Sun, Mar 07, 2004 - Page 23 News List

Jason Giambi feels grand after cutting out junk food

AP , NEW YORK

Jason Giambi hit a grand slam in the third inning and the New York Yankees beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-5 on Friday in Alex Rodriguez's first spring game in pinstripes.

During the offseason, Giambi testified before the grand jury investigating steroid distribution. Giambi, who has denied using steroids, arrived at camp saying he lost 2kg by cutting out junk food.

"I'm still the same hitter," Giambi said. "In BP, I still hit them as far as I ever have."

Giambi, coming off knee surgery, also played four innings at first base, one more than on Tuesday, and said his knee felt fine.

Rodriguez made his debut at third base, handling four grounders and making one tag play in five innings. He let one ball kick off his glove but recovered in time to get the out at first, where Giambi stretched to pull in a throw that was high and wide.

"I felt pretty comfortable out there," Rodriguez said.

At the plate, the AL MVP was 0-for-2 with a groundout, a strikeout, and the walk that loaded the bases for Giambi's slam.

"When I was rounding third, I asked myself, `Where am I?'" Rodriguez said. "I felt like I was in Disney World."

Kevin Brown, pitching his first game for New York, allowed four hits over two scoreless innings. Ruben Sierra hit a two-run homer off loser Kevin Millwood, and Jorge Posada added a solo shot for the Yankees, who had just three hits Thursday in their spring opener, a 5-1 loss to the Phillies in Clearwater.

"That's more like it," Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said.

Brown, in line to start the Yankees' second regular-season game on March 31 in Tokyo against Tampa Bay, threw 13 of 15 pitches for strikes. He gave up two singles in both of his innings, but was helped by his defense.

"It was a pretty blah day stuff-wise," the 39-year-old right-hander said. "You'd love to go out there and just dominate, but it's early. Just get work in and be healthy. That's really the key this time of year."

Rangers 10, Royals 5

At Surprise, Arizona, Juan Gonzalez helped the Texas Rangers win another game, even though he is now on a different team.

Gonzalez's dropped flyball in the first inning led to three unearned Texas runs, and the Rangers went on to beat the Kansas City Royals 10-5.

Twins 10, Reds 4

At Fort Myers, Florida, Minnesota center fielder Torii Hunter was injured in a fourth-inning collision with the wall after an unsuccessful attempt to take a home run from Jacob Cruz. Hunter will be re-evaluated Saturday, but the injury is not serious.

Justin Morneau hit a two-run homer for the Twins. Cincinnati starter Cory Lidle gave up three hits and an unearned run in two innings.

Indians 14, Astros 2

At Winter Haven, Florida, Roy Oswalt pitched two perfect innings without discomfort in his first live action since undergoing offseason groin surgery.

Jake Westbrook gave up one hit in two innings as he began his campaign to remain in Cleveland's rotation.

Dodgers 6, Braves 5

At Vero Beach, Florida, Jolbert Cabrera led off the second inning with a homer and opened the bottom of the sixth with a tiebreaking shot off Ryan Glynn. Cabrera also homered twice for Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Atlanta's No. 4 starter, Horacio Ramirez gave up four runs and seven hits in two innings.

Pirates 6, Tigers 5

At Lakeland, Florida, Daryle Ward doubled and scored, and Keith McDonald hit a go-ahead single in the seventh inning for Pittsburgh.

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