czech Republic was second.

•Davis tops field: Shani Davis of the United States held off Italy’s Enrico Fabris by 0.48 seconds to win the 1,500-meter speedskating race at a World Cup meet in Heerenveen, Netherlands. Trevor Marsicano of the U.S. was third.

•White, Clark win: Americans Shaun White and Kelly Clark won the halfpipe competition at the World Cup snowboard event at Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver, British Columbia.

White, who rarely competes on the World Cup circuit, won with a score of 47.3 points.

In the women’s event, Clark had a winning score of 42.6 points.

•Holcomb finishes first: American Steven Holcomb won his second FIBT World Cup bobsled race in two days, and Russian Alexsandr Zubkov won his second tour championship in the season finale at Utah Olympic Park in Park City.


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