Johnson in regular-season form vs. Braves
Johnson learned that he will start April 3 against Boston after he gave up one hit over six scoreless innings Thursday, and Derek Jeter went 2-for-3 in his return from a foot injury to lift the Yankees to a 12-2 win over the Atlanta Braves.
"It's a big upset," New York manager Joe Torre said jokingly. "He basically pitched today like he's going to pitch. He's been doing it for years. It's nice to see him do it in our uniform. It seemed so effortless for him today."
It will be Johnson's 13th opening day assignment, tying him with Houston's Roger Clemens for the most among active pitchers. The major league record is 16 by Tom Seaver.
Johnson retired 10 straight -- four on strikeouts -- before walking Marcus Giles with one out in the fourth. He then caught Giles, who was leaning toward second on his lead off first, and made the initial throw to first as Giles was thrown out attempting to steal second.
The left-hander struck out eight and walked one. He received a standing ovation while walking off the mound after striking out Rafael Furcal to end the sixth. He threw 52 of 71 pitches for strikes.
Wood was supposed to make his first start since walking off the mound March 9 with a tight shoulder but woke up with a bad back Thursday. Instead, Glendon Rusch pitched five scoreless innings to lead the Cubs over the Oakland Athletics 5-2.
"He didn't sleep well last night, and his back is real tight so we decided not to take a chance in throwing him," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "It's not his arm. It's his back, which he has trouble with every once in a while. He wanted to pitch, but we thought it would be better not to take a chance with him."
Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild said if Wood feels fine Friday, he will throw a simulated game.
Wood is set to start the Cubs home opener April 8 at Wrigley Field against the Milwaukee Brewers. Until he got hurt, Wood was supposed to be the opening day starter but Carlos Zambrano will be on the mound April 4 against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix.
Texas Rangers: Reliever Frankie Francisco was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sore right elbow Thursday, four days after he hurt it in his first bullpen session of the spring.
"We talked to Frankie for about 20 minutes and reminded him we're more concerned about what he's doing in October, not in April," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said.
Francisco, 25, would be eligible to return the fifth game of the season at Seattle.
A sore shoulder had already limited Francisco's activity this spring before he injured his elbow.
Francisco went 5-1 with a 3.33 ERA in 45 games for the Rangers as a rookie last season. He struck out 60 and walked 28 in 51 1/3 innings as a setup man for closer Francisco Cordero, who set a club record with 49 saves.
Cameron played his first game since having offseason wrist surgery and moved to right field to accommodate the Mets' new center fielder, Carlos Beltran. Cameron went 1-for-3 and lost a ball in the overcast sky in six innings of New York's 6-3 loss to the Tigers.
A two-time Gold Glove winner, the 32-year-old Cameron didn't get his first chance in right until the fifth inning when he casually caught on the run a flyball slicing down the foul line.
On Tony Giarratano's fly in the sixth, Cameron shielded his eyes but the ball fell in front of him and was ruled a double.
"It was definitely catchable," Cameron said. "But it's just something I'm going to have to learn, especially with the different spin on the ball."
Gonzalez hit his third home run of the spring, and just missed connecting for two others, and Scott Elarton pitched six shutout innings to lead the Indians to an 8-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Gonzalez hit a two-run shot in the first inning off Dodgers starter Edwin Jackson, and Travis Hafner and Casey Blake also homered for Cleveland. In two other at-bats, Gonzalez pulled balls down the left-field line that were only foul by a couple feet.
"Juan had some good swings," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "He just missed on a couple, too."
With just a week left in training camp, the Indians still haven't decided if Gonzalez will be their starting right fielder. He has missed some time with a strained left hamstring, but when he's been healthy and in the lineup, Gonzalez has produced.
If the Indians keep Gonzalez, top prospect Grady Sizemore will begin the year at Triple-A Buffalo.
Williams pitched five strong innings for his first Cactus League win, retiring nine batters in a row during the Giants' 11-6 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
The right-hander, the team's fifth starter, bounced back after a no-decision last Saturday against San Diego -- his first outing in 14 days after heading home to Hawaii to visit his ill father.
Williams pitched in a minor league game March 12 before going to Hawaii. He smiled and seemed upbeat after making just his third spring start.
"Especially with what was going on before with my life to come back and try to get a good outing," he said, reporting his dad is doing better. "It's a really big confidence booster. Hopefully, when the season starts I'll keep it rolling."
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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