Kingsport Times News Saturday, August 29, 2015

High-priced Soriano, Zito make spring debut against each other

March 12th, 2007 3:33 pm by Associated Press

Now this was a real Moneyball matchup: Alfonso Soriano vs. Barry Zito.

The two high-priced free agents made their spring training debuts Thursday and - fittingly - they saw each other right away.

Soriano led off for the Chicago Cubs, stepping in against San Francisco's prize acquisition. On his eighth pitch, Zito struck him out with a chest-high fastball.

"It was a good battle," Zito said. "It's funny how it worked out, two free agents facing each other."

The Giants won 9-2 at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, Ariz. Barry Bonds did not play, and is expected to start Friday against Milwaukee.

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.

At Bradenton, Fla., Josh Hamilton, Brandon Phillips and Mark Bellhorn homered for Cincinnati. Hamilton's drive didn't just clear the fence. It sailed over the flags above the batter's backdrop, roughly 50 feet high and beyond the 400-foot mark in center.

Luis Matos hit two home runs for Pittsburgh.

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 neat innings.

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.

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.

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.

At Dunedin, Fla., Toronto ace Roy Halladay opened spring training with two scoreless innings against Boston's split squad.

The Red Sox got a win in Fort Myers, Fla., with Josh Beckett striking out five over two innings in an 11-0, seven-inning victory over Northeastern University.

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 - friends and family checking in from tornado-ravaged Alabama.

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 elbow.

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

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.

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

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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