MLB inside pitch

2013-02-26T00:00:00Z MLB inside pitchThe Associated Press The Associated Press
February 26, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Cactus League

• Cleveland left fielder Michael Brantley needed stitches in his left forearm after being spiked Monday during the Indians' win over the Oakland Athletics. Brantley was spiked by third baseman Josh Donaldson in a play that ended the third inning. Brantley, who hit .288 with 60 RBIs last season, was taken to a hospital for stitches. He will be re-evaluated today.

• Angels' RP Chad Cordero, signed two weeks ago to a minor-league contract, threw one inning and allowed a home run to Seattle's Brendan Ryan. Shoulder injuries sidelined the career of the former All-Star, who has not pitched in the majors since 2010.

• Cincinnati's Joey Votto hit a two-run homer Monday, an encouraging sign that he's progressing in his recovery from knee surgery that robbed him of his power last season, in a win over split-squad Milwaukee. Votto didn't homer after June 24 last season because of the injury. He missed 48 games after tearing cartilage in his knee, and was reduced to hitting mostly singles when he returned because the knee wasn't fully healed.

• Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki, limited to 47 games last season after left groin surgery, had a two-run single and was involved in four flawless defensive plays Monday during his three innings in the Rockies' win over Texas. Along with a rare double play on which the two-time Gold Glove shortstop got an assist and a putout, there was a nifty play when he ran forward to pick up a slow roller and threw out speedy Rangers center fielder Craig Gentry at first base.

• San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner threw two scoreless innings in his first outing since the second game of the World Series. Bumgarner walked one, struck out one and allowed two hits in an outing he deemed the first step to continued adjustments.

• Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo has reached base and scored in the first inning in all three of his starts. The Reds had the lowest on-base-percentage for leadoff hitters in the NL last season, one of the reasons they got Choo from the Indians.

Grapefruit League

• Pittsburgh's Russell Martin won't be moonlighting at shortstop. The Pirates' new catcher will not play for Canada in the World Baseball Classic because Canadian and Pirates officials didn't like the idea of Martin moving from his normal position. Martin, who is from East York, Ontario, said he would rather not add to his workload by catching in the WBC.

• Twins manager Ron Gardenhire addressed rumors the team was pursuing free agent DH Jim Thome, who has 612 career home runs. The 42-year-old ranks seventh all-time in homers and played for the Twins in 2010 and 2011 until being traded. "If something happens, that would be wonderful," Gardenhire said.

•Washington's Gio Gonzalez, unsure how fans would treat him in his first outing since his name surfaced in reports about a clinic drawing scrutiny from Major League Baseball, drew cheers and positive chants Monday night as he pitched two hitless innings in a win over the New York Mets. The left-hander, who led the majors with 21 wins last season, struck out three and walked one. Gonzalez was linked to a Miami-area clinic under investigation for allegedly supplying performance-enhancing drugs. Gonzalez denied getting PEDs.

• Rays manager Joe Maddon said he expects 3B Evan Longoria, who left camp for several days to be with his girlfriend for their baby's birth, likely will make his spring debut today.

• Allen Craig, prevented from playing first by a sore shoulder, hit his first homer Monday of spring training, leading the St. Louis Cardinals against the Astros. Craig started as the designated hitter. He reached base in all three at-bats, adding a walk and an RBI single.

• Detroit's Miguel Cabrera already looks ready for opening day. Cabrera hit a three-run homer off Philadelphia's Jonathan Papelbon as the Tigers beat the Phillies on Monday. The AL MVP and Triple Crown winner went 1 for 2 with a walk. He's hit two home runs this spring.

• Former Diamondback Justin Upton had a huge first hit Monday with the Braves. Upton launched one of the longest home runs ever seen at the Disney World complex, a towering drive that cleared the grass berm beyond left field, as the Braves picked up their first win with a victory over the Marlins. Upton's teammates estimated the homer traveled at least 450 feet. He was thrilled just to get a hit after starting 0 for 6 this spring.

• Yankees RHP Mariano Rivera threw 32 pitches during batting practice in Tampa on Monday morning. Rivera told reporters that he's doing well, and that he will next pitch a simulated game. Rivera has yet to pitch in a game after tearing his ACL in his right knee last May.

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


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