Josh Johnson will never complain about this kind of run
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 out 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 29-year-old right-hander gave up all his runs Saturday in
”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.”
Last season, Johnson went 8-14 with a 3.81 ERA in 31 starts for
the last-place Marlins.
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
”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
(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.