Clemens has won three of four starts

Updated: March 23, 2004, 9:13 PM ET
Associated Press

Houston Astros: With two spring training starts left, Roger Clemens looked awfully good Tuesday, striking out six in five scoreless innings Tuesday during a 12-3 win over the Braves.

"I still have some work to do," said Clemens, who allowed three hits. "I'm not there yet, but I didn't feel winded out there today. I bounced around pretty good. It's coming together."

In his first spring training with his hometown team, Clemens has won three of four starts. His first scheduled start of the season is April 7 against San Francisco.

Braves starter Mike Hampton allowed two unearned runs and four hits in five innings and made two of Atlanta's five errors. Brad Ausmus went 3-for-5 and drove in one run.

Braves reliever Ryan Glynn gave up eight runs and eight hits, getting only two outs. He had allowed one earned run in five previous appearances over seven innings this spring.

Baltimore Orioles: Omar Daal could be headed for another trip to the disabled list.

Vying to earn a spot in the Baltimore Orioles' starting rotation, Daal experienced soreness in the back of his left shoulder while throwing on a back field Tuesday. He was to have an MRI exam Wednesday to determine the extent of the damage -- and whether surgery will be required.

Daal last pitched Saturday against a minor league contingent of Minnesota Twins, allowing six runs -- three earned -- in five innings. He also gave up two homers.

"After I pitched on Saturday, I was feeling OK. Then the next day I thought it was regular soreness," Daal said. "Then today in the bullpen, I could only throw about 10 pitches and that was it. I feel sore in the same spot as last year -- in the back and the front."

Daal spent more than two months on the disabled list last season with tendinitis in his rotator cuff. He returned in September, then rested for three months over the offseason.

Chicago White Sox: Scott Schoeneweis is gradually growing accustomed to being a starter.

The left-hander pitched five innings for the White Sox on Tuesday, helping them to a 13-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"I had the full repertoire going," Schoeneweis said.

Making the transition from reliever to starter this spring, Schoeneweis allowed four runs and eight hits, struck out five and walked two.

But he knows a 7.88 ERA after four starts isn't what's expected of the team's projected No. 4 starter.

"I still feel like I'm throwing the ball well. With every time out, I'm doing that, I'm mixing in the full arsenal. I'll be ready to go April 8," he said.

Cincinnati Reds: The newest member of the Reds' rotation moved to the front of the line.

Right-hander Cory Lidle will start the Reds' season opener on April 5 against the Chicago Cubs, the first time the 31-year-old pitcher has received such an honor in the majors.

"Obviously, here it's a bigger deal," Lidle said Tuesday after manager Dave Miley announced his choice. "It's not hard to be the opening-day guy in Little League or high school, but it's an honor to do that in the big leagues and I'm proud of it."

Miley picked Lidle over holdovers Jimmy Haynes and Paul Wilson. Lidle, 31, signed a one-year contract for $2.75 million as a free agent from Toronto, where he went 12-15 with a 5.75 ERA last season.

Lidle pitched in the playoffs for Oakland in 2001 and 2002 but hasn't received such a prominent place in a team's rotation. His only other moment in the spotlight came in 2001, when he started one game against the New York Yankees in the playoffs and lost.

Cleveland Indians: Frank Catalanotto hit a grand slam off Jason Bere, who further jeopardized his chance to make Cleveland's starting rotation when the Indians lost to the Blue Jays 10-9 Tuesday.

Catalanotto's homer came in a five-run second off Bere, and the Blue Jays built an 8-0 lead after three innings.

But the Indians rallied to tie it when Lou Merloni hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Cleveland scored six runs in the sixth.

Bere allowed five runs, six hits and three walks in three innings.

The right-hander signed a minor league contract as a free agent in November after making just two starts last year, when his season was ended by shoulder surgery.

In his previous start, Bere gave up six runs and five hits in 2 1/3 innings.

Florida Marlins: Alex Gonzalez loves to hit against Jeff Weaver.

Last October, Gonzalez homered off Weaver to win Game 4 of the World Series in the 12th inning.

On Tuesday, he got two more hits off Weaver, going 4-for-4 in the Marlins' 11-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"The last four games, I'm seeing the breaking ball a lot better," Gonzalez said.

He raised his exhibition batting average from .161 to .257.

"He's a streaky hitter," hitting coach Bill Robinson said. "We've worked with his stance as little bit to where he's more comfortable."

Weaver, traded from the Yankees to the Dodgers in December, allowed seven runs -- five earned -- and 10 hits in three innings. He is 1-2 with an 8.47 ERA.

Umpire appointed crew chief: Gary Darling was promoted to a crew chief after 18 years as a major league umpire.

"Gary has continually proven to be an outstanding umpire and I believe his professionalism and leadership skills will allow him to successfully meet the daily challenges of an umpire crew chief," said Sandy Alderson, executive vice president of baseball operations in the commissioner's officer.

Darling, 46, worked last year's World Series, the 1993 and 2003 All-Star games, the 1992 League Championship Series and five Division Series. He replaces Mark Hirschbeck, who has been sidelined by injuries.

In January. Charlie Reliford was selected to fill the crew-chief opening created when Steve Rippley. Each crew of four umpires has a chief who is in charge.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE