Saturday, March 23, 2002

Baseball notebook

Unit flashing Cy Young form

The Associated Press

        PEORIA, Ariz. — Randy Johnson pitched six strong innings, his longest outing of the spring, as the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Seattle Mariners 10-3 Friday.

        Johnson, who has won three consecutive NL Cy Young Awards after winning an AL Cy Young for the Mariners in 1995, beat the Mariners for the second time this spring.

        He allowed two runs and four hits, with no walks and three strikeouts. He has one more start this spring, March 27 against the Chicago Cubs in Mesa, for the defending World Series champion Diamondbacks before the regular season.

        Coming off a 21-6 record in 2001, Johnson is 3-0 this spring with a 1.71 ERA. Johnson, 38, said he expects to have another big season for Arizona.

        “I'm the same pitcher as I was seven or eight years ago,” Johnson said. “Obviously, I don't want to get embarrassed in spring training. People still pay their hard-earned money to come out and watch me pitch and expect a certain performance.”


        Right-hander Ramon Ortiz signed a multiyear contract.

        The deal will be either for four years, or three with a club option, depending on when Ortiz becomes eligible for salary arbitration. Ortiz said the contract will be worth $11.7 million if he becomes arbitration eligible after this season or $7.25 million if he doesn't.

        Ortiz, 29, was 13-11 with a 4.36 ERA last season.


        • Orioles 4, Devil Rays 3 — Scott Erickson pitched six shutout innings before losing his touch, and Jeff Conine celebrated his new contract with an RBI double.

        Returning from elbow ligament surgery that kept him sidelined all last year, Erickson allowed three runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked three.

        “It's coming along,” he said. “I'm just trying to get my pitch count up.”

        Conine signed a two-year, $9.25 million extension before the game.

        • Blue Jays 7, Yankees 5 — Nick Johnson, the front-runner to be the Yankees' designated hitter, hit two solo homers.

        “I'm just putting some good swings on the ball, and they happen to go out,” said Johnson, who has four homers this spring. “Hopefully they'll keep going over.”

        • Cubs 10, Padres 9 — Corey Patterson homered twice and drove in four runs, and Roosevelt Brown hit a three-run homer off San Diego opening day starter Kevin Jarvis. Jarvis allowed seven runs and eight hits, including three homers, in five innings.

        Cubs opening day starter Jon Lieber was the winner despite allowing six runs and 10 hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out three.

        • Phillies 3, Red Sox 2 — Prospect Brett Myers is making a strong case to make Philadelphia's rotation, pitching six strong innings.

        Myers allowed five hits and one unearned run. He struck out five batters and walked three, lowering his ERA this spring to 3.18.

        “There's no question there's still a decision to be made,” manager Larry Bowa said.

        • Twins 8, Rangers 4 — After being announced as the Rangers' opening day starting pitcher, Chan Ho Park threw seven innings.

        Park allowed four runs — two earned — and seven hits. The right-hander didn't walk a batter and struck out five. He is expected to make one more start in Florida before pitching in the Rangers' first game, April1 at Oakland.

        “The only thing I'm concerned about is the weather,” Park said. “It might be colder there than it is in Florida. There is no pressure. I'm starting the first game, and I'm pitching the sixth game. It will be exactly the same.”

        • Rockies 15, White Sox 8 — Former White Sox Greg Norton hit two home runs for Colorado. The game featured eight homers, including two by Chicago's Jose Valentin.

        • Brewers 13, Angels 8 — Richie Sexson and Raul Casanova hit their fourth homers of the spring and Milwaukee had 25 hits off five Anaheim pitchers.

        The Angels lost despite hitting four homers.

        SHORT HOPS:

        The Phillies sent opening day starter Robert Person to pitch in a minor-league game Friday because he was nursing a strained left oblique muscle. Person wound up facing — and outpitching — the New York Yankees' Roger Clemens in a Triple-A game at New York's minor-league complex in Tampa. Person gave up one hit in six shutout innings.

        • Cubs manager Don Baylor said his five starting pitchers for the opening of the season would be Lieber, Kerry Wood, Juan Cruz, Jason Bere and Julian Tavarez. Lieber will pitch the season opener April 1 in Cincinnati.

        • New York Yankees outfielder Rondell White took batting practice for the first time since late last month Friday but is expected to miss opening day.


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