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Sports in brief

Baseball

Out of Prison, Urbina aims to Pitch in U.S. again

CARACAS, Venezuela — Former major-league pitcher Ugueth Urbina returned to baseball Saturday after serving 7½ years in prison for the attempted murder of five workers on his family's ranch.

Before taking the field in his native Venezuela to play for the Lions of Caracas, Urbina, 38, described himself as "more mature."

He was released last Sunday after serving roughly half of his 14-year sentence after a dispute over a gun in 2005. Urbina was found guilty of attacking and injuring workers with a machete. Urbina, who pitched for five teams in the majors, has repeatedly said he was sleeping at the time of the attack.

Urbina said he hopes to play pro ball in the United States again. "The first order of business is pitching in Venezuela," he said.

Ice Hockey

Lightning prospects lift Russia at world juniors

Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, a Lightning prospect, posted a 41-save 7-0 victory over Germany as host Russia won its third straight game at the world junior championships at Ufa.

Another Lightning prospect on the Russian team, Nikita Kucherov, scored a minute in and had an assist. Yaroslav Kosov scored a hat trick in the third period.

The Russians, the Group B leaders with nine points, play group rival Canada at 9 a.m. Monday. But first, Canada plays the United States early today (replay at 8 p.m.). The Americans face Slovakia at 5 a.m. Monday.

All three games will be broadcast on the NHL Network.

In other Saturday games, Group A leader Sweden beat Latvia 5-1 to secure a spot in the knockout round.

ET CETERA

College Hockey: Jerry York became college hockey's winningest coach when Boston College beat Alabama-Huntsville 5-2 at the Mariucci Classic in Minneapolis for York's 925th win. In 41 seasons, York, 67, is 925-559-95 and moves ahead of former Michigan State coach Ron Mason.

Cycling: Britain's first Tour de France winner became Sir Bradley Wiggins as Queen Elizabeth bestowed knighthood on him.

Horses: Appealing Stella won her first stakes in the $50,000 Minaraet at Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar. Ridden by Angel Serpa for trainer Jane Cibelli, Appealing Stella clocked 6 furlongs in 1 minute, 12.57 seconds and paid $7.40. Becausei'mworthit and Nakano were next.

Obituary: David "Salt" Walther, the former auto and hydroplane racer who was burned in a crash in the 1973 Indianapolis 500, died in Montgomery County, Ohio. He was 65. A cause of death has not yet been determined. Mr. Walther also drove briefly in NASCAR, finishing 12th in the 1976 Daytona 500.

Speed skating: Heather Richardson set a national record in winning the 1,000 meters and wrapped up the sprint title at the U.S. Long Track Championships in Kearns, Utah. Her time of 1 minute, 13.52 seconds broke Chris Witty's mark of 1:13.83 in 2002. A day earlier, Richardson won the 500 in 37.34. Olympian Shani Davis won the men's 1,000 in 1:08.57.

Tennis: Top-ranked Novak Djokovic retained his title at the World Tennis Championship exhibition in Abu Dhabi by rallying past 11th-ranked Nicolas Almagro 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-4. … In Hopman Cup mixed team competition, host Australia beat Germany 3-0 and Spain beat South Africa 2-1.

Don Jensen, Times correspondent; Times wires

Sports in brief 12/29/12 [Last modified: Saturday, December 29, 2012 10:08pm]
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