Verlander wins 200th, Astros 1 up on A's

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Once they got behind closed doors in the clubhouse, the Houston Astros showered Justin Verlander with champagne.

No, it wasn't for helping them avoid a sweep at the Coliseum. But that was a nice benefit, too.

Verlander pitched just well enough to earn his 200th career win and the Astros hit five home runs, beating the Oakland Athletics 9-4 Sunday to retake sole possession of the AL West lead.

Cowboys G Martin avoids ligament damage

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) The Dallas Cowboys received the good news they expected after a preseason knee injury to Zack Martin, the highest-paid guard in the NFL.

Two people with knowledge of the diagnosis said Sunday that Martin has no structural damage in his hyperextended left knee and should be ready for the opener. (MORE)

Cubs' Darvish leaves rehab start early

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Chicago Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish lasted just one inning in his rehab start with Class A South Bend on Sunday, casting doubt on his availability for the rest of the year.

Darvish, who has been sidelined by triceps and elbow injuries, shook his arm as he left the field after striking out Great Lakes' Romer Cuadrado with a 95-mph fastball for the last out of the first. But he said the first inning was great. (MORE)

Yankees sweep Jays, lose SS Gregorius

NEW YORK (AP) In a lopsided win, this was not the kind of big hit the New York Yankees hoped to see.

Didi Gregorius hurt his left heel in a collision at first base during a 10-2 romp over Toronto on Sunday, an injury that could sideline the star shortstop for a while. (MORE)

Bengals release S Iloka, Bates to start

CINCINNATI (AP) The Bengals have released safety George Iloka, clearing the way for rookie Jessie Bates III to move into a starting role.

The seventh-year safety has been sharing time during preseason games with Bates, a second-round pick out of Wake Forest who was given a chance to win the job at the outset. (MORE)

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