Mental block continues to plague Knoblauch

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2001

Chuck Knoblauch can't seem to shake his throwing problems.

The Yankees second baseman made his sixth error of the spring, a bad throw in the ninth inning that led to an unearned run Saturday as New York lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 in a split-squad game in Tampa, Fla.

With runners on first and second with one out, Phil Hiatt grounded to third. Andy Morales threw to second for a forceout, and Knoblauch's throw to first bounded on one hop off Tino Martinez's glove and into the stands as Chris Donnels came home.

Knoblauch declined comment after the game. Five of his errors have been on throws.

''It's more or less getting through it, dealing with it and just being able to live with it,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre said. ''I don't know what the answer is. This is something that obviously is a tough thing to deal with. The important thing is that you deal with it, you don't pretend it's not there and he's doing that.''

At Fort Myers, Fla., Pedro Martinez was hit at the base of the thumb on his glove hand by a line drive off Wilton Guerrero's bat in the fifth inning of Boston's 11-1 win over Cincinnati.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner had X-rays of his left hand, but they were negative.

''I'm not injured,'' said Martinez, who completed the inning and then came out. ''The glove is the right hand to be hit. Nothing really scary.''

Martinez struck out seven and gave up five hits in five scoreless innings. In his first spring training start on Monday, Martinez struck out seven in four hitless innings.

At Winter Haven, Fla., the Indians said All-Star third baseman Travis Fryman will avoid surgery on his right elbow but he will not be able to throw for three or four weeks.

''I'm disappointed, but at least there won't be surgery and that's a relief,'' he said.

Blue Jays 4, Yankees (ss) 2

At Dunedin, Fla., Alberto Castillo had three hits, including a go-ahead homer off Brian Boehringer in the seventh. Sid Fernandez, trying to make it back to the major leagues for the first time since 1997, allowed one run and five hits in four innings, throwing 33 of 43 pitches for strikes.

Dodgers (ss) 9, Marlins 6

At Melbourne, Fla., Ryan Dempster allowed three runs -- two earned -- six hits, three walks and a hit batter. Joe Strong gave up three runs, four walks and no hits in the fifth, walking three in a row.

Indians 7, Phillies 1

At Clearwater, Fla., Charles Nagy lowered his spring ERA to 2.08, allowing one run and five hits in five innings. Nelson Figueroa, starting for Philadelphia because Robert Person had a stiff shoulder, allowed six runs and seven hits in two-plus innings.

Mets (ss) 3, Orioles (ss) 1

At Port St. Lucie, Fla., Robin Ventura hit a three-run homer in the sixth off John Parrish.

Cardinals (ss) 4, Orioles (ss) 3

At Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Darrell Whitmore tripled off Jorge Julio in the ninth, then scored on Quinton McCracken's grounded to first, beating Mike Kinkade's throw.

Cardinals (ss) 3, Expos 1 (ss)

At Jupiter, Fla., Dustin Hermanson allowed six hits in four shutout innings against his former team. The Cardinals have won eight straight.

Twins 9, Rangers 1

At Fort Myers, Jay Canizaro and Matt Lawton homered off loser Rick Helling, who gave up seven runs, seven hits and two wild pitches.

Royals 5, Tigers 2

At Haines City, Fla., Mike Sweeney hit his fourth home run of the spring and Chad Durbin struck out five in four innings.

Braves 4, Astros 3

At Kissimmee, Fla., Marcus Giles hit a game-winning single off Kyle Kessel with two outs in the ninth.

Diamondbacks 10, Rockies (ss) 2

At Tucson, Ariz., Reggie Sanders homered twice for the second day in a row -- giving him four homers in five at-bats. Both home runs came off Ron Villone, one to lead off the game, the other a two-run shot in a four-run fourth.

Athletics 7, Mariners 6

At Phoenix, Jason Giambi hit his second homer of the spring and Mark Bellhorn hit a decisive two-run shot in the eighth off Jeff Nelson.

Giants 11, Cubs 0

At Scottsdale, Ariz., Jeff Kent drove in three runs and Shawn Estes allowed four hits in six innings.

Padres 8, Angels 7

At Peoria, Ariz., Damian Jackson and Bubba Trammell hit three-run homers off Tim Belcher in the third. Scott Morgan went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer off Trevor Hoffman in the fifth.

White Sox (ss) 16, Brewers 8

At Phoenix, Paul Konerko was 4-for-5 with five RBIs. Chicago trailed 6-5 before scoring six runs in the seventh, three on a double by Tony Graffanino.

Rockies (ss) 11, White Sox (ss) 8

At Tucson, Juan Pierre went 3-for-4 and Ben Petrick was 2-for-3. Chicago right-hander Jeff Juden lasted just 1 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs and eight hits. Colorado starter Masato Yoshii pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and four walks.

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