DUNEDIN, Florida – In one of his post-game scrums last summer, R.A. Dickey referred to his knuckleball as a "capricious animal," a phrase meant to describe the unpredictability, the figurative moodiness, of his strange pitch. Erik Kratz was behind the plate to start Thursdays 7-5 win over the Phillies. He was catching Dickey for the first time in game action and afterward, could attest to his pitchers apt terminology. Asked how he thought he did on Day One, Kratz turned the tables. "How did you think I did?" He was told he did fine. "Okay, well then I did fine," said Kratz. "It wasnt perfect. I had the anticipated anxiety that I thought I would." Just how anxious was he? "I caught myself not breathing a couple of times and everything like that." Armed with a first basemans glove rather than the oversized catchers mitt preferred by most knuckleball catchers, Kratz understands hell have to be a quick study in learning both the physical and mental requirements of the job. "Just the idea of trying to relax, being out there, getting a different visual but I felt like it went very well," he said. "I felt like there is plenty of room for improvement but I think a lot of things Ive seen in his bullpen sessions, it was good to see in the game. Good to see him be able to change speeds and everything like that." Dickey laboured through the first inning, giving up a lead-off dunk single to Ben Revere. One out later, Brett Lawrie airmailed a throw to second on a Bobby Abreu chopper, putting Phillies on the corners. After Darin Ruf walked to load the bases, a Dickey knuckleball to Maikel Franco eluded Kratz for a passed ball which scored Revere from third. Its not how you would think Kratz would prefer to have drawn it up. Its his first game catching Dickey, in the first inning and the first time with a runner on third and a knuckler gets by him. But he was more than happy to make a mistake in a spring game. Passed balls are going to happen. The key is to not get psyched out; dont make the same mistake twice. "You can say, okay, well, it was a passed ball, wild pitch, it was a tough one to get but you have to be ready for the next one," said Kratz. "I was proud of myself. I was happy about the way I was able to relax." Dickey limits the in-game responsibility of his catcher to receiving his pitch. He calls his own game, communicating velocity to his catcher in ways he wont describe publicly. Hes not going to tip his hand. Dickey doesnt even want Kratz to form a hard target with his glove. "Its probably better for the catcher and for me, for that matter, if hes just nice and relaxed," said Dickey. "Im far enough along in my process where I can pick out a shin guard and hit a fastball. I dont need him to give me a target. "Plus, if hes only giving a target on fastballs then everybody in the stadium is going to know that hey, if he gives you a target its going to be a fastball and if he doesnt give you a target its going to be a knuckleball so I just like him to be nice and relaxed back there, whatever gives him the best chance to consistently catch the ball." Given the uncertainty over Dioner Navarros ability to catch more than 100 games - since Navarro hasnt done so since 2009 - the Jays are looking for more offence from their second catcher. Kratz, with 18 home runs in a back-up role over the last two seasons with the Phillies, fits the bill. Josh Thole, who caught Dickey and served as the back-up catcher after Henry Blanco was released last June, appears to be the odd man out. "Hes going to play a lot," said Gibbons. "We want to make sure he gets some playing time and then well see how it develops. Kratz is going to catch (Dickey) early on, see how that develops, and then go from there." Dickeys knuckleball topped out at 73 miles per hour on Thursday. He struck out two Phillies over two innings, one on a 61-mile-per-hour knuckler and another at 63 miles per hour. He wants his hard knuckleball at 77 by opening day, his floater at 65. Dickey says hes on target to achieve those radar gun readings, adding hes feeling much stronger than he did at the end of last February, when his knuckleball was topping out in the low-70s in early Grapefruit League action. ENCARNACION HAPPY AT FIRST BASE Edwin Encarnacion chuckled at the suggestion he wants to be, or has asked to be, a full-time designated hitter. "No, whatever the manager wants to do Im ready for it," said Encarnacion. "If I have to play every day at first, Ill play. If I have to play both, Im ready for it." Encarnacion played 79 games at first base last season. He served as the designated hitter on 55 occasions. "I like to play DH sometimes because I have more time to go to the computer, watch the pitcher, watch the video," said Encarnacion. "When you play defence you dont have time to do that but for me, if I have to play first base, I dont have a problem with that." Funny, Encarnacions numbers last season were almost indistinguishable. As a first baseman, he compiled a .272/.367/.527 slash line with 19 home runs in 294 at-bats. As a DH: .270/.374/.530 and 13 home runs in 200 at-bats. ROGERS A FATHER Congratulations to Esmil Rogers, the proud father of a baby daughter. Mom and little Elaina are in Denver and doing well. Rogers was there for the birth, returned to Dunedin on Wednesday and pitched in Thursdays game, giving up two runs in one inning of work. Pittsburgh Steelers Diontae Johnson Jersey . The day began ominously for the Rangers when star pitcher Yu Darvish was scratched from his scheduled start with stiffness in his neck. Fill-in Scott Baker gave up three hits over six innings and Chris Gimenez hit a tiebreaking two-out RBI single in the sixth off Phil Hughes. Custom Steelers Jerseys . Will Venable and Ryan Ludwick drove in a run each for the Padres, who have taken six of their last seven contests and clinched their third straight series win after winning the first two in this set. Clayton Richard (4-9) allowed five hits and a pair of runs over seven innings, while fanning five. http://www.cheapsteelers.com/135n-cheap-justin-layne-jersey-steelers.html . Warren made six birdies and a bogey for a 5-under total of 139 to sit one shot ahead of Felipe Aguilar of Chile, who carded a 69. David Horsey of England was also on 5 under through 15 holes to join Warren atop the leaderboard before play was stopped. Pittsburgh Steelers Zach Gentry Jersey . Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan scored shootout goals, and backup goalie Cam Talbot earned his second win in two nights as the Rangers shook off a late tying tally and beat the Maple Leafs 2-1 Monday night. Stitched Pittsburgh Steelers Jerseys . "Uuufff," was all shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria could come up with after Stantons latest mammoth shot.LONDON - Croatia midfielder Niko Kranjcar was ruled out of the World Cup in Brazil on Monday with a hamstring injury that will sideline him for up to six weeks. The playmaker ruptured a muscle in his hamstring during Queens Park Rangers 1-0 win over Derby in the second-tier League Championship playoff match at Wembley Stadium on Saturday. Kranjcar is on loan at QPR from Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv. Croatian national-team doctor Boris Nemec is quoted in a statement released by QPR aas saying Kranjcars "rupture is some inches wide and will need between four and six weeks to heal.dddddddddddd." The 29-year-old was one of 12 midfielders included in Croatias provisional 30-man squad named on May 14. He was expected to be in the final group of 23 players due to be announced by head coach Niko Kovac on Saturday. Croatia plays the opening match of the World Cup, against Brazil on June 12. Mexico and Cameroon are the other teams in Group A. 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