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Pedroia, Guerrero, Wells back in action

Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Vernon Wells swings in his second at-bat during the Blue Jays' 15-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in a spring training game in Dunedin, Fla., on Friday.

Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Vernon Wells swings in his second at-bat during the Blue Jays' 15-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in a spring training game in Dunedin, Fla., on Friday.

Dustin Pedroia, Vladimir Guerrero and Vernon Wells were back in action Friday after long absences, giving each of their teams a boost with the regular season just around the corner.

Pedroia had a hit and an RBI in his first game since straining an abdominal muscle 10 days ago while playing for the United States, leading the Boston Red Sox to an 11-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pedroia was quickly tested, handling a grounder by Pirates leadoff batter Nyjer Morgan. In the bottom of the first, he drove in a run with a grounder.

The AL MVP then led off the third and was credited with a hit when third baseman Andy LaRoche’s throw to first sailed into the photographer’s well. Pedroia advanced to second and was replaced by pinch-runner Ivan Ochoa.

“(I) felt good,” Pedroia said in Fort Myers, Fla. “I think the biggest thing is seeing how it feels (Saturday). Hopefully, I’m not sore or anything like that. Definitely want to take it slow. I’ve been doing all my treatments and stuff. It was good to get back on the field and get a couple of at-bats and get back in the game rhythm.”

Red Sox manager and ex-Arizona Wildcat Terry Francona skipped the game to attend his son Nick’s graduation from Marine Corps Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Va. Bench coach Brad Mills ran the club.

At Tempe, Guerrero made his first start of spring training and impressed his manager in the Los Angeles Angels’ 6-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Guerrero, who had offseason knee surgery, played right field and was hitless in two at-bats. Manager Mike Scioscia said he hoped to have Guerrero in the lineup for a few more swings as the designated hitter Saturday against Milwaukee.

“He got out there and he’s moving well,” Scioscia said. “He ran well out of the box. He’ll probably have a little stiffness tomorrow, but we’ll see if he can in there and get lose and get some cuts tomorrow as a DH.”

At Dunedin, Fla., Wells went 0 for 2 in his first spring game and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 15-4.

Wells, who strained his left hamstring Feb. 23, grounded into a double play and flied out while serving as the Blue Jays’ designated hitter. The two-time All-Star is expected to be in center field on Saturday against Houston.

• Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland is ready for the WBC to be over – he needs his starters back.

The Tigers have been playing without Armando Galarraga, Carlos Guillen, Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez, who are playing for Venezuela in the WBC. Curtis Granderson is with the United States team. Both teams advanced to the semifinals.

“It’s a no-win situation,” Leyland said. “Some guys just want their players back and that’s how I feel also. I want our guys to spend some time together before opening day.”

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For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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