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Archive for Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wood, Prior ailing again

March 21, 2007

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Kerry Wood and Mark Prior could start the season on the Chicago Cubs' disabled list.

Wood, coming back from a torn right rotator cuff, threw 25 pitches off a mound Tuesday at the Cubs' spring-training complex in Mesa, Ariz. On March 11, he strained his right triceps while pitching against Milwaukee, and it's unclear whether he will be ready for the start of the season.

"Until we get him back out there and get him on a schedule, you just don't know," pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. "Hopefully he could, but it has to work for the team and it has to be in his best interests."

The 29-year-old Wood was just 1-2 with a 4.12 earned-run average last year and has a 12.00 ERA in three spring training appearances. If he's on the active roster, it most likely would be as a one-inning reliever.

The 26-year-old Prior was 1-6 with a 7.21 ERA last year when his season was cut short by a strained right shoulder. He is 0-1 with an 18.90 ERA in two spring training appearances, allowing seven runs and eight hits in 31â3 innings with five strikeouts and no walks.

"How many innings has he pitched?" manager Lou Piniella asked Monday. "You need 25 or so innings. In fairness to the person, is he going to be ready?"

In Tampa, Fla., the New York Yankees said Andy Pettitte is expected to miss his scheduled start on Friday because of back spasms.

"I don't anticipate it being a major problem," manager Joe Torre said. "He just got a little tightness. It seems to be pretty straightforward."

Pettitte first experienced the back problems while working out Monday, and his scheduled bullpen session Tuesday was canceled. Torre said that Pettitte should be ready for the start of the season if he is able to make a final spring training start next week.

"It kind of stiffened up after I got done," Pettitte said. "I left here and I was like, 'Don't worry about it. I'm good.' Then last night, my back just locked on me. I was still pretty locked up this morning. I loosened up a lot."

In Vero Beach, Fla., manager Grady Little's 2008 option was exercised by the Los Angeles Dodgers, who added a 2009 team option to his deal.

In Surprise, Ariz., Texas closer Eric Gagne pitched in a game for the first time this year and Barry Bonds hit his fifth home run.

Gagne pitched one inning, giving up a home run to Kevin Frandsen, in the Rangers' 4-3 win over the San Francisco Giants. The reliever, who signed a $6 million, one-year contract with Texas, is trying to return from elbow and back operations after being limited to 151â3 innings for the Los Angles Dodgers the last two years.

Nationals 3, Marlins 0

In Jupiter, Fla., Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez was taken out after the first inning because the team wanted to protect his strained right groin.

Pirates 3, Tigers 1

At Bradenton, Fla., Detroit starter Justin Verlander gave up three runs and five hits in four innings with two walks and four strikeouts. Last year's AL Rookie of the Year has an 8.31 ERA, allowing 12 runs in 13 innings.

Devil Rays 7, Indians 0

At St. Petersburg, Fla., Tampa Bay said left-hander Scott Kazmir will make his second straight opening-day start, pitching at Yankee Stadium on April 2.

Diamondbacks 8, Mariners 1

At Tucson, Ariz., Jeff Weaver gave up consecutive homers to Chris Young and Stephen Drew in a five-run first. In all, Weaver allowed six runs, seven hits and two walks in four innings. He has an 8.31 ERA.

Rockies 4, Cubs 2

At Tucson, Cubs closer Ryan Dempster returned to the mound for the first time in a week, pitching an inning and giving up a hit and a walk. Dempster had been bothered by shoulder spasms.

Athletics 5, White Sox 3

At Phoenix, Rich Harden struck out seven, walked two, allowed five hits and one run in five innings.

Red Sox 6, Twins 5

At Fort Myers, Fla., Josh Beckett allowed one hit in 42â3 innings then gave up four runs on five hits before retiring his next batter.

Cardinals 13, Dodgers 0

At Vero Beach, Anthony Reyes allowed four hits in five innings and lowered his ERA to 0.56. Chris Duncan hit his third homer in three games against Los Angeles.

Mets 6, Orioles 1

At Port St. Lucie, Fla., Mike Pelfrey allowed one run in five innings and has given up just two earned runs in 14 innings.

Yankees 2, Phillies 0

At Tampa, Fla., Kei Igawa took a major step toward earning a spot in New York's rotation at the start of the season, allowing two hits over five innings.

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