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A-Rod bruises cheek on tag play at third

Posted: Thursday, March 25, 2004

Alex Rodriguez left the New York Yankees' exhibition game against Boston on Wednesday night after being hit in the face by a deflected ball at third base.

The team said Rodriguez has a bruised left cheekbone, and that a CT scan was negative.

It all happened against the Red Sox, the team that tried and failed to land the reigning AL MVP him this winter before the Yankees managed to work out a deal to acquire him from Texas and move him to third base from shortstop, his natural position.

Brian Daubach was on first base when Kevin Millar doubled to left field. Hideki Matsui fielded the ball and threw to third, but it hit Daubach on the leg as he slid and ricocheted into Rodriguez's face below his left eye.

Also in Tampa, Fla., Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams went 1-for-5 in his spring debut and opening day starter Mike Mussina allowed one run in 5 1-3 innings in a minor league game.

Williams, who had his appendix removed Feb. 26, was the designated hitter in the Triple-A game against Toronto minor leaguers.

''I've got to get out there playing,'' Williams said. ''I'm going crazy. But at the same time I know I have to keep it under control.''

Mussina gave up four hits, one walk and struck out five in his final outing before the regular-season opener March 30 in Tokyo against Tampa Bay.

''It's going to be hard physically and mentally,'' Mussina said. ''It's a long way to go. Day and night are opposite. It's hard to adjust.''

In Viera, Fla., Rob Ramsay made his first exhibition appearance for the Baltimore Orioles, two years after having a cancerous tumor removed from the front of his brain.

Ramsay, pitching against major league hitters for the first time since last spring with San Diego, allowed one run on two hits in one inning in Baltimore's 3-2 loss to Montreal.

''I feel good. I'm pleased to be out there. I feel like I did a pretty good job,'' said Ramsay, who wore a helmet for extra protection. ''They got hits on pitches I could have thrown a little bit better, but that's how it is on this level.''

Also, Fred McGriff, nine homers shy of 500, was reassigned to Tampa Bay's minor league camp. The 40-year-old McGriff hit .250 with two RBIs this spring.

In spring training games:

Yankees 8, Red Sox 6

At Tampa, Fla., Yankees starter Donovan Osborne, competing for the final spot in the rotation, gave up four runs and five hits in five innings in the victory. David McCarty hit a three-run homer for Boston in the fourth.

Expos 3, Orioles 2

At Viera, Fla., Montreal starter Tomo Ohka allowed one run on four hits in six innings, and Luis Lopez singled in the winning run in the sixth.

White Sox 8, Mariners 2

At Tucson, Ariz., Frank Thomas hit a solo homer and added two doubles in three at-bats for the White Sox, a day after volunteering to move from third to fourth in the batting order.

With Thomas hitting fourth, Magglio Ordonez moved into the third spot. He hit a solo homer and added a double.

White Sox starter Jon Garland improved to 4-0, pitching six shutout innings and allowing just four hits.

Mets 4, Astros 1

At Port St. Lucie, Fla., New York starter Tyler Yates improved to 3-0, shutting out Houston for five innings.

Yates threw only 48 pitches, didn't walk a batter and struck out three. Ty Wigginton hit a two-run homer in the fourth to snap the Houston starters' scoreless streak at 30 innings.

Devils Rays 2, Indians 0

At Winter Haven, Fla., Tampa Bay starter Paul Abbott allowed only two singles in five innings. Eduardo Perez homered in the ninth, and Julio Lugo had three hits.

Athletics 7, Rangers 3

At Surprise, Ariz., Adam Melhuse tied it at 2 with a two-run homer in the second, and Graham Koonce hit a solo shot in the fourth to put Oakland ahead for good. The A's are 9-1 after starting the spring 1-4.

Padres 12, Giants 4

At Scottsdale, Ariz., Brian Giles hit a three-run homer and pitcher Ismael Valdez had a two-run single for San Diego. Ramon Vazquez singled and had a two-run triple, both in the Padres' seven-run fifth.

Diamondbacks 10, Rockies 9

At Tucson, Ariz., Chad Tracy and Jamie D'Antona each had two hits and two RBIs for Arizona. Greg Aquino pitched two innings for the victory.

Angels 8, Cubs 7

At Tempe, Ariz., Anaheim starter Kelvim Escobar allowed only one run in 4 2-3 innings, and Howard Kendrick singled in the winning run in the ninth.

Reds 11, Tigers 6

At Lakeland, Fla., Jose Acevedo pitched four solid innings, and Jason LaRue, Jacob Cruz and Adam Dunn homered for Cincinnati.

Blue Jays 5, Phillies 4, 10 innings

At Clearwater, Fla., Toronto's Chris Woodward led off the ninth with a tying solo homer off Tim Worrell, and Kevin Cash won it with a sacrifice fly in the 10th off Jim Crowell.

Cardinals 4, Marlins 3

At Jupiter, Fla., Ray Lankford singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth for St. Louis.

Pirates 5, Twins 2

At Fort Myers, Fla., Randall Simon hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning for Pittsburgh.



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