MLB inside pitch

2013-03-21T00:00:00Z MLB inside pitchThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 21, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Cactus League

• Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez could be sidelined for more than two months or maybe just two weeks because of an injured left thumb. Ramirez was hurt diving for a ball while playing third base Tuesday in the championship game of the World Baseball Classic. Ramirez was set to have an MRI on Wednesday night. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said a mild sprain would likely leave the All-Star infielder out for a couple of weeks, but a major injury would make it much longer.

• Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke threw four innings in a minor league game Wednesday without any trouble in his tender right elbow. If there aren't any setbacks, Greinke would start April 5 at home against Pittsburgh. Greinke had not pitched in two weeks because of discomfort.

• Ryan Court hit a tiebreaking two-run single against Dylan Axelrod in the eighth inning to lift the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 4-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday. Arizona starter Brandon McCarthy gave up 10 hits but only two runs over six innings.

• The Arizona Diamondbacks traded shortstop John McDonald to Pittsburgh on Wednesday for a player to be named or cash, giving the Pirates some much-needed infield depth. The 38-year-old McDonald hit .249 in six homers and 22 RBIs in 70 games for Arizona last season and gives the Pirates an experienced reserve for regular shortstop Clint Barmes.

• Los Angeles Angels starter Tommy Hanson was pulled because of tightness in his right triceps as he warmed up for the fourth inning in Wednesday's 6-5 win over the Cleveland Indians. Hanson said he thought he was taken out for precautionary reasons.

• Milwaukee acquired third baseman Stephen Parker from Oakland in exchange for right-handed pitcher Darren Byrd.

• Kansas City was announced Wednesday as the host site for the only advance public screenings - on April 11 - of a film chronicling the rise of Jackie Robinson, a nod to the city where the baseball great made his professional debut two years before breaking the major league color barrier.

Grapefruit League

• Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says he doesn't know if injured captain Derek Jeter will be available to play for New York on opening day. The shortstop received an anti-inflammatory injection in his surgically repaired left ankle and missed his second straight spring game on Wednesday. "At this stage, I just don't know, so all I can do is acknowledge it's a possibility," Cashman said when asked if Jeter would be ready for opening day.

• Right-hander Bud Norris will start for the Houston Astros in the major league season opener against Texas on March 31. The Astros announced Wednesday that Norris will throw the first pitch of the season. The Astros will host Texas in their first game since joining the American League in that Sunday night opener. Norris was 7-13 last year.

• Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel says Ryan Howard will bat cleanup this season. "Howard is the only guy in our lineup capable of knocking in 130-150 runs," Manuel said.

• Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons each hit two home runs and Atlanta beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 18-9 Wednesday.

• Bryce Harper had two hits and drove in four runs to help the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 7-5 Wednesday. Harper had a two-run double in the third and a two-run single in the fifth, raising his spring batting average to .400 (20 for 50) with 12 RBIs.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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