Pedro Martinez looks sharp for Mets; Braves' John Smoltz scratched due to shoulder tightness Print
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Friday, 21 March 2008 15:47
MLB Headline News

 John Smoltz felt tightness in his right shoulder and missed his start. Pedro Martinez was pain-free, and it appears that he won't be under a pitch count heading into the regular season.
The Atlanta Braves sat Smoltz against the Indians at Kissimmee, Fla., on Friday, but the veteran said he would have pitched through the pain if the game counted.
``I'm not worried,'' Smoltz said. ``It's not worth taking any chances right now. I'm smart enough to realize that you don't pitch through it now. You pitch through it during the season.''
In Port St. Lucie, Fla., Martinez gave up two runs and five hits in five innings and David Wright hit a two-run homer in the Mets' 8-2 win over the Nationals.
Mets manager Willie Randolph doesn't expect to have Martinez on a pitch count this season.
``It depends on how he feels,'' Randolph said. ``This year he feels strong, he's not even icing a lot. I'm not going out there with a 90-pitch thing. Besides with Pedro, when he gets to smelling it at the end of the game, he's not going to come out just because of how many pitches he's thrown.''
Smoltz said he felt the stiffness in the back of his shoulder while throwing on the side on Wednesday. Braves manager Bobby Cox said Smoltz wanted to make the start against the Indians despite the discomfort.
``He's been pitching super. There's no reason to push it,'' Cox said. ``We'll see what happens.''
When asked if Smoltz might open the season on the disabled list, Cox said, ``I don't think so.''
Cox confirmed Friday he plans for Tim Hudson to make the season-opening start on March 30 at Washington. Smoltz had been expected to start the March 31 home opener against Pittsburgh, but the Braves have an off day on April 1 and won't need a fifth starter until April 6 - the last game of a three-game series against the Mets.
It's possible Smoltz could open the season on the disabled list and be activated for the April 6 game.
Martinez was particularly effective spotting his fastball, consistently clocked in the 87-89 mph range, and getting ahead in the count.
``I had pretty good command of my fastball today,'' Martinez said. ``It was a good day overall. I felt like I could have thrown three more (innings).''
Martinez was pulled after five innings and 71 pitches. Last season, when he returned from shoulder surgery, Martinez was kept on a 90-pitch count. He struck out four and did not issue a walk. The runs were the first he's allowed this spring, pushing his spring ERA to 2.00 as the Mets improved to 16-7 this spring.
In other news, Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez felt pain in his surgically repaired right shoulder, a major setback that may force him to begin a second consecutive season on the disabled list.
The Milwaukee Brewers placed starter Yovani Gallardo on the 15-day disabled list because of a knee injury.
The New York Yankees chose Chien-Ming Wang to start opening day at home against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Tampa Bay Rays center fielder B.J. Upton could return from a bruised triceps muscle this weekend, and ace Scott Kazmir expected to start the season on the disabled list with a strained left elbow, made around 25 throws while playing catch.
And Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan, who is trying to come back after Tommy John elbow surgery last May, threw a bullpen session in Dunedin, Fla. The team said it hopes Ryan will be ready to pitch in a game within the next few days.
In other spring training games:
Indians 6, Braves 4
At Kissimmee, Fla., C.C. Sabathia gave up three runs in the first three innings and then settled down, allowing only one hit in his final three frames.
Royals 8, Mariners 3
At Peoria, Ariz., Seattle's Erik Bedard was knocked around for the third straight start, giving up seven runs and nine hits in five innings. Kansas City's Alex Gordon and Jose Guillen homered off Bedard.
Reds 5, Pirates 1
At Bradenton, Fla., Cincinnati opening day starter Aaron Harang limited Pittsburgh to four singles over six shutout innings in his next-to-last spring start.
Giants 4, White Sox 3
At Scottsdale, Ariz., Barry Zito turned a rough spring into a promising season in one outing, pitching 5 2-3 scoreless innings for San Francisco. Chicago's Gavin Floyd allowed two runs and six hits in six innings.
Blue Jays 5, Tigers 3
At Lakeland, Fla., Detroit's Dontrelle Willis gave up five runs and seven hits with four walks in 3 1-3 innings and manager Jim Leyland expressed concern about the consistency of his delivery. Gary Sheffield and Ivan Rodriguez both homered for the Tigers.
Cardinals 7, Orioles 4
At Jupiter, Fla., St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright allowed four earned runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings with a strikeout and a walk, a day after signing a $15 million, four-year contract. Baltimore starter Jeremy Guthrie gave up four earned runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings in his first outing in nine days.
Rockies 7, Cubs 3
At Tucson, Ariz., Mark Redman made a strong statement as he tries to make the Colorado rotation, allowing two runs and seven hits in six innings.
Phillies 3, Twins 2
At Fort Myers, Fla., Adam Eaton allowed a run and pitched into the sixth inning for Philadelphia, and Minnesota's Livan Hernandez gave up two runs and three hits while striking out six in five innings.
Marlins 8, Astros 3
At Kissimmee, Fla., Andrew Miller allowed two runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings for Florida. Miller is competing with Mark Hendrickson, Rick VandenHurk and Ricky Nolasco to start Florida's opener March 31 against the Mets.
Brewers 4, Padres 3
At Phoenix, Dave Bush bounced back from a shaky start to pitch five solid innings and Ryan Braun, who had missed several games because of an Achilles' tendon injury, hit a three-run homer in his return.
 

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