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Papelbon focused on his delivery, not spring ERA


CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera crushed a three-run home run to left field in the fifth inning Monday at Bright House Field.

The ball traveled so far that rumors spread it destroyed the windshield of one of the vehicles parked just over the tiki bar. The talk proved untrue, but it did not change the fact Cabrera's homer was a bomb. And that bomb did not come against some Minor Leaguer or journeyman trying to make the team. It came against Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon.

Papelbon allowed five hits, six runs, two walks, two home runs and struck out two in two-thirds of an inning in his Grapefruit League debut. He threw 22 pitches (13 strikes) and walked off the mound with an 81.00 ERA.

"I felt good," Papelbon said. "Just as long as I'm repeating my delivery. I'm more concerned about repeating my delivery, throwing the ball out front ... that's really it. Everything else kind of falls by the wayside as the spring goes on."

Said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel: "Papelbon had a nice ERA today. I ain't worried about Papelbon."

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