Oakland Athletics: Second baseman Mark Ellis will miss six
to eight weeks after dislocating his right shoulder in a collision
with shortstop Bobby Crosby during the Athletics' 2-1 loss to the
Chicago Cubs on Thursday.
Ellis was injured diving for a grounder by Sammy Sosa that
turned into a go-ahead RBI double in the seventh inning. Ellis will
have an MRI on Friday.
Sosa had three hits and the go-ahead RBI against loser Jim
Mecir. Kerry Wood allowed a run in 6 1/3 innings for the Cubs, who
won for the fifth time in six games. Wood allowed four hits and
three walks while striking out six.
Eric Chavez hit his team-leading fifth home run, a long shot off
the top of the 50-foot wall beyond center field, as the A's lost
for just the second time in 11 games.
A's starter Rich Harden pitched five scoreless innings, giving
up seven hits and two walks while striking out two. He brought an
11.25 ERA into the contest.
Bonds led off the sixth inning with his fifth homer of the spring. Following a slow start, Bonds is batting .347 with a team-leading 11 RBI in 23 at-bats.
Giants ace Jason Schmidt, who hasn't pitched in a game since March 14 because of shoulder soreness, threw off a mound, and it apparently will be up to him when he returns to exhibition action. "We'll do what he's ready to pursue," said trainer Stan Conte, calling an Opening Day start "less and less likely."
Conte also said closer Robb Nen, who missed last season following shoulder surgery and has yet
to pitch in an exhibition game, is "kind of in a holding pattern, trying to get the inflammation out. Once he gets back, I think the arm will come quickly."
Boston Red Sox: Pedro Martinez says he hasn't lost his fastball -- and the radar gun shows he's right. Making his second-to-last spring training start, Boston's ace gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings of a 12-7 loss to the Twins.
Martinez's heater topped out at 93 mph, and he threw three consecutive 91 mph fastballs to former Red Sox infielder Jose Offerman to end a Minnesota threat in the fourth inning.
"I haven't lost my fastball. Ninety, 91, now that's a good fastball," Martinez said. "And if anyone wants to test it, go
ahead. Let the scouts stand there with a bat and I'll give them a 91."
Martinez wasn't talking about whether he's close to signing a contract extension with the Red
Sox. He's not worried about negotiations being a distraction. "I'm an old goat. I think I can handle that," he said. "I'm just going
to concentrate on what I'm doing. Just go quote my agent. He'll deal with the stress and I'll do the pitching."
New York Yankees: Kevin Brown tuned up for Japan with another solid outing, allowing two hits in 5 2/3 innings, and Enrique Wilson hit a
three-run homer in the Yankees' 9-0 victory over the Phillies on Thursday -- New York's final game before
going to Tokyo to open the season against Tampa Bay.
Jim Thome flied out to center in his first appearance for the
Phillies since breaking the tip of the middle finger on his right
hand March 5. Thome went 1-for-3 in a minor league game before
crossing the street to pinch-hit against the Yankees.
Brown will start against the Devil Rays next Wednesday at the
Tokyo Dome. Mike Mussina starts the season opener for the Yankees
Left-hander Eric Milton, acquired from Minnesota in the
offseason, had a rough outing for the Phillies, allowing seven runs -- six earned -- and six hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Coming off a 2002 season in which he was named AL MVP, Tejada
struggled in spring training with Oakland last year and continued
that trend in April and May, hitting just .176 through 32 games. He finished at .278 with 27 homers and 106 RBI.
"This year I'm definitely having a great spring training, and
hope I'm going to start the season good," said Tejada, who signed
with Baltimore as a free agent in December. He's tied for the team lead with two homers and ranks
second with nine RBI.
The Cardinals' Jim Edmonds homered off Sidney Ponson in the sixth following a walk to Albert Pujols to put the Cardinals up 4-3. It was the first homer of the spring for Edmonds, who missed the first 14 games after offseason shoulder surgery.
Buehrle, who went 14-14 last year, has yet to walk a batter in 20 preseason innings.
Uribe went 3-for-4. He hit a lead-off double and scored on Jose
Valentin's RBI single in the first off Diamondbacks starter Steve Sparks.
Arizona closer Matt Mantei tossed a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one. Mantei has been dealing with problems with the nails on his
middle and index fingers, causing him some discomfort with his off-speed pitches.
Beckett, 23, will start April 6 at home against Montreal. Brad Penny,
Dontrelle Willis, Carl Pavano and Darren Oliver will follow in the
rotation. Willis and Oliver are left-handed, so Marlins manager
Jack McKeon opted to separate them with Pavano.
"It's a big deal, but any one of us could have done it and done
a good job with it," Beckett said.
The Brewers have only 10 home runs this spring but lead all NL teams with 57 doubles,
including seven by Overbay and eight by Junior Spivey, who also came over in the Sexson deal.
Right-hander Nick Neugebauer, recovering from shoulder
surgery, threw a 21-pitch simulated game after his normal
bullpen session and reported feeling better than he has all year.
Seattle Mariners: Ron Villone thinks he's pitched well enough this spring to earn a spot in the the bullpen. The left-hander started and threw four strong innings to help the Mariners beat the Rangers 4-3.
"I was a thrower when I left here nine years ago," said Villone, Seattle's first-round draft choice in 1992. "I threw a little harder then, but I also walked a lot more people
then. I think I was just trying to strike everybody out."
Raul Ibanez, Seattle's new left fielder and cleanup hitter, went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and double. Reliever Rafael Soriano made his spring debut after
missing four weeks with a strained oblique muscle. He allowed two runs and four hits in one inning, but got the win.
With Bay expected to be out a few more weeks -- the Pirates don't
yet have a timetable for his return -- utilityman Craig Wilson will
likely get most of the outfield starts in his place. Wilson had
been ticketed for part-time duty in right field and at first base.
"It's not official yet, but we're going to be hard-pressed to
have him (Bay) ready for Opening Day," manager Lloyd McClendon
With Bay unavailable so far, Raul Mondesi has shifted from right
field to left, and Wilson has made most of the starts in right.
Wilson has 34 homers the last two years, but has never had more
than 368 at-bats in a season.
Colorado Rockies: Right-hander Scott Elarton solidified his position as the No. 4 starter, twice retiring Bonds in potentially damaging situations. Elarton lowered his ERA to 3.94, going five innings and allowed four hits and one run with three walks and four strikeouts.
Elarton, who threw 85 pitches, said he hasn't been told he has
the No. 4 spot locked up, but he believes he'll be following
left-hander Shawn Estes, right-hander Jason Jennings and
left-hander Joe Kennedy in the rotation.