Augusta extends streak with rout
In Rome, Ga., Jose Cuevas hit a three-run homer during an eight-run fifth inning, and the suddenly-hot Augusta GreenJackets cruised to a 16-4 rout of the Rome Braves on Friday.
Ben Thomas was 4 for 6 with three RBI for the GreenJackets, who scored a combined 13 runs in the fourth and fifth innings en route to their fourth consecutive win.
Chipper Jones, making a rehab start for the Braves, had an RBI single in the first inning and walk in his next two at-bats.
Staley, 5 others selected to hall
Dawn Staley heads the 2012 class of inductees into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
The South Carolina women’s coach and three-time Olympic gold medalist keeps finding plenty to celebrate in Tennessee. In February, Staley lead the Gamecocks to their first-ever road victory over the Tennessee Lady Volunteers.
On Friday, the two-time national player of the year at Virginia was back in Knoxville with the other inductees: broadcaster Robin Roberts, All Americans Nikki McCray, Pamela McGee and Inge Nissen and coach Nancy Fahey.
Pats’ Gronkowski gets record deal
All-Pro Rob Gronkowski agreed to a $54 million deal with the New England Patriots, the richest contract for a tight end in NFL history.
The six-year deal includes $18.17 million guaranteed. It is a stunning move by the team for a player entering just his third NFL season, but the Patriots recognized the game-breaking skills of the record-setting Gronkowski.
Gronkowski set a league record for the position with 17 touchdown catches in 2011. He had a record 1,327 yards, and made 90 receptions.
• A second arbitrator has ruled NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has the authority to discipline Saints players for their roles in a bounty program.
• The New Orleans Saints hired a firm run by former FBI director Louis Freeh to conduct an internal investigation of the NFL club with the aim of getting to the bottom of allegations ranging from wire-tapping during games in the Superdome to the bounty scandal.
“Serious allegations have been made about our organization this offseason; we take these allegations very seriously,” Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said
• The San Diego Chargers agreed to terms on a one-year contract with running back Ronnie Brown.
Pacquiao set to take on Bradley
Manny Pacquiao barely escaped to fight another day, and would need 28 stitches to close the cut over his right eye. Juan Manuel Marquez had nearly ended his remarkable run, but that didn’t stop Pacquiao from singing at his post-fight concert and partying the night away with his huge entourage.
He returns to the ring tonight, determined to show his last outing was nothing more than a fluke. Little known Timothy Bradley will be his opponent in a fight that could either end Pacquiao’s lucrative career or revitalize it.
This time, though, there will be no concert, and no party. Win or lose, the only thing on Pacquiao’s post-fight agenda is a Bible study session and some time with his wife.
Oddsmakers aren’t sure of Pacquiao’s focus, making him a relatively short 4-1 favorite against the unbeaten Bradley. He was a 7-1 pick against Marquez.