Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hamels looks strong but Phillies fall in Spring Opener, 8-3

By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
@Philabaseball

Cole Hamels tossed two impressive innings but the Houston Astros walloped Philadelphia's relief pitchers en route to an 8-3 victory Saturday in Clearwater in the Grapefruit League opener for both clubs.

"Physically, I feel really strong," Hamels said. "It's just getting the timing and reps for the muscle memory. Mentally, it's just being prepared every five days now. Starting to get into that routine because it's nice to dial in the routine throughout the season."

The Astros took a 3-2 lead in the fourth and the bullpen tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing just four hits.

On the Mound: B.J. Rosenberg gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk over two innings ... Justin De Fratus also allowed a pair of runs over two innings while walking a pair ... Zach Miner surrendered three hits and a pair of runs (one earned) in an inning of work.

At the Plate: Chase Utley, making his first Grapefruit League start since 2010, hit an RBI-single in the first inning to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead ... Pete Orr hit a solo home run in the eighth, the Phillies' first home run of the spring ... Ryan Howard finished 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts ... Yuniesky Betancourt finished 2-for-3 with an RBI

In the Field: The Phillies committed four errors ... Darin Ruf and Ben Revere each committed fielding errors while Erik Kratz made a throwing error.

Up Next: The Phillies travel to Lakeland on Sunday to face Detroit ... Roy Halladay will make his Grapefruit League debut against Justin Verlander.

- Patrick Gordon is the editor of the Philadelphia Baseball Review. Contact him at pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com or @Philabaseball on Twitter.

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