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Headlines from around the world in sports

BASEBALL

Yankees make it official with Ellsbury and Kuroda

NEW YORK – The New York Yankees made it official yesterday, announcing the completion of a seven-year deal with free-agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and a one-year contract for returning starter Hiroki Kuroda.

Ellsbury agreed to a $153 million deal with New York on Tuesday. The contract includes a $21 million team option for the 2021 season, with a $5 million buyout.

Kuroda agreed Friday to a one-year deal, worth $16 million.

NFL

Ravens activate Pitta from IR

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Baltimore Ravens activated tight end Dennis Pitta yesterday, one day before their game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Pitta had been on injured reserve with a designation to return while working back from a dislocated and fractured hip that he suffered during training camp in late July.

Pitta’s workload is likely to be limited against the Vikings, but he could provide a spark to a Ravens passing game that has struggled this season. He had 61 receptions for 669 yards and seven touchdowns last year.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Notre Dame accepts invitation to Pinstripe Bowl

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Notre Dame officially accepted an invitation to the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 28.

The Irish (8-4) will be making their fourth straight bowl appearance and will play an American Athletic Conference opponent.

Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly said the Irish were looking forward to returning to Yankee Stadium, where the Irish beat Army, 27-3, in 2010. Kelly, a Boston Red Sox fan, said the treatment the Irish received from the Steinbrenner family and the Yankees was unlike anything he’s seen in four years at Notre Dame.

That game drew a stadium-record crowd for football of 54,251.

ALPINE SKIING

Hoefl-Riesch wins second straight downhill; Vonn 11th

LAKE LOUISE, Alberta – Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany won her second consecutive World Cup downhill yesterday to take the lead in the overall standings.

Hoefl-Riesch covered the course in 1 minute, 55.09 seconds. Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein came in second in 1:55.43. Anna Fenninger of Austria was third in 1:55.56.

Lindsey Vonn of the U.S., the reigning Olympic downhill champion, finished 11th of 60 skiers in 1:56.35. It was the second race of her comeback after reconstructive knee surgery 10 months ago.

ALPINE SKIING

Switzerland’s Kueng wins men’s super-G race

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. – Patrick Kueng of Switzerland won a World Cup race for the first time, ending the dominance of Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal in super-G yesterday.

Kueng finished in 1 minute, 21.73 seconds and then withstood a late charge from Otmar Striedinger of Austria, beating him by 0.24 seconds. Hannes Reichelt of Austria and Peter Fill of Italy tied for third.

American Ted Ligety had an impressive run and finished fifth. Bode Miller showed signs of returning to form with a stellar start to the super-G, only to make a costly error. Miller was 14th, but said this was “encouraging” after missing all of last season with a knee injury.

NORDIC SKIING

Golberg, Kowalczyk win World Cup races

LILLEHAMMER, Norway – Paal Golberg of Norway earned his first cross-country World Cup victory yesterday by winning a men’s 15-kilometer classical race, while Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland secured her 28th by dominating the women’s 10K.

The 23-year-old Golberg finished in exactly 35 minutes to beat Alexey Poltoranin of Kazakhstan by 14.2 seconds. Another Norwegian, Didrik Tonseth, was 15.5 seconds back in third.

Kowalczyk led from start to finish in a dominating performance to win the women’s 10K race in 24 minutes, 59.4 seconds to finish 12.4 seconds ahead of Charlotte Kalla of Sweden. More impressively, Kowalczyk beat triple Olympic champion Marit Bjoergen of Norway, who was third, by 25.6 seconds.

BOBSLED

American women sweep

PARK CITY, Utah – The United States swept the podium in a women’s bobsled World Cup race yesterday, with the team of Elana Meyers and Aja Evans winning a gold medal for the second straight day

Jamie Greubel and Lolo Jones tied for second place with Jazmine Fenlator and Lauryn Williams. Jones and Williams are both Olympic track veterans, and Williams was making her World Cup debut.

It was the first time American sleds took the top three spots in a women’s bobsled race.

SNOWBOARDING

Schairer, Samkova win World Cup events in Austria

MONTAFON, Austria – Markus Schairer of Austria took the season-opening men’s snowboard cross World Cup event yesterday for his fourth career win and first since March 2009, while Eva Samkova of Czech Republic won the women’s race.

Last year’s men’s winner, Omar Visintin of Italy, was second, while Kevin Hill of Canada finished third.

Earning her second career victory, Samkova defeated 2006 Olympic bronze medalist Dominique Maltais of Canada and Helene Olafsen of Norway in the women’s final.

SPEEDSKATING

Shani Davis of U.S. third

BERLIN – South Korea’s Mo Tae-bum won the men’s 1,000-meter race at the final World Cup speedskating event before the Sochi Olympics, while American Shani Davis finished third.

Mo won in 1 minute, 9.50 seconds to edge Dutchman Michel Mulder by 0.02 seconds. Davis had previously won all three of the season’s races. He was 0.09 seconds behind, but maintains a commanding lead in the standings.

Olga Fatkulina of Russia took advantage of Olympic champion Lee Sang-hwa’s absence to win her first sprint of the season. Lee withdrew with a knee problem and Fatkulina won in 37.92 seconds, ahead of China’s Wang Beixing by 0.04. Heather Richardson of the United States was third.

SKI JUMPING

Takanashi of Japan wins women’s World Cup event

LILLEHAMMER, Norway – Sara Takanashi of Japan won the first women’s ski jump World Cup event of the season yesterday, showing why she is the favorite for gold at the Sochi Olympics.

Takanashi won the overall World Cup title last season. Her biggest rival – American Sarah Hendrickson – is sidelined with an injury.

In the men’s event, Austria’s Gregor Schlierenzauer topped Taku Takeuchi of Japan with jumps of 105.5 and 97 meters for a total of 288.5 points.

BIATHLON

Ukraine wins women’s relay

HOCHFILZEN, Austria – Ukraine convincingly won a women’s biathlon World Cup relay yesterday.

The team of Juliya Dzhyma, Vita Semerenko, Valj Semerenko and Olena Pidhrushna missed just three targets and avoided penalty loops before finishing the 4x6-kilometer race in 1 hour, 13 minutes, 9.2 seconds.

Germany was second and France was third.

NORDIC COMBINED

Lamy Chappuis wins

LILLEHAMMER, Norway – Jason Lamy Chappuis of France won a Nordic combined World Cup event yesterday for his first victory of the season.

The American-born Olympic champion was second after the ski jump and overtook leader Francois Braud midway through the 10-kilometer cross-country race to win in a time of 26 minutes, 45.2 seconds.

Akito Watabe was second, 13.5 seconds behind.

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