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Blue Jays fill out starting rotation

DUNEDIN — RHPs Drew Hutchison and Dustin McGowan won spots in the Blue Jays rotation.

Manager John Gibbons announced the news before Wednesday's 10-6 victory over the Yankees.

Hutchison will pitch in Toronto's second regular-season game Tuesday at the Rays. McGowan beat out several fifth-starter contenders and is lined up to pitch the home opener against the Yankees on April 4.

McGowan has pitched in just 30 big-league games, including 25 relief appearances last season, since right shoulder surgery in July 2008.

"He was one of the top up-and-coming pitchers here in this organization a few years ago," Gibbons said. "It's pretty amazing in my mind that he's come back this far. We're going to run with it and see where it takes us."

McGowan is scheduled to pitch in a simulated game Sunday, the final step in what he even thought was a long-shot bid to open the year as a starter.

"Excited," McGowan said. "I always had the resolve. There's no quit in my blood. I worked hard to get back. It paid off."

GAME DETAILS: Opening day starter R.A. Dickey gave up six runs and seven hits over three innings against the Yankees. The knuckleballer struck out two and walked four in his final spring training start before Monday's opener at Tropicana Field.

Yanks: Ellsbury better

DUNEDIN — Yankees CF Jacoby Ellsbury, who has been out because of right calf tightness, played five innings in center in his second minor-league game and reported no issues.

Ellsbury played in a Class A game against a Pirates squad at the Himes Complex in Tampa, going 1-for-4 with a walk. He has not played in a Grapefruit League game since March 14.

"I think it went very well," Ellsbury told mlb.com. "Pleased with the results, pleased with how everything felt, couldn't ask for more. I did a little bit of everything."

Manager Joe Girardi said it was "comforting" that Ellsbury was able to play the outfield.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that Ellsbury should be ready for opening day.

GOOD SIGN: SS Derek Jeter appears to be breaking out of his offensive funk. He walked, singled and lined out in the 10-6 loss to the Blue Jays, improving to 7-for-49 (.143) overall.

The Yankees captain was limited to 17 games last season after breaking his left ankle in the 2012 playoffs. "We talked about it," manager Joe Girardi said. "He hasn't played really in a year and a half. Timing is an issue, and it's getting better every day. He'll have (today) off and then play the last two games."

Phils: Abreu gone

CLEARWATER — Phillies OF and former franchise star Bobby Abreu was informed he will not be on the opening day roster. Abreu has struggled in right field this spring, where the Phillies had hoped to play him once or twice a week.

Abreu, 40, hasn't played in the majors since 2012. He spent nine of his 17 seasons with Philadelphia and hit .303 with a .416 on-base percentage and a .513 slugging percentage there.

BROWN OUT: OF Domonic Brown, the former Pasco High standout, was pulled in the fourth inning because of flu symptoms. Brown has been feeling the side effects for past eight or nine days, manager Ryne Sandberg said.

GAME DETAILS: LHP Cliff Lee gave up one run over five innings in a 1-0 loss to the Tigers, continuing his stellar spring. Lee has a 2.55 ERA in six spring starts. "I mean I've felt good the whole time," Lee said. "Spring training for me is over now. It's on to the real games. So I'm looking forward to it."

. FAST FACTS

Blue Jays

Games: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin

Tickets: (727) 733-0429; bluejays.com

Today: at Phillies, 1:05, Clearwater

Phillies

Games: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater

Tickets: (727) 467-4457; phillies.com

Today: vs. Blue Jays, 1:05

Yankees

Games: Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Drive (corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Dale Mabry), Tampa

Tickets: (813) 879-2244; yankees.com

Today: at Pirates, 1:05, Bradenton

Blue Jays fill out starting rotation 03/26/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 11:13pm]
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