Originally created 03/15/03

A-Rod hurt, Guerrero suspended

Alex Rodriguez should be ready for Texas' opening day despite a minor injury to his neck. The only way Vladimir Guerrero can play the opener for Montreal is if he appeals his suspension.

Guerrero was suspended for three games Friday and Florida pitcher Brad Penny was suspended for five games for their roles in a bench-clearing brawl this week.

Montreal infielder Jose Macias was suspended two games. All three players were also fined by baseball disciplinarian Bob Watson.

The suspensions for Guerrero and Penny are scheduled to start on opening day unless the players appeal them. Macias' suspension is scheduled to start April 4.

Watson figures to be busy in the next few days. He's still deciding a punishment for New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza and Los Angeles reliever Guillermo Mota after their brawl Wednesday.

This is the second straight year players have been suspended for regular season games because of a fight in spring training.

Last year, Anaheim's Scott Spiezio and Troy Glaus, and San Diego's Bobby Jones and Ryan Klesko were suspended after a fight between the Angels and Padres.

Rodriguez will miss at least a few days with a small herniated disc in his neck but the Rangers are confident their $252 million shortstop will be healthy by opening day.

"From everything we've been told about the injury, we sit here today very confident that Alex will be back any day," general manager John Hart said Friday. "There's no reason to think he won't."

Rodriguez complained of stiffness and fatigue in his left shoulder after playing Tuesday and Wednesday. He went back to Dallas Thursday for additional tests, which revealed a small herniated disc in one of the vertebrae in his neck and an irritated nerve.

Rodriguez received a cortisone injection Friday to relieve the swelling and is expected back in Rangers' camp Sunday or Monday.

"Knowing Alex, the whole idea is to keep him away from this environment," manager Buck Showalter said. "If Alex were here, he'd probably be back in the weight room."

The five-time All-Star led the majors last season with 57 home runs, 142 RBIs and 389 total bases. He became the fifth player in major league history to have consecutive 50-homer seasons, hitting 52 in 2001.

In exhibition games:

Diamondbacks 5, Giants 4

At Scottsdale, Ariz., Barry Bonds hit his sixth home run of the spring, a two-run shot for San Francisco. Chad Moeller and Alex Cintron homered for Arizona, which has never lost in 14 spring training games against the Giants.

Yankees (ss) 3, Devil Rays (ss) 0

At Tampa, Fla., Jose Contreras pitched two-hit ball for five innings in his best game for the Yankees. The Cuban defector entered the game with a 16.88 ERA in three previous outings.

Yankees (ss) 8, Braves 1

At Kissimmee, Fla., Jeff Weaver pitched five scoreless innings in his latest stellar spring appearance for the Yankees. Atlanta right-hander Paul Byrd missed a second straight start because of a pulled groin muscle.

Cardinals 7, Orioles 5

At Jupiter, Fla., Albert Pujols extended his spring hitting streak to 14 games and drove in two more runs. The St. Louis star is batting .442 in exhibition play with 21 RBIs in the Cardinals' 17 games.

Indians 9, Dodgers 4

At Winter Haven, Fla., Kevin Brown pitched four scoreless innings. The Dodgers' ace has allowed one earned run over 10 innings this spring after being limited to 10 starts last season because of elbow and back injuries.

Pirates 10, Phillies 7

At Clearwater, Fla., Craig Wilson drove in three runs for Pittsburgh while Vicente Padilla again struggled for Philadelphia. Earlier in the day, free agent outfielder Kenny Lofton and the Pirates agreed on a one-year contract.

Marlins 9, Mets 5

At Port St. Lucie, Fla., Luis Castillo and Robert Stratton homered as Florida roughed up Al Leiter. The left-hander was tagged for eight runs and nine hits in the first two innings.

Tigers (ss) 10, Reds 5 (ss)

At Sarasota, Fla., Dmitri Young homered and hit an RBI single against his former team to lead Detroit. Reds starter Jose Acevedo struck out six in the first two innings.

Twins 3, Devil Rays (ss) 2

At St. Petersburg, Fla., Nick Bierbrodt had another impressive outing in his bid to overcome control problems and a shooting that threatened his career last summer, working four scoreless innings for Tampa Bay. Red Sox 8, Reds (ss) 5

At Fort Myers, Fla., Kevin Millar, Doug Mirabelli and Trot Nixon homered for Boston. Brandon Larson and Kelly Stinnett connected for Cincinnati.

White Sox 10, Cubs (ss) 3

At Tucson, Ariz., Esteban Loaiza pitched five strong innings for the White Sox, allowing one run and three hits while striking out six. Joe Borchard hit his third spring homer for the White Sox.

Astros 2, Blue Jays 2, 10 innings

At Kissimmee, Fla., Pete Walker pitched four effective innings and also singled and scored a run for Toronto.

Cubs (ss) 3, Athletics (ss) 0

At Mesa, Ariz., Carlos Zambrano pitched five scoreless innings for the Cubs. Alex Gonzalez hit a two-run homer and Moises Alou had a pair of doubles for Chicago.

Rockies 8, Athletics (ss) 1

At Tucson, Ariz., Brent Butler hit a two-run homer off Oakland's Tim Hudson. Colorado left-hander Denny Neagle, pitching in a minor league game, left in the fourth inning with tightness in his elbow after allowing four earned runs and seven hits.

Royals 12, Padres 3

At Peoria, Ariz., Brandon Berger homered and doubled twice, driving in three runs and scoring three times to lead Kansas City.

Angels 9, Rangers 9, 10 innings

At Surprise, Ariz., Todd Greene and Ryan Christenson hit three-run homers for Texas. Gerald Laird's single in the bottom of the 10th scored Christenson, and the game was called because the Angels ran out of pitchers.

Mariners 10, Brewers 4

At Phoenix, Carlos Guillen and Pat Borders hit two-run homers in the fourth inning for Seattle.

Expos 7, Tigers (ss) 4

At Lakeland, Fla., Michael Barrett hit two home runs for Montreal.


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