Quentin traded to the Padres

Four years after trading Carlos Quentin from Arizona to the Chicago White Sox, new Padres general manager Josh Byrnes is bringing the All-Star outfielder back home to San Diego.

Byrnes made his second bold move in two weeks when he acquired Quentin from the White Sox for two prospects Saturday.

“Trading him is pretty high on my list of regrets,” Byrnes said. “That group in Arizona had a lot of talent. Carlos always stood out for his intensity and his style of play. Having a chance to get him back became very appealing here this off-season.”

The trade is expected to bolster San Diego’s anemic offense. Quentin, who is slated to play left field, has four consecutive 20-homer seasons, including 36 in 2008.

The White Sox received pitchers Simon Castro, a right-hander, and Pedro Hernandez, a left-hander.

The 29-year-old Quentin hit .254 with 24 home runs, a career-high 31 doubles and 77 RBI in 118 games in 2011, when he made his second All-Star team.

• The wife of Braves trainer Jeff Porter died Saturday when the sport utility vehicle she was riding in was struck by a Georgia State Patrol cruiser in downtown Atlanta, according to a report on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Web site.

Porter, his wife, Kathy, and son David were on their way to the Chick-fil-A Bowl when their Ford Expedition was hit by the Georgia State Patrol vehicle around 4:40 p.m.

Kathy Porter, 54, of Loganville, Ga., died in the crash. Her husband and son were injured. Their conditions were not immediately available.

• The Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a minor league contract with left-hander Aaron Laffey and invited him to spring training.

Laffey was 3-2 with a 3.88 ERA in 47 relief appearances for Seattle and the New York Yankees last season. He held left-handed batters to a .242 average.



Clarke, McIlroy receive honors

Northern Ireland golf stars Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy are among the sports figures honored by Queen Elizabeth II in her New Year list, after claiming their first major titles.

The 43-year-old Clarke was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire after ending his long wait for a major victory by winning the British Open at Royal St. George’s.

The second-youngest major winner since 1934, McIlroy was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

World taekwondo champion Sarah Stevenson received an MBE at the end of a year in which both her parents died.

Former Formula One world champion Nigel Mansell was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to children and young people.



Blackburn pulls Premier shocker

In Manchester, England, Blackburn pulled off the biggest surprise of the Premier League season, defeating Manchester United 3-2 at Old Trafford to spoil Alex Ferguson’s 70th birthday.

United erased a 2-0 deficit on two second-half goals by Dimitar Berbatov inside the penalty area. But Grant Hanley scored the winner on a header off a corner kick in the 80th minute, capitalizing on a mistake by goalkeeper David de Gea for his first career goal for Blackburn.

The loss by the defending champs prevented United from ending 2011 in first place. Manchester City can go three points in front by winning at Sunderland today.