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Spring Training Roundup

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Roy Halladay knew how to stay grounded despite the excitement of his first spring training start.

Halladay, the Blue Jays' ace, opened spring training with two scoreless innings and allowed just one ball out of the infield Thursday in Toronto's 4-1 victory over a Boston Red Sox split squad.

Eric Hinske, Halladay's former Toronto teammate, hit a wind-blown double off the starter. Halladay got all six outs on grounders.

He didn't feel any of the forearm problems that bothered him last year.

``I thought about that more the first few times I was playing catch,'' he said. ``After that point, I felt very comfortable with it, and it has kind of really disappeared.''

Manager John Gibbons liked what he saw.

``Basically all he threw was his fastball and changeup, move it around, in and out,'' Gibbons said. ``That's pretty much the different approach he is taking this year.''

The game's ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by 87-year old Mickey Carroll, who was a Munchkin in the 1939 movie ``The Wizard of Oz.''

Giants 9, Cubs 2

At Mesa, Ariz., high-priced free agents Alfonso Soriano and Barry Zito made their spring training debuts and, fittingly, saw each other right away. Soriano led off for the Cubs, stepping in against San Francisco's prize acquisition. On his eighth pitch, Zito struck out Soriano with a chest-high fastball. Soriano left Washington and signed an eight-year, $136 million contract. Zito received a $126 million, seven-year deal in late December to cross the Bay Bridge from Oakland.

Angels 7, Royals 6

At Tempe, Ariz., Gary Matthews Jr. got his nicest reception of the week in his debut for Los Angeles. The All-Star center fielder drew polite applause when he led off and went 0-for-2. Matthews said he still could not talk about allegations that he got human growth hormone from a pharmacy that's part of a widespread steroid investigation.

Diamondbacks 8, White Sox (ss) 5

At Tucson, Ariz., Chicago closer Bobby Jenks said he had full flexibility in his right shoulder after receiving a massage and ice treatments. A day before, he left early in his spring debut. NL Cy Young winner Brandon Webb pitched two innings.

Indians 13, Astros 2

At Winter Haven, Fla., Cleveland found out that pitcher Cliff Lee will be sidelined at least three days by a strained right abdominal muscle. He will miss his scheduled start Friday.

Yankees 6, Twins 1

At Tampa, Fla., Johnny Damon gave George Steinbrenner quite an early eyeful. With the New York owner in his suite, Damon hit a leadoff homer and Jason Giambi also connected.

Mets 4, Cardinals 3

At Port St. Lucie, Fla., Tom Glavine pitched two scoreless innings for New York. St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter gave up two runs in three innings.

Red Sox 11 (ss), Northeastern 0

At Fort Myers, Fla., the Red Sox got a win with Josh Beckett striking out five over two innings of a seven-inning victory over Northeastern University.

Padres 4, Mariners 3

At Peoria, Ariz., San Diego ace Jake Peavy pitched two scoreless innings despite sinus pain. After the game, he found 20 messages on his phone from friends and family checking in from tornado-ravaged Alabama.

Tigers 9, Phillies 7

At Lakeland, Fla., Mike Maroth threw two shutout innings for Detroit and Gary Sheffield hit a three-run homer. Maroth missed most of last season while recovering from surgery on his injured left elbow.

Marlins 8, Orioles 6

At Jupiter, Fla., Baltimore newcomer Steve Trachsel gave up three runs in his lone inning.

Reds 9, Pirates 7

At Bradenton, Fla., Josh Hamilton, Brandon Phillips and Mark Bellhorn homered for Cincinnati. Luis Matos hit two home runs for Pittsburgh and top prospect Andrew McCutchen homered and doubled.

Braves 7, Dodgers 2

At Kissimmee, Fla., Kyle Davis pitched two sharp innings. Atlanta is hoping he can earn a spot in the rotation despite going 3-7 with an 8.38 ERA in 14 starts last year.

Rockies 4, White Sox (ss) 3

At Tucson, Ariz., Joe Crede homered for Chicago.

Brewers 14, Athletics 8

At Phoenix, Ryan Braun hit a grand slam and a three-run homer for Milwaukee. He was the Brewers' top pick in the 2005 draft.
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