Phillies Fall To Blue Jays 10-4 In Spring Finale
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Josh Johnson will never complain about this kind of run support.
Jose Bautista hit his sixth homer of the spring and the Toronto Blue Jays rode their high-powered offense to a 10-4 drubbing of the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park.
“It’s something I can get used to,” Johnson said.
Playing a lineup of regulars in their exhibition finale, the Blue Jays jumped on Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick right away. Bautista took the right-hander deep with two outs in the first inning, and Toronto scored four times in the third — highlighted by doubles from Jose Reyes and Edwin Encarnacion.
“We’re ready to go,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “Everybody’s excited. I think these two games here were good for us. It’s a lot like the regular season, in a big stadium with big crowds. It helps rev things up a little bit.”
A crowd of 40,811 came to watch the Phillies finish their exhibition schedule at 16-17-1, the same as Toronto. John Mayberry Jr. homered for Philadelphia leading off the third, and newcomer Michael Young had a two-run double.
Johnson, acquired in a blockbuster trade with Miami during the offseason, allowed four runs and four hits in four innings for the Blue Jays. He struck out two, walked two and finished with a 2.70 ERA in 20 spring innings.
The right-hander gave up all his runs in the third.
“I was just rushing,” he said. “Once I calmed myself down, I made some pretty good pitches and got myself out of it. It was good to get that one out of the way.”
Kendrick, slated to start Philadelphia’s home opener on April 5, gave up five runs and six hits in three innings. He had a 6.88 ERA in 17 innings this spring.
“I felt good,” said Kendrick, the team’s No. 4 starter. “My arm feels good. My body feels good. Today, the results obviously weren’t there. I fell behind in some counts and gave up some runs. The good thing is they don’t count. I’ll be ready to go.”
Toronto also appears ready to go after an aggressive winter in which the club emerged as a top contender in the AL East. The Blue Jays acquired a four-time All-Star in Reyes, revamped their pitching staff by adding R.A. Dickey, Johnson and Mark Buehrle, and signed outfielder in Melky Cabrera, who was leading the NL with a .346 batting average last year before he was suspended for a positive drug test.
Dickey, the NL Cy Young Award winner, will start the season opener Tuesday against Justin Masterson and the Cleveland Indians.
“We’re a deep team and have everything it takes to do it,” Johnson said. “Now we have to go out and do it. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a while. It’s going to be fun.”
The Phillies open the regular season Monday night in Atlanta, with Cole Hamels facing Tim Hudson. The 2008 World Series champions, the Phillies were riddled with injuries last season and failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
“There’s been a lot of talk of underdog role, but we have experienced winning and being an underdog,” first baseman Ryan Howard said. “A lot of that is all talk. Not to take anything away from the
(Washington) Nationals. Those guys had a great season last year. They won the division, but that’s why we’ve got to go out there and play the games. It’s not 2012 anymore, it’s 2013.”
NOTES: The Phillies set their opening day roster before the game. Humberto Quintero beat out Steven Lerud for the backup catcher’s job, and LHP Raul Valdes secured the final spot in a three-lefty bullpen. … For the second straight game, pitchers Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels assisted the Phillie Phanatic in launching hot dogs into the stands. … Toronto closer Casey Janssen and left-handed reliever Darren Oliver stayed in Dunedin, Fla., to pitch against minor leaguers. They’ll rejoin the team for Monday’s workout at Rogers Centre. … Johnson is scheduled to make his first regular-season start Friday against the Boston Red Sox. … Encarnacion double twice and drove in a pair of runs.
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