MLB inside pitch

2013-03-20T00:00:00Z MLB inside pitchThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 20, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Cactus League

• Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz pitched the first inning Tuesday in place of starter Wade Miley, in Arizona's 6-2 loss to San Diego in Scottsdale. Putz allowed a run on one hit with a strikeout. He gave up a leadoff triple to Everth Cabrera. Miley pitched Monday, so Putz started for the first time since a rehabilitation stint in July 2011. His last non-rehab start was with Triple-A Tacoma in 2002, in the Seattle organization.

• In a throwback to Little League days, Tim McClelland did some plate umpiring from behind the mound Tuesday after ump Seth Buckminster's left hand was broken on a deflected pitch that hit Albert Pujols first in the Brewers' 6-1 win over the Angels. While ump Anthony Johnson changed into home-plate gear, McClelland had to call pitches for four batters.

• In Glendale, Los Angeles outfielder Yasiel Puig went 4 for 4 with a two-run homer and a triple for the Dodgers in a 7-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics. The Cuban, 22, is hitting .500, a surprising 23 for 46.

• After learning third baseman Ian Stewart would start the season on the disabled list and righty Scott Baker was being shut down because of inflammation in his surgically repaired elbow, the Chicago Cubs needed something positive. Chris Rusin came through, overcoming a shaky start to pitch one-hit ball for the final three innings of his outing as the Cubs beat Texas 5-4 in Mesa.

• The Rangers optioned top prospect Mike Olt to Triple-A Round Rock. A long shot to make the opening day roster as a corner infielder and outfielder, he was hitting just .194 with 12 strikeouts in spring training.

• Juan Nicasio made it easy for Colorado manager Walt Weiss to make it official. Nicasio, returning from a broken neck in 2011 and an injured left knee last season, allowed one run on three hits over five innings as the Rockies beat Kansas City 7-2 . "He's in the rotation," Weiss announced after Nicasio's win in Surprise.

Grapefruit League

• Derek Jeter was removed from the Yankees' lineup against the Phillies on Tuesday for "precautionary" reasons because his surgically repaired left ankle feels "stiff." He said he might be able to play today. Jeter has mild inflammation of the ankle, a precautionary MRI showed. "I'm not concerned because I was told this was going to happen ... it's normal," Jeter said.

• Domonic Brown hit his sixth homer of the spring, Kyle Kendrick threw six impressive innings as Philadelphia beat the Yankees 4-1.

• Roy Halladay said he lost about 10 pounds in two days because of a stomach virus, but still expects to pitch during the Phillies' first regular-season series at Atlanta.

• In Lakeland, Fla., Tampa Bay's Luke Scott hit a grand slam off Detroit Tigers starter Doug Fister to lead the Rays to an 11-5 win, raising his spring batting average to .375.

• Detroit left fielder Andy Dirks bruised his right knee running into a wall while chasing a double hit by Tampa Bay's Jack Cust. Dirks says he is day-to-day. His competition for the starting left field spot is Quintin Berry, who is also day-to-day because of tendinitis in his left knee.

• New Toronto pitcher Mark Buehrle gave up four runs and eight hits over four innings in the Blue Jays' 10-6 win over Houston in Dunedin, Fla.

• Brian Matusz became the first Baltimore starter to pitch five innings this spring, boosting his chances of earning a spot in the Orioles' rotation. The lefty allowed one run and six hits, striking out two in an 8-7 win over Boston in Fort Myers, Fla.

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