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Archive for Monday, March 13, 2006

Bonds homers in rare exhibition at-bat

March 13, 2006

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— San Francisco manager Felipe Alou didn't have Barry Bonds in his original lineup Sunday. He was certainly glad he went to a new version that included the slugger.

Bonds hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning of San Francisco's Cactus League game against the San Diego Padres, an impressive shot that traveled an estimated 380 feet into the right-field balcony seating in Scottsdale, Ariz.

It was Bonds' first exhibition homer in two years after he missed all of last spring following right knee surgery.

The Giants' slugger, who started in left field for the first time and made his second appearance after a start as designated hitter Thursday, hit a 2-1 curveball from Woody Williams to tie the game at 2 after he struck out looking leading off the second.

"We just want to get him ready on defense," Alou said. "To see him play left field now was more important than the home run he hit."

Mark Sweeney followed Bonds with a solo shot against his former club, which went on to beat San Francisco, 10-6.

Bonds received a warm welcome from the crowd when he came to the plate in the second for his third at-bat of the spring. He struck out on five pitches on a nasty inside fastball, and plate umpire Shawn Rakos enthusiastically called Bonds out.

Bonds isn't scheduled to travel today to Tucson for a game against the Diamondbacks and likely will go through a workout on his own at Scottsdale Stadium.

Soon, Bonds knows, he will need to start pushing himself a little harder to truly see what he can do.

"The everyday grind is how I'll know exactly where I am," he said. "That's when you can tell, when that bell rings is when the level goes up. There's going to be a time here I'm going to have to pretend it's like the real opening-day season and put a lot of stress on my body and see how I come out of that. The best time to do that is down here."

Meanwhile, in Peoria, Ariz., Seattle first baseman Richie Sexson was a late scratch from the Mariners' lineup after his right quadriceps muscle tightened during morning stretching.

Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said Sexson was scratched as a precaution. Roberto Petagine, subbing for Sexson at first base, hit a solo home run in Seattle's 4-2 win over the Texas Rangers.

Sexson, who had 39 home runs and 121 RBIs last season, had a "tweak," according to Hargrove. "It's not a bad thing," Hargrove said.

Orioles 3, Mets 2, 10 innings

At Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Val Majewski doubled home the tiebreaking run in the 10th, and the Orioles snapped a five-game losing streak.

Twins 6, Red Sox 3

At Fort Myers, Fla., Michael Cuddyer homered, and the Twins finished with 11 hits. Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run homer for Boston.

Indians 7, Yankees 5

At Winter Haven, Fla., Indians slugger Travis Hafner hit a two-run double, and C.C. Sabathia allowed one earned run and two hits in four innings.

Blue Jays 3, Tigers 1

At Lakeland, Fla., Roy Halladay struck out six in four scoreless innings to lead the Blue Jays. The right-hander allowed two hits and walked one.

Braves 4, Cardinals 3

At Kissimmee, Fla., Edgar Renteria went 2-for-3 with three RBIs for Atlanta. He hit a two-run homer off Brandon Looper in the fifth.

Marlins 5, Nationals 2

At Jupiter, Fla., Florida shortstop Hanley Ramirez hit two home runs, and right-hander Josh Johnson gave up one hit over four shutout innings.

Phillies 4, Reds 1

At Clearwater, Fla., Ryan Madson allowed one run in 32â3 innings, and Alex Gonzalez hit a solo home run for Philadelphia.

Devil Rays 7, Pirates 4

At Bradenton, Fla., Tampa Bay's Casey Fossum threw three scoreless innings in a matchup of starting pitchers from Midway High in Waco, Texas. Pittsburgh starter Zach Duke, who was six years behind Fossum at Midway, was tagged for six runs - five earned - and five hits in four innings.

Dodgers 7, Astros 0

At Vero Beach, Fla., Dodgers closer Eric Gagne threw a shutout inning in his second spring-training game. Gagne, recovering from a torn ligament in his right elbow, allowed a single, struck out two and walked a batter.

Angels (ss) 6, White Sox 1

At Tucson, Ariz., White Sox reliever Dustin Hermanson left Chicago's loss in the seventh inning after experiencing pain in his lower back.

Los Angeles starter Jered Weaver gave up only two hits in four shutout innings.

Angels 5 (ss), Athletics (ss) 4

At Phoenix, Mike Napoli drove in the winning run in the seventh for the Angels.

Eric Chavez has hit safely in four straight, going 5-for-10 with two home runs and driving in five during that span.

Athletics 9 (ss), Rockies 5

At Tucson, Ariz., Dan Johnson went 2-for-4 with a double and four RBIs, and Adam Melhuse homered for Oakland.

Cubs 11, Brewers 5

At Phoenix, Michael Restovich hit a three-run homer, and Aramis Ramirez added a two-run shot for Chicago. Cubs right-hander Greg Maddux allowed one run and two hits in the first three innings to lower his spring earned-run average to 1.80 in two outings.

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