Mon, Mar 14, 2005 - Page 20 News List

David Wells looks forward to opening day with Red Sox

AP , NEW YORK

David Wells made his Boston debut and began looking ahead to opening day.

Andy Pettitte is still waiting to make his first start of spring training.

Wells worked two solid innings during the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' 6-4 victory over the Red Sox on Saturday, then said he'd be happy to start opening night April 3 against his former team, the New York Yankees, if Curt Schilling isn't yet recovered from offseason ankle surgery.

"I don't mind taking the ball in any game no matter what, especially a big game, and the first game of the season is going to be a big game," said Wells, who now wears No. 3, the same number one of his favorite players, Babe Ruth, wore with the Yankees.

Pettitte was scratched from his scheduled start for Houston because of a sprained right ankle after falling down some stairs at his apartment Friday.

"He's feeling pretty good today and it is not as swollen as we thought it would be," Houston manager Phil Garner said.

Pettitte tested the ankle in a brief session at the Astros' camp Saturday morning. The 32-year-old left-hander is trying to rebound from an injury-plagued 2004 season that included three trips to the disabled list because of elbow problems.

"He probably could have gone a little longer, but we didn't want to push it," Garner said. "We'll give him another bullpen session on Tuesday and maybe pitch him in a game later in the week."

After going through rehab for the past eight months, Pettitte pitched three innings in a simulated game Tuesday.

Tim Redding replaced Pettitte and struck out six in four scoreless innings to help Houston defeat the Cleveland Indians 7-3 in Winter Haven, Florida.

At Fort Myers, Florida, the 41-year-old Wells allowed four hits, one earned run and a wild pitch. He had no walks or strikeouts while throwing 28 pitches, 20 for strikes.

"My only job here is to go in here and win with the Boston Red Sox and try to give them quality innings and try to bring another championship to Boston," Wells said.

B.J. Upton hit a solo homer for Tampa Bay. David Ortiz hit a three-run homer and Trot Nixon added a solo shot for Boston.

In other games:

Yankees 5, Phillies (ss) 2

At Tampa, Florida, Hideki Matsui hit a grand slam and Jaret Wright allowed three hits in three scoreless innings.

Twins 4, Blue Jays 1

At Dunedin, Florida, Carlos Silva threw four strong innings for Minnesota.

Nationals 6, Marlins 3

At Jupiter, Florida, Josh Beckett turned in the finest performance by any Florida starter this spring, allowing four hits and one unearned run in six innings.

Tigers 4, Braves (ss) 3

At Kissimmee, Florida, Tim Hudson became the first Atlanta starter to give up a run this spring, allowing a homer to Carlos Pena.

Mets 5, Dodgers 5, 11 innings

At Vero Beach, Florida, Kazuhisa Ishii made a strong case to rejoin Los Angeles' rotation, allowing one hit over four innings in his first start of the spring.

Mets (ss) 3, Cardinals 2

At Port St. Lucie, Florida, Matt Morris pitched two strong innings in his spring debut following offseason shoulder surgery, but Tom Glavine tossed four innings of no-hit ball for New York.

Carlos Beltran hit his second homer for the Mets, and David Wright had a two-run double.

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