Originally created 01/22/06

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Major League Baseball

Sosa signs one-year deal with Atlanta

Pitcher Jorge Sosa agreed to a $2.2 million, one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves on Saturday after the best season of his career.

The 28-year-old right-hander was acquired by the Braves before last season in a seemingly minor deal with Tampa Bay.

After starting out in the bullpen, he claimed a spot in rotation and went 13-3 with a 2.55 ERA.

Sosa was the final Atlanta player still in arbitration. He had asked for $2.6 million, while the Braves countered with an offer of $1.8 million.

The two sides met right in the middle, though Sosa also could earn an additional $50,000 if he pitches 205 innings. He pitched 134 innings last season.

"I feel very happy with the deal because we spent a long time negotiating and we avoided arbitration," Sosa said before a winter league game in his native Dominican Republic.

Former Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone, now with the Baltimore Orioles, helped improve Sosa's mechanics.

"I am where I am today thanks to Leo, because he helped turn me into the pitcher I am," Sosa said.

- The Baltimore Orioles added much-needed experience to their starting rotation, acquiring right-hander Kris Benson from the New York Mets for right-handers Jorge Julio and John Maine.

Benson went 10-8 with a 4.13 ERA in 28 starts for New York last year. Despite spending all of April on the disabled list, he finished third on the Mets' staff in wins and starts.

Perlozzo believes Benson has a decent shot of seizing the No. 1 spot in a rotation that tentatively includes Rodrigo Lopez, Erik Bedard, Daniel Cabrera and Bruce Chen.

Women's Basketball

Pacers earn road win in Peach Belt

In Greenwood, S.C., Avonte Williams scored 15 points to lead USC Aiken to a 71-58 victory over Lander at Horne Arena.

Mindy Allee added 12 points and nine assists. Megan Starnes also had 12 points.

It was the second consecutive Peach Belt Conference victory for the Pacers (7-8, 3-5), who led 37-21 at halftime.

Tara Nyikavaranda had 21 points for Lander (4-10, 0-7).

Skiing

Walchhofer wins another downhill

In Kitzbuehel, Austria, Michael Walchhofer of Austria tamed the World Cup's most prestigious course, winning a downhill for the second time this season in a race in which Daron Rahlves finished third and Bode Miller fourth.

Walchhofer, the reigning World Cup downhill champion, was timed in 1 minute, 46.75 seconds on the notorious Streif slope, which was shortened because of dangerous weather on the upper part of the Hahnenkamm mountain.

- In St. Moritz, Switzerland, Austria's Michaela Dorfmeister won a World Cup downhill a day after she captured a super-G in her final season before retirement.

Austria's Renate Goetschl was second. Croatia's Janica Kostelic, the overall World Cup leader who last week won a downhill for the first time, was third.

Lindsey Kildow, of the U.S., the winner of two downhills this season, finished 17th after losing valuable time on the flats.

Sailing

Dutch yacht takes race's second leg

In Melbourne, Australia, Dutch yacht ABN AMRO ONE crossed the finish line outside Port Phillip Bay to win the 7,000-mile second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.

The yacht, with skipper Mike Sanderson, had floundered in light winds for nearly 24 hours, delaying the finish and reducing the yacht's speed at times to an average of 5 mph.

Sister entry ABN AMRO TWO finished just after midnight local time, four hours and 12 minutes after the winner and in second place.

Movistar of Spain was in third place, United States-entry Pirates of the Caribbean fourth and ING Real Estate Brunel in fifth, although all are several days from finishing.

It is a nine-leg, 36,000-mile race.