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Originally published March 1, 2013 at 9:46 PM | Page modified March 1, 2013 at 9:59 PM

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Josh Hamilton homers as Angels win 1st game | A.M. Briefing

Josh Hamilton hit his first home run in an Angels uniform, connecting off Hyun-Jin Ryu during the first inning of a 16-8 win over a Dodgers...

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Baseball

Hamilton homers as Angels win 1st game

Josh Hamilton hit his first home run in an Angels uniform, connecting off Hyun-Jin Ryu during the first inning of a 16-8 win over a Dodgers split squad Friday in Tempe, Ariz., giving the Angels their first spring victory after an 0-5-2 start.

In other spring training games, Roy Halladay allowed one run and three hits in 2-1/3 innings as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Yankees 10-5 in Tampa, Fla., New York's seventh straight spring loss.

Detroit ace Justin Verlander pitched three perfect innings in the Tigers' 6-2 loss to the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Brett Lawrie homered in the second inning, helping the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 in Dunedin, Fla.

Brian Roberts had three hits and a home run to lead the Baltimore Orioles over a Pittsburgh Pirates split squad 6-5 in Sarasota, Fla.

Reds sign Prior

Mark Prior, 32, signed a minor-league contract with the Cincinnati Reds, marking the fourth straight spring the oft-injured right-hander has tried a comeback.

Crawford's elbow sore

Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford could miss his team's April 1 opener against San Francisco after leaving spring training to have his elbow examined in Los Angeles. Recovering from elbow ligament-replacement surgery Aug. 23, Crawford felt nerve irritation in his left arm.

Perez has strain

Cleveland Indians All-Star closer Chris Perez could be out one month because of a strained shoulder.

Auto racing

Martin wins pole

Mark Martin will be on the pole at Phoenix International Raceway for the second straight year after becoming the second-oldest pole-sitter in NASCAR history.

Martin, 54, went around PIR's mile oval at 138.075 mph to earn his 56th career pole a week after finishing third in the Daytona 500.

Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw will start on the front row with Martin for Sunday's 312-mile race. Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson will take the green flag in third.

Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., will start 17th, and Danica Patrick will start 40th.

Tennis

Berdych upsets Federer

Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic saved three match points before upsetting defending champion Roger Federer of Switzerland 3-6, 7-6 (10-8), 6-4 to earn a spot in the final of the Dubai Championships against Novak Djokovic in United Arab Emirates. Top-ranked Djokovic, from Serbia, rallied past Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) in the other semifinal.

Isner advances

Top-seeded John Isner of the U.S. needed only 79 minutes to beat Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-2, 7-6 (7-1) in the quarterfinals at the Delray Beach (Fla.) International Championships.

Venus Williams falls

Top-seeded Venus Williams of the U.S. was upset by Olga Puchkova of Russia 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 at the Brazil Tennis Cup in Florianopolis.

College football

Ex-Griz QB acquitted

Former Montana quarterback Jordan Johnson, 20, was acquitted in Missoula in a rape trial that has played out amid NCAA and federal investigations into how the city and school respond to rape allegations on campus.

Elsewhere

• Houston Dynamo forward Brian Ching will serve as a player and assistant coach under a new contract announced by the team. The former USL Sounder plans to retire after this season.

• Dallas midfielder Peter Luccin has undergone surgery for a torn left knee ligament and will be out at least six months.

Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein earned her first World Cup victory when she edged Julia Mancuso of the U.S. on a steep course to win a super-giant slalom in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

• The Tulsa Shock acquired two former All-Americans from Stanford, picking up guard Candice Wiggins from the Minnesota Lynx and forward Nicole Powell from the New York Liberty in a three-team deal.

• Americans Samantha Cesario and Courtney Hicks finished first and third in the short program at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Milan. Compatriots Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton won the bronze medal in ice dance.

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