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Giants give Winn pricey extension

Randy Winn and the Giants agreed Tuesday on a $23.25-million, three-year extension through 2009.

Winn, 31, hit .359 with 14 home runs after joining the Giants in a trade deadline deal with the Mariners.

"He's a leadoff hitter with a lot of dimensions," general manager Brian Sabean said. "A centerfielder with run-producing potential is a rarity."

Winn, a Bay Area native who went to Seattle as part of the Devil Rays' deal to get manager Lou Piniella, is slated to be the leadoff hitter.

BRAVES: Tim Hudson will start opening day with the blessing of John Smoltz, who said it's time to pass on the honor. Smoltz, 39 on May 15, went 14-7 in 2005 with a 3.06 ERA in a team-high 229 2/3 innings. Hudson, 30, went 14-9 with a 3.52 ERA.

CARDINALS: Rick Ankiel, an ex-pitcher trying to make the team as an outfielder, will miss 10-14 days after straining the patella tendon in his left knee.

DODGERS: Second baseman Jeff Kent took formal batting practice for the first time. He had surgery on his right wrist Jan. 10 to remove scar tissue and fix a ligament. Before, he hit off a tee or with the ball tossed from a short distance.

METS: Pedro Martinez threw from the top of the mound for the first time. None of his 34 pitches were full speed, and Martinez said he must concentrate on getting his sore right toe healthy before he can strengthen his arm.

NATIONALS: Damian Jackson, not Jose Vidro or Alfonso Soriano, will start at second today against South Korea's Kia Tigers. Vidro, the incumbent, is scheduled to start Thursday against the Pirates. And Washington hopes Soriano, who played second for the Rangers last year, will be amenable to the outfield when he returns from the World Baseball Classic.

PIRATES: Shortstop Jack Wilson agreed to a three-year, $20.2-million extension. Wilson, 27, who was entering the last year of a two-year, $8-million deal, could have become a free agent after 2007. He hit .257 with eight homers and 52 RBIs last year.

WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC: First- and second-round games will end after 14 innings even if score remains tied.

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