Phillies 5

(11-17, 4-11 away)

Blue Jays 6

(16-8, 9-4 home)

    1:05 PM ET, March 30, 2005

    Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin, Florida 

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    PHI 000101030 5 - -
    TOR 003010011 6 - -

    Toronto 6, Philadelphia 5

    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 on Wednesday.

    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 year."

    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 feel good."

    Halladay's next start is opening day against Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg.

    Halladay allowed Mike Lieberthal's solo homer in the fourth and Scott Schoeneweis gave up Nate Grindell's three-run shot in the eighth that gave the Phillies a 5-4 lead.

    Corey Koskie homered off Terry Adams in the fifth, and Shea Hillenbrand connected against Billy Wagner in the eighth to it 5-all.

    Game notes

    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press