Spring Fever

Cleveland 13, Houston 2

Cleveland's Jake Westbrook and six relievers combined for five hits in a 13-2 victory over the Houston Astros, with Victor Martinez getting three hits, including a three-run shot.

Westbrook allowed two hits, one walk and one run in two innings with five outs on grounders, including a double play by infield duo Jhonny Peralta and Josh Barfield.

Signed by Houston in December, 40-year-old Woody Williams allowed two runs and three hits in two innings, striking out two. Jason Lane homered and Adam Everett had an RBI single for the Astros.

Paul Byrd followed Westbrook and gave up one hit over two scoreless innings, striking out two while Rafael Perez and Edward Mujica worked one hitless inning apiece for Cleveland.

Houston's Brian Moehler gave up three runs in one inning and Juan Gutierrez allowed two runs and four hits over two innings. Lincoln Holdzkom allowed five runs and four hits in 2/3 of an inning. Non-roster invitee Mike Rose and minor-leaguer Alan Zinter each had two RBIs for Cleveland.

Red Sox (ss) 11, Northeastern 0

Josh Beckett allowed a single to the first batter then struck out five of the remaining six he faced as the Boston Red Sox split squad went on to an 11-0, 7-inning victory over Northeastern on Thursday.

Boston's Class-A third baseman Scott White, blasted a two-run homer in the fifth inning and then hit a grand slam in the sixth to bring it to 10-Zip.

The split squad also lost to Toronto 4-1 in Dunedin with a little help from Aaron Hill's two-run bomb in the fourth off of Devern Hansack.

They have two more home games on Friday -- in the afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays and at night when Daisuke Matsuzaka makes his first spring training start against Boston College.

Cincinnati 9, Pirates 7

Josh Hamilton's seventh-inning homer sailed over the flags above the batter's backdrop, fifty feet high and far beyond the 400-foot mark in center, highlighting the Cincinnati Reds' 9-7 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday, the exhibition opener for both clubs.

Brandon Phillips and Mark Bellhorn each hit two-run home runs in the fifth inning off of Pirates' closer Salomon Torres, who allowed four hits and a walk in just one inning.

Luis Matos, in camp on a minor-league contract, homered twice for Pittsburgh while top prospect Andrew McCutchen homered and doubled in his first two at-bats.

Reds starter Eric Milton gave up six hits and a walk in two innings, but only two runs - each on home runs - to McCutchen in the first and Matos in the second, but stranded four runners.

Pirates starter Zach Duke pitched two innings and gave up his only hit on Dunn's homer. They trailed 9-5 in the ninth, but with one out and the bags full, Javier Guzman bounced into a run-scoring forceout before Rajai Davis hit an RBI double. Guzman was thrown out at the plate for the final out.

[MLB] and [MiLB]