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Briefs: Russia within a win of Davis Cup crown

| Sunday, Dec. 3, 2006

Russian Marat Safin and Dmitry Tursunov beat Argentina's David Nalbandian and Agustin Calleri, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, on Saturday, putting Russia ahead, 2-1, and one match from its second Davis Cup title.

The reverse singles today at Olympic Stadium will decide the outcome, with Argentina trying for its first Davis Cup crown.

Russia's comfortable doubles victory came a day after Nalbandian evened the best-of-five final by beating Safin, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. That match followed Nikolay Davydenko's 6-1, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 victory over Juan Ignacio Chela.

Baseball

• The Seattle Mariners and free agent outfielder Jose Guillen were closing in on a $5.5 million, one-year contract yesterday. A person familiar with the talks said the agreement was expected to be completely after Guillen completes a physical with the team Monday.

• First baseman Kevin Millar re-signed with the Baltimore Orioles, agreeing to a one-year $2.75 million contract with an option for 2008.

• The Indians added some much-needed experience and depth to their young bullpen, agreeing to one-year contracts with Roberto Hernandez and Aaron Fultz. Hernandez, a 42-year-old right-hander, is guaranteed $3.5 million. Fultz, a 33-year-old lefty, gets a $1.65 million deal.

• Right-hander Vicente Padilla was offered salary arbitration by the Texas Rangers, who hope to re-sign the 15-game winner and are now guaranteed an extra draft pick if he goes to another team.

• Dave Roberts agreed to an $18 million, three-year contract with the San Francisco Giants.

Boxing

• Antonio Margarito unanimously outpointed Joshua Clottey to successfully defend his WBO welterweight title.

College football

• University of South Carolina's board of trustees approved a reworked contract that increases Steve Spurrier's yearly salary to $1.75 million, up from his current package of about $1.25 million. The first coach to lead South Carolina to a bowl in his first two seasons also had his contract extended through the 2012 season.

Pro football

• The Washington Redskins signed Shaun Suisham from the practice squad, giving the team an alternative to struggling kicker Nick Novak for today's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

• The New York Giants signed 44-year-old punter Sean Landeta as insurance because it's uncertain if Jeff Feagles can play because of a knee injury.

• New York Jets wide receiver Tim Dwight was placed on injured reserve, ending his season because of a foot injury. Receiver Wallace Wright was activated from the practice squad to fill the roster spot.

• The Miami Dolphins promoted running back Patrick Cobbs from the practice squad and waived safety Norman LeJeune.

Horse racing

• Ramon Dominguez, the nation's second-leading rider, captured both stakes in a four-win performance at Aqueduct.

• Sailors Sunset beat Siren Lure by 13/4 lengths in the $100,000 feature race at Hollywood Park.

Skiing

• Italy's Massimiliano Blardone won a World Cup giant slalom after American Bode Miller squandered his first-run lead by catching his arm on a gate his second time down, giving Italy's men their first win of the season.

Swimming

• Two-time Olympian Michael Phelps won two events at the U.S. Open Swimming Championships, giving him six gold medals during the three-day meet at Purdue's Boilermaker Aquatic Center.

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