Division leaders meet
UNDATED (AP) — A couple match-ups of division leaders highlight a reduced major league baseball schedule, one in each league.
Washington opens a series in San Francisco in the National League. The Nationals boast the best record in the majors at 71-44 as they make a bid for the post-season. Gio Gonzalez has been a big reason. The left-hander takes a 14-6 mark and 3.32 ERA to the hill tonight. The West-division leading Giants go with Ryan Vogelsong who's 10-5 with a 2.27 ERA. He's gone at least six innings in 21 consecutive starts.
The showdown of division leaders in the American League happens in New York where the Yankees host Texas in the opener of their series. The Rangers are riding a 10-3 wave that's helped them open a 6 1-2 game lead in the West. Recently acquired Ryan Dempster takes the mound for Texas, coming off a win in which he took a shutout into the seventh and gave up three unearned runs in 6 2-3 innings. David Phelps slips into the Yankees pitching rotation in place of CC Sabathia (suh-BA'-thee-uh), who's nursing a left elbow injury while on the disabled list.
The top winning streak in the major right now belongs to Tampa Bay. The Rays try to make it seven in a row when they start a series in Seattle tonight. That runs has vaulted Tampa Bay to within five games of the first-place Yankees in the East and to the top of the wildcard standings.
Cole Hamels has been one of the few bright spots in a disappointing season for the Phillies. He's back on the mound tonight against Miami in a meeting of the bottom two teams in the National League East. Hamels is 12-6 and is coming off a five-hit shutout of Atlanta.
Five games are set in the American League and six in the National.
OLYMPICS-BRITAIN-BACK TO REALITY
London returns to routine
LONDON (AP) — Britain succumbed to reality Monday with commuters venturing back to work a day after the Olympic flame was extinguished.
Heathrow Airport is experiencing one of its busiest days ever, with some 116,000 people expected to leave London's busiest hub in a post-Olympic exodus. Heathrow usually handles about 95,000 passengers a day.
Throughout the capital there were signs that the party was over. In central London's government district, workers using fork-lift trucks, cherry pickers and small cranes began dismantling the temporary Olympic beach volleyball arena on Horseguards Parade.
The Olympic Park was eerily deserted Monday, after being visited by more than 5 million people over the previous 17 days.
But not for long. Small groups of construction workers scurried about in small vehicles, working to transform the venues for use in the Paralympics, which will run Aug. 29 to Sept. 9.
Olympics was tourism bust in Britain
LONDON (AP) — The Olympics brought less tourist money to recession-hit Britain than businesses had hoped for, a trade group says. A majority of tourist companies reported losses from last year.
The group's survey said that of its members, 88 percent reported some losses during the games compared to the same period last year. The businesses reported that visitor numbers were down by 10 to 30 percent compared to last year.
Cowboys visit Raiders
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The NFL's first full round of exhibition games comes to a close tonight when the Cowboys visit Oakland.
Raiders coach Dennis Allen says Terrelle (teh'-REHL') Pryor will get plenty of snaps behind starter Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. Pryor was limited to just one play last year after being taken in the supplemental draft, then sitting out a suspension for his involvement in the Ohio State memorabilia-for-cash scandal.
The Cowboys have suffered through significant injuries to the interior line, especially at center. Kevin Kowalski and Bill Nagy are out with ankle injuries and starter Phil Costa could miss the game with a lower back problem.
First round draft pick Morris Claiborne is expected to miss the game. The cornerback was out last week with a sprained knee.
Westwood makes changes
LONDON (AP) — Lee Westwood's manager says the English golfer has split from coach Pete Cowen and temporary caddie Mike Waite after his missing the cut at PGA Championship.
Cowen works with several top golfers, including Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen (WUHST'-hy-zehn), but the 39-year-old Westwood believes a fresh approach could improve his chances of finally winning a major.
Westwood's manager Chubby Chandler says Westwood thinks he lost his focus and enthusiasm and needs to shake things up.
Regular caddie Billy Foster injured his knee in May and won't return until next year.