Spring Fever

Astros 11, Mets 3

New York Mets righty Mike Pelfrey allowed four runs and six hits in five innings of an 11-3 loss to the Houston Astros Sunday, the day he was notified by manager Willie Randolph that he had made the starting rotation. Pelfrey struck out two and walked one and before Sunday's start, had allowed only two earned runs in 14 innings.

Randolph announced that John Maine, Oliver Perez and Pelfrey will fill out the three remaining spots in the rotation behind Tom Glavine and Orlando Hernandez, but did not say what order they'd be in. This news comes one day after Pelfrey's chief competitor, Chan Ho Park, was moved to the bullpen.

Mets outfielder Lastings Milledge was hit on the right hand by a ninth-inning Matt Albers pitch and left the game, but tests revealed only a bruise. He was prescribed anti-inflammatory medicine, ice and a few days off.

Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez remained in the game after feeling some discomfort in his left foot and went three innings, allowing three runs - two earned - and four hits. He struggled with location, walking four batters and striking out two.

Mike Lamb went 3-for-4 with three RBIs for the Astros.

Rangers 10, White Sox 2

Mark Buehrle was roughed up a bit in his final spring training start, but that was the least of the White Sox worries on Sunday. What really concerned the South Siders was backup catcher Toby Hall's partial shoulder dislocation.

Hall, who was playing first base, hurt himself when he dove for a ground ball in the ninth inning of Chicago's 10-2 loss to the Texas Rangers. He left the game and was taken to a hospital for x-rays, which found the subluxation. He is scheduled for an MRI on Monday and in case he starts the season on the disabled list, Chicago's third catcher is Wiki Gonzalez, a non-roster invitee.

Chicago shortstop Juan Uribe fell down chasing a popup in the fourth and had to leave the game an inning later with a right calf injury that is not considered serious.

Buerhle gave up two runs and four hits in the second - 12 hits and four runs over all six innings - helping the Rangers finish with 21 hits.

Rangers' right-hander Kameron Loe gave up his first earned runs in over 17 innings when the White Sox got two in the fifth. He allowed five hits and two runs over six innings - the longest stint by a Rangers' pitcher this spring. Loe had missed his previously scheduled start Thursday with neck stiffness.

Jerry Hairston Jr. finished with three hits and three RBIS for the Rangers.

Brewers 7, Rangers 6

A little over a year after he left the Kansas City Royals' camp to deal with social anxiety disorder, Zack Greinke is back in the club's starting rotation. He is set to be the Royals' #3 starter after a five-inning outing where he allowed four hits and three runs - two earned - during the Royals' 7-6 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. He struck out seven and has a 3.32 ERA in five spring appearances.

New Royals shortstop Tony Pena Jr.'s throwing error allowed two runs to score, and the other run scored when center fielder Mark Teahen lost Damian Miller's fly ball in the sun in classic Royals fashion. It's like a circus out there sometimes.

Plate umpire Travis Reininger ejected Brewers third baseman Tony Graffanino in the eighth inning after the two exchanged words. Unfortunately, teammate Kevin Mench pulled Graffanino away. He had a rough day, committing an error and going 0-for-4. He also grounded into a double play with the bases loaded in the eighth, to top it off.

Mench led the Brewers, going 3-for-4 with a two-run home run and Prince Fielder and Corey Hart each had two hits. Fielder's two-run double in the seventh put Milwaukee up, 7-6.

Joey Gathright went 2-for-4 for the Royals, including a two-run inside the park home run - always exciting. He also stole two bases, bringing his preseason total to five. Alex Gonzalez went 2-for-2, raising his average to .462, while John Buck had two hits, including a double, and is hitting .360.

[MLB] | [MiLB]