Orioles 5, Phillies 4

BY foxsports • March 22, 2010

Jamie Moyer pitched five sharp innings in his spring debut, but the Philadelphia Phillies fell to the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 Sunday.

Before rallying for three runs in the bottom of the ninth, keyed by Greg Dobbs' two-run homer, the Phillies had scored one run in 26 innings.

``We're going to score runs,'' an unconcerned Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said afterward.

The manager's focus, though, was on Moyer, who is in competition with right-hander Kyle Kendrick for the fifth spot in the rotation. Moyer, the oldest player in baseball at 47, held Baltimore to one run on five hits. He struck out six and walked none.

``Jamie was Jamie. Jamie got them out,'' Manuel said. ``He yo-yo'd it up there. A little on, a little off, a little in, a little out, up and down.''

Moyer, who had offseason operations on his abdomen and right knee, had pitched previously this spring in three 'B' games against the Blue Jays. The 23-year veteran's first foray into a major league setting started out as well as Moyer could have hoped: He struck out three of the first six hitters he faced.

``I made some pitches when I had to,'' Moyer said. ``I made some bad pitches but I recovered and made some adjustments. It's just trying to create consistency.''

Moyer, a winner of 258 games, entered camp with some uncertainty about his health. In four games, the Phillies believe he is healthy enough to win the fifth starter's job.

Kendrick, meanwhile, has also overwhelmed the coaching staff by sporting a 1.29 ERA after four starts. Both pitchers are expected start twice more before the Phillies open the regular season April 5 in Washington.

``I think we'll let it play out and do what's best for our club,'' Manuel said when asked to handicap the race.

While Moyer put his best foot forward for Philadelphia, Baltimore veteran Kevin Millwood was able to keep the Phillies All-Star-studded lineup in check. The 35-year-old Millwood, who was acquired in an offseason trade with Texas, allowed one run - a solo home run to Paul Hoover - on five hits in five innings.

``It felt good. Like every other time, it feels like everything's getting a little bit better,'' Millwood said. ``It's starting to come together. It feels like I'm right on track where I want to be.''

``He got his pitch count over 90,'' Baltimore manager David Trembley said. ``He battled. He pitched great.''

The Orioles' offense broke a 1-all tie during a three-run eighth inning. After Felix Pie led off with a walk, Jeff Salazar and Lou Montanez hit back to back singles off Philadelphia left-hander Mike Zagurski to begin the rally.

Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters and first baseman Brandon Snyder added run-scoring hits in the inning.

NOTES: Philadelphia LHP Cole Hamels had a minor league game rained out Sunday. He'll instead start Monday when the Phillies host the New York Yankees. OF Raul Ibanez finished 0 for 2 and is hitting .125 (4-for-34) this spring. ``He's not there yet, his timing isn't there,'' Manuel said. RH reliever Brad Lidge is scheduled to throw in a minor league game Monday. Lidge, who had offseason operations on his right knee and right elbow, has yet to appear in a Grapefruit League game. ... Philadelphia 3B Placido Polanco returned to the lineup for the first time since spraining his right knee in Bradenton Monday. Polanco was 2 for 3 with a double.

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