Philadelphia — Hunter Pence is adding his big bat to a pennant race.
Philadelphia is counting on its latest All-Star acquisition from Houston to do what Brad Lidge and Roy Oswalt did before him — help take the team with the best record in baseball deep into the postseason.
The Phillies made another deadline splash Friday night, acquiring Pence from the Astros for a package of highly-rated prospects.
“He’s a guy that I think our fans will take to very well,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.
Bears agree with WR Williams
Bourbonnais, Ill. — Quarterback Jay Cutler has a new target and Roy Williams has a chance to redeem himself. The former Pro Bowl receiver will try to re-energize his career in a system he knows well after signing a one-year deal with Chicago on Friday.
Panthers sign No. 1 pick Newton
Spartanburg, S.C. — No. 1 draft pick Cam Newton has signed with the Carolina Panthers and has arrived at training camp.
The team announced Friday evening that he had signed a deal and was attending team meetings. The Panthers also said on Twitter that the quarterback “had officially signed on the dotted line.”
Bus Cook, Newton’s agent, told the The Associated Press via a text message Friday night that the deal was for four years and “$22 million-plus.”
Bills sign draft choice Dareus
Pittsford, N.Y. — Marcell Dareus can finally put his offseason lawn-mowing job behind him now that the rookie first-round draft pick has signed his contract with the Buffalo Bills.
The hulking defensive lineman, selected third overall out of Alabama, signed a four-year, $20.4 million contract and arrived at training camp in time for the team’s first conditioning session at training camp in suburban Rochester on Friday.
Marshall’s wife has charges dropped
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — South Florida prosecutors have dropped charges accusing the wife of Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall of stabbing him.
The Broward County State Attorney’s Office said Friday it would not pursue an aggravated battery charge against 26-year-old Michi Nogami-Marshall. A charge of violating pre-trial conditions is also being dropped.
QB Manning to miss practice time
Indianapolis — The pain in Peyton Manning’s neck will keep him off the practice field early next week.
Indianapolis still isn’t sure how long it will take to get the four-time MVP back.
Colts coach Jim Caldwell said Friday that the Colts will be cautious with their franchise quarterback, who had neck surgery in May, and will not push him too hard. Camp opens Monday at Anderson University.
Steelers’ LB Harrison apologizes
Latrobe, Pa. — James Harrison is an emotional guy. Always has been. The Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker plays with an intensity few in the NFL can match.
Yet the four-time Pro Bowler knows that fury has its limits, and Friday he admitted he blew right past them in a magazine article earlier this month in which he used an anti-gay slur when talking about commissioner Roger Goodell and criticized teammates for their play in Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl loss to Green Bay.
Jackson signs franchise tag
San Diego — Vincent Jackson, who missed training camp and most of last season in a salary dispute with San Diego, signed a franchise tag with the Chargers on Friday worth nearly $11 million.
The wide receiver was coming off a Pro Bowl season in 2009 when he and the Chargers became embroiled in a salary dispute.
Source: RB Johnson not reporting
Nashville, Tenn. — Tennessee running back Chris Johnson will not be reporting for training camp with the Titans until he gets a new contract, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The person told The Associated Press Friday that Johnson will not report to the Titans.
Johnson, a Florida native, said in 2010 he wanted a new deal with $30 million guaranteed. The Titans revised his contract by pushing some money from the final year into 2010 to convince the running back to report.
De Jonge ahead at Greenbrier
White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. — Brendon de Jonge shot a 3-under-par 67 Friday and was tied with Webb Simpson at 7 under midway through the Greenbrier Classic.
Among those failing to advance to weekend play were Phil Mickelson, whose streak of making 17 straight cuts ended, and defending champion Stuart Appleby.
Browne still leads at U.S. Senior
Toledo, Ohio — Olin Browne followed a record-tying 64 with a solid 69 on Friday, to take a one-shot lead over a talent-laden leaderboard in the rain-delayed second round of the U.S. Senior Open.
Surprising Masson surges ahead
Carnoustie, Scotland — Germany’s Caroline Masson shot a 7-under 65 Friday to take a surprising one-stroke lead after the second round of the Women’s British Open.
Source: Pistons hire Frank
Auburn Hills, Mich. — The Detroit Pistons are giving Lawrence Frank another chance to lead an NBA team.
A person with knowledge of the situation said Friday that the Pistons have agreed to a three-year deal with Frank to be their new head coach.
Frank, an assistant coach with Boston last season and a former head coach in New Jersey, will be Detroit’s sixth coach in 11 seasons when the NBA lockout ends.
Woods enters PGA Championship
Johns Creek, Ga. — Tiger Woods already has missed two major golf championships this year. He does not plan on missing the last one of the season.
On Friday, Woods formally entered the PGA Championship, to be played Aug. 11-14 at Atlanta Athletic Club. He has been out of golf for nearly three months so that injuries to his left leg can properly heal.