Brawl mars Canada's win over Mexico
The Associated Press,
A little bunt single turned this WBC matchup into a World Boxing Classic.
Alfredo Aceves and several players threw nasty punches when a fierce, full-scale brawl broke out in the ninth inning Saturday of Canada's 10-3 romp over Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, a melee that also involved fans and set off skirmishes in the seats.
"Whoever says that we're just here as an extra spring training game or we're just here to say we represented our country and then go home obviously didn't see how intense that game was and what it means to everybody that was involved," Canadian slugger Justin Morneau said.
Multiple fights erupted after Canada's Rene Tosoni was hit in the back by a pitch from Arnold Leon with the score 9-3 at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. It quickly turned into a wild scene, as chaotic as any on a major league field in recent years.
Even when the fisticuffs ended, Canadian pitching coach Denis Boucher was hit in the face by a full water bottle thrown from the crowd. Canada shortstop Cale Iorg angrily threw the bottle back into the crowd.
Several police officers came onto the field trying to restore order, and there were a few skirmishes in the decidedly pro-Mexico crowd of 19,581. Seven players were ejected after umpires huddled, trying to sort out the frenzy.
Rays top Phils: Phillies starter John Lannan got plenty of working pitching out of the stretch -- in the game and after it, too.
Sean Rodriguez and Shelley Duncan homered Saturday and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Philadelphia 15-7. Ryan Howard hit his fourth spring homer for the Phillies.
Lannan gave up four runs in the third, including a two-run homer by Rodriguez.
"I felt good," Lannan said. "I had a little trouble out of stretch there in the third, but made an adjustment in the fourth. Glad I could've worked on it, and I went into the bullpen and worked on it a little more."
Burnett preps for Pirates' opener: A.J. Burnett needed 45 pitches to get through four innings Saturday during the Pittsburgh Pirates' 5-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins.
"I said, 'What? Don't I normally have that after two innings?' " Burnett recalled.
He went back out for the fifth and wound up allowing two runs and two hits in 42-e innings. Burnett hadn't pitched past the second in his first two spring training starts, when he ran up a 13.50 ERA over 31-e innings.
"I felt a lot better than the last time out," he said.
The 36-year-old Burnett is preparing for the first opening-day start of his big leaguer career after going 16-10 last season.
"It's just good to get out there every five days because it is a process," Burnett said. "We've been sitting for four months. This was obviously a lot sharper than my last two, and I expect the next one to be a lot sharper."