Angels Hand Out Nine Contracts

The Los Angeles Angels gave contracts to nine players and renewed deals with two others on Friday, including righthander Jered Weaver.

The 24-year-old Weaver won his first nine decisions before a 2-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox last August, finishing with an 11-2 record and a 2.56 ERA with 105 strikeouts over 19 starts.

Also coming to terms on a new contract was right-hander Ervin Santana, who was 16-8 with a 4.28 ERA with 141 strikeouts in 2006. Over two seasons, he is 28-16 with a 4.42 ERA, averaging 7.99 strikeouts per nine - the American League's second-best mark behind Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana.

Left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders, who went 7-3 with a 4.71 ERA last year, was given a new deal, as well.

[Los Angeles Angels]

Mets Agree To Terms With Thirteen Players

The New York Mets agreed to terms with 13 players on Friday, including right-handed pitchers John Maine and Aaron Heilman and outfielder Lastings Milledge, with undisclosed financial terms.

Maine, 25, was 6-5 with a 3.65 ERA in 16 appearances last season, going 1-0 with an impressive 2.63 ERA in three postseason starts.

Heading a group of talented set-up men, Heilman posted a 12-18 record with a 4.34 ERA in 146 appearances last season.

Milledge hit .241 with four homers and 22 RBIs in 56 games last season as a prized prospect and is heading into spring training attempting to seal the deal for a spot as a reserve outfielder.

[New York Mets]

The Angry Lohse and Other News

Minnesota Twins center fielder Torii Hunter was nailed in the head by a first-inning pitch from former teammate Kyle Lohse on Friday night and left for the remainder of the game against the Cincinnati Reds. He was hit on the left side of his batting helmet and did not appear to lose consciousness or have any signs of a concussion.

Lohse, who was traded to the Reds last July after five-plus seasons with Minnesota, had runners at second and third and was trailing 1-0 when he hit Hunter. After lying in the dirt around home plate for close to four minutes, Hunter walked back to the dugout with a trainer on each side of him. When Lohse walked over to check on Torii, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire - whose office door was bashed in by Lohse last season - patted him on the shoulder as to say, "It's alright, buddy. I won't punch you in the face."

Lohse lasted two-thirds of an inning and left with a mild strain of his right hamstring before being replaced by Brian Meadows.

In other Twins news, injured left-handed phenom Francisco Liriano and righty Boof Bonser were each inked to 2007 contracts, along with 21 other players on Friday. Liriano wowed the American League in 2006, going 12-3 with a 2.16 ERA in 28 games - 16 starts. The 6-2, 200-pound Dominican was named to the All-Star team before a season-ending elbow injury forced him into Tommy John surgery. Bonser was 7-6 with a 4.22 ERA in 18 starts and is vying for a permanent spot in the Twins rotation.

[Minnesota Twins]


Spring Fever

Milwaukee 21, San Francisco (ss) 2

It wasn't the world's greatest Sping Training debut for Barry Bonds, as he lost a fly ball in the sun and went down swinging at a high pitch so far out of the zone it almost nailed Blue in the mask.

He went 0-for-2 in the Giants' 21-2 loss to a Brewers split squad, disappointing the 7,380 fans who packed Scottsdale Stadium for the Giants' home exhibition opener. A first-pitch ground-out ended the first inning for Bonds and he struck out swinging on four pitches by Milwaukee prospect Yovani Gallardo, a 21-year-old righty who led all minor leaguers with 188 Ks last year.

Matt Cain had a 1-2-3 first inning, then struggled through the second - the day after agreeing to a $9 million, four-year contract. Hernan Iribarren hit a three-run homer and Ryan Braun hit a solo shot, his third long ball in two days after connecting twice in a win over Oakland on Thursday. JD Closser added a two-run bomb, helping Milwaukee finish with 24 hits total. Left fielder Geoff Jenkins got hit in the groin late in the game, always funny, but not serious.

NY Yankees 3, Tampa Bay 1

With his own retirement on the back burner for now, Andy Pettitte threw 20 pitches - 15 strikes - retiring all six batters he faced Friday. Chris Basak's three-run homer in the eighth inning off Ruddy Lugo gave the Yankees the lead and Shawn Riggans drove in Tampa Bay's run with a seventh-inning infield single, while Devil Rays offseason acquisition Akinori Iwamura went 0-for-2 in his spring debut.

For the second day in a row, the Yankees received two perfect innings from their starting pitcher.

San Diego 3, Seattle 2

After dropping 20 pounds in the offseason, ace Felix Hernandez allowed one run in two uneven innings during San Diego's 3-2 win over Seattle. The 20-year-old ------- gave up a solo homer by Paul McAnulty, an infield single and a walk, overthrowing most of his pitches up high. The first teenager to strikeout 10 batters in a game since Dwight Gooden in 1984, Hernandez said he's in the best shape of his life.

Chris Young, who will be San Diego's #2 starter this season, allowed two runs on three hits in a 24-pitch first inning with Raul Ibanez hitting a 3-2 fastball far over the right-field pen for a trip around the bases.

Ichiro Suzuki went 0-for-2 after sitting out Thursday's charity exhibition against San Diego. The fast-as-lightning, six-time All-Star lappeared safe on an infield chopper to shortstop in the third inning, but was called out.

San Diego 2B Marcus Giles, reunited with his brother Brian on their hometown team after he signed a one-year contract in December, went 2-for-3 with a double.

Arizona 10, White Sox 3

Infielder Alberto Callaspo went 2-for-3 with a run scored in the Diamondbacks' 10-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday. He led off the first inning with a line-drive single off Jose Contreras, moved up on a pair of wild pitches and scored on Chad Tracy's groundout. Callaspo, who started at second base, added another single in the fourth off of Wes Wisler.

While Callaspo was making a strong impression, Contreras, Chicago's Opening Day starter, walked three and threw two wild pitches, all in the first inning. To save face, he laid down the perfect sacrifice bunt against Arizona's Livan Hernandez, his former teammate on the Cuban national team, who allowed one run and three hits in three innings for the victory.

Arizona's Randy Johnson threw in the outfield on Friday and is scheduled to throw off a mound on Sunday and could pitch batting practice as early as next week.

[MLB] and [MiLB]

What A Bargain!

The Philadelphia Phillies renewed NL MVP Ryan Howard's contract Friday, giving the first baseman a $900,000 salary after the two sides had failed to agree on a long-term deal.

The left-handed slugger, who earned a meager $355,000 last year, hit .313 with 58 homers and 149 RBIs last season.

Howard said he was frustrated and a little disappointed that a long-term deal couldn't be reached, but he's ready to start the season. The highest previous one-year contract for a player as Howard, not eligible for arbitration, had been awarded to Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood, who made $690,000 in 2002.

[ABC News]

Season Preview: The Pittsburgh Pirates

Yarr. Nearing the end of our 2007 season preview of the National League Central is a sneak peak at the Pittsburgh Pirates' upcoming year.

Homegrown pitchers Zach Duke, Paul Maholm, Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny combined to make 107 starts last year and are set to lead the Pirates in what they hope will be a winning season - their first in 14 straight years.

Duke is the most experienced member of the group, with 48 big league starts notched in his belt. However, the 23-year-old southpaw still has plenty of room to grow after a 2006 season where he won only 10 of his 25 decisions and finished with a 4.47 ERA and opponent's batting average of .302. Maholm, 24, struggled early on in 2006 as well, dropping 8 of his first 11 decisions before the lefty bounced back in the second half, winning 5 of his last 7 decisions to finish with an 8-10 record and a 4.76 ERA.

The scrappy right-handed Snell, 25, emerged as the staff ace by winning 14 games with 169 strikeouts in 186 innings. Gorzelanny may be the most talented of the four. The lefty was one of the top pitchers in AAA before being promoted to the bigs for good on July 6th, going 2-1 with a 2.63 ERA over an impressive five-start stretch before being sidelined by a sore left elbow. The 24-year-old recovered from the injury just in time to make three starts in September.

While Pittsburgh's bullpen certainly took a hit when Mike Gonzalez was traded to the Atlanta Braves in January, the relievers are still expected to be one of the team's greatest strengths in 2007.

After serving primarily as a setup man for the past three seasons, Salomon Torres should be able to thrive in the closer role. The rubber-armed Torres tied the franchise record by appearing in 94 games with the Bucs and his 1.22 ERA after the All-Star break was the second best among all relievers.

Left-handers John Grabow and Damaso Marte and righty Matt Capps have also proven to be reliable late-inning options, and they'll all be back for 2007. Grabow appeared in a career-high 72 games and stranded an NL-best 82.5% of the runners he inherited. Marte, in his second stint with the Pirates, posted a 3.70 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 58.1 innings over a career-high 75 appearances. Capps went 9-1 with a 3.79 ERA with 56 K's and just 12 walks in 80.2 innings, leading all Major League rookies with 85 appearances and is expected to take over for Torres as the top setup man from the right side. The bullpen became even deeper this winter when the Pirates signed veteran right-hander Dan Kolb to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training. Kolb, 31, had 39 saves in 2004 with the Brewers, but in 2006, he went 2-2 with one save and a 4.84 ERA in 53 appearances.

The remaining members of the relief corps that will compete for the final spots in the bullpen include right-handers Josh Sharpless, Brian Rogers, Jonah Bayliss, Jesse Chavez and Franquelis Osoria along with lefty Juan Perez.

The Pittsburgh Pirates settled their outfield situation this offseason by acquiring first baseman Adam LaRoche in the mid-January trade that allowed Xavier Nady to shift to right field on a full-time basis. However, the question of center fielder Chris Duffy's consistency in the leadoff spot still looms. While his production is one of the Pirates' biggest uncertainties, left fielder Jason Bay is about as close as the Bucs have to a sure thing. Jose Bautista, Nate McLouth and a healthy Jody Gerut will serve as Pittsburgh's reserve outfielders.

Shortstop Jack Wilson and second baseman Jose Castillo entered last season as one of the best double-play combinations in all of baseball. One incredibly disappointing season later, the Pirates' middle infield duo are looking to reestablish themselves among the best in the National League. Wilson, who is the longest active Pirate, has been making highlight-reel plays since taking over the starting job at short as a rookie in 2001. That scenario has taken a decided turn as he committed a career-high 18 errors last season with a .972 fielding percentage, appearing to be a bit slower after bulking up during the previous offseason. Castillo also looked sluggish on the field after putting on additional weight while rehabbing a knee injury. He committed a career-high 18 errors as well, while posting a career-low .975 fielding percentage. Castillo also struggled at the plate, batting just .224 over the final four months of the season, including a miserable 8-for-73 at the end of the year.

With Nady off to the outfield, lefty LaRoche will hold down the first base corner. He hit .285 with 32 homers and 82 RBIs last season with the Braves, and is expected to do the same in his fourth season in the majors. Third base will be filled by NL batting champion Freddy Sanchez, despite lacking the power of a typical corner infielder. The right-hander has shown that he can be a huge presence in the middle of the lineup with his league-leading 53 doubles and 85 RBIs and .386 average with runners in scoring position while hitting just six home runs last season.

The Pirates will once again have several options behind the plate with a top prospect knocking down the door as well. Catcher Ronny Paulino, 25, jumped to the top of the depth chart after an outstanding rookie season in 2006, finishing second among all NL rookies with a .310 batting average. The 25-year-old, switch-hitting backup Ryan Doumit, must stay healthy if he wants any chance at taking the starting job away from Paulino. He spent half of last season on the DL due to a left hamstring tear and appeared in just 61 games. The top two contenders to fill the backup role behind Doumit are Humberto Cota and Carlos Maldonado.

The Bucs finished last season with a terrible 67-95 record, 16.5 games behind the division-leading and eventual World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. One obvious way to improve their play this season would be to start winning games on the road. In 2006, they recorded only 24 victories in their 81 games away from PNC Park.

[Depth Chart]

Dentist Seeks Lidle Estate's Riches

Dr. Lawrence Rosenthal, a dentist to the rich and famous, has filed a $7 million lawsuit against the estate of late New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, claiming his home was destroyed when the ballplayer's small airplane crashed into his apartment building.

After Lidle's Cirrus SR-20 aircraft crashed into the Manhattan building where Rosenthal lived with his wife and teenage son, they were forced to vacate their 43rd-floor apartment.

Rosenthal, whose patients include Donald Trump, Bruce Springsteen and Catherine Zeta-Jones, said his apartment sustained "severe damage, including broken windows, smoke damage, loose bricks and other extensive damage" that forced them out.

The plane, killing Lidle and flight instructor Tyler Stanger, hit the Upper East Side building on the 30th floor, 13 floors below Rosenthal's apartment.

Rosenthal's lawyer said Thursday that "everything was destroyed" in his client's home, forcing the family to rent while waiting to return. Their home is actually three apartments joined to make one that is worth several million dollars. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Manhattan state Supreme Court, names Lidle's wife, Melanie Lidle, as the defendant and responsible party for her late husband's estate.

Ms. Lidle's lawyer issued a statement saying attorneys for the Lidle and Stanger families had filed wrongful-death lawsuits against Cirrus Design Corp., alleging product liability, negligence and other complaints.

If Rosenthal's name seems familiar, it's because he was in the news in January, when he sued best-selling author Ellen Fein for $5 million after she called him a quack on LyingDentist.com and BadDentist.com, accusing him of "ruining her mouth." Dr. Rosenthal has been sued on at least twelve separate occasions for malpractice and sexual abuse, but seems to find his way out of trouble financially.

[Gaurdian Unlimited]

Padres Give Gonzalez, Hensley Contracts

The San Diego Padres and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez agreed to a one-year contract Thursday that will pay him $380,500 - $500 more than the major league minimum - after batting .304 with 24 homers and 82 RBIs last season.

The club also came to terms with pitcher Clay Hensley on a one-year, $392,000 deal. The right-hander struck out 122 batters and went 11-12 with a 3.71 ERA in 29 starts last year, including 8 relief appearances.

[Mercury News]

Giants Give Cain Four Year Deal

Right-hander Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants agreed Thursday to a $9 million, four-year contract, including a club option for 2011.

The 22-year-old led rookies with 13 wins and 179 strikeouts last season, going 13-12 with a 4.15 ERA in 190.2 innings and finished in a tie for fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting. Cain also led the Giants in victories.

He started last season 1-5 with a 7.04 ERA over his initial seven starts, having his turn in the rotation skipped during a May trip to Houston. He made one relief appearance, then was 12-7 with a 3.34 ERA in his final 24 outings, which included the two innings out of the bullpen after pitching a one-hitter against Oakland on May 21st.


Spring Fever

Florida 8, Baltimore 6

Making his debut with Baltimore, Steve Trachsel gave up three runs, four hits and a walk Thursday in the Orioles' 8-6 loss to the Florida Marlins. It was his first time on the hill since last October, when he gave up five runs and five hits to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of the NLCS, his last stint with the New York Mets.

Unlike Trachsel, Jeremy Guthrie enjoyed an impressive spring training debut with the O's, tossing two hitless innings and striking out one.

Atlanta 7, LA Dodgers 2

Kyle Davies is off to a promising start for the Atlanta Braves this spring after throwing two strong innings Thursday in a 7-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, retiring all six batters he faced and throwing 11 of 17 pitches for strikes. Braves infield prospect Yunel Escobar went 3-for-3, while Jarrod Saltalamacchia (huh?) had a two-run single that helped bust the game open in the sixth.

Dodgers starter Randy Wolf, who signed during the offseason as a free agent, gave up four hits and a run in two innings.

LA Angels 7, Kansas City 6

Angels starter Ervin Santana struck out two and walked two in two innings against the Kansas City Royals and Gary Matthews, Jr. went 0-for-2 in the Angels' 7-6 victory in their exhibition opener. Distracted, maybe?

The Royals' Brian Bannister started and gave up one hit and struck out one in two innings. Another newcomer on Kansas City's revamped pitching staff, Joakim Soria, had one strikeout in two innings.

NY Yankees 6, Minnesota 1

Johnny Damon hit a leadoff home run, Jason Giambi also homered and Chien-Ming Wang pitched two perfect innings as the New York Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins 6-1 Thursday in an exhibition opener.

Carlos Silva allowed five runs and four hits over two innings, using 42 pitches, including 26 in the first inning alone with absolutely no movement on his slider.

[MLB] and [MiLB]


Spring Fever

Cleveland 13, Houston 2

Cleveland's Jake Westbrook and six relievers combined for five hits in a 13-2 victory over the Houston Astros, with Victor Martinez getting three hits, including a three-run shot.

Westbrook allowed two hits, one walk and one run in two innings with five outs on grounders, including a double play by infield duo Jhonny Peralta and Josh Barfield.

Signed by Houston in December, 40-year-old Woody Williams allowed two runs and three hits in two innings, striking out two. Jason Lane homered and Adam Everett had an RBI single for the Astros.

Paul Byrd followed Westbrook and gave up one hit over two scoreless innings, striking out two while Rafael Perez and Edward Mujica worked one hitless inning apiece for Cleveland.

Houston's Brian Moehler gave up three runs in one inning and Juan Gutierrez allowed two runs and four hits over two innings. Lincoln Holdzkom allowed five runs and four hits in 2/3 of an inning. Non-roster invitee Mike Rose and minor-leaguer Alan Zinter each had two RBIs for Cleveland.

Red Sox (ss) 11, Northeastern 0

Josh Beckett allowed a single to the first batter then struck out five of the remaining six he faced as the Boston Red Sox split squad went on to an 11-0, 7-inning victory over Northeastern on Thursday.

Boston's Class-A third baseman Scott White, blasted a two-run homer in the fifth inning and then hit a grand slam in the sixth to bring it to 10-Zip.

The split squad also lost to Toronto 4-1 in Dunedin with a little help from Aaron Hill's two-run bomb in the fourth off of Devern Hansack.

They have two more home games on Friday -- in the afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays and at night when Daisuke Matsuzaka makes his first spring training start against Boston College.

Cincinnati 9, Pirates 7

Josh Hamilton's seventh-inning homer sailed over the flags above the batter's backdrop, fifty feet high and far beyond the 400-foot mark in center, highlighting the Cincinnati Reds' 9-7 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday, the exhibition opener for both clubs.

Brandon Phillips and Mark Bellhorn each hit two-run home runs in the fifth inning off of Pirates' closer Salomon Torres, who allowed four hits and a walk in just one inning.

Luis Matos, in camp on a minor-league contract, homered twice for Pittsburgh while top prospect Andrew McCutchen homered and doubled in his first two at-bats.

Reds starter Eric Milton gave up six hits and a walk in two innings, but only two runs - each on home runs - to McCutchen in the first and Matos in the second, but stranded four runners.

Pirates starter Zach Duke pitched two innings and gave up his only hit on Dunn's homer. They trailed 9-5 in the ninth, but with one out and the bags full, Javier Guzman bounced into a run-scoring forceout before Rajai Davis hit an RBI double. Guzman was thrown out at the plate for the final out.

[MLB] and [MiLB]

Rangers, Young Come To Terms

The Texas Rangers agreed to terms with All-Star shortstop Michael Young on a new contract extension Thursday worth $80 million over 5 years. In franchise history, the deal is second only to Alex Rodriguez's 10-year, $252 million contract cut in 2000.

Acquired in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays in July of 2000, the 30-year-old Young is a career .300 hitter with 94 homers and 476 RBIs. He batted .314 with 14 home runs and a career-high 103 RBIs last year, his sixth full season with Texas.

The 2005 American League batting champion is currently under contract for the 2007 season, with a $5 million club option for 2008. The Rangers are expected to hold a news conference on Friday to officially announce the deal.


Journeyman Pitcher Becomes Billionaire

Matt White, a journeyman pitcher trying to make the Los Angeles Dodgers, has appeared in seven big league games in nine professional seasons, and describes himself as "a minor league guy who's played winter ball to make ends meet." But he could become baseball's first billionaire player, no thanks to his arm.

He is the proud owner of a rock quarry in western Massachusetts.

White paid his elderly aunt $50,000 three years ago for 50 acres of land, so she could afford to pay for a nursing home. He had the property surveyed after he discovered stone ledges in the ground while clearing out a couple acres to build a home, and a geologist estimated there were 24 million tons of the stone on his land that could be sold for around $100 per ton.

"I guess you could say the property is for sale," White said with a chuckle. "We'll have to see how things turn out. I don't even know where to start. I'm in the process now of getting in touch with business-savvy guys, finding out how much to ask."

The left-hander signed a minor league contract last December with the Dodgers and has appeared in 254 minor league games, starting 136 of them. His big league career includes three games each for Boston and Seattle in 2003, and one for Washington in 2005, going 0-2 and allowing 18 earned runs over 9.2 innings. Ouch. Don't quit your day job, buddy.

[FOX News]

Blah Blah Steroids

It seems someone has snitched on Gary Matthews Jr., as his name was allegedly on the list of a steroid distribution network's customers.

The Angels' center fielder spoke with reporters shortly before taking the field at the club's spring training camp, saying he would not answer specific questions regarding the allegation.

"I haven't read the story myself, and I don't have all the information. So until I get more information, this is going to be my position. I do expect it to resolve itself here in the near future. Until we can get more information, I just can't comment on it," he said.

The District Attorney for Albany County, P. David Soares, who led the investigation into Applied Pharmacy Services, said that a few athletes' names were on the client list, but he would not identify any of them.

The Times Union of Albany, on the other hand, reported that the names of Jose Canseco and former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield were allegedly included on customer lists in addition to Matthews'. The two owners have been indicted by an Albany County grand jury.

Angels owner Arte Moreno said the club was seeking more information about the report, and that he, GM Bill Stoneman and manager Mike Scioscia met with Matthews on the subject, telling him that they were willing to give the slugger some time, but wanted him to be honest with them.

Matthews hit .313 last season with the Texas Rangers, hitting 19 home runs and driving in 79 runs.


Art Imitates Baseball

The Colorado Rockies are conducting a Jackie Robinson Youth Artistic Contest for elementary and middle school students at 100 schools in the Denver area. This event was inspired by local artist Darrell Anderson, who 10 year ago, made his own artistic tribute to the icon who broke through baseball's color barrier in 1947.

The theme of the art contest is "Breaking Barriers" and students may submit anything artistic to describe what breaking barriers means to them. Poetry, music, art or a video presentation of dance and drama which may focus on Robinson or a personal experience relating to the theme are all acceptable.

The year 1997 marked the 50th anniversary of breaking into the Majors with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Anderson painted his portrait with help through sponsorships from Don Baylor and his wife, along with local businesses. While touring ballparks to bring awareness to students, the legend's daughter, Sharon Robinson, was given the portrait as a gift and the 900 other prints were sold out completely.

"I know I like to keep my hands involved with kids and inspire them to find their own personality in art, and I think what the Rockies are doing is fantastic," Anderson said.

[DarrellAnderson.com] and [Colorado Rockies]

Spring Fever

Twins 4, Red Sox 4

Wouldn't you know, my and Lizzy's first rivalry of the season would end in a tie. Matt Garza, the Twins' minor league pitcher of the year last season, pitched two scoreless innings, making a positive impression for his bid on the team's rotation while striking out Big Papi on a slider in the first inning.

The Twins had taken a 1-0 lead in the third against Boston's closer candidate Joel Pineiro on a single by Jason Bartlett, a throwing error by Julio Lugo at short, then an RBI single by Rondell White.

The Red Sox went ahead 4-1 against Scott Baker with two runs in both the third and fourth innings. Lugo and Ortiz singled in runs in the third and Jacoby Ellsbury doubled home two in the fourth. Curt Schilling allowed two hits for Boston before Julian Tavarez gave up a three-run shot in the fifth to AL batting champ Joe Mauer.

The Twins almost took the lead in the ninth, but right fielder Alex Ochoa turned a double play by catching Alexi Casilla's fly ball and throwing out Luis Rodriguez at home after he tagged up. Ochoa, showing off a prospective cannon, also threw out a runner at second in the fifth.

Center fielder Torii Hunter is day-to-day after bending a fingernail back while sliding.

Cardinals 6, Marlins 3

World Series closer Adam Wainwright pitched three hitless innings for the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday to help beat the Florida Marlins 6-3 in the exhibition opener for both teams.

Wainwright, who earned the win, walked one, but used only 30 pitches - 15 strikes - to get through the first 10 batters. After filling in for an injured Jason Isringhausen last October, allowing no earned runs in 9.2 posteseason innings, Wainwright will likely be a starter this season, unless Isringhausen suffers a setback in his rehab from hip surgery.

Former Cardinals left-handed pitcher-turned outfielder Rick Ankiel went 2-for-2 with a two-run single but was thrown out at the plate twice, as he bids for a spot on the roster.

Florida lefty starter Scott Olsen took the loss, allowing one run and four hits in 1.2 innings and Ricky Nolasco pitched two scoreless innings for the Marlins.

Rockies 12, White Sox 4

Competing for Colorado's #1 starter spot, Aaron Cook allowed one hit in two scoreless innings Wednesday, helping the Rockies start the exhibition season with a 12-4 victory over the White Sox.

Chicago's Mark Buehrle, on the other hand, allowed four runs and six hits in the first two innings, while Jon Garland gave up seven runs - six earned - and eight hits in the next two innings.

Outfielder Brad Hawpe just pounded the ball off those two: a two-run double off Buehrle and a double and a single against Garland. Matt Holliday went 2-for-3 with a single and a two-run homer, while Garrett Atkins and Javy Lopez had two hits apiece for the Marlins.

Joe Crede and Juan Uribe each had two hits for the White Sox.

Bobby Jenks, who led the South Siders with 41 saves last year, hit Jayson Nix and walked another batter before being taken out after just nine pitches due to tightness in his right shoulder. He'll be evaluated Thursday.

[MLB] and [MiLB]