Cliff Floyd is finding himself in the middle of a lot of winning rallies, and keeping the Chicago Cubs in the thick of a pennant race. Floyd led off the 10th inning with a double, and after he was replaced by pinch runner Felix Pie, Jason Kendall drove in the go-ahead run in the Cubs’ 4-2 win over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.
Phoenix Suns guard Leandro Barbosa scored 30 points, and Brazil held off Canada 75-67 Wednesday night in the FIBA Americas tournament opener for both teams. Barbosa, the NBA’s top sixth man last season, helped Brazil finally shake free by hitting two free throws and adding a floater, pushing the lead to 69-62 with 2:26 left.
Brandon Webb felt relieved when his shutout streak ended at 42 innings Wednesday night. The Arizona ace allowed a run in the first but won his sixth consecutive start to lead the Diamondbacks past the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2. “I was feeling it a little earlier in the day with all the attention,” said Webb, the reigning NL Cy Young winner.
Before the game, Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge explained that he put Franklin Gutierrez in the lineup to create more offense. Gutierrez did just that, hitting a three-run homer to help Cleveland rebound from a tough loss and beat the Detroit Tigers 11-8 on Wednesday night. Gutierrez also doubled to start a four-run rally in the fourth inning.
Albert Pujols homered for a career-best fifth consecutive game, leaving him three games shy of the major league record. Another milestone, he has to himself. The St. Louis slugger became the first player in major league history to hit 30 homers in his first seven seasons, leading the Cardinals to a 6-4 victory over the Florida Marlins on Wednesday night.
Jerome Bettis, the No. 5 rusher in NFL history, claims in a new book that he faked a knee injury during training camp in 2000 so the Pittsburgh Steelers wouldn’t cut him and install Richard Huntley as the starter. Bettis was worried offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride favored Huntley over him and the Steelers were ready to let Bettis go, partly so they wouldn’t have to give him a new contract.
Daunte Culpepper will be Oakland’s starting quarterback in the Raiders’ preseason game Friday night against St. Louis. Culpepper, who signed with the Raiders as a free agent July 31 after being released by Miami in the offseason, has been taking the majority of reps with Oakland’s starters in practice this week but coach Lane Kiffin didn’t announce his plans until Wednesday.
Randy Moss strolled through the Patriots’ locker room with a smile and without a limp. When it came time for the start of Wednesday’s practice, though, he was a no-show — again. The New England wide receiver is one of several key players who, because of physical woes or contract problems, haven’t practiced much, if at all, this summer.
There’s good reason Street Sense is the overwhelming 3-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course: The 3-year-old colt won the Kentucky Derby, and is coming off a solid victory in the Jim Dandy Stakes that boosted his record to five wins, three seconds and two thirds in 10 races.
New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury defended Michael Vick, calling dogfighting a sport and comparing it to hunting. Marbury spoke Monday about the federal dogfighting conspiracy charges against Vick while promoting his basketball shoe in Albany, N.Y. “I think it’s tough,” Marbury said, according to Albany TV station Capital News 9.
The Atlanta Hawks shook up their coaching staff on Wednesday, hiring Alton Lister as an assistant coach and giving two assistants new duties. Herb Brown and Greg Ballard, who had been on the bench with coach Mike Woodson, will work as a consultant and a scout, respectively. Lister, who had a 16-year career as a center in the NBA, will work with inside players.