Hoffman out with strained muscle

Updated: March 17, 2009, 11:12 PM ET
Associated Press

The Milwaukee Brewers may have to look at some other options at closer with Trevor Hoffman sidelined by a strain on his right side. The Phillies' plan to start Cole Hamels on opening day also is in flux.

Hoffman, baseball's career saves leader, has missed one scheduled appearance this spring. He signed with the Brewers in January after spending most of his career with San Diego.

"We are going to proceed cautiously, as we have done with all these injuries," Brewers manager Ken Macha said Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz. "Every little thing you are concerned about, but the trainers aren't very concerned about it. They think he'll be fine."

Hoffman felt the injury the day after pitching a scoreless sixth inning in a 5-1 victory over Kansas City on March 13.

"The way Trevor told me, he didn't feel anything after his inning. He didn't feel anything on the bench. But driving in the next morning, he felt something," Macha said.

The Brewers open the regular season April 7 at San Francisco. Right-handers David Riske, Todd Coffey and Jorge Julio could fill in at closer if needed.

Hamels, the World Series MVP, was examined in Philadelphia on Tuesday and was returning to the Phillies' spring camp after a team physician found no damage in his sore left elbow.

Hamels received an injection to relieve inflammation and should be cleared to throw by Thursday. His status for the April 5 opener against Atlanta is unclear.

"Opening day is probably a long shot," Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "We're going to have to get him stretched out and off the top of my head he's up to 52 or so pitches. We like our guys ready to throw 100 pitches by opening day."

Hamels went 14-10 last season with a 3.09 ERA. He was 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five postseason starts.

Brett Myers could get the opening-day start for Philadelphia if Hamels can't go. Myers struck out seven in 5 2-3 shutout innings to lead Philadelphia to an 8-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in Clearwater, Fla., on Tuesday.

Red Sox 9, Twins 5

At Fort Myers, Fla., David Ortiz, Jason Bay and Jacoby Ellsbury each hit two-run homers and Jason Varitek added a solo shot for Boston.

Red Sox ace Josh Beckett pitched four innings in his fifth spring start. He allowed three runs and six hits, struck out three and walked one.

Alexi Casilla went 4-for-4 and stole two bases for Minnesota. Denard Span hit a solo homer off Jonathan Papelbon in the fifth.

Rangers 11, Indians 5

At Surprise, Ariz., Indians ace Cliff Lee yielded 10 runs and 11 hits in 2 2-3 innings. Grady Sizemore's two-run homer was one of four Cleveland hits.

Cubs 12, Dodgers 3

At Phoenix, Carlos Zambrano pitched five innings, hit a three-run homer and finished with four RBIs for the Cubs.

Angels 12, Padres 7

At Peoria, Ariz., John Lackey handled San Diego without much trouble, giving up one run and three hits over five innings.

Tigers 1, Astros 1, 11 innings

At Lakeland, Fla., Detroit's Justin Verlander gave up one run in six innings. Verlander, who had been struggling with his control this spring, allowed one hit, walked three and struck out two.

Diamondbacks (ss) 7, White Sox 6, 10 innings

At Tucson, Ariz., Dan Haren had his strongest outing of the spring for Arizona, even letting loose with a few full-speed fastballs before calling it a day. The right-hander allowed a run and four hits in 4 2-3 innings.

Athletics 11, Diamondbacks (ss) 3

At Phoenix, Max Scherzer recorded just two outs in a rough spring debut for Arizona. Scherzer allowed five runs, one earned, and three hits, and also committed a costly throwing error on a comebacker.

Royals 9, Rockies 9, 10 innings

At Tucson, Ariz., Todd Helton homered for the second straight day and Troy Tulowitzki also connected for Colorado.

Giants 7, Brewers 5

At Scottsdale, Ariz., Corey Hart hit two doubles and drove in two runs and Jeff Suppan threw five scoreless innings for Milwaukee.

Braves 5, Mets 1

At Kissimmee, Fla., Jair Jurrjens struck out six in six scoreless innings for Atlanta.

Yankees 9, Pirates 2

At Tampa, Fla., Yankees closer Mariano Rivera struck out two during a perfect fifth inning in his first game since having surgery on his right shoulder in the offseason.

CC Sabathia, the expected Yankees' opening-day starter, gave up one run and one hit in four innings. The left-hander struck out seven and walked one.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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