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Headlines from around the world in sports

NFL

Chargers, defensive end
Freeney agree to 2-year deal

SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Chargers agreed yesterday to a two-year deal with aging star pass rusher Dwight Freeney that could be worth $13.35 million.

The deal to bring Freeney to the Chargers came four days after outside linebacker Melvin Ingram tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in a padless practice.

The addition of Freeney also helps cushion the loss of outside linebackers Antwan Barnes and Shaun Phillips to free agency.

Freeney is 33 and entering his 12th season. He will make $5.25 million this season.

He was Indianapolis’s career sacks leader with 107 ½ but the Colts decided not to re-sign him in the offseason. After recording 13 ½ sacks in 2009, his totals declined each of the past three years. He had five in 2012.

BASEBALL

Struggling Hamilton scratched from Angels lineup

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Right fielder Josh Hamilton was scratched from the Los Angeles Angels’ lineup for last night’s game against the Chicago White Sox.

According to a club spokesman, it’s “just a day off, to recharge.”

Hamilton is batting .210 with five home runs and 12 RBI in 167 at-bats during his first season with the Angels, who signed the five-time All-Star to a five-year, $125 million contract in December. The 2010 AL MVP is 6-for-31 in his last eight games with one RBI – a home run on Tuesday – and seven strikeouts.

BASEBALL

Garza slated to start
for Cubs on Tuesday

CHICAGO – Matt Garza is set to come off the disabled list and make his first start of the season for the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday against Pittsburgh.

Right-hander Carlos Villanueva is heading to the Chicago bullpen. The Cubs announced the shuffle yesterday.

Garza hasn’t pitched in the majors this season after suffering a strained back muscle in spring training. In his fourth rehab start, the right-hander pitched six shutout innings for Triple-A Iowa and struck out six.

BASEBALL

Braves lose O’Flaherty
with torn elbow ligament

ATLANTA – Braves General Manager Frank Wren said left-hander Eric O’Flaherty has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow.

The news comes only two days after another top setup reliever, left-hander Jonny Venters, had season-ending surgery to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. Also, right-hander Jordan Walden was placed on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation on Friday

O’Flaherty, also likely facing Tommy John surgery, will see Dr. James Andrews for a consultation. O’Flaherty was placed on the 15-day disabled list earlier yesterday with what was called a left elbow strain.

BASEBALL

Yankees acquire infielder Brignac from Rockies

NEW YORK – The New York Yankees acquired infielder Reid Brignac from the Colorado Rockies for cash, adding a left-handed bat to the group of backups filling in for the team’s injured stars.

Brignac was designated for assignment by Colorado on Thursday. He was acquired by the Rockies from Tampa Bay on Feb. 14 and hit .250 in limited action.

The Yankees have been without shortstops Derek Jeter and Eduardo Nunez, first baseman Mark Teixeira and third basemen Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Youkilis.

BASKETBALL

Ex-NBA player Danilovic stabbed, seriously injured

BELGRADE, Serbia – The Serbian police said Predrag Danilovic, who played for the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks, is seriously injured after being stabbed in a fight.

The police said Danilovic was hurt during a brawl early yesterday in a cafe in a residential part of the capital, Belgrade. Doctors said Danilovic underwent an operation to treat injuries to his abdomen, head and arms.

The reason for the brawl was not immediately known.

Danilovic is currently the general manager of Serbian basketball club Partizan Belgrade.

NHL

Forward Spezza to return to Senators lineup for Game 3

OTTAWA – Jason Spezza will make his much-anticipated return to the Senators today.

The Ottawa star forward hasn’t played since Jan. 27 because of a back injury that required surgery.

Spezza is expected to line up with Milan Michalek and possibly Colin Greening for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series that the Pittsburgh Penguins lead 2-0.

The 29-year-old had two goals and three assists in just five games during the regular season.

GOLF

Bradley keeps lead after three rounds at Nelson

IRVING, Texas – Keegan Bradley overcame two early bogeys and maintained his lead at the Byron Nelson Championship with 2-under 68 in the third round yesterday.

Bradley had a 13-under 197 total for a one-stroke lead over Sang-Moon Bae, and two-shot advantage over Tom Gillis. Bae shot a 66, and Gillis had a 67.

Today, Bradley will be trying to win at TPC Four Seasons for the second time in three years. He could also become the Nelson’s first wire-to-wire winner since Tom Watson led alone at the end of all four rounds in 1980.

GOLF

McDowell beats Colsaerts
at World Match Play

KAVARNA, Bulgaria – Graeme McDowell reached the semifinals of the World Match Play Championship after knocking out defending champion Nicolas Colsaerts, whose day included the bizarre moment of taking a penalty drop inside a restroom.

McDowell rallied from an early deficit to win, 2 and 1, over his European Ryder Cup teammate on the oceanside Thracian Cliffs course and will next face Branden Grace of South Africa, who beat Chris Wood of England, 2 and 1. The other semifinal will pit Thomas Aiken of South Africa against Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee. Jaidee defeated Scotland’s Scott Jamieson, 4 and 3, and Aiken ousted Italy’s Francesco Molinari, 3 and 2.

Colsaerts had the most memorable moment of the day when his tee shot on the short par-4 10th hole flew into a hazard behind a public restroom in a brick building close to the green. Because of where the ball had crossed the hazard line, tournament officials ruled that the penalty drop must be made within the restroom itself, leading to a comical moment that had Colsaerts, his caddie and rules officials all laughing. Since it was considered an immovable obstruction he was then given free relief to play from outside.

TENNIS

Federer vs. Nadal, Serena
vs. Azarenka in Rome finals

ROME – Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will renew their rivalry in the Italian Open final today.

In yesterday’s semifinals at the Foro Italico, Federer held off a stiff challenge from Frenchman Benoit Paire, 7-6 (5), 6-4, and six-time Rome champion Nadal defeated sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych, 6-2, 6-4.

It will mark Nadal’s eighth consecutive final since his return from an injury layoff and the first for Federer this year. Nadal holds a 19-10 edge head to head against Federer, but they have split their last four meetings.

In the women’s tournament, Serena Williams is one victory away from winning her fourth consecutive title this year – with the French Open a week away. She will face third-seeded Victoria Azarenka in today’s final.

The top-ranked American eased past Romanian qualifier Simona Halep, 6-3, 6-0, extending her career-best winning run to 23 matches. Azarenka beat seventh-seeded Sara Errani, 6-0, 7-5.

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