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PHILLIES' LIDGE HURTS KNEE ON FIRST TOSS

Closer Brad Lidge caught a spike in the mound on his first pitch of batting practice Saturday and hurt the same knee he had surgery on in October.

Lidge, the Phillies' biggest offseason acquisition, limped off the field after talking with team trainers. The team said it hoped to know more about the extent of the injury today.

"It was my push-off leg," Lidge said. "I caught my spike in the mound. I threw the pitch but it felt like I pulled something in the knee. ... It swelled up a little, but I'm optimistic that I just pulled some scar tissue loose."

Doctors removed torn cartilage from the knee in the fall.

The Phillies acquired Lidge and infielder Eric Bruntlett in a November trade that sent speedy outfielder Michael Bourn, infield prospect Mike Costanzo and reliever Geoff Geary to the Astros.

When the Phillies acquired Lidge, it allowed them to strengthen their rotation by making Brett Myers a starter.

Yanks: Pettitte looking for normalcy

TAMPA - Andy Pettitte is getting back to his routine on the mound, and that's where he feels comfortable.

The Yankees' left-hander threw 55 pitches in an indoor cage after rain wiped out his first scheduled batting practice session of the spring.

Pettitte had a difficult offseason. He was implicated in the Mitchell report and later admitted using human growth hormone in 2002 and 2004. He also gave a deposition about friend Roger Clemens to a congressional committee.

"Especially for me, as a pitcher, when you step on the mound, it's so different because everything goes away," Pettitte said. "You're thinking about how you're going to get everybody out this season and trying to get yourself ready."

Manager Joe Girardi said Chien-Ming Wang will pitch Saturday's spring game against Philadelphia. That lines up the 19-game winner to start the regular-season opener March 31.

Wang hadn't yet been told that he would pitch the opener, but said he would be "happy if it happens."

Jays: Overbay's hand doing fine so far

DUNEDIN - Lyle Overbay had put off facing live pitching again until he arrived in camp. The first baseman wanted to make sure he had trainers and coaches nearby before testing his recovering right hand.

So far, it has been nothing but good news on the Overbay front. The vibration created by contact with live pitching has presented no issues for Overbay, who had his hand broken by a pitch in June.

Cubs: Second baseman Mark DeRosa was released from a Mesa, Ariz., area hospital in the evening after being taken there by ambulance for an irregular heartbeat.

"Mark's doing fine," manager Lou Piniella said after practice. "... He's completely stable, but better be safe than sorry."

A team spokesman said DeRosa felt faint but never lost consciousness. Piniella said DeRosa had experienced irregular heartbeats previously.

Diamondbacks: Outfielder Trot Nixon reported to camp after agreeing to a minor-league deal. He is an insurance policy if Chad Tracy hasn't recovered from surgery by opening day.

Padres: Brian Giles passed a test when he did some cutting on the basepaths. The rightfielder is attempting to come back from offseason microfracture surgery on his right knee. The Padres hope Giles, 37, can start playing by the third full week of spring games.

Red Sox: Outfielder Manny Ramirez switched agents and is now represented by Scott Boras. Ramirez, entering the final guaranteed year of his contract, had been represented by Greg Genske.

White Sox: Third baseman Joe Crede expects to be available for the spring opener Wednesday despite a sore hand. Crede took batting practice for the first time since he was hit on the left hand Thursday. The hand swelled up, but Crede said X-rays were negative.

AREA TEAMS

Blue Jays: Workouts at Bobby Mattick Complex (1700 Solon Ave., Dunedin). Game tickets: (727) 733-9302; Knology Park (373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin) 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday; or bluejays.com.

Phillies: Workouts at Carpenter Complex (651 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater) or Bright House Networks Field (601 N Old Coachman Road). Game tickets: (727) 467-4457; Bright House Networks Field 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday; or phillies.com.

Yankees: Workouts at Legends Field (1 Steinbrenner Drive in Tampa). Game tickets: (813) 879-2244; Legends Field 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; or ticketmaster.com.

Up next:ISLANDERS

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