BAY AREA-WINNING BASEBALL
A's, Giants give Bay Area high hopes for playoffs
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The small-budget Oakland Athletics are baseball's best team at the break in a division featuring some of the sport's highest-paid stars. The San Francisco Giants are right in the chase for the NL West title despite recent stumbles.
Bay Area baseball delivered a stellar first half. It's only mid-July and already there is talk of a special October and, perhaps, a Bay Bridge Series with far more significance come fall.
In fact, California could have four teams still playing into October.
The two teams in Northern California have set the tone so far.
Zardes, Keane score 2 goals; Galaxy beats NE 5-1
CARSON, Calif. (AP) - Robbie Keane had two goals and two assists, Gyasi Zardes scored twice, and the Los Angeles Galaxy extended the New England Revolution's losing streak to six games with a 5-1 win on Wednesday night.
The Galaxy (7-3-6) went ahead 1-0 in the 10th minute on Keane's perfectly placed ball from the corner of the box. He added an empty net goal in the 78th minute.
Keane touched Stefan Ishizaki's cross to Zardes, who squeezed it between goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth and the near post. The second was a pass across the 6-yard box to a streaking Zardes.
The Revolution's A.J. Soares was sent off in the 29th minute after a studs-up challenge. Seven minutes later, the Galaxy's Dan Gargan took down Teal Bunbury inside the box and was given a red card. Lee Nguyen converted the penalty kick for the Revolution (7-9-2).
Ishizaki scored the Galaxy's other goal on a deflected free kick.
Warriors, Brandon Rush agree to 2-year deal
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Brandon Rush and the Golden State Warriors have agreed to a two-year contract.
Agent Mark Bartelstein says Rush will hold the option in the second year of the deal.
Rush was Golden State's top reserve during the 2011-12 season before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team's 2012-13 home opener. He was traded to Utah last summer as part of a salary-shedding move that allowed the Warriors to sign Andre Iguodala.
Rush played just 38 games for the Jazz last season after returning from that devastating knee injury. He held a workout for teams in Las Vegas recently before signing with the Warriors, who had pursued Rush from the start of free agency July 1.
Rush has averaged 8.3 and 3.3 rebounds in six seasons.
AP Source: Davis to Lakers for 2 years, $2 million
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that Ed Davis has agreed to terms on a two-year, $2 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers and Davis reached agreement on Wednesday night. The second year of the deal is a player option. The person requested anonymity because an official announcement has not been made.
Davis has played for Toronto and Memphis in his four-year NBA career. He was the 13th overall pick in 2010 and showed flashes of real potential early on with the Raptors.
But after being traded to the Grizzlies as part of the deal that sent Rudy Gay to Toronto, Davis struggled to get consistent minutes on a team with a loaded frontcourt.
Yahoo! Sports first reported the agreement.
Sharks re-sign defensemen Demers, Doherty
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - The San Jose Sharks have re-signed defensemen Jason Demers and Taylor Doherty.
The Sharks announced the agreements with both restricted free agents Wednesday. The team says Demers' deal is for two years, while Doherty's deal is for one year.
Demers set career highs with five goals, 29 assists and 34 points last season. He had one assist while playing in all seven games of San Jose's first-round loss to the Los Angeles Kings.
Doherty had four goals and 11 assists with the AHL's Worcester Sharks last season. The 23-year-old is expected to push for a spot on San Jose's roster this fall.
Calif. hearings delayed in ex-NFL player rape case
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper has appeared in a Los Angeles court but back-to-back hearings on sexual assault allegations he faces were postponed to Aug. 8.
Sharper spoke only to answer a procedural question from the judge.
Wednesday's proceedings had been scheduled to set a date for a preliminary hearing of allegations that he drugged and raped two women he met at a West Hollywood nightclub.
The second hearing would have involved Sharper's extradition to Arizona, where he's alleged to have drugged three women and sexually assaulted them in Tempe in November.
He's also been investigated in Louisiana, Nevada and Florida, where authorities in May found insufficient evidence.
He has pleaded not guilty in California, and he and his lawyers have denied the allegations in the other states.
Durant, Rousey win top athlete honors at ESPYs
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Kevin Durant has won two ESPY Awards, including male athlete of the year, and mixed martial arts star Ronda Rousey earned female athlete honors, becoming the first UFC fighter to claim a trophy in the biggest category at the show.
Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder also won best NBA player on Wednesday night, ending LeBron James' two-year reign in both categories.
Durant beat out fellow male athlete nominees Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos and boxer Floyd Mayweather during the show hosted by rapper Drake at the Nokia Theatre.
Rousey, the first female UFC champion, won over WNBA star Maya Moore, Olympic champion skier Mikaela Shiffrin and Brenna Stewart of national champion Connecticut.
The winners in most categories were determined by fan voting.
Alabama-USC set to play in 2016 Cowboys Classic
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Alabama and Southern California are set for their first regular-season matchup since some storied games in the 1970s.
The Crimson Tide and the Trojans will play in the 2016 Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas. The Labor Day weekend season opener at the Dallas Cowboys' stadium will be held Sept. 3, 2016.
The last time Alabama and USC met in the regular season was 1978, when the Crimson Tide were the AP national champions and the Trojans finished No. 1 in the UPI poll. Alabama's only loss that season was 24-14 to USC.
Defending national champion Florida State plays Oklahoma State in this year's Cowboys Classic on Aug. 30.
Alabama is also playing in the 2015 kickoff game, against Wisconsin. The Crimson Tide beat Michigan 41-14 in the 2012 game.
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