Tribe beats Phillies, but may be without Lee
Pittsburgh won its second straight game 5-2 over the Devil Rays.
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- Cliff Lee's lingering abdominal injury put a damper on the Cleveland Indians' 7-6 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.
After Shin-Soo Choo's two-run single in the ninth inning won it, manager Eric Wedge addressed the status of Lee, who has yet to pitch in a game this spring.
"We're remaining optimistic," Wedge said, adding that it is premature to worry about juggling a rotation that appeared set when camp opened.
Lee has not progressed, according to trainer Lonnie Soloff. He said if the left-hander, expected to be the Indians' No. 3 starter after totaling 46 wins the past three years, could not throw a bullpen session on Sunday he would be shut down for 10 to 12 days.
That would put Lee in jeopardy of not being ready for the start of the season and open a rotation spot for right-hander Fausto Carmona.
Sabathia allows one run
Cleveland's No. 1 starter, C.C. Sabathia, allowed one hit over three innings -- an opposite-field homer to left-center by Phillies slugger Ryan Howard.
"It was a fastball inside and he did a good job of keeping his hands in and getting to it," Sabathia said. "As soon as I saw the barrel of the bat on it, I knew. It was gone."
Sabathia worked so efficiently that he went to the bullpen and made 19 more pitches to get his work in. The past two years, Sabathia missed about a month at the start of the season with a strained muscle along his side.
"C.C. continues to throw all his pitches well," Wedge said.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel wasn't as pleased with his pitchers.
"We did some pretty good things -- offensively," Manuel said. "We've got some openings in the bullpen and looking for guys who can get people out. I'm still looking."
Victor Martinez hit a three-run homer in the Indians' first inning off left-hander Brian Mazone.
Pirates 5, Devil Rays 2
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Shane Youman apparently hasn't been told the competition for the No. 5 spot in the Pittsburgh Pirates' rotation is supposed to be a two-man race between Tony Armas Jr. and Shawn Chacon.
Youman followed up a strong outing against the Yankees with a better one Thursday, pitching three shutout innings against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in a victory highlighted by Humberto Cota's two-run single.
The Pirates won for the second day in a row after going winless, with one tie, in their first six exhibition games.
Youman -- a 43rd-round draft pick in 2000 -- was just another pitcher in the Pirates' system last spring. But he emerged as a major league prospect by going 11-2 with a 2.29 ERA with two minor league teams last season. He had a 2.91 ERA in five Pirates games following a late-season tryout in September and has followed that with five shutout innings this spring.
"This is my first big league camp and I didn't know what to expect," Youman said. "I've been getting a lot of advice from the other players and coaches, and I'm trying to prepare myself for the season."
The major league season, that is.
"Hey can flat-out pitch," manager Jim Tracy said. "He has poise, demeanor and can throw strikes. What is there not to like about him?"
The 27-year-old Youman credits the turnaround in his career to an offseason vacation trip to his father's native Nigeria following the 2005 season. There, he saw how many people not only coped with but were happy in their lives despite substandard living conditions.
"That opened my eyes," he said. "It made me realize that I'm a whole lot better off, and understand that the everyday grind of baseball" doesn't compare to the hardships many must endure on an everyday basis.
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