Phillies' Hamels sharp, tosses 2 scoreless innings in spring debut
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Left-hander Cole Hamels pitched two scoreless innings in his Grapefruit League debut Friday in a 4-1 loss to a New York Yankees split squad.
Hamels allowed one hit, struck out two batters and did not surrender a walk on 31 pitches at Bright House Field.
''It's something where I just wanted to go out there and face hitters,'' Hamels said. ''Batting practices are great, bullpens are great, but there is just a little more adrenaline and focus that you need when you actually have a guy in there from an opposing team.''
Rain forced a 50-minute delay in the bottom of the third in the scoreless game.
''Cole looked really good,'' Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. ''He had his rhythm. Real good pace to him. He mixed his pitches well. Under the conditions and everything, he performed good.''
Yankees starter Bryan Mitchell was just as effective in his two innings. The right hander gave up a single but ended the first inning with a double play and then struck out two in the second, his final inning.
The Yankees scored three runs off Philadelphia reliever Mike Nesseth in the fourth, sending nine batters to the plate. Greg Bird, Ramon Flores and Didi Gregorius all drove in a run during the inning.
New York added a run in the eighth against Phillies reliever Ken Giles, who struggled to locate his pitches, on Nick Noonan's RBI double.
Xavier Paul hit a solo homer in the seventh for the Phillies.
GILES WILD: Ken Giles is out to prove that last year's fourth-place finish for National League Rookie of the Year award wasn't a fluke.
His spring didn't get off to an ideal start, however. In his one inning of work, Giles walked two batters -- though he picked off Aaron Judge at first -- and gave up an RBI double. Giles only walked 11 batters of the 166 he faced last season. On Friday, he walked two of the five hitters he faced in his first Grapefruit League appearance.
''That's why you see a little less velocity right now and they work into that,'' Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said of power pitchers like Giles. ''Something with their windup and using their whole body. When they don't have their whole velocity going into spring training, things can go a little different for them.''
UP NEXT: The Yankees play the Pittsburgh Pirates in split squad Game 2 on Friday in Tampa. Right-hander Scott Baker is scheduled to start Saturday's game against Houston, which will start left-hander Dallas Keuchel. Right-hander Jerome Williams is slated to take the mound in the Phillies' next game Saturday against Toronto and left-hander Mark Buehrle.
REST FOR RUIZ
Having a designated hitter affords Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg some flexibility with his lineup and helps him ensure veteran catcher Carlos Ruiz healthy.
Ruiz caught his first game behind the plate against the Yankees, and Sandberg said he won't get too much time behind the plate. Getting at-bats in the Minor League camp is also an option for Ruiz when he isn't the DH for the Phillies.
''For (Ruiz) to get work and throw and block and everything, but also preserve himself a little bit and have him on a schedule that has him ready for opening day,'' Sandberg said.