MLB inside pitch

2013-03-11T00:00:00Z MLB inside pitchThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 11, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Cactus League

• Lefty Brett Anderson, scheduled to start on opening day for the Oakland Athletics, strained a muscle in his upper right back and left Sunday's outing against Arizona after facing just two batters. Anderson kept twisting and rubbing his neck following the play. After consulting with manager Bob Melvin and the team's medical staff, Anderson exited. The diagnosis was a strained muscle. Anderson called it a freak play and said he didn't think it was anything serious. More evaluation will come today. Oakland beat the D-backs 7-5.

• RHP Ian Kennedy, Arizona's opening day starter, pitched what amounted to five innings in a "B" game at the team's facility in nearby Scottsdale. He gave up one hit over four innings and struck out three, although he was given an extra out each inning.

• Matt Kemp had his first two hits of the spring and Clayton Kershaw allowed only two hits in five innings and added an RBI single and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 6-1 Sunday. Kemp, who was 0 for 11 with five strikeouts in his first four Cactus League games, singled in the first inning, walked in the fourth and added an RBI single to score Dee Gordon during a six-run fifth inning.

• Indians manager Terry Francona ended some of the drama about his starting rotation, picking right-hander Zach McAllister to be the club's No. 4 starter.

Grapefruit League

• David Ortiz will be shut down for several days of spring training because of sore left heel, and the Boston Red Sox are hoping the break from baseball activities won't prevent the slugging designated hitter from being ready for opening day.

• David Phelps is doing all he can to earn a role in the New York Yankees' starting rotation. Phelps kept up his strong spring training, allowing three hits over five innings in Sunday's 3-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. "Phelps' command has been very good," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

• Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe tweaked a calf muscle in agility drills. Manager Ron Gardenhire said he's not sure when Plouffe will return.

• Cardinals manager Mike Matheny planned to leave the team after Sunday's spring training game and return to St. Louis for surgery to repair a ruptured disk in his lower back. Matheny expects to be back at spring training for Thursday's game against Atlanta in Jupiter.

WBC

• The violent misdeeds of the Mexican and Canadian baseball teams will go unpunished. The World Baseball Classic decided no players will be suspended in the aftermath of Saturday's nasty brawl between the teams. Video of the fighting spread across the globe, giving the WBC a major league dose of unwanted attention. The organizers said Sunday that while the mayhem "runs counter to the spirit of sportsmanship and respectful competition," suspensions would not be appropriate because one team and possibly both will not advance to the second round.

• Miguel Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval hit consecutive home runs for Venezuela on Sunday in an 11-6 victory over Spain that came too late to matter at the WBC. Venezuela, which finished 1-2 in Group C, was eliminated Saturday night.

• Two-time defending champion Japan hit a record-tying six home runs, scoring in all seven innings Sunday to rout the Netherlands 16-4 and reach the WBC semifinals. Japan built a 12-0 lead by the sixth inning.

• Robinson Cano homered and the undefeated Dominican Republic beat Puerto Rico 4-2 on Sunday night to win their first-round group in the WBC.

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