CLEVELAND: 2B Josh Barfield said he is planning on wearing No. 42 on April 15 to honor Jackie Robinson on the suggestion of LHP C.C. Sabathia. Barfield learned about Robinson from several books that he read, as well as stories he heard from his father, former big leaguer Jesse Barfield, and his great, great uncle Albert Overton, who played for the Indianapolis Clowns. “I have a great appreciation for what he’s done,” Barfield said. “I thought it was a great idea. It’s a great way to pay tribute to a great man. He’s done so much, not just for the game but for the country. He broke down barriers.” … Cleveland is petitioning the league office to allow an Indians player to wear No. 14 on July 5 to commemorate 60th anniversary of Larry Doby’s major league debut. Doby was the first black player in the American League.
CHICAGO: After their pitching staff was raked for 26 hits and 20 runs in two losses to the Indians, the White Sox got another blow Thursday when Mark Buehrle was hit by a line drive in the second inning and had to leave the game. The good news for the lefty is that X-rays were negative. Buehrle hopes to make his next start Tuesday. “It hit right below my elbow, like on top of the forearm,” Buehrle said, adding he quickly noticed a bulge at the point of contact. “I’ve gotten hit before but nothing that ever reacted like that. It didn’t hurt like it was broke and I could still move my wrist around and my hand. So I didn’t think it was broken until I saw that bulge.” Buehrle will work with trainer Herm Schneider to see if he can pitch next week. “Obviously we’ll see with the next couple days, how it feels,” he said. “I’m going to try and do everything I can to get back out there.”
BOSTON: The Red Sox scored at least one run in the first inning of each of the three games in the series. They had one run on Monday and Thursday and three on Wednesday night. … Daisuke Matsuzaka’s 10 strikeouts were the most by a Boston rookie making his major league debut since Don Aase struck out 11 Brewers on July 26, 1977, at Fenway Park. Dice-K was the 12th native of Japan to start a major league game. He’s the third to start for the Red Sox, joining Hideo Nomo and Tomo Ohka.
KANSAS CITY: RHP Zack Greinke’s seven strikeouts were only one short of his major league high. … It was the first home series loss to the Red Sox since June 4-6, 2004, when the Red Sox also took two out of three. … After facing Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett and Dice-K in their first three games, it does not get any easier for the Royals. Next up on Friday night is Detroit’s Justin Verlander. He threw a five-hit shutout against the Royals last year. … Mike Sweeney and Mark Grudzielanek, two of the Royals’ best hitters, were held out of the lineup Thursday for a day off following a night game.
TAMPA BAY: DH Rocco Baldelli and C Dioner Navarro have tender hamstrings, so both were held out of the lineup on a windy, 38-degree night. “That was my call. When I went out to get coffee this morning it was snowing and I said, `No,”’ manager Joe Maddon said. “Both wanted to play. Understand, it’s the second game of the season. I just didn’t want to risk it.” Jonny Gomes was the DH and batted third. Josh Paul was behind the plate, batting ninth. … LF Carl Crawford will wear No. 42 for the Devil Rays on April 15 at Minnesota in honor of Jackie Robinson. … Tampa Bay said its home opener Friday night against Toronto was just about sold out. RHP James Shields, set to start for the Devil Rays, had already been sent back to Florida to get ready. “He’s going to be a big-game pitcher as his career takes shape,” Maddon said. “He likes the moment.”
NEW YORK: CF Johnny Damon sat out with a mild strain in his right calf, but said he was feeling better than he did Wednesday. The Yankees were waiting to try and determine whether it would be best to put him on the 15-day disabled list. Damon, entering his 13th major league season, has never been on the DL. He was hurt in Monday’s victory over Tampa Bay. … Melky Cabrera started in CF and 2B Robinson Cano was in the leadoff spot. If Damon is out for a while, manager Joe Torre said Cabrera would be a more logical choice to bat leadoff once he starts swinging the bat better. … RHP Chien-Ming Wang (right hamstring) reported no problems after throwing 40 pitches in his first bullpen session since getting hurt last month. He also did a series of agility drills at the team’s complex in Tampa, Fla. Wang might throw batting practice in the next few days.
CHICAGO: The Cubs haven’t won a season-opening series since they took two of three from the Mets in 2003. Last year, they split a two-game series in Cincinnati. … Mark DeRosa’s second-inning homer was the Cubs’ first of the season. It was the first time since 2001 that the Cubs failed to homer in either of their first two games. … 1B Derrek Lee will wear No. 42 on April 15, honoring the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier. Each team is allowed to have a player were the number, which has been retired by baseball.
CINCINNATI: Ken Griffey Jr. made his first error in right field since he was moved out of center. He had trouble tracking down Aramis Ramirez’s double into the corner in the fifth inning, allowing him to continue to third. … Starters Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo and Kyle Lohse all pitched at least six innings in the opening series. The last time the Reds had three starters go six innings in an opening series was 1992 – Jose Rijo, Tom Browning and Tim Belcher. … It was unseasonably warm Monday for the opener – 72 degrees. It was 39 degrees and 35 degrees for the next two games.
ATLANTA: LHP Mark Redman (11-10, 5.71 ERA with Kansas City last season) will make his first start in the home opener against the Mets on Friday. … The Braves are off to a 3-0 start for the first time since opening with seven straight wins in 1994. Their best start was 13-0 in 1982. … Even though the Mets and Braves are each 3-0 going into Friday night’s game, manager Bobby Cox downplayed the importance of the early series. “We play the schedule. We don’t play who is coming in,” he said.
n the team is in New York for a three-game series against the Mets. … LHP Jamie Moyer (11-14, 4.30 ERA with the Mariners and Phillies last year) faces the Marlins on Friday night.
ARIZONA: OF Scott Hairston left Thursday’s game in the first inning after fouling a ball off his left knee. The club said he bruised the knee; X-rays showed nothing was broken. He was listed as day to day. … OF Carlos Quentin hit off a tee Thursday and could take batting practice on the field Friday, manager Bob Melvin said. Quentin, on the 15-day DL with a slightly torn left labrum, will eventually go on a minor league rehab assignment but Melvin didn’t give a timetable. … SS Stephen Drew was out of the starting lineup Thursday to rest his right quadriceps, which he tweaked during spring training. Melvin said Drew is expected to play Friday. … RHP Micah Owings’ contract was selected from Triple-A Tucson so he can start Friday in his major league debut. RHP J.D. Durbin was designated for assignment.
WASHINGTON: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Manny Acta became the first manager since Bobby Cox in 1978 to earn his first win in the majors in a game in which his team trailed by as many as five runs. Washington trailed 5-0 against Florida on Wednesday before winning 7-6. … 1B Dmitri Young was thrilled to be asked by the Nationals if he wanted to wear No. 42 on April 15, when baseball celebrates the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the sport’s color barrier. “Too bad you can’t print facial expressions. I’m in awe,” Young said. … With a day off Monday, Acta said he’ll push all of his starters back a day, keeping the rotation the same.
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