Spring Training Notebook

Masterson Strong, but Orioles Top Red Sox

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Associated Press
Tuesday, March 3, 2009

There is little question about Justin Masterson's importance to the Boston Red Sox this season. The only uncertainty is his role.

Masterson pitched two scoreless innings yesterday in Boston's 5-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In two appearances, the right-hander has allowed no runs, two hits and one walk in four innings.

The only question for the Red Sox is will he be used as a starter or reliever. The answer is to be determined, but Masterson says it doesn't matter to him, and Boston Manager Terry Francona is in no rush to make a decision.

Masterson retired six of seven Baltimore batters, allowing a first-inning single by Nick Markakis.

Baltimore starter Brad Bergeson pitched three innings of scoreless ball, allowing four hits and striking out three. The 23-year-old was a long shot to make the team until injuries to Rich Hill, John Parrish and Brad Hennessey lessened the odds.

"It's a great opportunity," Bergeson said.

-- YANKEES: Left-hander CC Sabathia threw 28 pitches over two innings in a simulated game.

The expected Opening Day starter made 14 pitches in both innings against Hideki Matsui and Kevin Cash in preparation for his first spring training start Friday night.

"Just trying to get a feel for it, the first time throwing to guys without a [pitching] screen up," Sabathia said. "It felt good."

Meantime, Alex Rodriguez says he's happy to put behind him a meeting with baseball officials about his use of steroids more than five years ago.

The Yankees slugger reported to the Dominican Republic team yesterday and took part in its first workout in preparation for the World Baseball Classic.


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