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In Brief


Reliever Burnett, Nationals agree on two-year contract

Left-handed reliever Sean Burnett and the Washington Nationals agreed Thursday on a $3.95 million, two-year contract with a mutual option for 2013, avoiding salary arbitration.

Burnett, 28, went 1-7 with three saves and a 2.14 ERA in 73 appearances in 2010, part of a wholly rebuilt bullpen that transformed from one of Washington’s biggest weaknesses to a strength last season.

Also: The Colorado Rockies bolstered their bullpen by acquiring right-handed reliever Matt Lindstrom from the Houston Astros.

In exchange, the Rockies sent minor league pitchers Wes Musick and Jonnathan Aristil to Houston.

Lindstrom, eligible for arbitration, has made at least 50 appearances in all four of his seasons in the majors. He had a team-high 23 saves for the Astros in 2010, finishing 2-5 with a 4.39 ERA.

The Arizona Diamondbacks sold utility player Rusty Ryal to the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese League.

The 27-year-old Ryal hit .261 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 104 games with the Diamondbacks last season.


Struggling Devils ax MacLean, pull Lemaire out of retirement

Facing the prospect of missing the playoffs for the first time since 1997, the New Jersey Devils fired rookie coach John MacLean and brought back the firm hand of Jacques Lemaire to try to salvage the season.

The Devils have been one of the most disappointing teams in the NHL. New Jersey lost 5-1 to the lowly New York Islanders in Lemaire’s first game back and are last in the league with 20 points in 34 games (9-23-2).

The 65-year-old Lemaire received a loud ovation from the crowd at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., when he was introduced before the loss to the Islanders.

Lemaire retired in April after the Devils were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the third straight season. This is his third stint as New Jersey’s coach, and he will finish the season. He guided the franchise to its first Stanley Cup in 1995.

Also: Sidney Crosby extended his points streak to 23 games with a goal and an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Washington Capitals in a shootout 3-2 in Washington, D.C.

Crosby, the NHL’s leading scorer with 60 points on 29 goals and 31 assists in 36 games, has the league’s longest points streak since 1992-93 when Quebec’s Mats Sundin had a 30-game run.


Procter & Gamble won’t renew endorsement deal with Woods

The Procter & Gamble Co. said it will not renew its endorsement deal with golfer Tiger Woods after the end of the year.

The company used Woods and dozens of other athletes as part of its three-year "Gillette Champions" marketing program. Gillette said it is phasing out that program and, in turn, not renewing the contract with Woods and several other athletes.

The golfer was once the most sought-after pitchman in sports and was the first athlete to earn $1 billion from endorsement agreements. However, many corporations cut ties or distanced themselves from Woods after revelations of marital infidelities that dominated headlines for months.

Also: The NCAA informed Louisiana State it did not find any additional violations beyond what the university reported after an internal investigation into allegations of improper contact between a former player and former assistant coach.

The initial probe, which began in the fall of 2009, centered on wide receivers coach D.J. McCarthy, who resigned late last season, and defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, a junior college transfer who never played.

LSU reported its findings to the NCAA in March and has since sanctioned itself with the loss of two scholarships for 2011-12 and with a reduction in recruiting visits.

Three West Virginia football players — center Joe Madsen, defensive back Eain Smith and defensive lineman Josh Taylor — won’t participate in the Dec. 28 Champs Sports Bowl because they didn’t meet NCAA eligibility requirements.

The Mountaineers play North Carolina State in Orlando, Fla.

Mexico’s Hugo Cazares defeated Japan’s Hiroyuki Hisataka by unanimous decision to retain his WBA super flyweight title.

The 32-year-old Cazares (34-6-2, 24 knockouts) dominated the 12-round bout in Osaka, Japan, in the third defense of the title he won in May.

Soccer star Landon Donovan filed for divorce from his wife, actress Bianca Kajlich, in Los Angeles.

Donovan, who plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy, cited irreconcilable differences for the split with Kajlich after nearly three years of marriage. They were married on New Year’s Eve 2006 and have no children together.

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