Nathan leaves with elbow issues |

Nathan leaves with elbow issues

Associated Press

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan left Saturday’s game with a right elbow problem before Tug Hulett’s three-run homer helped a Boston Red Sox split squad to a 9-3 win.

Nathan, who had surgery on the elbow in October after finishing second in the majors with 47 saves, is to be re-evaluated Sunday. He was removed in the third inning for precautionary reasons when he felt soreness and tightness in the elbow after walking two of his three batters.

John Lackey pitched two perfect innings in his first appearance for Boston since leaving the Angels as a free agent.

Rays 6, Red Sox (ss) 4

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – Justin Ruggiano homered after Fernando Perez led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a triple.

Ben Zobrist and Kelly Shoppach hit their first home runs of the spring off Adam Mills in the fourth inning to put the Rays ahead, 4-3.

Blue Jays 9, Yankees 1

TAMPA, Fla. – Shaun Marcum threw two scoreless innings in his first game against big leaguers since hurting his right elbow two years ago.

Yankees backup catcher Francisco Cervelli, who was in the lineup as designated hitter, left in the third with a concussion after being hit in the helmet by pitch from Zech Zinicola. Cervelli was able to walk off the field and was taken to a hospital for a CT scan, which was normal.

Marcum missed last season while recovering from elbow ligament replacement surgery on Sept. 30, 2008.

New York starter A.J. Burnett gave up two runs and five hits in 1 2-3 innings.

Tigers 9, Orioles 5

LAKELAND, Fla. – Detroit’s Justin Verlander pitched three innings and says he feels as if he’s in midseason form after allowing a hit and a run in three innings.

Orioles starter Kevin Millwood didn’t make it through the first inning, allowing seven his and six earned runs while getting just two outs. Millwood said he wasn’t concerned and that he was working on a new changeup.

Astros 3, Braves 0

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Roy Oswalt threw two rocky, yet scoreless innings in his spring debut. Oswalt walked three and loaded the bases in the first. He allowed just one hit and struck out two while throwing 44 pitches.

Outfield prospect Jason Heyward doubled in the fifth inning and has reached base at least once in all five of the Braves’ spring games. He’s now 4 for 10 with four walks.

Mets 14, Nationals 6

VIERA, Fla. – Mike Pelfrey unveiled an effective split-finger fastball in his first spring start and Fernando Martinez had four hits and homered twice for the Mets.

Pelfrey allowed four runs – three earned – on seven hits in the first two innings he worked, finishing with a 1-2-3 third.

Left-hander John Lannan, the Nationals’ likely opening day starter April 5, gave up two runs, two hits and a walk in two innings of his first spring outing. He struck out two.

Marlins 6, Cardinals 5

JUPITER, Fla. – Marlins ace Josh Johnson allowed two runs in two innings, his first outing since signing a $39 million, four-year contract.

Right-hander Kyle Lohse made his spring debut for the Cardinals and allowed one run on six hits in 2 2-3 innings.

Indians 4, Reds 2

GOODYEAR, Ariz. – David Huff pitched two scoreless innings and Andy Marte hit a two-run homer to lead Cleveland.

Huff, a left-hander who led the Indians with 11 wins as a rookie in 2009, struck out three and gave up two hits.

Reds starter Johnny Cueto allowed five hits and four runs – two earned – over two innings. Mike Leake, the Reds’ first-round draft pick in 2009, pitched one perfect inning of relief.

White Sox (ss) 15, Cubs 3

MESA, Ariz. – Carlos Quentin homered twice off Carlos Silva and drove in five runs for the White Sox.

Silva, hoping to earn one of two available spots in the Cubs’ rotation, allowed six runs on seven hits in two innings.

Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano, playing for the first time since arthroscopic knee surgery cut short his disappointing 2009 season, made a diving catch in the second inning but also booted a routine ball for an error and went 0 for 2 at the plate.

White Sox (ss) 8, Dodgers 4

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Freddy Garcia, in line to be the Chicago White Sox’s fifth starter, gave up a run in his first two innings of the spring.

Jered Mitchell, the White Sox’s 2009 first-round draft pick, had a pair of RBI doubles and scored three runs. Juan Pierre started for the White Sox in left field against the team that traded him this offseason and had a hit in three at-bats with a stolen base.

Dodgers starter Eric Stults, in competition for the Dodgers’ final starting spot, gave up a walk in two scoreless innings. James McDonald, also vying to be the fifth starter, gave up three runs on three hits and a walk in two innings.

Phillies 3, Pirates 3,

10 innings, tie

BRADENTON, Fla – The Phillies’ Joe Blanton gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Church in a three-run first inning.

Pittsburgh’s Kevin Hart, vying for a starting rotation spot, was scheduled to pitch two innings, but left the game after tossing 35 pitches in the first. He gave up two runs on one hit and four walks.

Royals 2, Rangers 1

SURPRISE, Ariz. – Aaron Crow, a 2009 first-round draft pick, pitched two scoreless innings and struck out three in his Kansas City debut. He allowed only a double to Chris Davis in the fourth.

Royals right-hander Gil Meche, who was limited to 23 starts last season because of a bad back, threw two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and a walk to pick up the victory.

Rangers right-hander Tommy Hunter gave up an unearned run in the second inning.

Rockies 8, Brewers (ss) 6

TUCSON, Ariz. – Tim Redding, vying for a spot on Colorado’s staff, started and allowed three hits and a run in two innings.

Jody Gerut and Craig Counsell, were two of the more recognizable players in the Brewers’ lineup and each had two hits. Counsell scored twice, and Gerut hit a windblown triple and double, reached base on his three plate appearances and drove in three runs.

Mariners 7, Padres 4

PEORIA, Ariz. – Jon Garland gave up a run and two hits in two innings in his first spring outing for San Diego.

Seattle’s Mike Sweeney had four hits including a home run and three RBIs.

It also was the first outing for Mariners starter Ian Snell, who allowed one run and three hits over two innings.