GRAPEFRUIT LEAGUE ROUNDUP \ Cleveland and Pittsburgh
Indians (ss) 11, Tigers (ss) 8
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- Jake Gautreau hit a three-run homer and Ramon Vazquez added a three-run double to lead the Indians in a split-squad game. Ex-Indian Ryan Ludwick had a two-run homer and four RBIs and Brandon Inge a three-run double for Detroit. Paul Byrd pitched two innings in his first outing since signing a two-year, $14 million contract as a free agent in December. It was the 35-year-old right-hander's first game in an Indians uniform since spring training of 1994, when he spent his fourth year in Cleveland's farm system before being traded to the New York Mets. Byrd went 12-11 for the Los Angeles Angels in 2005 and was the only pitcher to beat the White Sox during Chicago's 11-1 run to the World Series title. Byrd said one reason he signed with Cleveland was because of the Indians' solid defense -- which quickly deserted him. In the first inning, shortstop Jhonny Peralta battled the sun's glare before dropping a pop fly in short left-center. Two batters later, Ludwick had an RBI single. In the Tigers' second, Marcus Thames got credit for a double when his fly ball fell 10 feet from left-fielder Franklin Gutierrez, who was shading his eyes and ducking. Thames eventually scored on an RBI single by Mike Rabelo. Gutierrez drew a bases-loaded walk and Vazquez followed with a three-run double in the bottom half off Wil Ledezma. Peralta added an RBI single for a 5-2 Cleveland lead. Gautreau's three-run homer off Joel Zumaya made it 8-2 in the third. Ludwick homered off Jason Davis in the fifth.
Indians (ss) 7, Twins (ss) 3
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Andy Marte showed off his good glove, starting two crisp double plays. Marte, acquired by Boston from Atlanta and then dealt to the Indians for Coco Crisp, is regarded as a third-base top prospect. Rated the 14th-best prospect in the game by Baseball America, Marte displayed his defensive prowess when he started double plays in consecutive innings by snagging line drives and making strong throws to first. Brandon Phillips, bidding to land a spot as a utility player, hit a two-run homer in the sixth off Matt Guerrier for a 3-0 Cleveland lead. Michael Cuddyer, the front-runner to be Minnesota's regular right fielder, had a tying RBI double in the eighth before the Indians scored four times. Cleveland rookie Jordan Brown, wearing uniform No. 98 in the first spring training game of his professional career, hit an RBI single to put the Indians up 4-3 in the ninth off loser Adam Harben. Minnesota starter Boof Bonser threw two shutout innings.
Pirates 7, Red Sox 6
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Sean Burnett took a short but significant step back from reconstructive elbow surgery with one scoreless inning for the Pirates. The 23-year-old left-hander missed all of last season after undergoing the "Tommy John" operation and the Pirates originally projected he wouldn't be ready until June. But he has a chance to fill one of the two vacancies in their rotation. The first-round pick in 2000 and Pittsburgh's minor league pitcher of the year the next two years was 5-5 with a 5.02 ERA with the Pirates in 2004. The first batter he faced in the first inning Saturday, Willie Harris, reached on an error by shortstop Freddy Sanchez. Mark Loretta's single sent Harris to second before Burnett got Trot Nixon to fly out to left field and Mike Lowell to ground into a double play. The Pirates improved their exhibition record to 3-0 on Mike Edwards' sacrifice fly that broke a 6-6 tie in the ninth inning.
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