Sun, Mar 27, 2005 - Page 23 News List

Schilling warms up arm against Minnesota Twins

AP , NEW YORK

Curt Schilling struggled with the heat, the wind and the Twins during his first spring training appearance against a major league team Friday.

The Boston Red Sox ace allowed three runs and five hits in 3 2-3 innings during Minnesota's 5-1 victory in Fort Myers, Florida. He said he "pitched very poorly" in a game he had anticipated for some time -- his first since the World Series.

"This has been a day I've been looking forward to since November and I was a little spent this morning getting ready for this game," said Schilling, who underwent ankle surgery in November but said his arm and ankle feel fine.

He's expected to make one more spring appearance in a minor league game, then go on the disabled list and pitch April 7 for minor league team Triple-A Pawtucket at Indianapolis. His only other exhibition action came last Monday when he threw three innings in a minor league game.

On Friday, he allowed homers on consecutive pitches to Jacque Jones and Michael Restovich in the fourth. Schilling threw 66 pitches, 40 for strikes, and left to a standing ovation with two outs in the fourth. He tipped his cap to fans in both the left-field and right-field stands.

"If it wasn't 4,000 degrees, I probably could have stayed in and thrown a little bit more. I certainly didn't feel like I was tired from pitching," he said.

Pedro Martinez never even made it to the mound Friday night for the New York Mets, scratched from his scheduled start against the Marlins in Jupiter, Florida, because of a stiff lower back.

The three-time Cy Young pitching award winner went to a hospital for X-rays, which were negative. He plans to return to the mound next Tuesday or Wednesday and still expects to be ready to pitch on opening day April 4 in Cincinnati.

"It's a matter of one or two more days and I'll feel better. I'm feeling a lot better already," Martinez said at the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie. "Right now, we just don't want to take any chances on making it worse or being in jeopardy for opening day. Opening day, without a doubt, if I play it careful right now, it's going to be there for me."

The 33-year-old right-hander has had trouble with his shoulder before, but his back has never been a problem.

Martinez, who has looked sharp all spring, thinks he might have pushed himself too hard after his last start, a five-inning effort against Los Angeles last Sunday.

His back began bothering him when he worked out Tuesday, and he felt stiffness during his side session Wednesday. But Martinez and the Mets said they are not concerned.

"I'm just being cautious. To me, it's not a big deal. I'm just getting my guys healthy and ready for the season,'' rookie manager Willie Randolph said.

Martinez teamed up with Schilling to lead Boston to its first World Series title in 86 years last season, then left the Red Sox for a US$53 million, four-year contract with the Mets.

Phillies 6, Yankees 5, 10 innings

At Clearwater, Florida, Carl Pavano had another solid outing for New York and Derek Jeter homered in his first start at shortstop in a week. The Yankees also released Doug Glanville.

Pat Burrell hit a three-run homer off former Philadelphia reliever Felix Rodriguez. Phillies No. 1 starter Jon Lieber struggled in his first outing against his former team.

Tigers (ss) 4, Cardinals (ss) 4

At Jupiter, Florida, Chris Carpenter pitched five solid innings for St. Louis, but gave up a three-run homer to Magglio Ordonez.

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