David Buchanan enhances bid to make Phillies roster

CLEARWATER — Phillies RHP David Buchanan, vying to make the major-league roster, gave up two homers but was sharp otherwise in a 3-1 split-squad loss to the Blue Jays on Thursday.

Buchanan, who started six games at Triple A last season, gave up the two runs on back-to-back homers in the second inning but struck out six in four innings. Buchanan, 25, has a shot to either join the hurting rotation or nab a long reliever spot.

"I was impressed with his composure," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He had a couple of balls that were connected on — one was an 0-2 breaking pitch — he kept his composure, actually came inside on a couple of hitters after that to keep them honest. I thought he rebounded well there to minimize."

Tony Gwynn went 2-for-3 and is hitting .346. The 31-year-old son of the Hall of Famer with the same name provides crucial depth for a team thin on outfielders. It's a strong possibility Gwynn begins the season on the 25-man roster. "He's a bright spot," Sandberg said. "His defense, his at-bats, his baserunning are quality."

Ailing: OF Darin Ruf was scratched from the Phillies' 6-3 split-squad victory over the Astros in Kissimmee after straining his left oblique during batting practice. He will visit with team doctors Saturday. The injury likely will cause Ruf, a leading candidate for a bench job, to miss opening day. He is hitting .217 with two home runs in 18 spring games. Making his third start, Jeff Manship allowed one run and six hits in five innings and struck out five in Kissimmee.

Jays: Still clubbing

CLEARWATER — Jose Bautista extended his torrid spring hitting with a double and Esmil Rogers gave up just one run in five innings as the Blue Jays beat a Phillies' split squad 3-1.

Bautista went 1-for-3 and is hitting .359 with five homers, four doubles and 11 RBIs. Erik Kratz homered twice and was 3-for-3, and Moises Sierra also connected for Toronto.

Rogers had his finest spring outing, allowing one run over 4⅔ innings. He is unlikely to make the rotation but could land a spot on the opening day roster as a long bullpen arm.

"Right now, they gave me an opportunity to compete for a spot, so I'm going to do my best," he said.

In/out: The team claimed OF Matt Tuiasosopo off waivers from the Diamondbacks and cut LHP Luis Perez to make room on the roster.

Yanks: Ellsbury slowed

FORT MYERS — CF Jacoby Ellsbury, who hasn't played since March 14, was sent for an MRI exam on his ailing right calf and it revealed no structural damage.

"I'm sure he'll take (batting practice today)," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "They decided to do a precautionary."

Girardi said he did not have a specific number of days planned for Ellsbury to rest."

Late win: RHP David Phelps went six innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts as the Yankees beat the host Red Sox 3-2. Phelps, looking for a spot in the rotation, faced a lineup close to what the Sox will field on opening day. "Those guys that have seen me before, I can see how my stuff is," he said.

Blue Jays

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

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

Today: at Rays, 1:05, Port Charlotte

Phillies

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

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

Today: vs Red Sox, 1:05, MLB Network

Yankees

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

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

Tonight: vs. Pirates, 7:05, MLB Network

David Buchanan enhances bid to make Phillies roster 03/20/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 21, 2014 12:05am]

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