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Martinez throws four scoreless innings for Mets

Sunday, March 16, 2008

By The Associated Press

Pedro Martinez worked out of trouble in his spring training debut Sunday while Carlos Delgado was lucky to avoid a serious injury. Jeff Francoeur also was feeling fortunate.

Finally on the mound against major league hitters, Martinez pitched four scoreless innings to help the New York Mets beat the Detroit Tigers 7-4 in a split-squad game at Port St. Lucie, Fla.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner had an earlier exhibition start rained out and skipped another because it would've meant a three-hour trip across the state. He allowed four hits against Detroit and struck out four, including Carlos Guillen, Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez in order.

"I'm happy about getting out there and facing some real hitters," said Martinez, who missed most of last season following shoulder surgery. "I'm right where I want to be."

Delgado, one of many Mets already injured this spring, definitely was in the wrong spot. He needed four stitches to close a bloody gash in his arm after a freak accident.

The slugger hit an RBI double in the third inning and later took a lead off third base.

Brady Clark swung and broke his bat, and the jagged barrel sailed down the line and speared Delgado on the outside of his right forearm. Right away, his arm was covered in red.

"It was a lot more blood than I wanted to see," Delgado said.

Delgado immediately left the game. He was previously scheduled to be off Monday and expected to be out a couple of days.

Delgado said he was watching Clark's infield popout and didn't see trouble headed in his direction. When he spotted the flying bat, he tried to twist his body but it was too late.

"You always think you have time to get out of the way," he said.

Francoeur also had a scare when he was beaned by St. Louis pitcher Todd Wellemeyer in Jupiter, Fla., but the Atlanta Braves' right fielder walked away with just a busted lip.

Francoeur, who still has a plate in his head from a serious beaning in the minors, knew soon after getting hit by Wellemeyer's pitch during a 3-2 victory over the Cardinals that he wasn't seriously injured. X-rays taken at a hospital were negative and Francoeur could be back in the lineup in a few days.

"There's no doubt I'm feeling some pain," he said. "Luckily it didn't mess up my jaw."

Francoeur was down for a few minutes after being hit, but didn't lose consciousness and walked off the field accompanied by a trainer. Francoeur returned to Roger Dean Stadium about the time the game was ending.

"I'm glad," Wellemeyer said. "It was just a changeup that got away from me."

Francoeur had the orbital bone around his right eye broken in 2004 when he played for Class-A Myrtle Beach, one reason the Braves were concerned. He was hit on the left side of his face Sunday.

"You hate to see that, especially this close to the end of spring training," Atlanta pitcher Tom Glavine said. "Obviously, he's right at the top of the list of guys you just don't think you can afford to have out for any length of time."

In other news, Josh Beckett will stay behind when the Red Sox fly 7,500 miles to Tokyo on Wednesday, even though he threw a ball 75 feet without back pain on Sunday.

Boston manager Terry Francona made official what had been obvious for several days: his ace right-hander won't travel to Japan, where he probably would have started the Red Sox regular-season opener against Oakland.

"He's not going to go with us to Japan," Francona said in Fort Myers, Fla. "Talked to him this morning about it. He completely understands. ... It's just not the right thing to do."

Baseball's only 20-game winner last season threw for the first time in eight days since hurting his back. But Beckett might not even join the team in Los Angeles for three exhibition games against the Dodgers from March 28-30.

Ian Snell and the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to three-year deal worth at least $8 million, five days after the team unilaterally renewed the pitcher's contract for 2008.

Snell would have been eligible for salary arbitration after next season. The agreement includes team options for 2011 and 2012.

"I'm really happy about this because this is where I want to be," Snell said. "I want to be here when we start winning again."

In other spring training games: Padres 6, Dodgers 3

At Beijing, Scott Hairston hit a go-ahead, two-run double to help San Diego overcome a three-run deficit in the second of the teams' two exhibition games in China.

Brewers 8, Mariners 4

At Peoria, Ariz., Milwaukee ace Ben Sheets and Seattle star Felix Hernandez allowed nine runs in a combined 7 1-3 innings. J.J. Hardy and Corey Hart homered for the Brewers.

Diamondbacks 6, White Sox 5

At Tucson, Ariz., the Diamondbacks' Dan Haren gave up five runs, three earned, and six hits in five innings. Jermaine Dye hit a two-run homer for Chicago.

Cubs 4, Angels (ss) 1

At Mesa, Ariz., Carlos Zambrano pitched six shutout innings and Alfonso Soriano homered for Chicago.

Marlins 7, Dodgers 6

At Vero Beach, Fla., Los Angeles pitcher Derek Lowe had another rough outing, allowing four runs and six hits, including homers by Dan Uggla and Jorge Cantu.

Yankees 7, Indians 6

At Tampa, Fla., C.C. Sabathia allowed three runs and five hits over four innings and Grady Sizemore went 3-for-4 with two homers and three RBIs for Cleveland.

Phillies 6, Reds 2

At Sarasota, Fla., opening-day starter Brett Myers allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings for Philadelphia.

Braves 3, Cardinals 2

At Jupiter, Yunel Escobar hit his second home run of the spring for Atlanta. Glavine allowed two runs in five innings, the longest of his four spring starts.

Angels (ss) 5, Giants (ss) 2

At Scottsdale, Ariz., probable opening-day starter Jered Weaver won his fourth spring start in as many tries, pitching five scoreless innings.

Rays 7, Tigers (ss) 2

At St. Petersburg, Fla., James Shields, the likely opening-day starter for Tampa Bay due to Scott Kazmir's elbow strain, worked 4 2-3 scoreless innings.

Pirates 6, Red Sox 3

At Bradenton, Fla., Freddy Sanchez hit a three-run double to snap a tie and key a four-run seventh inning for Pittsburgh.

Royals 13, Giants (ss) 3

At Surprise, Ariz., Zack Greinke allowed one run and three hits in five innings against a San Francisco lineup missing most of its starters.

Athletics 9, Rangers 7

At Phoenix, Texas pitcher Sidney Ponson gave up four runs in the first inning, then settled down. He allowed six hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 2 1-3 innings.

Blue Jays 8, Twins 3

At Fort Myers, Fla., Livan Hernandez insisted he's ready in case Minnesota calls on him to start on opening day despite giving up six runs and nine hits in four innings.

Mets (ss) 6, Astros 4

At Kissimmee, Fla., Nelson Figueroa allowed only Lance Berkman's solo homer, helping his bid to make New York's roster. He hasn't pitched in the major leagues since 2004.

Orioles 11, Nationals 3

At Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Daniel Cabrera pitched five scoreless innings before running into trouble in the sixth for Baltimore.



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