Final in 11
1:05 PM ET, March 20, 2006
Progress Energy Park, St. Petersburg, Florida
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- A season-ending injury to reliever Shinji Mori tempered Tampa Bay's optimism about Edwin Jackson's strong outing.Mori's spring debut ended Monday when he tore the labrum in his right shoulder on his third pitch in a minor league game. A five-time All-Star with the Seibu Lions of Japan's Pacific League, Mori signed a $1.4 million, two-year contract with the Devil Rays in January. He had been sidelined since the beginning of March because of soreness in his pitching shoulder."It's definitely frustrating. He was someone we were looking to to give us a different look out of the bullpen," Devil Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said."Pitchers experience injuries all the time. It's part of our business and a risk that we have to weigh in signing any pitcher. I'm confident he's going to work hard and rehab hard to get back fully healthy. I think we'll see him pitch in a Devil Rays uniform."Mori said through an interpreter that it felt like he dislocated his shoulder when he threw the pitch. An MRI determined the labrum was torn, and Friedman said it's an injury that typically sidelines a player for at least 12 months."They diagnosed it as an acute injury, something that happened on that pitch," Friedman said.Mori said the injury was unrelated to the soreness that kept him out of spring training games."It's two totally different things," he said. "There was nothing wrong until I got injured." Jackson threw five scoreless innings, and the Devil Rays tied the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-2 in a game called after 11 innings.Brad Eldred hit a two-run homer off Chad Orvella for Pittsburgh, snapping a scoreless tie in the seventh. The Devil Rays tied it in the bottom half when Sean Burroughs hit an RBI single off Ryan Vogelsong, and Matt Maniscalco scored on a double steal.Three days after signing Mori, the Devil Rays acquired Jackson in a trade that sent All-Star closer Danys Baez to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The young right-hander was once considered one of the Dodgers' top prospects and is making a strong bid to make Tampa Bay's rotation.Jackson allowed one hit, walked two, struck out four and hit one batter to bounce back from a poor outing in his previous start. He hit Chris Wilson with a pitch and walked Nate McLouth in the fourth, then escaped the jam by getting Jose Castillo to ground into an inning-ending double play.The 22-year-old pitched five scoreless innings in his first two spring starts, allowing one infield hit. He struggled in third start, though, giving up six runs, five hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings against Cincinnati."We talked last time about how high you bounce after the fall. He bounced very high today. It didn't surprise me," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said.Former Dodgers manager Jim Tracy, now in his first season with the Pirates, was impressed, too.Jackson made his major league debut with the Dodgers in 2003 and celebrated his 20th birthday by beating Randy Johnson for his first big league win. Jackson split time last season between Triple-A Las Vegas, Double-A Jacksonville and the Dodgers. "He's a work in progress, but he has a chance to be a special pitcher," Tracy said.The Devil Rays began spring training with a projected rotation of Scott Kazmir, Mark Hendrickson, Casey Fossum, Doug Waechter and Seth McClung. After four starts, Jackson is a strong contender, too."I said earlier in camp I wanted to put pressure on them to make a decision," Jackson said. "I'm sure they'll put me where they best think I should be."