By The Associated Press
Josh Beckett and the World Series champions against a college team that's been practicing indoors all winter to escape the snow.
Cold start to spring break.
With a merciless Beckett throwing hard from the mound, the Red Sox were in October form during their exhibition opener Thursday as they routed Boston College 24-0 in seven innings at Fort Myers, Fla.
AL Rookie of the Year Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double and a Boston split squad picked up right where the club left off last fall when it swept Colorado for its second World Series title in four years.
"It doesn't matter if you're playing in a media game or a college team or facing big league hitters. I actually told somebody that today," Beckett said. "They told me, 'You're going to at least let somebody hit it."'
"No, I'm not going to let him hit it. I'm out there trying to do my job and my job right now is to get in shape for the season," last year's AL Cy Young Award runner-up said. "If I'm out there facing a college team and I'm out there messing around or something, I might take that into another game.
"That's not what I'm trying to do."
The Red Sox held Boston College to one hit and drew 15 walks before their other split squad beat up on a local college team, too. Pitching prospect Justin Masterson tossed two solid innings Thursday night in a 15-0 victory over Northeastern.
Beckett threw 25 pitches in two innings on a 58-degree day, 18 for strikes. Then he threw 17 more after he left the game, including eight or nine good curveballs. He wasn't pleased with his curve against BC.
The previous high for runs scored by the Red Sox in their annual exhibition series with Boston College was 22 in 1996.
"We obviously don't want to embarrass anybody," manager Terry Francona said. "What we set out to do, I thought worked very well."
At Vero Beach, Fla., Joe Torre might have looked out of place wearing Los Angeles Dodgers blue, but he was right at home as a winner.
Even with several blown opportunities and some shoddy baserunning, the Dodgers made Torre's debut as their manager a success by scoring three runs in the ninth to beat the Atlanta Braves 5-4.
"For coming out of the box, I thought it was a good game for us," Torre said. "It was fun. This was the first time in 13 years I've had a different uniform on."
The 67-year-old Torre, wearing a Dodgers hat and windbreaker over his uniform as he spoke with reporters, said he got over leaving the New York Yankees during the offseason.
"I'm involved here, I'm buried here as far as I'm concerned, doing things," he said. "It's baseball. The Yankee uniform was special. To be there for 12 years was certainly a great chapter in my life.
"This is a great time for me because I get to know people."
Torre was matched up with 66-year-old Braves manager Bobby Cox in his Dodgers debut. Cox ranks fourth and Torre eighth in career victories, probably assuring both of Hall of Fame entries following retirement.
"Good to see you, Mr. Torre. Welcome back," Cox said two hours before the game as the pair exchanged a warm greeting and chatted briefly.
In other news, Cubs second baseman Mark DeRosa underwent what the club deemed a successful procedure in Chicago to correct an irregular heartbeat.
He was resting at Northwestern Memorial Hospital following the procedure, performed by Dr. Alan Kadish. DeRosa is expected back at spring training in Arizona by Sunday and is scheduled to resume baseball activity early next week, the team said.
The Cubs hope he can begin playing in exhibition games by March 8.
"It was positive and successful. I think he's going home tonight and I think he'll be here this weekend," Chicago manager Lou Piniella said. "We'll give him a little rest, then we'll get him back to camp and working. I'm happy to see the problem has been corrected."
At Surprise, Ariz., Rangers owner Tom Hicks said he'd never be tempted to sign home run king Barry Bonds.
"We want character players," Hicks said. "That's part of the plan."
What if new team president Nolan Ryan proposed such a move?
Hicks said that won't happen, but added: "There are very few things that I would probably veto Nolan for ever recommending. That would be one of them."
At Tucson, Ariz., after only a half season as their closer, Manny Corpas agreed to an $8,025,000, four-year contract with the Colorado Rockies that could be worth up to $22,775,000, including escalators and team options for 2012 and 2013.
Also in Tucson, Randy Johnson threw batting practice for the first time this spring and called it no big deal.
"I don't think there's anything really to discuss until I actually start getting into a game," Johnson said after throwing about 50 pitches. "I mean, I'm not going to push it or anything throwing batting practice."
It was the first time the 44-year-old lefty has thrown to batters since he underwent back surgery in August, his second such operation in less than a year. The five-time Cy Young Award winner, who has 284 victories, threw mostly fastballs with a few changeups and splitters.
"We're looking more than anything for health each time and, knock on wood, it's been good every time out," manager Bob Melvin said. "He hasn't been very uncomfortable. He had one little bit of a dead arm day, which everybody does, all pitchers do, then he was back out there free and easy again."
Johan Santana will make his Grapefruit League debut for the New York Mets on Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
"It will be fun for everybody," he said. "I'm just going to concentrate on what I'm doing on the mound."
In other spring training games: Cubs 12, Giants 6
At Scottsdale, Ariz., Kosuke Fukudome walked, got hit by a pitch and hit an RBI single in his Cubs debut.
Brewers 7, Athletics 1
At Phoenix, Prince Fielder had an RBI double and Ryan Braun hit a tape-measure home run off Oakland starter Joe Blanton.
Tigers 4, Blue Jays 1
At Lakeland, Fla., Curtis Granderson homered and Magglio Ordonez drove in two runs for Detroit.
Cardinals 7, Mets 0
At Jupiter, Fla., Juan Gonzalez, trying to make the St. Louis roster as a reserve, had two hits and drove in a run.
Pirates 11, Phillies 6
At Clearwater, Fla., Ryan Howard hit his first home run this spring, but Adam LaRoche's shot off Kyle Kendrick helped Pittsburgh beat Philadelphia.
White Sox 12, Rockies (ss) 3
At Tucson, Ariz., Jose Contreras threw three solid innings and Alexei Ramirez went 4-for-5 for Chicago.
Rockies (ss) 5, Diamondbacks 5
At Tucson, Ariz., Kip Wells got off to a good start in his attempt to make the Rockies' rotation, pitching two scoreless innings.
Mariners 10, Padres 3
At Peoria, Ariz., Trevor Hoffman pitched a perfect inning for San Diego. Jeremy Reed and Rob Johnson hit home runs for Seattle.
Nationals 15, Georgetown 0
At Viera, Fla., Jason Bergmann pitched two scoreless innings and Washington outhit the Hoyas 17-4. Georgetown made eight errors.
Reds 6, Twins 1
At Sarasota, Fla., Matt Belisle and Josh Fogg combined to pitch four scoreless innings for Cincinnati.
Indians 12, Astros 2
On a chilly day at Winter Haven, Fla., Houston pitchers walked 10 in manager Cecil Cooper's spring debut.
Marlins 16, Orioles 3
At Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Sergio Mitre left with a stiff elbow for Florida, and Baltimore's Adam Loewen walked four in one-plus inning.
Rangers 3, Angels 3
At Tempe, Ariz., Torii Hunter hit an RBI double and a single in his Los Angeles debut. Ervin Santana allowed two runs and three hits in two innings.