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Sports in brief

Alpine skiing

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U.S. teen gets first world cup win

ARE, Sweden — Teenager Mikaela Shiffrin showed the American team can live without Lindsey Vonn, at least for a little while.

In the first World Cup race since the four-time overall champion said she was taking a break from the circuit, Shiffrin, 17, won a night slalom ahead of Sweden's Frida Hansdotter for her first World Cup victory Thursday.

Shiffrin has been touted as the next American ski star, and she performed like one under the floodlights on Are's Olympia course. An outstanding second run gave her a combined time of 1 minute, 45.36 seconds, 0.29 better than Hansdotter.

"This is huge," said Shiffrin, who had two previous top-three finishes this season. "I think the best part besides the skiing was the (award) ceremony. It made me cry a little bit when I heard the American anthem."

Overall World Cup leader Tina Maze was third.

Shiffrin is the youngest women's World Cup winner since Lara Gut of Switzerland won a super-G in 2008, also at 17. The U.S. team said she is the second-youngest American woman to win a World Cup race, behind Judy Nagel, who was three months younger when she won a slalom in 1969.

Vonn is returning to the United States over the holidays to fully recover from an intestinal illness that landed her in the hospital last month.

Baseball

Pierzynski joins Rangers behind plate

The Rangers agreed to a deal with catcher A.J. Pierzynski, reports said. The deal was pending a physical. The 35-year-old hit .278 with 27 homers, 77 RBIs and 68 runs last season for the White Sox. He will be Texas' everyday catcher. Geovany Soto will serve as the backup.

Cubs: The club agreed to a four-year, $52 million deal with ex-Rays RH starter Edwin Jackson and a two-year, $10 million deal with RH starter/reliever Carlos Villanueva, according to reports.

Marlins: Former All-Star 3B Placido Polanco agreed to a $2.75 million, one-year contract.

Phillies: RH reliever Mike Adams finalized a $12 million, two-year contract. The 34-year-old is expected to fill the eighth-inning role.

Et cetera

Broadcasting: ESPN suspended commentator Rob Parker for 30 days for the racially charged comments he made about Redskins QB Robert Griffin III during an episode of First Take. The suspension came a day after he apologized for his comments.

Soccer: Real Madrid faces Manchester United in the second round of the European Champions League, a matchup that sends Cristiano Ronaldo back to the stadium where he made his reputation and Jose Mourinho to the club many believe he wants to coach.

Running: After canceling the New York City Marathon in the days after Hurricane Sandy, New York Road Runners said runners registered for the race could either get a full refund or entry into the race in one of the next three years.

Times wires

Sports in brief 12/20/12 [Last modified: Friday, December 21, 2012 12:18am]
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