Hamels gives up 2 homers, Blue Jays show off power in win

BY foxsports • March 21, 2015

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) Cole Hamels gave up homers to Jose Reyes and Jose Bautista, and Chase Utley made his first start at second base this spring in the Philadelphia Phillies' 6-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.

Reyes hit Hamels' first pitch of the game for a home run to left field. Two batters later, Bautista sent a drive to straightaway center field.

''He really does put presser on the pitchers,'' Hamels said of Bautista. ''He's one of those last few guys strictly a game changer with the type of power and baseball knowledge from the right side.''

Hamels settled and didn't allow any more runs during his 3 2-3 innings, limited by a pitch count. He also struck out five and didn't issue a walk.

Utley went 0 for 2 but felt good after his first game in the field. He had been working back from a right ankle sprain.

Utley, who had one putout during his four innings in the field, said the plan to progressively play more innings and continue to take baby steps.

''Running the bases has been very good,'' Utley said. ''I'm just trying to get some defensive reps in there. Today was a good start.''

The Phillies scored two unearned runs off Toronto starter R.A. Dickey in the fourth inning, aided by Reyes' error at shortstop.

Dickey tossed six innings, his longest outing of spring, and struck out seven while not allowing a walk.

''I was happy with the way the pitches came out of my hand today,'' Dickey said. ''I had a good release point and the ball was moving a lot.''

Josh Donaldson gave Toronto the lead, 3-2, in the sixth with a home run to left field.


Phillies: For the first time this spring, Hamels threw curveballs during a start. The next step in his spring progression will be to pitch more innings to continue building strength and stamina.

Blue Jays: Even though Dickey is pleased with the progress he's making in preparation for the regular season, he's still looking to improve. ''I'm still a couple of ticks below where I want to be when the season begins, but that's intentional,'' Dickey said. ''I'm building into it. That was my plan going into spring training. I hoped to be peaking at the right time.''


Phillies: LHP Mario Hollands has discomfort in his left elbow and had an MRI on Saturday. He first felt a problem when he threw the final pitch of his outing Friday. He said it felt similar to the flexor strain that ended his 2014 season in early September. ... OF Odubel Herrera was replaced by a pinch hitter after reaching on a bunt single in the seventh. Herrera felt something tweak in his right knee and was removed as a precaution.


Phillies: Right-hander Jerome Williams is scheduled to start Sunday against the Red Sox in Fort Myers. Williams missed his last start with a tweaked right hamstring.

Blue Jays: Right-hander Marco Estrada is expected to take the mound Sunday in Dunedin against the Tampa Bay Rays.


Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg is toying with the idea of shifting Ben Revere to left field and playing Odubel Herrera in center field. He tried it out for the first time Saturday with good results. Sandberg likes Herrera's arm in center field while he believes Revere's arm may be better suited for left field.