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Sports in Brief: Markakis leaves O's for a deal with Braves

Free-agent outfielder Nick Markakis and the Atlanta Braves agreed to a four-year contract, pending a physical. The team announced the move Wednesday night.

Free-agent outfielder

Nick Markakis

and the Atlanta Braves agreed to a four-year contract, pending a physical. The team announced the move Wednesday night.

The 31-year-old Markakis spent the first nine years of his career with the Baltimore Orioles. This past season, he batted .276 with 14 homers and 50 RBIs.

Markakis fills a void left by the recent trade of rightfielder Jason Heyward to the St. Louis Cardinals. Also, it will surely step up talks on a potential deal for slugger Justin Upton, who is entering the final year of his contract, or perhaps Evan Gattis, who is set to move from catcher to left field if he stays with the Braves.

The Braves also agreed to terms with reliever Jim Johnson on a one-year contract. Johnson, 31, went 5-2 with a 7.09 ERA in a combined 531/3 innings last year for Oakland and Detroit. The former Baltimore closer is 23-28 with a 3.57 ERA and 124 saves in his career.

The Minnesota Twins signed outfielder Torii Hunter to a $10.5 million, one-year contract. Hunter spent his first 11 seasons with the Twins before starting a $90 million, five-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels in 2008. He is a five-time all-star and has won nine Gold Gloves. Hunter spent the previous two seasons in Detroit. He hit .286 with 17 home runs and 83 RBIs for the Tigers last year. Hunter will turn 40 in July and will be relied upon to provide some offensive punch while also serving as a mentor for some of the Twins' young talent.

AUTO RACING Tony Stewart underwent a fourth surgery on the leg he broke last year during a sprint car race in Iowa. Stewart was released from a hospital on Wednesday. He was then headed to Las Vegas to celebrate Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick's championship.

Formula One is scrapping its rule to award double points to the winner of the final race of the season. The decision was ratified at a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Qatar, when South Korea was provisionally added to a 21-race calendar for the 2015 season. It is scheduled to stage a grand prix on May 3, subject to approval.

COLLEGE SPORTS Mike Mirabella, 23, a four-year member of the Temple crew team (2009-13), died Tuesday after a long bout with cancer.

The native of Galloway, N.J., was a member of the Temple varsity eight his final three seasons, helping the Owls win numerous gold medals. He was also actively involved with the Temple Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, serving as his team's SAAC representative his final two years.

GOLF Ginger Howard, 20, who spent the first six years of her life in Delaware County, fired a 2-under-par and was tied for 15th place after the opening round of the 90-hole LPGA Qualifying Tournament Finals at Daytona Beach, Fla. Brittany Benvenuto of Langhorne shot a 75 and was in a tie for 105th. The field of 154 players will be reduced to the low 70 and ties after the fourth round Saturday. The top 20 finishers will be fully exempt on the 2015 LPGA Tour, and the next 25 will receive conditional status.

- Wire reports