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Struggling Royals closer suffers elbow injury

Associated Press / March 19, 2012
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Eric Hosmer went 3 for 3 with a two-run homer Sunday as the Royals beat the Indians, 6-4, in Surprise, Ariz., a win dampened by an elbow injury to closer Joakim Soria.

Soria, a two-time AL All-Star, left in the fifth inning with soreness in his right elbow after retiring only one of the five batters he faced and yielding three runs. Soria has an 18.90 ERA in three appearances, allowing seven runs on 10 hits, a walk, and a hit batter in 3 1/3 innings.

Indians starter Josh Tomlin took the loss, giving up six runs on 10 hits in four innings. In his past three starts, Tomlin has allowed 24 hits and 17 runs in 10 innings.

Harper shipped out

The Nationals optioned 19-year-old outfielder Bryce Harper to Triple A Syracuse, where he can get experience in center field. Nationals manager Davey Johnson said after the team’s 11-7 loss to the Tigers in Viera, Fla., that the timing wasn’t right for the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft to make the team out of training camp. Harper played mostly in right this spring. Miguel Cabrera went 2 for 2 with an RBI double and Doug Fister had seven of Detroit’s 14 strikeouts in the victory. Fister struck out four of the first five batters he faced in a four-inning outing . . . Phillies All-Star third baseman Placido Polanco is day to day because of a sprained left ring finger, suffered Saturday diving back into first base on a pickoff play.

Liriano sparkles again

Francisco Liriano pitched five hitless innings as the Twins beat the Pirates, 10-0, in Fort Myers, Fla. Pittsburgh did not get a hit until Brandon Boggs singled in the eighth. Aside from giving up four runs in one inning in a loss Tuesday to the Blue Jays, Liriano has not surrendered a run through his 12 other innings. Liriano struck out six and walked one and has struck out 18 and walked two this spring . . . The Braves’ Mike Minor stretched his scoreless streak to 14 innings as Atlanta and an Orioles split squad tied, 2-2, in 10 innings in Kissimmee, Fla. . . . Carlos Lee drove in five runs with a double and a home run off Mike Pelfrey, and the Astros beat the Mets, 9-5, in Kissimmee, Fla., to extend New York’s spring training losing streak to eight. Making his third spring training start, Pelfrey allowed 8 runs, 8 hits, and 4 walks in 2 2/3 innings with 4 strikeouts. He has given up 20 hits, 6 walks, and 4 homers over 9 2/3 innings, and his ERA went up to 14.90 as New York dropped to a big league-worst 3-11. Former Red Sox infielder Jed Lowrie homered and drove in three runs for the Astros.

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