DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — Cliff Lee’s first spring start went about as well as it could have.
He gave up two hits in two innings and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-0 Tuesday, putting to rest any concerns about an abdominal strain that briefly set him back at beginning of training camp.
“I was just looking to get out of there healthy and feeling good,” he said after facing eight batters. “I would have liked to locate better but it was definitely a positive, a step in the right direction.”
Lee had a walk and a strikeout and got a double-play grounder off the bat of Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista
“He was all right,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “He got ’em out, didn’t he?”
Ricky Romero, No. 1 in the Blue Jays starting rotation, matched Lee’s two shutout innings, getting six groundball outs and giving up one hit, Ty Wigginton’s leadoff double in the second.
“I made some good pitches,” Romero said. “I was a little off at the beginning but I felt great. I was working on my fastball, working to keep it down. The changeup is a little off but other than that, the cutters in the second inning were good pitches.”
Shane Victorino drove in two of Philadelphia’s four runs in the second inning. Blue Jays reliever Rick VandenHurk, a February free-agent signee, gave up a leadoff single to Carlos Ruiz and one-out walks to Jimmy Rollins and Juan Pierre before Victorino singled up the middle. Wigginton’s sacrifice fly and John Mayberry Jr.’s single each drove in a run.
Phillies outfielder Scott Podsednik, a 10-year major leaguer who missed the 2011 season with plantar fasciitis, replaced Victorino in centerfield in the fifth inning and doubled in two at-bats.
“I feel great. I’ve got my health back, I’ve got myself physically in the condition I need to be in to play,” Podsednik said. “So far so good.”
The injury was first diagnosed in September 2010. He started last year with the Blue Jays, spent time in the minors, was released last May by Toronto and signed a minor-league contract with the Phillies. He played just 14 Triple-A games and signed another minor-league contract in November.
“Very frustrating,” he said. “It was probably one of the worst years in my big-league career. For a guy who makes his money with his feet, to have two jacked-up feet, it’s no fun.”
NOTES: Non-roster pitchers Vance Worley of the Phillies and Bud Norris of visiting Houston are Wednesday’s starters at Clearwater. … Brandon Morrow is schedule to start for host Toronto opposite Boston’s Justin Germano Wednesday. In Toronto’s split squad game at Bradenton, Kyle Drabek is to start against Pittsburgh’s Jeff Karstens. … Blue Jays right-hander Dustin McGowan pitched a simulated game Tuesday and is scheduled to make has spring-training debut Saturday against the visiting Astros. McGowan is attempting a comeback following shoulder surgeries that cost him the 2009-10 seasons and limited him to five September appearances (four starts) last year.
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