Lankford, who was out of baseball last year, is battling for the
starting job in left field. He helped his cause with two RBI,
including the one-out, bases-loaded single to deep left field that
scored Marlon Anderson in the ninth.
Dontrelle Willis threw four innings for the Marlins on Wednesday against Memphis, allowing six runs (four earned) on three hits with four walks and two strikeouts.
Redman, expected to be Oakland's No. 4 starter after joining the
team in a trade with World Series champion Florida, struck out four
in five innings. He was 14-9 for the Marlins last season.
"I felt pretty confident," said Redman, 2-1 this spring. "It
was fun to be out there today. My pitches were pretty well going
where I wanted them to, except that one that went out in center
Padilla has been the Phillies' best starter this spring,
compiling a 1.89 ERA. In 19 innings, he has allowed only four runs
and 14 hits, walking four and striking out 15.
"He has a great attitude, he's paying more attention to what he's doing. His work ethic is great," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said.
Pat Hentgen had his best outing in a poor spring for Toronto,
giving up two runs and five hits in five innings after coming in
with an 11.05 ERA.
Phillies first baseman Jim Thome, sidelined by an injured finger, hit well
in batting practice and could play in a game Friday. ... Catcher Michel Hernandez was claimed by the Phillies on waivers and left-hander Bud Smith was designated for assignment.
New York Mets: Tyler Yates is doing his best to grab the No. 5 spot in the rotation, shutting out the Astros for five innings in New York's 4-1 victory.
Yates improved to 3-0.
"I just wanted to go out and do the things I can do with a
baseball and make my last impression the best impression," Yates
said. "I just want them to consider me and hopefully I'll get a
Yates threw only 48 pitches, didn't walk a batter and struck out
three. Afterward, he went to the bullpen and threw 32 more pitches
to bring his total for the night to 80.
Reed, expected to be the Pirates' No. 5 starter, said he threw
with no discomfort while making 57 pitches in a Triple-A game
against the Orioles. But his pitching line was painful to look at: three innings, six
hits, six earned runs, two weeks, a hit batter and an
opposite-field grand slam by the Orioles' Jose Morban with two outs in the third.
Reed dismissed the ugly outcome, saying, "I was happy just to
be on a field competing again. It's been a long time. I was pleased
with the way I went out and threw strikes."
He dismissed talk that he's still competing with right-hander Ryan Vogelsong and rookie
left-hander Sean Burnett for the No. 5 starter's job. Vogelsong
pitched Wednesday night against the Twins in Fort Myers, Fla.,
allowing three hits and two earned runs in four innings -- only the
second time in five spring outings he's yielded an earned run.
"They know who they want," Reed said. "It's not a
competition. They already know. We've just got to go out and do our
job, that's all we have to do."
Koskie said he felt fine and that the time off was just a precautionary measure, "nothing out of the
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he was pleased with a nice defensive play Koskie made at third and seeing him score from first on Torii Hunter's triple in the second inning.
Williams had his appendix removed Feb. 26. He was the designated
hitter in a Triple-A game against Toronto minor leaguers. Mussina (49 of 78 pitches for strikes) gave up four hits, one walk and struck out five in his
final outing before the regular-season opener March 30 in Tokyo against Tampa Bay.
Williams, who will miss the Yankees' Japan trip but might be ready for the North American opener on April 6 at Tampa Bay, batted in each of the first five innings. He will likely DH for the next few days.
Acevedo (2-0), making his fifth appearance and start of the
spring, allowed one run on two hits with four walks and five
strikeouts, leaving the game with a 6-1 lead.
Meanwhile, Esteban Yan, one of three battling for the No. 5 spot
in the Tigers' rotation, did little to help his chances. Yan (2-1)
gave up six runs on five hits -- including successive homers in the
first -- and five walks in 2 2/3 innings.
Burroughs isn't a prototypical leadoff hitter -- he's 6 feet 2 and 200 pounds -- but he gets on base enough that the Padres are confident he can continue to handle the job. In 30 games batting leadoff last year, Burroughs had a .362 on-base percentage, hit .286 and scored 18 runs. Overall he had a .352 on-base percentage, .286 average and scored 62 runs.
"I think he's going to be a pretty good on-base guy," manager Bruce Bochy said of Burroughs, who just 11 years ago was starring
in the Little League World Series. "We look at him as a .300 hitter. It makes the most sense to put him in the leadoff spot."
The Padres did try to sign Kenny Lofton in the offseason but were outbid by the Yankees. It's believed that the Dodgers recently made a strong run at obtaining the 23-year-old Burroughs -- who grew up in Long Beach, Calif., in an attempt to pump up an offense so anemic that only the Tigers had a worse team batting average.
Padres GM Kevin Towers would only say, "We have zero interest in moving him."
Baltimore Orioles: Because he made two trips to the disabled list last season with a strained right hamstring and a strained left quadriceps, B.J. Surhoff played in only 93 games. But his .295 batting average and leadership qualities convinced the Orioles to give him a minor league deal that will become a major league contract (worth $800,000 plus
incentives) if he makes the club.
His place on the Opening Day roster is virtually assured, although there are no guarantees that he can break into the starting lineup.
"I think my role is one that depends on what happens to some
other people," said Surhoff, who last season started 37 games at DH, 22 in left field and 20 at first base. "I'd like it to be an expanded role, but it depends on
who's healthy and which way [the Orioles] go. I imagine I'll play some outfield, I hope, and DH some. I'm not going
to catch. Repeat: I'm not going to catch.
If he can stay healthy and keep his batting average hovering
around his lifetime mark of .281, then Surhoff will always have a
place on a major league roster.
"I want to play as much as I can, I want to be in there as long as I can," he said.
Montreal Expos: The team's games are back on English-language television in Canada.
The Expos agreed on a deal with The Score Television
Network to show between 25 and 35 regular-season Expos games as
part of the network's national English-language package. It will
begin with the 2004 home opener against Philadelphia on April 23
but the majority of games will be road contests.
The Expos did not have a television deal last season and have
been on the air sporadically for most of the last decade. Since
2000, only a handful of games have been shown each season, mostly
on French-language television.
Library to get Harwell donation: Hall of Fame broadcaster Ernie Harwell will donate $2 million to the Detroit Public Library and auction off a lifetime collection of sports memorabilia.
Gary Spicer, attorney for the 85-year-old Harwell, confirmed the
gift to the library, saying it's one of the legendary baseball
announcer's favorite local institutions. He said the auction of
personal items is for future estate planning for Harwell and his
The couple, married for 62 years, now live in Florida. The library will dedicate a room in Harwell's honor, and an
April 16 celebration is planned to announce the gift.
Harwell retired in 2002 after a 55-year career in broadcasting, including 42 with the Detroit Tigers.