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Minor League Baseball

Home runs spark GreenJackets

In Greensboro, N.C., Trevor Brown, Joe Rapp and Charles Jones homered to lead the Augusta GreenJackets to a 5-4 victory over the Greensboro Grasshoppers on Friday night.

The win came a night after Greensboro snapped Augusta’s 11-game winning streak.

Rapp finished 2 for 3 with two runs.

Justin Schumer (4-7) got the win, allowing four runs on five hits in 61/3 innings. Steven Okert and Jorge Bucardo combined to pitch 22/3 innings of scoreless relief, with Bucardo pitching 12/3 to earn his third save.

Golf

Ex-Pacer Diaz falls off pace

In Florence, S.C., former USC Aiken All-American Roberto Diaz dropped into a tie for 17th place after shooting 2-under-par 70 on Friday in the NGA Tour’s Honda Powersports Classic at the Country Club of South Carolina.

Diaz, who was tied for the lead after an opening-round 65, is at 9-under 135, four shots behind leader Kevin Aylwin. The former North Florida standout shot 65 on Friday and leads by one at 131.

Former Augusta State standout Major Manning had 64 on Friday and is tied for 29th at 137.

Tennis

Serena breezes into semifinals

In Toronto, top-seeded Serena Williams eased into the Rogers Cup semifinals on Friday night, overpowering Magdalena Rybarikova 6-1, 6-1.

The two-time Rogers Cup champion will face third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, a 7-6 (1), 7-5 winner over fifth-seeded Sara Errani, today.

In the other quarterfinals, fourth-seeded Li Na beat Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 (1), 6-2; and Sorana Cirstea upset sixth-seeded defending champion Petra Kvitova 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.

• In Montreal, Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil, Canada’s top two men’s singles players, are headed to a semifinal showdown today at the Rogers Cup.

Pospisil became the first Canadian since Mike Belkin in 1969 to reach the final four of the event, once called the Canadian Open, when his opponent Nikolay Davydenko retired because of illness.

Raonic, the 11th seed, rode the spirited support of the center court crowd for a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Ernests Gulbis, who had taken out second-seeded Andy Murray on Thursday.

Auto Racing

Castroneves is injured in crash

IndyCar points leader Helio Castroneves sustained minor injuries after crashing during practice for a stock car race in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The three-time Indy 500 winner sustained cuts on his legs and had neck and back pain after the crash Friday in Ribeirao Preto.

Castroneves’ spokesman, Americo Teixeira, said the Penske Racing driver is doing well and the injuries were not serious. He said Castroneves is expected to compete in Sunday’s race.

Sailing

Luna Rossa adds to its advantage

Helmsman Chris Draper made a clutch move right before the start and sailed Luna Rossa to victory Friday over Artemis Racing and a 3-0 lead in the America’s Cup challenger semifinals.

Luna Rossa can wrap up the best-of-seven series today on San Francisco Bay and earn a berth against Emirates Team New Zealand in the Louis Vuitton Cup final.

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Christmas Eve rains to dry up

If Wednesday seemed particularly wet and dreary, you would be right. The day broke the record for the wettest Christmas Eve that Augusta has ever had.
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