Team USA uses homers to top Philadelphia
Chipper Jones helped give the United States a win over the World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies, hitting a three-run homer in a 9-6 victory Thursday in Clearwater, Fla.
Jones’ homer was the fourth straight hit off of Philadelphia right-hander Kyle Kendrick and turned a 1-all game into a 4-1 lead in the third inning of the World Baseball Classic warmup.
Ryan Braun, Brian McCann and Adam Dunn also homered for the American squad.
Braun and McCann hit consecutive home runs off Antonio Bastardo to lead off the fourth inning.
•Alou likely done after WBC: Moises Alou said he’ll likely turn down offers he has received to play this season, including one from the Phillies, and end his 18-year career after the World Baseball Classic.
•Giants drop Roberts: The San Francisco Giants released veteran outfielder Dave Roberts.
•Cardinals pick up Reyes: Left-hander Dennys Reyes and the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to $3 million, two-year contract.
Nuggets beat Blazers
Carmelo Anthony scored 38 points in his return from a one-game suspension for refusing to come out of a game last weekend, and he led the Nuggets past the Portland Trail Blazers 106-90 in Denver.
Brandon Roy led Portland with 22 points and four assists. LeMarcus Aldridge added 19 points and four rebounds for the Trail Blazers.
•Spurs add Gooden: Drew Gooden joined the Spurs after buying out his contract earlier this week in Sacramento, to where the Chicago Bulls traded the veteran power forward last month.
Avery, Rangers get win
The calmer Sean Avery has something in common with the more rambunctious version; they both agitate opponents and help the New York Rangers win.
The new and improved version of hockey’s most-hated player came back to the NHL with a toned-down attitude and an understanding that he has to stay in control.
At the end of a fast-paced, high-energy contest, Avery and the Rangers came away with a 4-2 victory over the Islanders in New York.
•Jokinen hot in Flames’ debut: Olli Jokinen scored two goals in his first game for Calgary, and fellow trade deadline addition Jordan Leopold also had a goal, leading the Flames to a 5-1 victory over the Flyers in Philadelphia.
•Gerber saves Maple Leafs: New Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Martin Gerber emerged from the minor league scrap heap to make 37 saves in a 2-1 victory over the Capitals in Washington.
•Wild win in overtime: Marek Zidlicky scored Minnesota’s tying goal from mid-ice when San Jose goalie Brian Boucher made a humiliating blunder on the puck, and Mikko Koivu scored his second goal with 13.3 seconds left in overtime in the Wild’s 4-3 victory over the Sharks in San Jose, Calif.
Ravens introduce Birk
Six-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk was introduced at a news conference in Owings Mills, Md., one day after agreeing to a three-year, $12 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens.
•Saints make moves: The New Orleans Saints signed free-agent fullback Heath Evans to a two-year contract and released fullback Mike Karney.
•Broncos sign Simms: The Denver Broncos agreed to a deal with backup quarterback Chris Simms.
Penn State upsets Illinois
Talor Battle hit a driving shot with 0.3 seconds left to cap Penn State’s rally from a 10-point deficit and give the Nittany Lions (21-9, 10-7 Big Ten) a 64-63 victory over No. 23 Illinois (23-8 11-7) at State College, Pa.
The Illini’s Mike Davis, a 70 percent free-throw shooter, missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 8 seconds left. Jamelle Cornley corralled the rebound and handed off to Battle, who dribbled furiously up court and threw up the shot that bounced tantalizingly around the rim for a couple of seconds before dropping in.
Allenby leads at Honda
Robert Allenby shot a 4-under-par 66 to take a one-shot lead after the opening round at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., surviving a day when the wind blew flags straight and the only solace for players was receptive greens. He had a tap-in on the par-4 ninth – his final hole – to break away from what was an eight-way tie for the lead.
•Torres still making splash: Dana Torres, 41, won her first competition since collecting three silver medals at the Beijing Olympics, winning the 50-meter freestyle at the Austin (Texas) Grand Prix with a time of 24.91 seconds.
•Track owners in trouble: The largest horse track owner in the U.S. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, saying it was unable to obtain new financing while supporting its existing debt.
Magna Entertainment Corp., whose operations include Baltimore’s Pimlico racetrack that hosts the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, said it would continue to operate while it reorganizes under the supervision of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.