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Burnett feels fine in return
By wire services
Published April 2, 2006
DUNEDIN - Blue Jays right-hander A.J. Burnett threw free and easy in his two innings (33 pitches) Saturday against Triple-A Syracuse.
He didn't allow a hit or run, walked one and struck out three. It marked the first time Burnett has faced hitters since he experienced pain in his right elbow March18. He is expected to make two more starts at extended spring training before starting April 16 in Chicago.
"It was a big step. I can't wait for the bullpen on Monday and go from there," Burnett said. "This one was just getting out there and seeing the hitter again."
His next start in Florida, four innings and 60-65 pitches, is scheduled for Thursday.
DOWN NOT OUT: Left-hander Scott Downs remained in Florida and will make a minor-league start today then start April 8.
"Right now, I'm feeling good," said Downs, who tweaked his right tendon March28. "(Today) I'll throw four or five innings and see how it goes. I had a good bullpen (Friday). I think everything is fine."
Downs said that no matter what happens to left-hander Ted Lilly, who is bothered by soreness in his upper back, he has been told he will start the fifth game.
TUNEUP: Lefty Gustavo Chacin had his final outing, allowing two runs, one earned, in six innings.MOVES: The Jays put Burnett on the disabled list and designated right-hander Vince Perkins for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for catcher Jason Phillips. Phillips and left-hander Brian Tallet had their contracts purchased.CARDINALS: Aaron Miles will start at second base. Miles, who hit .361 during the spring, beat out Junior Spivey (.147, five errors) and Hector Luna (.207).METS: Closer Billy Wagner struck out two in a scoreless inning, his first appearance in two weeks because of stiffness in a finger on his pitching hand.
He gave up two hits but said he will be ready for Monday's opener.
PADRES: Outfielder Mike Cameron sat after straining his left oblique muscle during batting practice Friday.
He is day to day.
PHILLIES: David Bell went 4-for-5 with a home run as the designated hitter against Boston.
Bell, who missed most of the spring with a bad back and sore quadriceps, is scheduled to play third today against the Red Sox. If it goes well, he will start Monday.
RED SOX: The players' union will not appeal the 10-day suspension given to reliever Julian Tavarez for punching Rays outfielder Joey Gathright on March27. He can return April 13.
Also, first baseman Hee-Seop Choi (strained left hamstring) and left-hander David Wells (right knee surgery) were put on the 15-day DL.
TIGERS: Closer Todd Jones will start the season on the DL after aggravating a left hamstring injury.
Manager Jim Leyland said he hasn't decided on a replacement.
TWINS: Outfielder/DH Ruben Sierra will stay in Florida with a strained quadriceps.
Until he returns, outfielders Michael Cuddyer, Lew Ford and Jason Kubel will be on the roster. Also, ex-Rays outfielder Jason Tyner was sent to minor-league camp.
WHITE SOX: Jim Thome hit his eighth homer in seven games to tie the team spring record of Magglio Ordonez set in 2000.
Also, right-hander Jose Contreras agreed to a three-year, $29-million extension.
TV: Ex-Yankees and Rays catcher John Flaherty, who recently retired, will be a studio analyst for the Yankee-owned YES Network.