Blue Jays 11, Phillies 6
R.A. Dickey and Cliff Lee struggled in the poor weather. Ryan
Howard and Jose Reyes found the playing conditions to their
Howard hit a two-run homer off Dickey and Reyes and the Toronto
Blue Jays touched up Cliff Lee in an 11-6 victory over the
Philadelphia Phillies in cool, blustery conditions Saturday.
Both starters went three innings in their second exhibition
appearances. Dickey allowed three runs in the first on four
consecutive hits – doubles by Kevin Frandsen and Michael Young,
Howard’s shot and a single by Domonic Brown.
”They were just aggressive early in the count and got some
balls up in the air,” the right-hander said. ”Today, if you got a
ball up in the air, it was probably going to go somewhere.”
Despite his homer off Dickey, Howard is pleased the reigning NL
Cy Young Award winner was dealt from the NL East rival New York
Mets to Toronto in a seven-player offseason trade.
”I’ll let the AL East go ahead and deal with him over there,”
said Ryan, grinning.
The left-handed Lee, who won the 2008 AL Cy Young Award with the
Cleveland Indians, gave up two first-inning runs on doubles by Jose
Reyes and Melky Cabrera and a single by Edwin Encarnacion. Emilio
Bonifacio tied it at 3 in the second with a solo home run.
Reyes added a three-run homer off losing pitcher Tyler Cloyd in
the fourth. Carlos Ruiz and Erik Kratz also had home runs for
”I missed up in the zone a few times, obviously, with the
wind,” Lee said. ”Physically, I feel great. It’s just a matter of
honing it in a little better.”
Dickey will leave Sunday with new batterymate J.P. Arencibia to
join the United States team in the World Baseball Classic.
”It’s huge,” Arencibia said of the opportunity to become more
familiar with Dickey and his dancing knuckleball. ”It’s tough to
leave because there’s still other guys that I would love to work
with, but it also is good to be able to go out there and play with
him and get to know him better.”
Shortly after the pair return to spring camp, they will learn
who will work behind the plate when Dickey begins to deliver his
knuckler in the regular season.
”It’s an awful tough pitch,” Jays manager John Gibbons said.
”When the games start counting and that guy’s sitting in scoring
position on third base, you don’t want that ball going back to the
Arencibia wants the role, but Gibbons gives the edge to Josh
Thole and Henry Blanco as former teammates of Dickey with the
”They’re all learning my nuances and they know what to look
for,” Dickey said. ”I’m comfortable with all of them, so it gives
Gibby a lot of latitude to be able to put in there who he thinks is
the best fit for that day.”
NOTES: RHP Josh Johnson allowed a run in two innings for the
win. . Toronto OF Colby Rasmus has not played since being scratched
Thursday with soreness in his right (non-throwing) shoulder. He
will not return before the Baltimore Orioles visit Tuesday. . Jays
INF Mark DeRosa sat out after experiencing back discomfort Friday.
He might play against a Phillies split squad Sunday. . The
scheduled starters are LHP Rickey Romero for Toronto and RHP Aaron
Cook for Philadelphia. . Ford ”Moon” Mullen, who was the oldest
living Phillies alumnus at 96, died Thursday night. The former
second baseman played 118 games for the club in 1944, his only
season in the major leagues. . Shirley Cheek, wife of late Toronto
broadcaster Tom Cheek, was honored with a pregame introduction. Tom
Cheek, who called 4,306 regular-season games in a row for the Jays,
was posthumously awarded the 2013 Ford C. Frick Award and will be
enshrined in Cooperstown in July.