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Knee pain forces 39-year-old Giles to retire

Brian Giles says the pain in his arthritic right knee is getting worse, and the 39-year-old outfielder informed the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday that he will retire.

Giles is a career .291 hitter with 287 home runs and 1,078 RBIs in 1,847 games. The two-time All-Star also played for San Diego, Pittsburgh and Cleveland, calling his trip to the World Series with the Indians in 1997 the highlight of his 15 major-league seasons.

"That's what you play for," Giles said of the championship series the Indians lost to the Florida Marlins. "I always talked to my brother [former major leaguer Marcus] . . . our No. 1 goal was getting to the big leagues. Our No. 2 thing would be to win a world championship. Getting to experience the World Series was pretty special."

Giles, who signed a minor- league deal with the Dodgers this winter with an invitation to major-league camp, hit a career-high 39 home runs for the Pirates in 1999. His deteriorating knee limited him to 61 games with the Padres last season.

Looking for lefthanded options off the bench, the Dodgers brought aboard Giles. His departure leaves veterans Doug Mientkiewicz and Garret Anderson to help fill the role.

Webb headed to DL?

Arizona manager A.J. Hinch says there's an increasing chance Brandon Webb will start the season on the disabled list. Webb reached what Hinch called a "plateau" in his comeback from surgery on his right shoulder. He has not thrown a bullpen session for a week after saying he felt "stagnant" and was not making the progress he expected. "It's getting fairly obvious that it's going to be difficult to get him ready for the season," Hinch said.

Extra bases

First baseman Todd Helton and the Rockies agreed to a two-year, $9.9-million contract extension through the 2013 season . . . Lefthanders Eddie Guardado and Shawn Estes were released by the Nationals in the first round of spring training cuts.

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