BOSTON: RHP Tim Wakefield, who went six innings in his first start Friday, has pitched in 13 consecutive seasons for Boston, matching Bob Stanley (1977-89) and Roger Clemens (1984-96) for the most in team history by pitchers. The only position players with at least 13 years of continuous service in Boston are Carl Yastrzemski (23), Dwight Evans (19) and Jim Rice (16). … Manager Terry Francona said the Red Sox “don’t want to take any shortcuts” with LHP Jon Lester, who was 7-2 as a rookie last season before finding out he had lymphoma. He allowed only two hits Thursday in the first of his four scheduled starts for Class-A Greenville.
RHP Robinson Tejeda is 5-2 with a 2.05 ERA (14 earned runs over 61 1-3 innings) in nine starts since being recalled by the Rangers last Aug. 19. He threw seven shutout innings in the home opener Friday.
BALTIMORE: C Ramon Hernandez (strained left oblique muscle) sat out again and could be headed to the disabled list soon. “If we get through this series and nothing happens, then I’ll have to consider it,” manager Sam Perlozzo said. “We’re being real careful with him. We don’t want to lose him for a long time.” … RF Nick Markakis entered 1-for-10 this season but hit a two-run double off Mike Mussina in the first inning and a leadoff double in the third. … CF Corey Patterson will wear No. 42 for the Orioles on April 15 against Kansas City to honor Jackie Robinson. … RHP Steve Trachsel makes his Orioles debut on Saturday.
ake his major league debut Saturday after the Yankees spent $46 million to bring him over from Japan. Igawa struggled with his control at times in spring training, especially early, but said he saw improvement in his changeup during his bullpen session Thursday. “He seems to be pretty calm,” manager Joe Torre said. “My guess is he’s a little anxious to get it going tomorrow.” … With Damon out, switch-hitter Melky Cabrera moved up to the leadoff spot against LHP Adam Loewen and 2B Robinson Cano was dropped back down to eighth – even though Cano had three hits Thursday night against Tampa Bay while Cabrera went 0-for-4. … Torre said C Jorge Posada will start Saturday even though it’s a day game after a night game, but backup Wil Nieves will catch Darrell Rasner on Sunday.
Blue Jays-Devil Rays
and run you out of the ballpark,” Gibbons said. “When they pitch, they’re awful tough.”
TAMPA BAY: DH Rocco Baldelli and C Dioner Navarro, who both sat out Thursday’s game at Yankee Stadium with sore hamstrings, were back in the lineup. … When Baldelli is ready to play in the outfield, Elijah Dukes will switch from center to DH. … Fifth starter Edwin Jackson threw batting practice. He is scheduled to make his first start Monday at Texas.
DETROIT: Gary Sheffield will be the Tiger who wears Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 on April 15 to honor the man who broke the major league color barrier. … Manager Jim Leyland, who prides himself on being “old-school,” says it’s good he does not understand all the up-to-date medical jargon trainers and doctors use. “I’m all fouled up on the medical state of the game of baseball, if you want to know the truth. I’m lost,” the 62-year-old Leyland said. “And I don’t want to make stupid comments to offend anybody. I believe people a whole lot smarter than me are doing what they think is best for the players in modern techniques. I marvel sometimes how you went from (treating pitchers’ arms with) hot water to ice. I know they’re right. They’ve studied it a lot more than I have. I’m totally confused on the medical side.”
KANSAS CITY: With 35-degree temperatures at gametime and winds gusting to 25 mph, manager Buddy Bell planned to make sure his players kept stretched out during the game. “We’ve got some heaters in the dugout and in the tunnel. We should be able to stay pretty warm in between innings,” Bell said. “The actual temperature is not the problem. It’s the wind. Your eyes get glassy and moist.” … Without even being asked, Bell was still marveling about Daisuke Matsuzaka, the former Japanese star who struck out 10 Royals in his major league debut for Boston on Thursday. “I don’t know if you can pitch any better than that guy did,” Bell said. “It was pretty impressive. Some of it had to do with the fact we’d never seen him before. But even if we’d seen him 100 times, the outcome would have been pretty much the same.”
last year,” Piazza said of Thomas. “I can’t really worry about what he did because – I don’t want to say it’s impossible to match – but he did a great job last year. I can only do what I can do.” Manager Bob Geren responded in kind, saying, “We’re happy to have Mike, that’s for sure, but I don’t want to try to compare him with Frank. I mean, they are similar. They’re both big strong right-handed hitters with a lot of power. But to try to say he’ll match Frank’s numbers in every category is not fair to anybody. Mike just has to be himself, and he’ll be just fine.”
LOS ANGELES: Closer Francisco Rodriguez has been cleared of any wrongdoing by Major League Baseball, regarding accusations this week by a blogger that Rodriguez was doctoring the ball. “That’s the word we got, so it’s a non-issue,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “It’s just a function of touching the rosin bag and adjusting your cap. I’m sure it shows up on a lot of pitchers’ caps. It’s really much ado about nothing. But you can’t control what’s out there on the internet. Some things are comical, and some are erroneous to the point of doing damage to a person’s reputation. But it’s all part of the microscope you’re under and part of the scrutiny that you live with day to day when you’re in this game.”
PHILADELPHIA: Free-agent RHP Rick Bauer agreed to a minor-league contract, pending a physical. He went 3-1 with a 3.55 ERA in 58 games for Texas last season. … Manager Charlie Manuel, whose team was swept in Philadelphia by Atlanta to start the season, said some of his players press at home. “Some of them try too hard,” he said. “They do that wanting to show their fans how good they can be.” … The Phils are likely to face left-handed starters in four of their next five games.
FLORIDA: Fredi Gonzalez, who grew up in Miami, had a big turnout of friends and family Friday for his first home game as Marlins manager, but said tickets were no hassle for him. “I left three tickets – for my wife and kids. Everybody else was on their own,” he said. … LHP Taylor Tankersley (shoulder tendinitis) pitched an inning for Single-A Jupiter on a rehabilitation assignment Thursday and may be activated from the disabled list when the Marlins begin a trip next Friday, Gonzalez said. … LHP Dontrelle Willis, scheduled to start Saturday against the Phillies, went 1-2 with a 6.30 ERA in four starts against them in 2006.
ARIZONA: SS Stephen Drew missed Friday’s game with the flu. Alberto Callaspo started in his place. … LHP Randy Johnson (offseason back surgery) threw a bullpen session in Phoenix and is on schedule to make a minor league start Sunday. … OF Carlos Quentin (torn left labrum) took 25-30 swings before the game, and was swinging at 80 percent, according to manager Bob Melvin. “That’s what we want him to do – not completely go after it yet,” Melvin said. … C Miguel Montero started instead of Chris Snyder. “I wanted to get Miggy in there again,” Melvin said. “I don’t want him sitting around too long. He’s another one of those guys that’s used to playing every day. You make them sit too long, they kind of lose their edge at the plate.” … OF Scott Hairston was back in the lineup Friday, a day after leaving in the first inning when he fouled a pitch off the inside of his knee. “It’s almost back to normal – good enough to play,” Hairston said.
riday, his first start with Washington. … Nationals manager Manny Acta is using Monday’s day off to slightly tweak his rotation, moving RHP Jerome Williams up to the fourth spot from fifth to switch places with RHP Jason Bergmann. So Williams will pitch Thursday on normal rest, while Bergmann will go next Friday, a week after his first start of the season.
PITTSBURGH: Manager Jim Tracy was noncommittal on whether NL batting champion Freddy Sanchez might rejoin the club during a weekend series in Cincinnati. Sanchez, who sprained his right knee while turning a double play on March 6, doubled for Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday night, part of a stint in the minors to refine his swing. He’s eligible to be activated off the DL on Saturday. Asked if Sanchez might join the Pirates in Cincinnati, Tracy said, “I don’t know.” … INF Jose Hernandez, who was released March 31, agreed to a minor league deal and will join Indianapolis in the next few days, Tracy said. … The Pirates used the same lineup for the first four games of the season, something they hadn’t done since 1984, when their lineup featured Marvell Wynne, Bill Madlock and Jason Thompson.
CINCINNATI: LHP Eric Milton felt fine Friday and is still expected to come off the DL and start Sunday in the final game of a series against Pittsburgh. Milton has been sidelined by back spasms. … OF Josh Hamilton rejoined the team Friday. He was expected to start in center field a day earlier, but came down with a 24-hour virus and went to a hospital to get fluids intravenously. Manager Jerry Narron plans to start him in one of the next few games. … Asked if heaters placed at the ends of the dugouts were much help in staying warm, Narron said, “Only if you’re next to them.” It was 36 degrees with a wind chill in the 20s at game time.
NEW YORK: RHP Duaner Sanchez will have surgery Tuesday in New York to have a screw inserted into his right shoulder. Sanchez hasn’t pitched for New York since July, when he separated the same shoulder in a taxi accident and had surgery. He felt a pop in the shoulder last month while throwing in spring training. The screw will be inserted at the point of a hairline fracture in a small bone in the front of the shoulder. Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said there is no timetable for Sanchez to return. … Manager Willie Randolph said he wasn’t going to alter his starting lineup just to find playing time for backups. “I’m not going to put a guy in just because he needs to play,” Randolph said. “We’re 3-0. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
ATLANTA: Braves manager Bobby Cox made several lineup changes for the home opener: Chris Woodward started for 2B Kelly Johnson and hit leadoff. Craig Wilson started for 1B Scott Thorman. Matt Diaz started in left field ahead of Ryan Langerhans. The moves with Wilson and Diaz were Cox’s reaction to the Mets starting LHP Oliver Perez, and Cox said Woodward needed playing time. Cox said Johnson will start Saturday when another left-hander, Tom Glavine, starts for the Mets. … LHP Mike Hampton plans to throw in the bullpen Sunday as he continues his recovery from an oblique injury.
CHICAGO: After losing two of three games to the Reds in Cincinnati, Chicago opened a three-game series in Milwaukee on Friday night. The Cubs won’t have their 92nd home opener until Monday, when they host Houston. … RHP Carlos Zambrano (0-1) makes his second start Saturday. He gave up five runs in five innings in losing the opening-day game 4-1 to Cincinnati. He is 7-7 against the Brewers. … Run production? The eight position players in the Cubs’ Friday night lineup boasted a grand total of 5 RBI between them. That is only two fewer than the Cubs have scored in their first three games this season. Last year the Cubs pushed across 16 runs in their season-opening victory over Cincinnati.
MILWAUKEE: Ben Sheets (1-0) takes the mound Saturday against Chicago. He was dominating in winning the opener as he tossed a 2-hit complete game 7-1 victory over Los Angeles. He’s 7-6 lifetime against Chicago. … After taking two-of-three games from Los Angeles, the Brewers host the Cubs for three games. The Brewers road opener is Monday at Florida. … The Brewers will get to know the Cubs really well in the next few months. The two teams play 12 of their 15 games this season before the All-Star break July 9.
ST. LOUIS: RHP Chris Carpenter will pitch a bullpen session Saturday, manager Tony La Russa said. Carpenter skipped his scheduled start in Houston on Friday because of inflammation in his right elbow. … La Russa said IF-OF Scott Spiezio is “ready to go” after getting treatment on his sore back. Spiezio has pinch-hit twice this season, but hasn’t played in the field yet. … CF Jim Edmonds was out of Friday’s lineup after starting the Cardinals’ first three games. La Russa said he plans to rest Edmonds every third day until he fully recovers from offseason surgeries on his foot and right shoulder. “We’re just trying to work him back into shape,” La Russa said. … The Cardinals will all wear No. 42 on April 15 to honor Jackie Robinson, who became the first African-American major leaguer in 1947. “It sends a message to how this club feels about what he went through,” La Russa said.
HOUSTON: The Astros honored Jeff Bagwell in a ceremony before Friday’s game. Bagwell retired last December and now works in the front office. Bagwell played his entire career with Houston, from 1991-2005 and is the franchise’s all-time leader in home runs (449) and RBIs (1,529). He’s the only Astro ever named the league’s Most Valuable Player (1994). “I can’t think of a better guy to be associated with over my career,” said 2B Craig Biggio, Bagwell’s teammate for 15 seasons. “He’ll tell you that I made him a better player and he made me a better player.” … 3B Mike Lamb replaced Morgan Ensberg in the starting lineup, but manager Phil Garner said there was nothing to read into the move. Garner said he wants to start reserve utilityman Mark Loretta by the end of the weekend. “Just trying to find a spot to get them all in, so they can get more than one at-bat,” Garner said. … RF Luke Scott returned to the lineup after missing two games with a hyperextended right elbow.
THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.
Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.
Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.
About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 175 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.