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Last Update on March 04, 2015 23:37 GMT

MLB-RODRIGUEZ

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Alex Rodriguez made his return to the playing field, going 1-for-2 with a walk in an exhibition game between the Yankees and Phillies in Tampa, Florida. The game was his first in 17 months following a drug suspension for the entire 2014 season. He was greeted by a 10-second mixture of cheers and boos. In his first at bat the three-time American League MVP lined a single to left field. He grounded out his second AB and walked in his third.

Before the game Yankees manager Joe Girardi (jer-AR'-dee) said of Rodriguez: "He was caught. He paid his time and now he's back, and he's a Yankee and we're going to cheer for him."

A-Rod was greeted by a 10-second mix of boos and cheers from the crowd of 9,673 at Steinbrenner Field on a sunny, 80-degree afternoon. Rodriguez had not played since September 2013, four months before an arbitrator said he must serve a one-year suspension imposed for violations of baseball's drug agreement and labor contract.

A-Rod said of the cheers: "Once you hit rock bottom, any time you hear a few cheers these days is a pleasant surprise."

MLB-OBIT

DETROIT (AP) -- Alex Johnson, who won the American League batting title with the then-California Angels in 1970, has died at 72. Alex Johnson Jr. says that his father died Saturday of complications from prostate cancer. The elder Johnson played for eight teams in his 13-year career. He won the American League batting crown with a .329 average.

He also played for the Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees.

MLB-TIGERS

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) -- Facing a second Tommy John surgery, pitcher Joel Hanrahan has been released by the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers signed Hanrahan last May, a year after his first surgery, but he never appeared in a game. Detroit re-signed him in November.

Hanrahan is 22-18 with a 3.85 ERA and 100 saves in seven seasons with Washington, Pittsburgh and Boston.

NFL-PETERSON

UNDATED (AP)-- The Minnesota Vikings have made their in-person pitch to Adrian Peterson.

General manager Rick Spielman (SPEEL'-muhn) and head coach Mike Zimmer spent about four hours Wednesday afternoon at Peterson's home north of Houston. Photographers captured Spielman and Zimmer leaving together, dressed in sport coats and blue jeans.

This was the first time meeting they've had with Peterson since the star running back was placed on the exempt list in mid-September following his indictment in a child abuse case involving his 4-year-old son. Peterson is still under contract with the Vikings. They've said repeatedly they'll welcome him back once he's fully reinstated by the NFL, but only if Peterson wants to be there.

NFL-TRADE

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Vikings have agreed with the Buffalo Bills to trade quarterback Matt Cassel (KAS'-uhl) next week for an undisclosed draft pick. The Vikings made the announcement, six days before NFL transactions can begin with the start of the new league year. The trade can't be completed until then, but the announcement wouldn't have been made if there were potential roadblocks for the deal. Cassel spent two years with the Vikings, taking over in 2013 after Christian Ponder struggled to keep the job. He lost the starting job to injury last season.

NFL-COWBOYS

IRVING, Texas (AP) -- The Cowboys have re-signed restricted free agent Cole Beasley. The four-year contract is reportedly worth about $14 million, with $7 million guaranteed. The 5-foot-8 former SMU player had career highs with 420 yards and four touchdowns in his third season in 2014.

BOSTON MARTHON BOMBING

BOSTON (AP) -- The question is no longer whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) took part in the Boston Marathon bombing. It's whether he deserves to die for it.

In a blunt opening statement at the nation's biggest terrorism trial in nearly 20 years, Tsarnaev's own lawyer flatly told a jury that the 21-year-old former college student committed the crime.

"It WAS him," said defense attorney Judy Clarke, one of the nation's foremost death-penalty specialists.

It's a strategy aimed at saving Tsarnaev from a death sentence

The shaggy-haired defendant stared straight ahead and did not look at either the jury or Assistant U.S. Attorney William Weinreb as the prosecutor launched into his opening statement in the nation's most closely watched terrorism trial since the Oklahoma City bombing 20 years ago.

About two dozen victims of the Boston attack took up the entire left-hand side the courtroom.

Three people were killed and more than 260 hurt when two pressure-cooker bombs exploded seconds apart near the finish line.

NBA-SCHEDULE

UNDATED (AP) -- The Houston Rockets have their leading scorer back for tonight's Southwest Division battle with Memphis. James Harden missed the Rockets' last game because of a league imposed suspension for kicking LeBron James in the groin. His return is timely as the Rockets are 1 1/2 games back of the Grizzlies in the division.

In another game of note, first-place Toronto of the Atlantic Division is playing host to James and his Cleveland Cavaliers. Along with topping their division the Raptors are second in the Eastern Conference behind Atlanta. The Cavaliers start the game in fourth in the East, a game back of the Raptors. A Cleveland win would also move the Cavs into first place in the Central as they being play a half-game back of idle Chicago, which is currently third in the conference.

Two teams vying for a postseason playoff berth meet tonight in New Orleans as the Pelicans host the Pistons. New Orleans is a game back of Oklahoma City for the final Western berth while the Pistons are 2 1/2 games behind Brooklyn for the last eastern spot. Oklahoma City by the way is home to the 76ers tonight.

Two teams riding a three-game winning streak are meeting tonight in Los Angeles as the Clippers entertain the Blazers. Portland starts play in first place in the Northwest Division while the Clippers are second in the Pacific.

The rest of tonight's card has Phoenix playing at Orlando, the Pacers home to the Knicks, Utah at Boston, Brooklyn playing host to the Bobcats, L.A.'s Lakers at Miami, the Spurs home to the Kings and Milwaukee at Golden State.

NBA-PACERS

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert will not play tonight against New York.

Coach Frank Vogel says he's giving the two-time All-Star extra rest during a week in which Indiana plays only one game in four days. Vogel says Hibbert is not injured and should start Friday night.

Ian Mahinmi will replace Hibbert with Lavoy Allen moving into the backup role.

NBA-ALLEN

MIAMI (AP) -- Ray Allen, the leading three-point shooter in the history of the NBA, says he will not play this season but that he will consider returning to the NBA next season. The two-time champion made the announcement through his agent, Jim Tanner. It had been rumored that several teams, most notably Cleveland, had been wooing him to return for the rest of this season.

The 39-yeaer-old has made 2,973 shots from 3-point range in his 18 NBA seasons, 413 more than anyone else in league history. On the NBA's all-time lists, Allen is 15th in games played, 22nd in field goals and 22nd in scoring.

T25-SCHEDULE

UNDATED (AP) -- There are four games in Top-25 action this evening with No. 3 Duke leading the way. The 26-3 Blue Devils are home to Wake Forest in an Atlantic Coast Conference game.

In the lone game of the night featuring two ranked schools 12th-ranked Notre Dame is on the road for a game against 16th-ranked Louisville.

Completing the schedule Ohio State, the 23rd-ranked school, is at Penn State and No. 24 Providence is at Seton Hall.

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Scores & Schedules

March 04, 2015 08:09 GMT

SPRING TRAINING

Tuesday's Games

Philadelphia 5, N.Y. Yankees 5, tie

Detroit 15, Baltimore 2

Pittsburgh 8, Toronto 7

Oakland 9, San Francisco 4

Cincinnati 10, Cleveland 0

Wednesday's Games

Philadelphia vs. N.Y. Yankees at Tampa, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Toronto vs. Pittsburgh at Bradenton, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Detroit vs. Baltimore at Sarasota, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

N.Y. Mets vs. Atlanta at Kissimmee, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Cincinnati vs. Cleveland at Goodyear, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

San Diego vs. Seattle at Peoria, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

Oakland vs. San Francisco at Scottsdale, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

Kansas City vs. Texas at Surprise, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

Chicago White Sox vs. L.A. Dodgers at Glendale, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

Arizona vs. Colorado at Scottsdale, Ariz., 3:10 p.m.

NBA

Tuesday's Games

Charlotte 104, L.A. Lakers 103

Cleveland 110, Boston 79

Sacramento 124, New York 86

Atlanta 104, Houston 96

Chicago 97, Washington 92

Utah 93, Memphis 82

Denver 106, Milwaukee 95

Wednesday's Games

Phoenix at Orlando, 7 p.m.

New York at Indiana, 7 p.m.

Cleveland at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

Utah at Boston, 7:30 p.m.

Charlotte at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.

Detroit at New Orleans, 8 p.m.

Philadelphia at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.

Memphis at Houston, 8 p.m.

Denver at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

L.A. Lakers at Miami, 8 p.m.

Sacramento at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m.

Milwaukee at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.

Portland at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m.

NHL

Tuesday's Games

Minnesota 3, Ottawa 2, SO

New Jersey 3, Nashville 1

Calgary 3, Philadelphia 2, OT

Washington 5, Columbus 3

Tampa Bay 3, Buffalo 0

Toronto 3, Florida 2

Dallas 3, N.Y. Islanders 2, OT

Anaheim 4, Arizona 1

Los Angeles 5, Edmonton 2

San Jose 6, Vancouver 2

Wednesday's Games

Ottawa at Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.

N.Y. Rangers at Detroit, 8 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Colorado, 10 p.m.

Montreal at Anaheim, 10 p.m.

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