Second baseman suffers dislocated shoulder

Originally Published: March 25, 2004
Associated Press

Oakland Athletics: Second baseman Mark Ellis will miss six to eight weeks after dislocating his right shoulder in a collision with shortstop Bobby Crosby during the Athletics' 2-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.

Mark Ellis
Ellis

Ellis was injured diving for a grounder by Sammy Sosa that turned into a go-ahead RBI double in the seventh inning. Ellis will have an MRI on Friday.

With backup infielder Frank Menechino also hurt, Marco Scutaro and Esteban German will probably be given a shot at second base.

Sosa had three hits and the go-ahead RBI against loser Jim Mecir. Kerry Wood allowed a run in 6 1/3 innings for the Cubs, who won for the fifth time in six games. Wood allowed four hits and three walks while striking out six.

Eric Chavez hit his team-leading fifth home run, a long shot off the top of the 50-foot wall beyond center field, as the A's lost for just the second time in 11 games.

A's starter Rich Harden pitched five scoreless innings, giving up seven hits and two walks while striking out two. He brought an 11.25 ERA into the contest.

San Francisco Giants: Barry Bonds homered for the fifth time in his last 13 at-bats in spring training, and the Giants tied the Rockies 3-3 in a game halted after 10 innings.

Bonds led off the sixth inning with his fifth homer of the spring. Following a slow start, Bonds is batting .347 with a team-leading 11 RBI in 23 at-bats.

Giants ace Jason Schmidt, who hasn't pitched in a game since March 14 because of shoulder soreness, threw off a mound, and it apparently will be up to him when he returns to exhibition action. "We'll do what he's ready to pursue," said trainer Stan Conte, calling an Opening Day start "less and less likely."

Conte also said closer Robb Nen, who missed last season following shoulder surgery and has yet to pitch in an exhibition game, is "kind of in a holding pattern, trying to get the inflammation out. Once he gets back, I think the arm will come quickly."

Boston Red Sox: Pedro Martinez says he hasn't lost his fastball -- and the radar gun shows he's right. Making his second-to-last spring training start, Boston's ace gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings of a 12-7 loss to the Twins.

Martinez's heater topped out at 93 mph, and he threw three consecutive 91 mph fastballs to former Red Sox infielder Jose Offerman to end a Minnesota threat in the fourth inning.

"I haven't lost my fastball. Ninety, 91, now that's a good fastball," Martinez said. "And if anyone wants to test it, go ahead. Let the scouts stand there with a bat and I'll give them a 91."

Martinez wasn't talking about whether he's close to signing a contract extension with the Red Sox. He's not worried about negotiations being a distraction. "I'm an old goat. I think I can handle that," he said. "I'm just going to concentrate on what I'm doing. Just go quote my agent. He'll deal with the stress and I'll do the pitching."

New York Yankees: Kevin Brown tuned up for Japan with another solid outing, allowing two hits in 5 2/3 innings, and Enrique Wilson hit a three-run homer in the Yankees' 9-0 victory over the Phillies on Thursday -- New York's final game before going to Tokyo to open the season against Tampa Bay.

Jim Thome flied out to center in his first appearance for the Phillies since breaking the tip of the middle finger on his right hand March 5. Thome went 1-for-3 in a minor league game before crossing the street to pinch-hit against the Yankees.

Brown will start against the Devil Rays next Wednesday at the Tokyo Dome. Mike Mussina starts the season opener for the Yankees on Tuesday.

Brown dominated a Phillies lineup that was missing all of its regulars, including Thome, Pat Burrell and Bobby Abreu. The right-hander struck out five and walked three.

Left-hander Eric Milton, acquired from Minnesota in the offseason, had a rough outing for the Phillies, allowing seven runs -- six earned -- and six hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Baltimore Orioles: Miguel Tejada went 2-for-3 to raise his batting average to .408, and the Orioles and St. Louis tied 6-6 in a game called after 10 innings.

Coming off a 2002 season in which he was named AL MVP, Tejada struggled in spring training with Oakland last year and continued that trend in April and May, hitting just .176 through 32 games. He finished at .278 with 27 homers and 106 RBI.

"This year I'm definitely having a great spring training, and hope I'm going to start the season good," said Tejada, who signed with Baltimore as a free agent in December. He's tied for the team lead with two homers and ranks second with nine RBI.

The Cardinals' Jim Edmonds homered off Sidney Ponson in the sixth following a walk to Albert Pujols to put the Cardinals up 4-3. It was the first homer of the spring for Edmonds, who missed the first 14 games after offseason shoulder surgery.

Chicago White Sox: Mark Buehrle allowed one run in seven innings and Juan Uribe hit his fourth home run in Chicago's 5-2 victory over Arizona.

Buehrle, who went 14-14 last year, has yet to walk a batter in 20 preseason innings.

Uribe went 3-for-4. He hit a lead-off double and scored on Jose Valentin's RBI single in the first off Diamondbacks starter Steve Sparks.

Arizona closer Matt Mantei tossed a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one. Mantei has been dealing with problems with the nails on his middle and index fingers, causing him some discomfort with his off-speed pitches.

Florida Marlins: World Series MVP Josh Beckett was named Florida's Opening Day starter, no surprise following his stellar postseason.

Beckett, 23, will start April 6 at home against Montreal. Brad Penny, Dontrelle Willis, Carl Pavano and Darren Oliver will follow in the rotation. Willis and Oliver are left-handed, so Marlins manager Jack McKeon opted to separate them with Pavano.

"It's a big deal, but any one of us could have done it and done a good job with it," Beckett said.

Milwaukee Brewers: Lyle Overbay, acquired in the Richie Sexson trade last winter, doubled three times and drove in five runs in Milwaukee's 13-2 victory over San Diego.

The Brewers have only 10 home runs this spring but lead all NL teams with 57 doubles, including seven by Overbay and eight by Junior Spivey, who also came over in the Sexson deal.

Mark Loretta went 3-for-3 for San Diego, raising his average to .512. All-Star Geoff Jenkins was a late scratch and the Brewers said he had strep throat and will be out a few days.

Right-hander Nick Neugebauer, recovering from shoulder surgery, threw a 21-pitch simulated game after his normal bullpen session and reported feeling better than he has all year.

Seattle Mariners: Ron Villone thinks he's pitched well enough this spring to earn a spot in the the bullpen. The left-hander started and threw four strong innings to help the Mariners beat the Rangers 4-3.

Villone, signed as a free agent in February, is competing with veteran left-handers Terry Mulholland and Mike Myers for a spot on the roster.

"I was a thrower when I left here nine years ago," said Villone, Seattle's first-round draft choice in 1992. "I threw a little harder then, but I also walked a lot more people then. I think I was just trying to strike everybody out."

Raul Ibanez, Seattle's new left fielder and cleanup hitter, went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and double. Reliever Rafael Soriano made his spring debut after missing four weeks with a strained oblique muscle. He allowed two runs and four hits in one inning, but got the win.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Left fielder Jason Bay is making a slower-than-expected recovery from shoulder surgery and probably will start the season on the disabled list.

With Bay expected to be out a few more weeks -- the Pirates don't yet have a timetable for his return -- utilityman Craig Wilson will likely get most of the outfield starts in his place. Wilson had been ticketed for part-time duty in right field and at first base.

"It's not official yet, but we're going to be hard-pressed to have him (Bay) ready for Opening Day," manager Lloyd McClendon said.

With Bay unavailable so far, Raul Mondesi has shifted from right field to left, and Wilson has made most of the starts in right. Wilson has 34 homers the last two years, but has never had more than 368 at-bats in a season.

Colorado Rockies: Right-hander Scott Elarton solidified his position as the No. 4 starter, twice retiring Bonds in potentially damaging situations. Elarton lowered his ERA to 3.94, going five innings and allowed four hits and one run with three walks and four strikeouts.

Elarton, who threw 85 pitches, said he hasn't been told he has the No. 4 spot locked up, but he believes he'll be following left-hander Shawn Estes, right-hander Jason Jennings and left-hander Joe Kennedy in the rotation.

The No. 5 job likely will go to either Jeff Fassero or Denny Stark.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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