Orioles 3, Phillies 3(10)

Jim Thome found himself in an unfamiliar place Sunday – first

base.

Thome played five innings at first and hit a two-run double for

a Philadelphia Phillies’ split squad in a 3-3, 10-inning tie

against the Baltimore Orioles.

The 41-year-old, who has not played the field in the regular

season since eight innings for the Chicago White Sox at the

Phillies on June 13, 2007, did not have any grounders hit to him.

He had three putouts.

”It felt fun to be out there. The adrenaline was pretty

awesome,” a smiling Thome said. ”I haven’t had adrenaline like

that in quite a while.”

Thome signed a $1.25 million, one-year deal to return to the

Phillies. He hasn’t played regularly in the field since his first

tour in Philadelphia ended in 2005.

”He looked all right. Looked big and strong,” Phillies manager

Charlie Manuel said.

With fellow All-Star Ryan Howard set to begin the season on the

disabled list while recovering from left Achilles tendon surgery,

the Phillies have been playing Thome at first base in minor league

games. Sunday was his first time in the field during a major league

exhibition.

”I think the main thing is my body has felt pretty good,” said

Thome, who has battled chronic back pain. ”That has been the big

thing.”

Thome hit a two-run double to deep center in a three-run third

against Brian Matusz.

Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay struck out nine and walked two in 6

1-3 innings, allowing two runs and seven hits while throwing 89

pitches. He is to have one more tuneup before the April 5 opener at

Pittsburgh. It will be his 10th straight opening-day start, the

most among active pitchers.

”I feel good,” he said. ”You get close to 100 pitches, but

you want to get up and down as many times as you can. That can be

the hardest part once the season starts, sitting down and then

going back out there for an inning. So getting to be able to go out

there for a seventh inning and get close to 90 pitches, I felt like

it was very productive.”

For the second time in five days, Halladay pitched opposite

Baltimore left-hander Brian Matusz. In his third start against the

Phillies this spring training, Matusz allowed three runs on six

hits while striking out two and walking one in 4 2-3 innings.

”He survived well without what he has spoiled us with. Brian

was OK,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. ”He wasn’t as

fluid as he was and will be. He made quality pitches when he had

to.”

”I was rushing a little bit,” Matusz said. ”Rushing my

delivery, I wasn’t able to settle in with something that felt good.

Felt like I was battling all game. Just kept battling, kept

attacking the zone.”

NOTES: Philadelphia 2B Chase Utley (knees) will not be ready for

opening day. … Phillies LHP Antonio Bastardo struck out the only

two batters he faced in the seventh. Bastardo hadn’t pitched since

March 18 with muscle tightness in his arm. … Phillies 3B Placido

Polanco went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored in his first game

since March 17. Polanco sprained his left ring finger on a

headfirst slide during a pickoff attempt last week. … Baltimore

is only the third team since 1996 to have as many as five

spring-training ties, according to STATS LLC, joining the 2006 Los

Angeles Dodgers and 2010 Chicago White Sox. … Baltimore RHP Jason

Berken pitched a scoreless sixth in his first appearance of spring

training. He had been sidelined with a left hamstring injury. …

Showalter says he will start LHP Tsuyoshi Wada on Tuesday against

MInnesota and pitch LHP Wei-Yin Chen in a minor league game that

day.