Mets (ss) 7, Indians (ss) 1
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- Japanese import Yasaku Iriki pitched three impressive innings for New York and Sandy Martinez homered to lead the Mets over Cleveland. Paul Byrd (1-1) gave up seven runs and nine hits in only 1 2/3 innings, while Guillermo Mota struck out two in one inning in his first outing for Cleveland. Iriki (1-0), a 33-year-old in his second month in America, said he was not satisfied with allowing only one run and one hit -- a two-out RBI single by Jhonny Peralta in the third. "Too many walks," Iriki said through an interpreter after walking three and striking out two. The right-hander, who pitched eight years in Japan's pro leagues and once was a teammate of Yankees star outfielder Hideki Matsui, signed a one-year contract in January. He said adjusting to a different baseball is as difficult as learning American customs. "I had no feel for my slider," Iriki said. "The baseball here is horsehide and more slippery than the Japanese ball, which is cowskin." Byrd, signed to a two-year, $14.25 million deal as a free agent in December, didn't have his best stuff, either. "I had no zip on my fastball, got some pitches up, and when I made a good pitch they hit those, too," he said. "But the time to worry is if you are hurt. I feel good. I know I'm not going to lead the Grapefruit League in ERA." After two starts, his ERA is 19.64. Three rookies keyed the Mets' 15-hit attack. Shortstop Anderson Hernandez went 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI, second baseman Jeff Keppinger was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI while outfielder Lastings Milledge drove in two runs. Mota, who missed half of last season with tendinitis in his right shoulder and elbow, threw 24 pitches. "Everything felt nice and loose," he said. "No pain. It's good." Travis Hafner played first base for Cleveland and made a nice diving stop of a sharp grounder to his right to get an out in the second inning. That came after he mistakenly cut off a throw from right field. "My fault, but it was a good refresher course for me to remember not to do that," said Hafner, normally the designated hitter. "I forgot that when nobody yells out anything, you let the throw go. If I let it go, the guy was out."
Indians (ss) 7, Blue Jays (ss) 4
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Andy Marte went 4-for-4 with a home run, double and three RBIs to lead Cleveland. Toronto starter A.J. Burnett allowed four runs, five hits and one walk in three innings and was the loser. He started just seven of 16 batters with strikes. Eric Hinske and Guillermo Quiroz hit solo homers for Toronto, and Russ Adams had two hits, including a triple. Cleveland starter Jeremy Sowers allowed two runs, five hits and two walks in three innings.
Yankees 8, Pirates (ss) 3
TAMPA, Fla. -- Gary Sheffield had a run-scoring single in his first at-bat after missing three games with a sore right hamstring. He finished 1-for-2 with a walk as the designated hitter. Yankees starter Jaret Wright gave up two runs and three hits in 2 2/3 innings. He had two strikeouts and two walks. Pittsburgh left-hander Paul Maholm allowed five runs, six hits and three walks over three innings. Andy Phillips had an RBI double during a three-run third that gave the Yankees a 5-2 lead. Ryan Doumit hit a solo homer in the fourth for the Pirates. New York first baseman Jason Giambi sat out his second consecutive game because of a strained left calf.
Pirates 5, Reds (ss) 0
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Sean Casey was hit in the helmet by a pitch, but came away with only minor swelling above his eye. In the third, left-hander Michael Gosling hit Casey in the helmet. The first baseman lay on the ground for several seconds, then got up and went to first base. He left the game as a precaution after the inning. Gosling, trying to impress the Reds in case they need a fill-in while Paul Wilson recovers from shoulder surgery, covered his head after hitting Casey. After the inning, Casey approached Gosling to let him know he had no problem with the pitch. Craig Stansberry hit a three-run home run off Cincinnati's Josh Hall, who missed last season following shoulder surgery. Tom Gorzelanny, Marty McLeary and Scott Strickland each threw three scoreless innings for the Pirates.
Associated Press

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