MLB inside pitch

2013-03-16T00:00:00Z MLB inside pitchThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 16, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Cactus League

• Matt Cain didn't look much like the Giants' opening day starter in his four previous spring starts. He did Friday against Texas. The right-hander gave up two hits in five scoreless innings and Hunter Pence and Andres Torres backed him with two-run home runs in a 5-2 victory at Scottsdale. "I felt good in the bullpen" warming up before the game, said Cain, who was 16-5 in 32 starts for the World Series champions in 2012. "I thought about where I wanted to throw. I was confident throwing whatever I wanted. The misses weren't as big."

• Aramis Ramirez had a single in two at-bats in his return to Milwaukee's lineup after missing two weeks because of a sprained left knee, helping the Brewers beat Cleveland 4-3 on Friday in Phoenix. Ramirez was 1 for 11 before injuring himself while sliding in a March 2 game against the Angles.

• White Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo impressed his manager and teammates with an opposite-field grand slam to right-center field in the a 15-3 victory over the Cubs on Friday in Glendale. "He's special when he starts hitting the ball over there like that," manager Robin Ventura said. Viciedo's slam against reliever Hector Rondon landed halfway up the lawn seating beyond the wall. Viciedo, who is nicknamed "Tank" for his powerful 5-foot-11-inch, 230-pound build, drove in two more runs with a double to give him six RBIs. The only out he made was on a hard liner to first, which Ventura likes seeing. He wants the 24-year-old to use the whole field and not pull everything.

• Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar is adapting to a new role. He worked two perfect innings in relief, David Lough had two more hits and a Kansas City split- squad team rallied to beat a Padres split-squad 7-5 on Friday in Surprise. Hochevar was sent to the bullpen Wednesday after struggling the past five seasons as a starter. He struck out two and threw 16 strikes in 23 pitches. "You get that shot of adrenaline, which is nice," Hochevar said about coming out of the bullpen. "It's kind of a different approach."

Grapefruit League

• The Yankees agreed to terms on a one-year contract with outfielder Brennan Boesch. The 27-year old Boesch hit .240 with 12 home runs and 54 RBIs in 132 games with Detroit last season. He was released by the Tigers on Wednesday. New York will be without outfielder Curtis Granderson until at least May due to a broken right forearm.

• Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia got a little stronger with each inning in his spring debut. After a rough first inning, Sabathia worked four more innings, allowing two runs and eight hits in a 7-3 victory over Miami in Tampa, Fla. The Marlins scored twice on three hits and a walk in the first against Sabathia, who also was charged with an error on an errant pickoff attempt to first. Rob Brantly had an RBI single during the inning. "He got better as the day went on, so I was happy," manager Joe Girardi said.

• New York Mets third baseman David Wright has a moderate strain on the left side of his rib cage that will shut him down until next week, leaving his status for opening day uncertain. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Wright would rest for three to five days. Only time will tell whether the 30-year-old star is ready to begin the regular season on April 1, the GM said Friday. "Anything about his availability for opening day is speculative," Alderson said. Wright was a late scratch from the United States lineup against the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic on Thursday night. He returned to New York for tests and was examined by Dr. David Altchek in Manhattan.

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