Brewers trade for former AL Cy Young winner Greinke
The Milwaukee Brewers are going all in for 2011, acquiring former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke in a trade with the Kansas City Royals. The Royals announced Sunday they acquired shortstop Alcides Escobar, outfielder Lorenzo Cain and right-handed pitching prospects Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress from the Brewers in exchange for Greinke, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and cash considerations.
"Zack Greinke is one of the top young pitchers in the game today," Brewers GM Doug Melvin said in a statement. "We are very excited to add him to our new rotation. ... Zack brings great physical skills and athleticism to the team and is an outstanding competitor. This trade is a credit to our scouting and player development staff as their hard work and judgment provided us the talented prospects that Kansas City will be receiving. I also appreciate the support of ownership in making this deal."
Milwaukee outfielder Corey Hart said the move, along with a previous trade for starter Shaun Marcum, makes the Brewers a solid contender. "We were getting better with Marcum, now Greinke," Hart said in a text message to The Associated Press. "Brewers are for real!"
Greinke was 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA for the Royals last season. It was a step back from his standout 2009 season, when he went 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA and won the Cy Young award.
There are two years left on the four-year, $38 million contract he signed with the Royals in January 2009. He is due $13.5 million each of the final two seasons, although the Brewers got an undisclosed amount of cash back from the Royals as part of the deal.
With the deal, the Brewers have taken two big steps to bolster their starting rotation — the team's main weak spot in back-to-back disappointing seasons. Earlier this month, Milwaukee made a trade with Toronto to obtain Marcum for highly regarded infield prospect Brett Lawrie. It's an indication the Brewers are serious about making a playoff run in 2011 — presumably making it far less likely that the team would trade first baseman Prince Fielder, who can become a free agent at the end of the season and has been the subject of widespread trade speculation.
Pierce gets triple-double in Celtics' win
Paul Pierce had his seventh career triple-double, and Boston extended its winning streak to 13 games by holding off the visiting Indiana Pacers 99-88. Pierce finished with 18 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for his first triple-double since 2006, and the Celtics got a boost from the return of Shaquille O'Neal, who had 11 points after missing four straight games with a sore right calf.
Prince two assists shy of triple-double
Will Bynum's driving layup with 7.4 seconds left in overtime helped the host Detroit Pistons to a 111-108 victory over the New Orleans Hornets. Former Kentucky star Tayshaun Prince scored 28 points to go with 12 rebounds, eight assists and three blocked shots.
■ Kevin Martin scored 22 points and the Houston Rockets beat the host Sacramento Kings 102-93. The victory was the fourth in five games for the Rockets. Former Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points, eight rebounds and four blocks for the Kings, who lost their fifth straight and 19th of 21 games. Chuck Hayes, another former Wildcat, had six points and 11 rebounds for Houston.
■ Grant Hill scored a season-high 30 points and had 11 rebounds, Steve Nash added 20 points and 10 assists and the short-handed Phoenix Suns snapped host Oklahoma City's five-game winning streak 113-110. Phoenix played while waiting for trade acquisitions Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus to join the team but found a way to edge past the Thunder down the stretch. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 28 points.
■ Devin Harris had 22 points and eight assists, and Brook Lopez added 16 points to lead the host New Jersey Nets to an 89-82 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
■ Kobe Bryant scored 20 points, Pau Gasol had 19 and the Los Angeles Lakers won their fifth straight game, beating the host Toronto Raptors 120-110. Los Angeles is 11-5 away from home, the most road wins in the NBA.
Els edges Goosen in South Africa
Ernie Els won the South African Open for the fifth time Sunday in Durban, shooting a 6-under 66 to beat Retief Goosen by one shot in a tournament shortened to 17 holes for each of the final two rounds. The third and fourth rounds were played Sunday without the par-3 fourth, where the green was water-logged and all players were given a par score. Els had five birdies, an eagle and a bogey in the final round to finish at 25-under 257 in the 100th edition of the rain-delayed tournament, where South Africans took the top four spots.
"It was a wonderful choice to come here," said Els, who also won in 1992, 1996, 1998 and 2006. "... Playing under a lot of pressure, with really good players in the field on a great golf course. It was a great championship."
Goosen also shot a 66 in fourth round of the European Tour event co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour.
"We have played against each other since we were kids, "Els said of Goosen, "and I know he's a very good player."
British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen also had a 66 to finish third, four shots behind Els, and Charl Schwartzel was fourth, seven shots back, after a 67.
Lochte wins three more golds at worlds
Ryan Lochte won three more events at the short-course world championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and headed home with an impressive haul of six golds and one silver. On the final night of competition, Lochte started off with personal victories in the 200 backstroke and 100 individual medley, and then pushed the United States ahead of Russia in the third leg of the 400 medley relay and celebrated as teammate Garrett Weber-Gale held on for the win. It was a fitting end for Lochte and the normally dominant U.S. team, which failed to win any of the other relays — in both the men's and women's competitions.
Lochte won all five of his individual events, and six of his eight events overall. He failed to win a medal in just one event — the 400 freestyle relay on the opening night when the Americans finished fourth. In two of his events — the 200 and 400 IM's — Lochte set world records, the only individual world records set all year in swimming after high-tech bodysuits were banned at the start of 2010.
Penn St. volleyball wins 4th straight title
Penn State won its fourth straight NCAA women's volleyball title late Saturday night, sweeping upstart California in three sets behind the power of Blair Brown and Deja McClendon in Kansas City, Mo. Brown had 18 kills and 10 digs and McClendon added 16 kills for the Nittany Lions (32-5), who won 19 of their last 20 matches. Penn State won 25-20, 27-25, 25-20.
■ St. Henry girls forward Abby Janszen and St. Xavier boys goalie Oliver Brown were named to National Soccer Coaches Association of America's Scholar All-America Team.
The last word
Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe issued a series of tweets about the playing conditions for Monday night's game against the Chicago Bears at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium:
"The field is as hard as concrete an hour and a half after they took the tarp off, and anyone that hits their head is getting a concussion. ... I find it interesting that the NFL can claim an emphasis on player safety, and then tell us the field is fine. It's beyond hypocritical. ... I can only hope, however unlikely, that no one gets catastrophically injured at the trainwreck that's about to take place (Monday) night."