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Spasms sideline Bosox ace

Josh Beckett was second in AL Cy Young voting last season.

Josh Beckett was second in AL Cy Young voting last season.

FORT MYERS — Josh Beckett's back pain began when he landed on a soft spot after his first warmup pitch. He threw five more, then walked off before the game even started.

Now the Red Sox must wonder for at least one more day when their ace can pitch again.

"We'll just have to wait and see how it feels tomorrow" was Beckett's only comment three hours after he felt back spasms and called catcher Jason Varitek to the mound after his sixth warmup pitch.

"I think everybody holds their collective breath hoping that the severity of this is manageable," pitching coach John Farrell said. "Obviously, missing a start is short term. But, again, it's too early to speculate when he'd be on the mound next."

Before the injury, Beckett, who was second to the Indians' C.C. Sabathia in the AL Cy Young Award voting last season, likely would have made two more starts in Florida before opening the regular season against Oakland on March 25 in Tokyo.

NO BONDS FOR BUD: Bud Selig has no plans to read any of Barry Bonds' grand jury testimony that was ordered released by a judge just more than a week ago. "No, I don't think so," Selig said. "I think all the lawyers around me will, but I don't think there's any reason for me at this time."

Bonds, the home run king, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice.

BLUE JAYS: Scott Rolen, acquired from St. Louis in the offseason, hit his first spring homer, a solo shot off the Tigers' Jeremy Bonderman in the second. Meanwhile, closer B.J. Ryan (left elbow) faced a group of Triple-A players at the team's minor-league complex and said he saw improvement from his last outing: "I threw some good fastballs that were good and lively and finished down in the zone."

BRAVES: Oft-injured left-hander Mike Hampton rode a stationary bike and had no discomfort a day after leaving a start with a mild groin strain. Manager Bobby Cox said he thinks Hampton, a former Crystal River standout, will start Wednesday.

METS: Right-hander Mike Pelfrey struggled against the Marlins, allowing seven runs and seven hits in 31/3 innings. "I was awful," said Pelfrey, 24, who had a 5.57 ERA in 15 big-league games last season. "That was me last year. That was me falling behind in the count pitching behind guys, missing my spots."

ORIOLES: Freddie Bynum will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and miss at least five weeks, ending his bid to be the opening-day shortstop. Bynum complained about a sore knee early in camp, and an MRI exam revealed a torn meniscus.

PADRES: Centerfielder Jim Edmonds said his strained right calf felt "much better" two days after he hurt it breaking out of the batter's box.

PHILLIES: Travis Blackley got his work in, and that's pretty much it for the positives. The left-hander allowed five runs on four hits and four walks in 12/3 innings in a 9-5 loss to the Indians. Philadelphia pitchers walked 10 overall.

RANGERS: Right-hander Brandon McCarthy has severe inflammation in his right elbow but no ligament damage, an MRI exam showed.

YANKEES: Leftfielder/DH Hideki Matsui, coming off right knee surgery in November, is scheduled to make his spring debut today against the Twins.

Spasms sideline Bosox ace 03/08/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:32am]
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