TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Boston's pitcher threw a ball behind Alex
Rodriguez and no one got upset.
It's only spring training and a matchup between the Red Sox and
New York Yankees doesn't necessarily add to the teams' rivalry.Rodriguez scrambled out of the way of the first-inning pitch by
John Halama, who pitched three innings in Boston's 7-2 victory
Tuesday."We're great friends," Rodriguez said of Halama. "I just
laughed."Halama, who played with Rodriguez in Seattle, said he was trying
to throw the pitch inside but it broke too much."I try not to laugh out (on the mound) because I want to try to
get him out," Halama said, "but after it was over I came into the
dugout and I laughed about it."It wasn't as peaceful last July 24 when Rodriguez was hit by a
pitch by Boston's Bronson Arroyo at Fenway Park. Rodriguez stared
and yelled at Arroyo as he started walking toward first base.
Catcher Jason Varitek then pushed Rodriguez and the dugouts and
bullpens emptied.There were other differences between the exhibition game, played
five days before Boston faces New York at Yankee Stadium on opening
day Sunday, and a meaningful matchup.The Red Sox used only four regular starters and their entire
outfield was made up of players not on their 40-man roster. The
Yankees started most of their regulars, although first baseman
Jason Giambi and second baseman Tony Womack sat out with injuries.Giambi has minor tightness in his left hamstring and Womack was
hit by a pitch in his left knee Monday. He had an MRI on Tuesday
that showed no serious damage. Both are expected to play Thursday."I think both clubs sort of had the same idea about this one,"
Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "We're so close to the season
opening, that's where we're concentrating right now."The last time the teams met in an important game, the Red Sox
won Game 7 of the AL championship series 10-3 to complete a
comeback after losing the first three games. Then they swept St.
Louis in the World Series.In the first inning on Tuesday, Rodriguez grounded out before
Bernie Williams singled in a run off Halama, who allowed one run
and five hits. The Red Sox scored twice in the third and once in
the fourth against loser Aaron Small.They made it 4-1 in the sixth on Mike Lockwood's RBI triple off
Tanyon Sturtze then reached Alex Graman for three runs in the
seventh."We had a lot of young kids play. It was fun. They had a little
extra bounce in their step," Boston manager Terry Francona said.
"Our veterans got what they needed out of the game and then the
young kids came in and played and played well."Next stop for both teams: Yankee Stadium. This year the Yankees,
who have won 26 World Series, will be aiming to knock off the new
champions, although Torre doesn't think that gives this year's
games between the teams added meaning."You play (each other) 19 times and that doesn't guarantee
anything because you still go to postseason," he said, "and have
to do it all over again and it's a sport that you can't get
yourself too fired up for one particular game."
The Yankees acquired minor league catcher Wil Nieves from
the Los Angeles Angels for right-hander Bret Prinz. ... Five Boston
relievers allowed just three hits in the last six innings. ... New
York's Paul Quantrill struck out the side in the ninth. ... Boston
designated hitter David Ortiz wore No. 79 because his usual No. 34
jersey was left behind in Fort Myers. ... New York had won its
previous three games. ... Small, signed to a minor league contract
last Jan. 21, allowed three runs on six hits in four innings with
three strikeouts and no walks.