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Busy Astros continue to clean house

July 30, 2012
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The going-young Astros traded third baseman Chris Johnson to the Diamondbacks for two minor leaguers Sunday. Houston obtained infielder Bobby Borchering and outfielder Marc Krauss in the trade, Houston’s fifth this month. After opening the season with a payroll of about $61 million, the Astros have jettisoned veterans earning a combined $49 million. Former Red Sox infielder Jed Lowrie, at $1.15 million, is Houston’s highest-paid player. The Astros dealt first baseman Carlos Lee to Miami for two prospects July 4, sent lefthander J.A. Happ and righthander Brandon Lyon to Toronto July 20, traded closer Brett Myers to the White Sox for two minor league pitchers July 21, and sent lefthander Wandy Rodriguez to the Pirates for three minor leaguers last week . . . All-Star closer Huston Street and the Padres agreed to a $14 million, two-year contract through 2014. The deal includes a $7 million team option for 2015 . . . The Athletics acquired ex-Red Sox catcher George Kottaras from the Brewers for minor league reliever Fautino De Los Santos . . . The White Sox acquired lefthander Francisco Liriano from the Twins late Saturday for two prospects — shortstop Eduardo Escobar and lefthander Pedro Hernandez . . . The Nationals gave outfielder Xavier Nady his unconditional release.

Orioles’ Roberts to undergo surgery

Less than 24 hours after beginning a rehabilitation assignment at Single A Aberdeen, Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts announced he will have season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip. Roberts, 34, on the disabled list since July 3, missed the start of the season with a concussion. He returned June 12 and batted .182 in 17 games before going on the DL . . . The Orioles purchased the contract of Lew Ford from Triple A Norfolk, ending the outfielder’s five-year wait to return to the major leagues. Ford, 35, who played for the Twins from 2003-07, played in Japan, Mexico, and the independent Atlantic League before the Orioles signed him to a minor league contract in May. The Orioles optioned pitcher Miguel Socolovich to Norfolk . . . Marlins All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (right knee surgery) will begin a rehab assignment Wednesday with Single A Jupiter. Stanton hopes to return to the Marlins Aug. 10 against the Dodgers. Also, the Marlins placed outfielder Logan Morrison on the 15-day DL with right knee inflammation . . . Rangers righthander Neftali Feliz was scratched from his rehab start at Triple A Round Rock because of discomfort in his right elbow. Feliz, sidelined for two months since being diagnosed with inflammation of the ulnar collateral ligament, was coming off the best of three starts at Round Rock, having allowed one hit in three scoreless innings Tuesday.

College football

Top recruits to stick with Penn State

Several of the top prospects who have given verbal commitments to Penn State have told the team’s coaches they will stick with the program despite sanctions handed down by the NCAA last week. Offensive linemen Brendan Mahon and Andrew Nelson, wide receiver Will Fuller, defensive end Garrett Sickels, and two of Bill O’Brien’s most anticipated commitments — tight end Adam Breneman and quarterback Christian Hackenberg — visited State College Saturday and met with coaches. Defensive tackle Greg Webb and cornerback Ross Douglas de-committed from a Penn State class that once included 14 commitments — Webb has since committed to North Carolina and Douglas to Michigan — but the remaining 12 have stayed firm in their pledges to the Nittany Lions . . . Penn State will probably have to give its athletic department a long-term loan to pay the $60 million fine imposed by the NCAA after the child sex abuse scandal at the school, university president Rodney Erickson said in a CBS interview . . . Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz suspended De’Andre Johnson indefinitely after the sophomore running back had two run-ins with police in the past week. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported that Johnson was ticketed for speeding and eluding arrest Saturday. Two days earlier, Johnson was ticketed by Iowa City police for maintaining a disorderly house after neighbors complained of a loud party at his home . . . Former Auburn running back Michael Dyer was dismissed from the Arkansas State team for violating team rules.

Horse racing

Paynter captures Haskell Invitational

Paynter stormed into the lead entering the far turn and pulled away to win the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., giving trainer Bob Baffert his third straight win in the race and sixth overall. Gemologist took the lead in the 1-mile race, with Paynter on his flank through the backstretch. When they moved into the far turn, Paynter surged ahead under Rafael Bejarano and was never threatened in winning by 3¾ lengths. Nonios was second and Stealcase third in the field of six 3-year-olds. Paynter, the even-money favorite, paid $4, $2.60, and $2.40. Nonios returned $5.20 and $3.80, and Stealcase paid $5 . . . Currency Swap beat Doctor Chit by 1¾ lengths in the $200,000 Amsterdam Stakes for 3-year-olds at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Miscellany

Querrey wins Farmers Classic crown

San Querrey won the Farmers Classic tennis tournament in Los Angeles for the third time in four years, routing Ricardas Berankis, 6-0, 6-2. Querrey won the tournament in 2009 and 2010, then missed the event missed last year because of a right shoulder injury . . . Southwest Minnesota State University basketball coach Brad Bigler was in critical condition with several broken ribs and a shoulder blade in Sioux Falls, S.D., after a crash that killed his 5-month-old son. Bigler’s wife, who was driving, suffered minor injuries while her grandmother was in critical condition . . . Auburn’s Matt Lee beat brother Jordan in the Bassmaster College Series final in Conway, Ark., to earn a spot in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.

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