Yanks' A-Rod hits first homer of season
NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez homered for the first time since he returned last week from offseason hip surgery and being suspended 211 games for performance-enhancing drug use.
Starting at third base and batting fourth a day after being held out of the lineup, A-Rod connected on Justin Verlander's second pitch of the second inning Sunday for his 648th career homer. It was the New York Yankees third baseman's 16th at-bat this season and first long ball since Sept. 14.
Rodriguez is playing while he appeals the ban Major League Baseball handed out as a result of its investigation into the now-closed Florida anti-aging clinic.
The hit was his first off a right-hander in 25 at-bats. Rodriguez was 0-for-18 against righties during a dreadful postseason.
The three-time AL MVP was given a mixed reception when he came to the plate leading off the second. He sent a soaring fly that landed several rows back in left field and rounded the bases to a loud ovation.
The RBI was the 1,951st of Rodriguez's career, moving him past Stan Musial for fifth all-time. Rodriguez drove in a second run with a single down the first base line in the third. A-Rod stood in the batter's box, thinking the ball was foul, before jogging to first base.
He also made three nice plays in the field, one to start a double play, and was given an error on Victor Martinez's slow roller that Rodriguez ran in for but couldn't scoop with his glove.
Anti-PED organization head upset with A-Rod
NEW YORK -- The founder of an anti-steroids organization that worked with Alex Rodriguez since he first admitted using performance-enhancing drugs four years ago is disappointed the slugger has still not called to explain his recent doping suspension.
Don Hooton tells The Associated Press at an event for the Taylor Hooton Foundation at Yankee Stadium on Sunday that he wished A-Rod would've reached out before Major League baseball banned him last week for 211 games as a result of the investigation into a now-closed Florida anti-aging clinic.
Hooton said Rodriguez had done an outstanding job for the foundation but all the good work has been wiped out by the suspension.
Rodriguez first joined with Hooton after admitting in 2009 that he used steroids with the Texas Rangers from 2001-2003. Don Hooton started the foundation after his 17-year-old son committed suicide in 2003.
Royals get Carroll from Twins for stretch run
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals have added infield depth by making a trade with the Minnesota Twins for Jamey Carroll.
The Twins will get either a player to be named or cash. The deal was announced after both teams played Sunday.
The Royals beat Boston 4-3 and are in playoff contention.
The 39-year-old Carroll singled and scored for the Twins in their 5-2 win over the Chicago White Sox. He is hitting .230 with nine RBI.
Braves' Justin Upton leaves with leg injury
ATLANTA -- Outfielder Justin Upton has left the Braves' game against the Marlins with an apparent left leg injury.
Upton flexed his left leg after running to first base on an unsuccessful sacrifice bunt attempt in the fifth inning. Marlins catcher Koyie Hill threw out Mike Minor at third base as Upton reached on the fielder's choice.
Upton was removed from Sunday's game. His older brother, B.J. Upton, entered the game as a pinch-runner. Freddie Freeman followed with a three-run homer off Henderson Alvarez that gave Atlanta a 4-3 lead.
The Braves provided no immediate update on Justin Upton's status.
Michigan LB Ryan on track with rehab
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Jake Ryan is still recovering from a spring practice knee injury that required surgery, and although his rehab is going well, the Michigan linebacker needs to be patient.
The Wolverines are preparing to start the season without him. An October return is the most plausible scenario and, at this point, Ryan is trying to work his way through treatment and therapy so he can remain on schedule.
Ryan had a team-high 88 tackles last season as a redshirt sophomore, along with 41⁄2 sacks and four forced fumbles. He went down March 19 with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Ryan was a 2010 graduate of St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland.
Ex-KSU coach Hazell making strides at Purdue
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The work is just beginning for first-year Purdue football coach Darrell Hazell. But the first building block is in place.
The first step was getting the players to buy into Hazell's system and to see his vision. That hasn't been a problem.
Quarterback Rob Henry said at Purdue's media day Sunday that players have already bought in. If anyone can do it, it's Hazell. He's been through the rebuilding process before at Kent State and turned things around in under two years.
But now, with the Boilermakers, Hazell has a quarterback to choose, a defense to fix, amongst other things before the regular season starts at Cincinnati on Aug. 31 and before the Boilermakers can make it to the top of the Big Ten like Hazell wants.
Vikings rookie Floyd gets MRI on bad knee
MANKATO, Minn. -- Vikings rookie defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd will have an MRI on his injured left knee.
Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier says Floyd will have the MRI because of soreness and to "err on the side of caution" after the first-round draft pick out of Florida was injured in the second quarter of a 27-13 preseason loss to the Texans on Friday night.
Floyd was on the field for Sunday's morning walk-through but won't participate until the team gets the MRI results. Floyd had a tackle for a loss and deflected pass against the Texans.
Rookie cornerback Xavier Rhodes and free-agent linebacker Desmond Bishop are expected to practice Sunday afternoon after dealing with hamstring injuries.
Defensive tackle Christian Ballard (groin) is still sidelined, along with safety Brandon Bishop (illness). Cornerback Jacob Lacey will have arthroscopic surgery on his knee and likely be out 2-4 weeks.
Serena wins Rogers Cup in easy fashion
TORONTO -- Serena Williams won the Rogers Cup for the third time, routing unseeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-0 in Sunday's final.
The top-ranked woman captured her eighth WTA title of the year and 54th of her career. All three of her Rogers Cup crowns have come in Toronto, the others in 2001 and 2011. Williams has lost only one match since March, a stunning early exit at Wimbledon.
She did not drop a set this week. The only time she was tested was in her semifinal against third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska.
Cirstea was appearing in her third WTA final and looking to build on her only title -- in 2008 at Tashkent. But despite this loss, the tournament proved a breakthrough. She ousted two former No. 1 players in Jelena Jankovic and Caroline Wozniacki. She also defeated defending champion Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals and fourth-seeded Li Na in the semis.
Cirstea was unsteady from the opening game, double-faulting the first point and again at 30-40 to give Williams an early break. Williams broke again for 3-0 after Cirstea sent a backhand wide. That prompted a visit from her Australian coach, Darren Cahill.
The pep talk appeared to work momentarily. Cirstea won four straight points to break back and held serve at 3-2. But Williams quickly removed any chance of an upset, winning two straight games and acing a set point winner to make it 6-2.
With shouts of "Sorana" and "Serena" volleying around the stadium, splashes of Romania's blue, yellow and red could be seen dotting the Rexall Centre stands on a warm, sunny afternoon.