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Braves minor-league manager loses his eye

KISSIMMEE — Braves minor-league manager Luis Salazar has lost an eye after he was struck in the face by a line drive while watching a spring training game.

General manager Frank Wren said Wednesday that doctors were unable to save Salazar's left eye after the accident March 9. The former major-league player is otherwise recovering from his injuries and expects to manage Lynchburg of the Class A Carolina League this season.

Salazar, 54, was standing against the railing on the top step of the dugout during a game against the Cardinals when Brian McCann fouled a ball in his direction. Salazar was unable to get out of the way and fell headfirst into the dugout.

Wren said that Salazar would spend about a week at home in Boca Raton and then return to Braves camp at some point this spring. The minor-league season begins April 7.

"Doctors have told us and him that there is no reason why, in about four or six weeks, he can't manage his team as he anticipated," Wren said.

Cardinals: Chris Carpenter, returning from a hamstring injury, was named opening-day starter, then gave up three runs and six hits in four innings in a 9-4 victory over the Tigers. "All I need to do now is get my pitch count up and not hurt anything," he said.

Mets: Outfielder Carlos Beltran played catch and took batting practice, his first baseball activity in more than a week because of tendinitis in his left knee.

Red Sox: Manager Terry Francona informed Jon Lester that he had the opening-day start in a text months ago. The manager went public with that Wednesday, then Lester gave up eight hits and three runs in 4 2/3 innings in a 4-3 to the Braves. "It's a big honor," Lester said. "But it's still a work in progress down here."

Twins: Joe Mauer swung at the second pitch he saw in a spring game and ended up with his first hit in a 4-3 win over the Mets. Mauer, serving as the DH while recovering from offseason surgery on his left knee, singled in three at-bats. The catcher is expected to play in the field for the first time today in a minor-league game. "It felt like I had some ankle weights on my legs," he said.

Obituary: Marty Marion, the 1944 NL MVP as a shortstop with the Cardinals and a former manager of the Cardinals and St. Louis Browns, died Tuesday. He was 93.

Bonds trial: Federal prosecutors in San Francisco released transcripts and recordings of voicemail messages Barry Bonds left for his former mistress during their nine-year relationship. Most of the messages show Bonds angrily inquiring after Kimberly Bell's whereabouts. Prosecutors say the recordings and transcripts are evidence of Bonds' steroid use because the drugs supposedly induce rage in some users. Bonds' perjury trial starts Monday. Bonds' attorneys are seeking to exclude the recordings, arguing the material is irrelevant because there is no mention of performance-enhancing drug use.

Braves minor-league manager loses his eye 03/16/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 9:56pm]
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