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Phi
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Phillies 9, Yankees 7

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP)

Wilson Valdez homered off Phil Hughes with two outs in the ninth inning and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the New York Yankees 9-7 Monday.

Starters Cole Hamels of the Phillies and A.J. Burnett of the Yankees combined to allow 11 runs and 16 hits in eight innings.

Mark Teixeira went 4 for 4 with a home run and double for the Yankees. Dane Sardinha homered, doubled and drove in four runs for the Phillies.

Sardinha, Valdez and Ben Francisco homered off Hughes.

``He was up,'' manager Charlie Manuel said of Hamels, who had been sharp this spring. ``He threw a lot of fastballs and when you get stretched out, you go through that period in spring training. He was up in the strike zone, with his off-speed stuff, too.''

Hamels, who entered the day with a 1.69 ERA in three spring starts, allowed seven runs (six earned) and nine hits in four innings. His spring ERA jumped to 4.91.

Hamels said he was unconcerned with his stats since he was using the outing to work almost exclusively on fine-tuning his fastball.

``Now is the time I want to get the fastball going and hit my spots,'' said Hamels, who is scheduled to follow ace Roy Halladay in the team's rotation. ``I thought I was doing a pretty good job, but then in the fourth inning, I was cutting it off unintentionally and I definitely wasn?t releasing the ball where I wanted to and it wasn?t going where I needed it to. A lot of the pitches missed over the heart of the plate.''

Hamels entered the fourth with a 5-2 lead, but run-scoring doubles by Kevin Russo and Eduardo Nunez and a two-run home run by Teixeira gave New York a 7-5 lead.

Unlike Hamels, Burnett's trouble came early. The Phillies scored five runs in the first inning.

After Jimmy Rollins lead off with a double, Placido Polanco hit a two-run home run to right-center. Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez all reached base and scored when Sardinha hit a bases-clearing double.

``I attacked and they swung early,'' said Burnett, who will follow CC Sabathia in the Yankees' rotation. ``They weren't bad pitches. They came out swinging. It's not how you start, it's how you finish.''

Burnett bounced back with three shutout innings after the first.

Hughes, one of the front runners for the fifth starter's job, didn't finish nearly as strong. Hughes gave up four runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out six.

``I felt really good with all my pitches,'' Hughes said. ``It seemed like every fly ball that went out there was either off the wall or would leave the yard. It's hard to swallow three home runs and feel like I was happy with the way I threw, but I really was.''

Joba Chamberlain, Alfredo Aceves, Sergio Mitre and Chad Gaudin are also under consideration with Hughes for the rotation.

The two teams combined for 24 hits.

Notes: Philadelphia reliever Brad Lidge allowed one run and two hits in a minor league game. Lidge, who underwent offseason surgeries on his right knee and right elbow, is hoping to join the team during the first week of the regular season. ... Polanco had his second straight two-hit game. Polanco, who had missed four games with a sprained knee before Sunday, was 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs against the Yankees. ... Catcher Carlos Ruiz was scratched from the starting lineup with an illness. ... Reliever Mike Zagurski was optioned to minor-league game, leaving Antonio Bastardo as the only healthy left-handed reliever in major league camp.

Tagged: Yankees, Mets, Phillies, Placido Polanco, A.J. Burnett, Brad Lidge, Dane Sardinha, Mark Teixeira, Wilson Valdez, Cole Hamels, Phil Hughes

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