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. -- Yoenis Cespedes homered twice and tied a career high with five RBIs before leaving with an apparent right thumb injury, and the Oakland Athletics held off the Houston Astros 9-7 on Wednesday night. The two-time reigning Home Run Derby champion hit a three-run drive in the second inning and a two-run shot in the fourth off Brad Peacock (3-7) for his 15th and 16th homers this season. Cespedes snapped a 25-game skid -- matching his career high -- since his last long ball June 19 against Boston. Cespedes was replaced in left field with the As leading 8-1 in the seventh. But the Astros almost pulled off an improbable comeback, scoring five runs in the eighth before the back of Oaklands bullpen shut them down. Jesse Chavez (8-6) allowed two runs and four hits in 5 2-3 innings to help the As (62-38) extend the best record in baseball. He struck out seven and walked two. Struggling reliever Jim Johnson gave up four runs -- three earned -- without recording an out to spark Houstons five-run eighth. He left to a smattering of boos again. Luke Gregerson stranded two runners on base in the eighth, and Sean Doolittle recorded his 15th save in 18 tries with a perfect ninth. Chavez, who had not started since July 12 at Seattle before the All-Star break, looked sharp at the outset. He did not allow a hit until Matt Dominguez lined a single to left with one out in the fifth. The As got all the support they needed in just three swings. Jed Lowrie led off Oaklands second with his fifth homer, and Cespedes busted the game open by sending a slider from Peacock over the wall in centre. In the fourth, Cespedes pulled a curveball into the stands in left to put the As up 7-0. It was Cespedes fifth career two-homer game and first since June 4 at the New York Yankees. It also was the third time hes had five RBIs in a game -- all this year. Peacock, who was traded to Houston in February 2013 as part of the deal that landed Lowrie in Oakland, was charged with seven runs and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings. The As built leads of 8-1 and 9-2 but still had a few scares late. Cespedes had his right thumb examined by a team trainer after grounding out on an awkward swing in the fifth. He stayed in the game before Craig Gentry replaced him in left field to start the seventh. First baseman Brandon Moss had his left hand looked at by a trainer after Jose Altuve ran through his tag on a misfired throw, jarring the ball loose, and Johnson -- who signed a $10 million, one-year deal with Oakland after leading the AL with 50 saves for Baltimore last season -- helped turn a runaway game into a tight one. NOTES: Athletics INF Alberto Callaspo (right hamstring) could begin a rehab assignment in the next day or so and come off the disabled list Sunday. ... The Astros placed rookie OF George Springer on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left quadriceps and recalled outfielder Marc Krauss from Triple-A Oklahoma City. ... The As said they raised $29,189 for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation during the teams annual Root Beer Float Day, bringing the 15-year total to more than $414,000. ... Jeff Samardzija (1-1, 3.27 ERA) takes the mound for Oakland against Scott Feldman (4-7, 4.30 ERA) and the Astros in Thursdays series finale. Jason Kidd Jersey
. According to Dave Stubbs of The Montreal Gazette, preliminary talks have begun between Markov - an unrestricted free agent this summer - and general manager Marc Bergevin. Dallas Mavericks Jersey
. Jimmy Howard made 44 saves and Henrik Zetterberg scored two goals, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night. http://www.themavericksshop.us/zaza-pachulia-mavericks-jersey/
. JOHNS, N.NEW YORK, N.Y. - Jeremy Kerley always figured hed stay right where he is. The New York Jets made sure the reliable wide receiver didnt go anywhere, signing Kerley to a four-year contract extension on Tuesday. Kerley, a fifth-round draft pick in 2011 out of TCU, was due to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. I love being a Jet and I consider myself a lifetime Jet, Kerley recently told The Associated Press. Im not worried about all of that. That will all take care of itself. The team did not immediately disclose financial terms. To have an extension and play four more years here, its a blessing, Kerley told the teams official website Tuesday. Its a relief off my shoulders and really off my familys shoulders. The move came three days after the Jets completed a stunning deal to acquire wide receiver Percy Harvin from the Seattle Seahawks for a conditional draft pick. Kerley, 25, has led the Jets in receptions the past two seasons despite missing a few games with injuries. He has 22 catches for 201 yards and a touchdown this year. He could have more, though, making two terrific catches earlier this season — that didnt count. Against Green Bay in Week 2, his jaw-dropping 37-yard touchdown catch on a fourth-down play with just over 5 minutes left was wiped out by an ill-timed, last-second timeout by the Jets, who lost 31-24. Eight days later, with the Jets trailing Chicago by eight and driving for a potential tying score on fourth-and-5 from the 9, Kerley fought off safety BBrock Vereen and snagged the football in the end zone — but landed just out of bounds. Jose Barea Jersey
. He also had a 9-yard TD catch at New England last Thursday called back because of a holding penalty on guard Oday Aboushi. Kerley has seen his role diminish in recent weeks with just seven catches in New Yorks past four games, but remains one of the leagues top receivers on third-down plays and ranks first on the team with 45 targets. His versatility — he can line up on the outside, in the slot, run the occasional wildcat play and return punts — could have made him an attractive target in free agency during the off-season. While Harvins acquisition could potentially take some plays away from Kerley, the Jets didnt want to lose a player who has developed good chemistry with quarterback Geno Smith. The trio of Kerley, Harvin and Eric Decker, all of whom are different types of receivers, gives the 1-6 Jets a solid foundation for this season and the future at a position that has recently been a huge question mark. In his three-plus seasons, Kerley has 150 catches for 1,865 yards and seven touchdowns. He has also rushed for 84 yards and has a 10.3-yard career punt return average. The Jets have several other key players due to become free agents after the season who, like Kerley, could be in line for extensions, including defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, linebacker David Harris and nose tackle Damon Harrison. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
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