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BASEBALL

Rowand, Tejada out as fading Giants reshape roster

SAN FRANCISCO — With his club falling further out of playoff contention by the day, San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean started making sweeping changes Wednesday.

Outfielder Aaron Rowand and infielder Miguel Tejada were designated for assignment by the defending World Series champions, who began the day trailing first-place Arizona by a season-high six games in the NL West race.

Rowand, 34, the team’s second-highest paid player behind pitcher Barry Zito, is making $12 million this season and was due the same for 2012. He was batting .233 with four home runs and 21 RBI in 108 games.

Tejada, 37, received a $6.5 million, one-year deal in December to join the Giants. He was batting .239 with four homers and 26 RBI in 91 games. He was 4-for-20 since being activated from the 15-day disabled list Aug. 16.

• The Texas Rangers acquired left-handed reliever Mike Gonzalez from the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday for a player to be named. Gonzalez is 2-2 with one save and a 4.27 ERA in 49 games. But he’s allowed five hits and one walk with 15 strikeouts over 13 straight scoreless appearances.

HOCKEY

Former enforcer Belak found dead in home

Washington Capitals right wing Joel Ward got a message Wednesday afternoon from a friend that Wade Belak, a former teammate with the Nashville Predators, was found dead in his Toronto condo.

“Unbelievable. He was one of the best guys, great team guy - always there for the boys,” Ward said. “Whether he was playing or not he was always a positive guy.”

Belak retired in March after playing parts of 14 NHL seasons as an enforcer. He was widely praised as one of the best personalities in the game; Ward called him “all bright and bubbly” and “always the funniest guy” on the team.

“I was just fortunate to get a chance to play with him and hang out with him for two years in Nashville,” Ward said. “[When you hear this news] you’re puzzled and just sad.”

According to multiple reports out of Toronto, Belak hanged himself. Ward on Wednesday evening remembered his former teammate as a man always happy with his wife and two young daughters.

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