Diamonbacks set for Webb’s return

Wire Reports

Pitcher Brandon Webb’s $8.5-million option was exercised Friday by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The right-hander made only one start last season before being put on the disabled list and had arthroscopic surgery Aug. 4 on his pitching shoulder. Arizona would have had to pay a $2-million buyout if it had declined the option.

“Since Brandon has recovered well from his surgery, we have decided to exercise his option,” General Manager Josh Byrnes said. “His accomplishments for our organization have been significant. We look forward to him returning to the mound.”


The Philadelphia Phillies exercised their 2010 option on left-hander Cliff Lee, who beat the Yankees twice in the World Series and will get a $9-million salary. . . . Reliever J.J. Putz’s $9.1-million option was declined by the New York Mets, who will pay a $1-million buyout. . . . The Washington Nationals declined a $10-million option and chose to pay a $1-million buyout to outfielder Austin Kearns. . . . The Chicago White Sox acquired Mark Teahen from the Kansas City Royals for infielders Josh Fields, Chris Getz and cash. The White Sox also declined a $12-million mutual option on right fielder Jermaine Dye. . . . Minnesota acquired shortstop J.J. Hardy from Milwaukee for outfielder Carlos Gomez, one of the players the Mets sent to the Twins in the Johan Santana deal. . . . Former Dodgers pitcher Tim Belcher was hired as pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians, a team for which he also played.



Gordon wins pole for Texas event

Jeff Gordon won his first pole of the season with a qualifying lap of 191.117 mph at the 1 1/2 -mile, high-banked track where he got his only winof the season in April. It was his first win at Texas Motor Speedway.

Points leader Jimmie Johnson, who is going for his unprecedented fourth straight title, qualified 12th.

Matt Kenseth will start on the pole for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Texas, five spots ahead of points leader Kyle Busch. Kenseth had a qualifying lap of 187.201 mph in his Ford. Busch later won the NASCAR Trucks Series race when he beat Matt Crafton by 0.725 of a second.



Federer, Djokovic reach semifinals

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic reached the semifinals of the Swiss Indoors at Basel.

Three-time defending champion Federer cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 win against Russian qualifier Evgeny Korolev and Djokovic pulled out a 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory against Stanislas Wawrinka.

Top-seeded Andy Murray carried his comeback into the semifinals by cruising past Albert Montanes, 6-4, 6-2, at the Valencia Open in Spain. . . . Andy Roddick has withdrawn from the Paris Masters because of a knee injury.




Beckham’s income continues to soar

David Beckham earned nearly $16.5 million from personal sponsorship deals during his first full season with the Galaxy.

The England midfielder’s latest accounts show that his marketability was unaffected by his move from Real Madrid to the United States, where soccer is less popular.

Newly released figures from the official British company registry show that Beckham’s income from his Footwork Productions company in the year ending Dec. 31, 2008, soared by 91% from the previous year.

A University of New Mexico soccer player has become an Internet celebrity for the wrong reasons. Junior defender Elizabeth Lambert was suspended indefinitely by the school for her infractions Thursday during a 1-0 loss to Brigham Young in a Mountain West Conference semifinal. Lambert is seen in video from the game throwing elbows, colliding with several players and then yanking the ponytail of a BYU player who went crashing to the ground.



Davis sets record in 1,000-meter race

Shani Davis of the United States shattered the course record in winning the 1,000-meter race at the season-opening speedskating World Cup at Berlin.

Davis clocked 1 minute 8.53 seconds for an overwhelming win over Yevgeny Lalenkov of Russia, who was second in 1:09.11. Mun Joon of South Korea was third in 1:09.43.


Meghan Duggan scored the winner in the second period and the United States beat Canada, 3-2, in their final group game of hockey’s Four Nations Cup at Vierumaki, Finland. The teams will meet again today for the championship.

The woman who filed a lawsuit accusing Ben Roethlisberger of raping her has quit her job at the Lake Tahoe hotel-casino where she claims the assault occurred in the NFL quarterback’s penthouse room more than a year ago.