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Archive for Monday, March 14, 2005

Johnson, Lowe looking good

Orioles’ Saunders continues improbable comeback

March 14, 2005

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Randy Johnson, Derek Lowe and Mike Hampton all had outstanding outings.

Tony Saunders was thrilled just to be back on a major-league mound.

Trying an improbable comeback after twice breaking his left forearm while pitching, Saunders worked one inning for Baltimore during its 5-3 victory over St. Louis in a split-squad game Sunday.

"I know it's one little insignificant inning in a game, but it felt good," said Saunders, who pitched in a game for the first time since breaking his arm with Class-A St. Petersburg on Aug. 24, 2000.

"I know I can do that now," he added.

St. Louis' Scott Rolen broke out of an 0-for-11 slump with his first home run. Sammy Sosa hit his second homer for Baltimore, a towering shot to right.

At Kissimmee, Fla., Johnson made his second start with the Yankees, throwing four scoreless innings in an 8-2 victory over Houston, his former team.

"I think this was a good barometer for me because the biggest thing was that I was able to go from two innings to four innings without any problems," Johnson said. "By the time I felt like I was just getting my work in during my last start, I was done. I wasn't happy with everything I threw, but I felt like I was starting to settle in a little bit more."

At Vero Beach, Fla., Lowe allowed one run and three hits in five innings, and Los Angeles got home runs from Jeff Kent and Norihiro Nakamura in a 7-2 victory over Florida.

Lowe has started three games this spring, giving up only one run and seven hits in 12 innings.

"I'm probably like everyone else, two or three weeks away," he said. "I probably couldn't throw 100 or 110 pitches effectively right now. But with three more starts, I think I'll be ready."

At Jupiter, Fla., Hampton had his third straight strong start, allowing one hit in four innings for Atlanta, which lost 7-3 to a St. Louis split squad.

Always a good hitter, he even connected for a two-run homer off Mark Mulder.

In other games:

Mets 7, Tigers 6

At Lakeland, Fla., Kris Benson had his second solid outing, and Chris Woodward tripled twice, moving closer to earning a utility spot with New York.

Twins 4, Red Sox 2

At Fort Myers, Fla., Boston starter Matt Clement gave up three runs and seven hits in four innings.

Angels 3, Cubs 2

At Tempe, Ariz., John Lackey pitched three scoreless innings despite a blister on his right index finger for the Angels.

Blue Jays 5, Devil Rays 0

At St. Petersburg, Fla., Dave Bush pitched two-hit ball for four innings, and Alex Rios had two hits and scored three times.

Indians 10, Reds 1

At Sarasota, Fla., Scott Elarton allowed only two singles in four scoreless innings.

Nationals 11, Orioles (ss) 4

At Viera, Fla., Esteban Loaiza pitched five solid innings, and Washington scored nine times in the fifth.

Phillies 9, Pirates 7

At Clearwater, Fla., Pat Burrell homered twice, and Bobby Abreu added a solo shot for Philadelphia.

Athletics (ss) 3, Diamondbacks (ss) 0

At Phoenix, Dan Haren and four relievers combined on a five-hitter for Oakland.

Diamondbacks (ss) 15, Brewers 11

At Phoenix, the Diamondbacks scored five in the seventh, two in the eighth and six in the ninth. Arizona had 21 hits, with seven players getting two apiece.

Mariners 7, Rangers 6

At Surprise, Ariz., Alfonso Soriano homered to snap an 0-for-17 start this spring. Seattle's Raul Ibanez finished 2-for-3 to raise his spring-training average to .519 (14-for-27).

White Sox 9, Rockies 8

At Tucson, Ariz., Orlando Hernandez pitched four scoreless innings, and Joe Borchard doubled twice and drove in four runs.

Padres 5, Athletics (ss) 1

At Peoria, Ariz., Khalil Greene had two hits and three RBIs to snap an 0-for-17 drought.

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