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Giants, Vizquel Agree to Three-Year Contract

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Shortstop Omar Vizquel, a free agent who had been with the Cleveland Indians, has agreed to terms with the San Francisco Giants, the team announced Sunday.

Vizquel, 37, filed for free agency last month after the Indians declined to pick up his $5-million option for 2005. He agreed to a $12.25-million, three-year contract, a source close to the negotiations told Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Vizquel is headed to the National League for the first time in his career after spending the last 11 seasons with Cleveland. He turned down a two-year offer from the Chicago White Sox, in part because he wanted to play on the West Coast near his Seattle home.

A nine-time Gold Glove winner, Vizquel becomes the first of 207 free agents to join a new team, and the second to sign overall after Texas reliever Doug Brocail returned to the Rangers on Friday with a $1-million, one-year deal.

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Vizquel, a switch-hitter, batted .291 with 59 runs batted in last season. He scored 82 runs, stole 19 bases and did not make an error in the last 55 games.

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Vernon Wells and David Ortiz hit home runs to lead the major league All-Stars to a 5-0 victory over the Japanese All-Stars at Tokyo. The major leaguers won the eight-game series, 5-3. Starter Jake Peavy held the Japanese club to two hits in six innings and earned his second win. Angel closer Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth.

Golf

Heather Daly-Donofrio cruised to a four-stroke victory in the LPGA Tournament of Champions at Mobile, Ala. She closed with a two-under-par 70. A bogey on the final hole gave her a 72-hole total of 19-under 269, causing her to miss tying the tournament record of 20 under set by Se Ri Pak in 2002.

The $130,000 payday surpasses the $113,745 she had earned in 22 previous tournaments this year, moving her from No. 84 on the money list to No. 48. She earned a three-year exemption on the LPGA Tour.

The other big winner was Laura Diaz, who birdied the last two holes to shoot 69 and finish second. Her $84,140 prize bumped her from No. 36 on the money list to No. 27, allowing her to qualify for this week’s season-ending ADT Tour Championship in West Palm Beach, Fla.

College Basketball

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The third-ranked Louisiana State women’s team needed a last-second deflection by Temeka Johnson to clinch a 71-70 victory over No. 8 Baylor in the Tip-Off Classic at Austin, Texas.

Seimone Augustus’ basket gave the Tigers a 71-69 lead with 1:19 left. Sophia Young’s free throw cut the lead to one and Baylor got the ball back on a shot-clock violation with 25.6 seconds left. The Bears worked the ball around the perimeter when Johnson knocked it loose from Emily Niemann.

In other top 25 games, No. 2 Texas defeated No. 21 Penn State, 84-69; No. 6 Duke beat South Florida, 82-50; No. 10 Ohio State beat Saint Joseph’s, 76-29; No. 10 Notre Dame defeated Nebraska, 73-57; No. 14 Minnesota beat Nevada Las Vegas, 77-69; No. 24 Arizona defeated Rice, 68-43.

Winter Sports

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Jennifer Rodriguez of the U.S. won the 1,500-meter event at the season-opening World Cup speedskating meet in Hamar, Norway.

Rodriguez edged Cindy Klassen of Canada by 0.33 of a second, winning in 1 minute 57.02 seconds in the Viking Ship oval, built for the 1994 Olympics. Klassen was the 2003 all-around champion.

Canada beat the U.S. by 0.20 of a second in the women’s 4,400-meter team pursuit, a new World Cup event. The Canadians were timed in 3:05.45.

Markus Kleinheinz of Austria won a World Cup luge event at Altenberg, Germany. He had a combined time of 1 minute 50.604. Albert Demtchenko of Russia was second in 1:50.827. Armin Zoeggeler of Italy was third in 1:51.005. Tony Benshoof of Bear Lake, Minn., who had the fastest time in the first run (55.357), was fourth in 1:51.036.... Dana Antal scored early in the third period to give Canada a 2-1 victory over the U.S. in the title game of the Four Nations Cup women’s hockey tournament at Lake Placid, N.Y.

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Pro Hockey

Defenseman Dan Boyle of Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay and goalie Marty Turco of Dallas are the latest NHL players to join European clubs during the lockout.

They signed with Djurgarden of the 12-team Swedish Elite League.


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