Now that A.J. Burnett has rejoined a rotation that includes Roy Halladay, the Toronto Blue Jays believe they are poised for improvement — and they’re only 6 1/2 games out of the wild card. Fresh off the disabled list, the right-hander gave up three hits pitching into the eighth inning and the Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 4-1 Sunday night.
If Brian Giles is going to hit for power anywhere, it’s at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park against the Reds. San Diego’s right fielder hit two home runs for the second consecutive day and Jake Peavy remained unbeaten against Cincinnati in the Padres’ 10-4 victory Sunday. “I’ve hit the ball like that before,” said Giles.
Even after opening the season 1-8, the Washington Nationals kept playing hard. So it came as no surprise that they refused to quit after spotting NL West-leading Arizona a five-run lead in the third inning. Jesus Flores hit a tying homer in the ninth and Felipe Lopez drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly as the Nationals rallied to beat the Diamondbacks 7-6 on Sunday afternoon.
The Minnesota Twins came into Angel Stadium struggling badly at the plate, so the last thing they needed was to face Los Angeles’ three best pitchers on consecutive days. Jered Weaver worked effectively into the eighth inning after equally impressive victories by Kelvim Escobar and John Lackey, and the AL West leaders got home runs from Chone Figgins and Jeff Mathis to beat the Twins 6-2 on…
Shaun Alexander barely broke a sweat. LaDainian Tomlinson didn’t even suit up. That’s what happens when the last two NFL MVPs hook up in an exhibition opener. Alexander’s Seattle Seahawks beat Tomlinson’s San Diego Chargers 24-16 on Sunday night, getting the go-ahead points on a 36-yard field goal from Josh Brown with 7:18 left.
Adam “Pacman” Jones ended up surrounded by police Sunday night. This time they were actors trying to help the suspended cornerback, though they couldn’t stop him from being allegedly “attacked.” Not a finger was laid on Jones on-camera Sunday at the Total Nonstop Action Wrestling event, but several were awfully close.
Eric Gagne sat in front of his locker, his head down and his shoulders sagging. He wasn’t the one who gave up the game-winning home run to Kevin Millar, yet the struggling reliever heaped all the blame for Boston’s latest defeat squarely upon himself. Again. Millar hit a three-run homer in the 10th inning after Miguel Tejada tied it with a shot off Gagne in the eighth, leading the Baltimore Orioles…
After the Mets endured tough losses the previous two nights because of bullpen meltdowns, Aaron Heilman and Billy Wagner were hoping for a chance to redeem themselves. So it was appropriate that the New York bullpen found itself in another squeaker Sunday against Florida. This time, Heilman, Wagner and Co.
Talk about your pushy New Yorkers. Strutting into Jacobs Field for the weekend, the Yankees made themselves right at home. They bullied the Cleveland Indians before leaving with three wins and the same confidence that has made them champions many times before. “I feel like we’re the team,” Andy Pettitte said.
Salute the Sarge defeated Georgie Boy by a length to win Sunday’s $147,000 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar. Michael Baze rode his third winner on the card, guiding Salute the Sarge over 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:19.43. The winner paid $4.60 and $2.40. “I just let him do his thing and then when the time came he went,” Baze said.
Classic Pack beat 13-1 odds for a 3/4 -length victory over Red Zipper in the $100,000 West Point Handicap at Saratoga Race Course before a record crowd of over 72,000 on Sunday. The 4-year-old son of Regal Classic, ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, covered 1 1/8 miles on the Mellon turf course in 1:47.77.
The Minnesota Vikings activated third-year defensive end Erasmus James from the physically unable to perform list on Sunday, hoping he can regain the pass-rushing form he exhibited at Wisconsin before a serious knee injury last year. James hasn’t played since tearing a ligament in his left knee in the second game of last season.