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Archive for Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Cubs’ Prior expected to be out until May

March 31, 2004

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The Chicago Cubs will have to wait awhile before Mark Prior returns to the mound.

Pedro Martinez has only five days to bounce back from an ugly outing.

Prior probably won't pitch until May because of inflammation in his right Achilles' tendon and a stiff elbow.

"I'd say May 1 or the first week of May is optimistic," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said Tuesday in Mesa, Ariz. "He's a guy that I don't think needs more than three or four weeks to get ready."

Prior returned to spring training after spending Monday in Chicago, where he had an MRI and bone scan on his Achilles' tendon and right arm.

The 23-year-old right-hander has not pitched in a spring training game because of the Achilles' injury and was already expected to begin the season on the disabled list.

He had been throwing off a mound this spring, but he's also felt "stiffness" in his pitching elbow.

Both the Cubs and Prior said the MRI and bone scan showed nothing but inflammation in the heel and elbow.

"It was completely away from the ligament and was more down on the bone," Prior said, referring to the elbow stiffness.

Prior was 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA and 245 strikeouts in his first full big-league season last year, finishing third in voting for the NL Cy Young Award.

In Dunedin, Fla., Martinez's final outing of the spring didn't last long.

The Boston Red Sox ace was tagged for two homers and six runs before getting an out in a 13-8 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Expos 3, Marlins 3 (10)

At Jupiter, Fla., All-Star third baseman Mike Lowell was hit by a pitch twice. The benches cleared and Florida manager Jack McKeon was ejected.

Braves 6, Dodgers 5

At Kissimmee, Fla., Chipper Jones homered for the third straight game, and Andruw Jones also connected.

Indians 7, Mets 2

At Winter Haven, Fla., Chad Durbin pitched four more solid innings after learning he'd lost out to Jason Stanford in the competition for the final spot in Cleveland's rotation.

Reds 8, Twins 2

At Sarasota, Fla., Ryan Freel had three hits for Cincinnati, which played without Ken Griffey Jr. He sat out because of a strained right calf, injured the previous night.

Orioles 10, Cardinals 2

At Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Sidney Ponson pitched five effective innings in his final tuneup before his first opening-day start, and Baltimore roughed up Chris Carpenter.

Pirates 6, Phillies 5

At Bradenton, Fla., Jose Castillo gave the Pirates another reason to make him their starting second baseman when he hit a pinch-hit homer off David Coggin in the ninth.

Angels 15, Rangers 6

At Surprise, Ariz., Vladimir Guerrero drove in five runs for Anaheim. Garret Anderson and Troy Glaus hit consecutive homers.

Athletics 7, Brewers 6

At Phoenix, Eric Chavez hit a two-run homer, and Erubiel Durazo also drove in two runs for Oakland.

Mariners 16, Cubs 4

At Mesa, Ariz., Quinton McCracken hit a two-run homer for Seattle, and Hiram Bocachica had a three-run shot. Raul Ibanez went 3-for-3.

Rockies 7, Diamondbacks 1

At Tucson, Ariz., Scott Elarton cemented his claim as the No. 4 starter in Colorado's rotation, giving up one run on four hits through six innings.

White Sox 10, Giants 3

At Scottsdale, Ariz., Barry Bonds hit a long homer over the batting cage in right field, his sixth of the spring.

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