Sports

Lilly leads U.S. team to 4-1 win over Japan

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Shannon Boxx and Kristine Lilly scored, and the U.S. women's soccer team used its size and experience to coast to a 4-1 victory over Japan at San Jose State on Saturday night in a World Cup tuneup.

The game played before a lively crowd of 11,290 was one of a few remaining exhibitions for the Americans before heading off to the Women's World Cup in China later this year.

Midfielder Boxx drove home a header off a crisp corner kick from Stephanie Lopez in the 17th minute of the first half to put the Americans out front 1-0. The crowd erupted for Boxx, a Redondo Beach, Calif., product who played her college ball at Notre Dame.

• PRO BASEBALL -- Former major leaguer Brett Butler was recovering from a mild stroke Sunday, two days after he became ill.

Butler, who is managing the Mobile BayBears -- the Double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks -- was resting comfortably Sunday in a Montgomery hospital, the Diamondbacks said in a statement.

He played 17 seasons with five major league teams, retiring in 1997 at the age of 40. He batted .290 in his career with 2,375 hits and 558 stolen bases. He came up with Atlanta in 1981 and also played for Cleveland, San Francisco, the Mets and the Dodgers.

• One day after acquiring Ty Wigginton in a trade with Tampa Bay, the Houston Astros designated struggling third baseman Morgan Ensberg for assignment.

Houston also recalled left-hander Mark McLemore to fill the roster spot vacated when reliever Dan Wheeler was sent to the Devil Rays in Saturday's trade.

The 31-year-old Ensberg was hitting .232 with eight homers and 31 RBIs in 85 games. That was far off the pace from his All-Star season in 2005, when he hit .283 with 36 homers and 101 RBIs and helped Houston reach its only World Series.

Ensberg was never the same after tearing a tendon in his right shoulder diving for a foul ball on June 9, 2006. He spent a month on the disabled list, then came back in August and finished the season with a career-low .235 average and only 58 RBIs.

Houston is responsible for the remainder of Ensberg's $4.35 million salary this season. The Astros drafted Ensberg in 1998.

• ARENA FOOTBALL -- Mark Grieb completed 24 of 29 passes and threw for four touchdowns to lead the San Jose SaberCats to a 55-33 victory over the Columbus Destroyers in the ArenaBowl.

The SaberCats (16-3), the most successful AFL franchise this decade, capped a 3 1/2-month winning streak with their third Arena League championship in six years.

Columbus (10-10), which was hoping to win its first ArenaBowl, won three consecutive road games to get to the final.

• PRO TENNIS -- Dmitry Tursunov felt validated following his 6-4, 7-5 victory over Frank Dancevic in the final of the Indianapolis Tennis Championships on Sunday.

Tursunov, ranked 27th in the world and seeded third, said his second career ATP title proves his first at Mumbai in 2006 was legitimate.

• BOXING -- Vernon Forrest withstood a late rally by Carlos Baldomir to win the WBC super welterweight championship in a unanimous decision Saturday night.

The 6-foot Forrest stood five inches taller than Baldomir and had a 6-inch reach advantage. Forrest (39-2) used left jabs to set up body and head shots with his right. Encouraged by his corner to aim for the body, he kept up constant pressure on Baldomir (43-11-6) with body shots as well a few shots to the face.

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