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Last Update on August 29, 2014 14:53 GMT

US OPEN

NEW YORK (AP) -- Venus Williams is looking to get to the fourth round at the U.S. Open for the first time since 2010. Standing in her way this afternoon is 13th seed Sara Errani (ehr-RAH'-nee) of Italy. While Williams owns seven major singles titles, including two at the U.S. Open in 2000 and 2001, Errani has had more recent success at tennis' most prestigious events. In 2012, Errani was the runner-up at the French Open and a semifinalist at the U.S. Open. She also was a semifinalist at the French Open last year.

In other dayside action, women's second seed Simona Halep (HAL'-ehp) has a match, as do men's No. 4 David Ferrer (feh-REHR') and No. 6 Tomas Berdych (TOH'-mahs bur-DEEK').

Coming up tonight, men's fourth seed Roger Federer has a second-round match with Australia's Sam Groth. On paper this is a matchup of David and Goliath, as Federer is 973-224 in his career with 17 major championships, while Groth has a career mark of 10-15 with losses in his only three Grand Slam matches before winning his first-round match this year.

And women's No. 5 Maria Sharapova (shah-rah-POH'-vah), a five-time major champion, has a third-round match against 26th seed Sabine Lisicki. At a hard-court tournament in Stanford, California, in July, Lisicki hit the fastest record serve in the history of the WTA, reaching 131 mph. Lisicki beat Sharapova en route to reaching the Wimbledon final in 2013, but has lost all five of their other meetings.

MLB-SCHEDULE

UNDATED (AP) -- The Angels and Athletics continue their battle for supremacy of the American League West tonight with the second game of a big four-game series in Anaheim, California. Last night the Angels beat the A's in 10 innings to take a two-game lead in the divisional race. Tonight's game features a good pitching matchup with 13-game winner Jon Lester going for the A's against 14-game winner Jered Weaver.

Two divisions feature an even tighter race than the one in the AL West. In the American Central the Royals top the Tigers by 1 1/2 games and tonight KC is home to Cleveland. The Indians are lurking in the shadows of the division, 5 1/2 games back of the Royals. The Tigers are on the road this evening for the start of a series with the White Sox in Chicago.

The National League Central is just as tight as the AL Central as first-place Milwaukee leads St. Louis by the same 1 1/2-game margin with Pittsburgh just four back. Tonight the Brewers are in San Francisco while the Cards are home to the Cubs and the Pirates are home to Cincinnati.

Wrapping up the night's schedule, the Twins are in Baltimore, the Blue Jays are home to the Yankees, the Phillies are in New York to face the Mets, Tampa Bay is hosting Boston, Texas plays at Houston, the Diamondbacks are entertaining the Dodgers and the Nationals are at Seattle.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- In college football tonight there is one game with a ranked school participating. That game is being played in East Lansing, Michigan, as the eighth-ranked Spartans play host to Jacksonville State. A year ago Michigan State finished third in the final AP poll with a record of 13-1 and a win in the Rose Bowl.

The Gamecocks of Jacksonville State are no push-overs as they reached the quarterfinals of the Football Championship Subdivision last year. They have had 11 straight winning seasons.

NASCAR

HAMPTON, Georgia (AP) -- Tony Stewart is getting back behind the wheel for this weekend's Sprint Cup action in Hampton, Georgia. The Oral-B USA 500 will be his first race since the death of dirt track driver Kevin Ward Jr.

The three-time NASCAR champion has not raced since his car hit Ward at an Aug. 9 event in New York. Stewart pulled out of the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen the next morning, then skipped races at Michigan and Bristol Motor Speedway.

Stewart, who was described by police as "visibly shaken" the night of Ward's death, has been in seclusion ever since.

Qualifying for Sunday night's race is taking place this afternoon at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The winner of this race a year ago was Kyle Busch.

Race winners get first priority for the 16-driver Chase as long as they are in the top 30 in the standings and attempted to qualify for every race. With two regular-season races left, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson top the series with three victories. Gordon leads the standings, 27 points ahead of Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr.

INDYCAR

FONTANA, Calif. (AP) -- The IndyCar season comes to an end this weekend with the final race of the year taking place at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. All Will Power has to do is finish sixth or better to win the overall driver's championship. He leads teammate Helio Castroneves (EHL'-ee-oh cas-troh-NEHV'-us) by 51 points.

Qualifying for the Saturday night race is being held this afternoon.

Being on top of the standings entering the final race is nothing new to Power, who failed to win the championship after taking the lead into the 2010, 2011 and 2012 finales.

PGA-FEDEX

NORTON, Mass. (AP) -- The Deutsche DOY'-cheh) Bank Championship starts play today in Norton, Massachusetts. This is the second of the FedEx playoff events, following last week's win by Hunter Mahan (MAY'-han) in The Barclays in New Jersey.

The top 100 in the FedEx Cup standings qualified for the tournament. The field will be cut to 70 for the BMW Championship next week at Cherry Hills in Colorado, and to 30 for the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta. To the eventual winner of the FedEx Cup, a rather nice payday of $10 million.

This week's event ends on Monday.

 

Last Update on August 29, 2014 09:50 GMT

RAMS-DOLPHINS

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) -- Matt Hazel caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Seth Lobato with 6:15 left, and the Miami Dolphins rallied to beat the St. Louis Rams 14-13 in the preseason finale for both teams.

Daniel Thomas had a 5-yard touchdown run for Miami, which trailed 13-0 entering the final quarter.

Austin Davis threw for 162 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown pass to Austin Pettis, and Greg Zuerlein made a pair of long field goals for the Rams.

Davis completed 12 of 19 passes, albeit largely against second- and third-stringers, and finished the preseason 39 of 63 for 534 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.

Both teams held out plenty of regulars, the norm for the final preseason game.

REDSKINS-BUCCANEERS

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Colt McCoy threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Washington Redskins to a 24-10 preseason-ending victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night.

With coach Jay Gruden resting both Robert Griffin III and backup quarterback Kirk Cousins, McCoy played the entire game for the Redskins (3-1). He completed 22 of 29 passes while also throwing a pair of end-zone interceptions.

Ryan Grant scored on a 2-yard reception for the Redskins, and Lache Seastrunk turned a short pass into an 80-yard TD that gave Washington a 17-3 fourth quarter lead.

Third-stringer Mike Kafka played most of the game for Tampa Bay (1-3), throwing for 86 yards and one TD -- a 25-yarder to Solomon Patton in the fourth quarter.

FALCONS-JAGUARS

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- T.J. Yates made a strong case to be Atlanta's backup quarterback Thursday night, throwing for 243 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in both teams' preseason finale.

Yates had shown little in the team's first three exhibitions, completing 39.4 percent of his passes with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Second-year player Sean Renfree posted better numbers and seemingly had an edge in the competition to be Matt Ryan's backup.

But Yates shined against the Jaguars.

His highlight throw was a 67-yard touchdown strike to Freddie Martino in the second quarter, a deep ball that put Atlanta up 21-7. His other TD came on a swing pass to Antone Smith, who broke several tackles during the 66-yard catch and run.

Yates completed 15 of 20 passes and was sacked twice.

Renfree was 9-of-12 passing for 62 yards.

RAYS-ORIOLES

BALTIMORE (AP) -- J.J. Hardy singled in the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 Thursday night to lengthen their lead in the AL East.

Steve Pearce homered for the Orioles, who took three of four from the sinking Rays. The victory, combined with the Yankees' loss to Detroit, put Baltimore seven games ahead of New York with 30 games remaining.

With the score 4-all in the seventh, Nelson Cruz doubled with two outs off Kirby Yates (0-2). After Chris Davis received an intentional walk, Hardy hit an opposite-field bloop to right that gave the Orioles their first lead.

Andrew Miller (4-5) pitched 1 2-3 hitless innings and Zach Britton worked a perfect ninth for his 29th save.

Evan Longoria homered and drove in two runs for the Rays, who lost their second road series in the last 11.

T25-FAU-NEBRASKA

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska opens its 125th football season Saturday when Florida Atlantic visits Memorial Stadium.

Coach Bo Pelini says he expects the Cornhuskers to be better on both sides of the ball. He has a second-year starter in quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr., the nation's top returning rusher in Ameer Abdullah and one of the Big Ten's best receivers in Kenny Bell.

The Huskers also have what could be one of the conference's top defensive lines.

Florida Atlantic of Conference USA has a new coach in Charlie Partridge. Partridge takes over after Carl Pelini, Bo's brother, was forced out with a month left in the 2013 season.

The Huskers were 9-4 last season; Florida Atlantic was 6-6.

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