Thursday March 15, 2012 | 08:50 AM

The Portland Sea Dogs began their spring training schedule Wednesday with Anthony Ranaudo the starting pitcher. Results from these games are not readily available, but Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reported that Ranaudo cruised through his first inning and then tired in the second (hit-batter, walk, single).

Ranaudo, the Red Sox top pitching prospect, appears headed to Portland next month.

When the minor league spring training games begin, rosters are mixed with players from different levels, until more players come down from the major league camp. That goes for coaches, too. Sea Dogs manager Kevin Boles is directing the Triple-A club until Arnie Beyeler is no longer needed in the major league camp.

Elsewhere in spring training, a couple of former Sea Dogs are making an impression. First-baseman Anthony Rizzo is battling to stay with the Chicago Cubs major league team. He has played eight games and is batting .375 (6-for-16). He hit his first spring home run on Tuesday.

Casey Kelly has pitched two games for the San Diego Padres, allowing 0 runs, 5 hits and 0 walks over 5 innings, striking out 6. Kelly is expected to begin the season in Triple-A.

In Seattle's camp, former Portland outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang has been assigned to the Mariners' Triple-A team.

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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