DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) -- Jim Thome looked ready for the regular
season in his return from a back injury.
Thome had two hits in his first game since March 22, but Vernon
Wells hit an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to give
the Toronto Blue Jays a 6-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies
Thome, who was out with a stiff back, went 2-for-3 with a walk
and played seven innings at first base.
"He's ready to go, he is fine," Philadelphia manager Charlie
Manuel said. "He moved around pretty good. He's ready, he will
play tomorrow and probably play the rest of the season, the whole
Wells singled through a drawn-in infield to score Gabe Gross
with one out, breaking an 0-11 slump. Wells is hitting just .153
(9-for-59) this spring.
After the game Wells took extra batting practice.
Phillies starter Jon Lieber allowed three runs and seven hits.
He walked one, struck out four and threw 69 pitches -- 48 strikes.
"Nothing real big today, just trying to get some work in,"
Lieber said. "I threw my pitches then went down in the bullpen and
threw 10 more."
Lieber has been laid back about the prospect of making the
opening day start.
"It's the way it's looking," Lieber said. "I'm just preparing
for my next start five days from now, probably opening day. I'm
just preparing for my next start."
Roy Halladay pitched six solid innings for Toronto, allowing two
runs on six hits while walking three and striking out four. He
threw 95 pitches, 63 for strikes.
"I think there were three balls hit hard today," Halladay
said. "Going into the last inning I knew I had 82 pitches and
after that last inning I felt like I still had a lot left. The big
think I think for me today was just to get the pitch count up and
Halladay's next start is opening day against Tampa Bay in St.
Toronto hitting coach Mike Barnett had eye surgery
Wednesday to repair a detached retina in his left eye. He is
expected to be back in camp Thursday with first base coach Mickey
Brantley and bench coach Ernie Whitt handling his duties. ... The
Phillies made several roster moves on Wednesday, including one that
sent top prospect 1B Ryan Howard to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Catcher A.J. Hinch and OF Mark Budzinski were reassigned to minor
league camp, but will remain with the Phillies until Sunday. ...
Philadelphia asked for the unconditional release of RHP Amaury
Telemaco, but if he clears waivers, he will be reassigned to
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. ... Also, the team announced RHP Vincente
Padilla will start the season on the disabled list and will be
eligible for reinstatement on April 9.