Perils of success
The Detroit Tigers say reliever Brayan Villarreal is not expected to leave spring training after his family escaped unharmed from a kidnapping attempt in Venezuela on Friday night.
Security at home has been a concern in recent years for Venezuelan players and their families because of a rising wave of kidnappings.
The mother of former Phillies pitcher Ugueth Urbina, a two-time all-star, spent more than five months in captivity until she was rescued in 2005.
Votto in Classic
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto said that his left knee feels fine and that he has decided to play for Canada in the World Baseball Classic.
Votto had surgery to repair torn cartilage last season.
Reds manager Dusty Baker and Diamondbacks skipper Kirk Gibson had a testy exchange over the designated-hitter rule.
Baker had Shin-Soo Choo set as his DH. Gibson wanted Diamondbacks starter Brandon McCarthy to get in some swings.
Perhaps in protest, Baker had Johnny Cueto leave his bat on his shoulder for three straight strikes when the starting pitcher came to bat in the third inning.
During spring training, the home team has final say on whether to apply the DH rule. "They knew we were going to do it that way," Gibson said.
Marlon Byrd drove in both runs for the New York Mets in a 4-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Justin Upton and Chris Johnson hit solo home runs for the Braves.
Carlos Carrasco pitched three innings after being hit in the side of the head by a comebacker in the first inning, and Mark Reynolds and Nick Swisher each homered to help the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago Cubs, 13-5, in Mesa, Ariz.
- Associated Press