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Duo shines in bid to make Philadelphia Phillies' rotation

The Phillies’ Carlos Carrasco, who turns 22 in March, pitches two scoreless innings against the Blue Jays.

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The Phillies’ Carlos Carrasco, who turns 22 in March, pitches two scoreless innings against the Blue Jays.

CLEARWATER — Carlos Car­rasco and J.A. Happ, two of the Phillies' top pitching prospects, each threw two shutout innings during a 6-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Thursday.

Both are competing for the fifth spot in the rotation with Chan Ho Park and Kyle Kendrick.

"These are two kids that want to show everybody they're hungry. They want to be in the big leagues," C Carlos Ruiz said. "I like how comfortable they looked on the mound."

Carrasco, a righty who turns 22 in March, retired all six hitters he faced.

"I felt comfortable," said Carrasco, who has pitched only six games above Double A. "I threw all three pitches — curveball, fastball, changeup — for strikes."

Happ, 26, a lefty, followed with two quick innings of his own.

"You, obviously, want to start out good," he said. "At the same time, it's early. Hitters might not be used to breaking balls and whatnot. Hopefully, I can build on this and keep going."

Bad follow: Two relievers fighting for a roster spot didn't fare as well. Justin Lehr gave up consecutive homers in the fifth. In the eighth, with the score tied at 2, Toronto scored four off Blaine Neal, including Scott Campbell's three-run double.

Yankees: Sponsorship deal with bank off

NEW YORK — The Yankees and Bank of America ended months of negotiations on a sponsorship agreement, fallout from the financial industry's decision to accept aid from the federal government.

While the sides never discussed naming rights to the new $1.5 billion stadium, they talked of a 20-year deal that would have included signage, special events and tickets.

"We recognize that our decision not to pursue a long-term partnership with the Yankees reflects a lost revenue opportunity," company spokesman Joe Goode said. "However, these are unprecedented times that perhaps call for some very difficult decisions."

Ticket prices down: The Yankees are lowering the price of about 600 obstructed-view bleacher seats at the new stadium from $12 to $5. The team said it incorrectly priced the seats, which are alongside a restaurant and bar in centerfield.

HIT SHOW: C Jorge Posada had a big day against the Rays: 2-for-2 with a double, homer and two RBIs.

Jays: Snider diet pays off for one day at least

CLEARWATER — Toronto's Travis Sni­der had an up-and-down day against the Phillies.

In the second, his towering shot to right was knocked down by the wind, and John Mayberry made a leaping catch at the wall. In the fifth, he sent a blast over the fence in left. All in all, a good day for the 21-year-old seeking a spot in the outfield.

But it didn't come without offseason sacrifice. He spent five additional weeks in the weight room to bulk up, and he dieted.

"Pizza, hot dogs, you name it," Snider said of food he gave up. "There are guys that can eat for weeks and not gain a pound and guys that complain about not being able to gain weight. I'm one of those guys who can put on 5 pounds in a week if I try."

Game notes: Jason Lane followed Snider's homer with one of his own. … Starter Scott Richmond pitched two hitless innings.

Times staff writer Joe Smith contributed to this report.

The Teams

Blue Jays vs. Tigers

1:05 today, Dunedin

Blue Jays: Dunedin Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Tickets: Call toll-free 1-888-525-5297 or (727) 733-0429; or online at

Phillies: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. Tickets: Call (727) 467-4457 or online at

Yankees: George M. Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Drive, Tampa. Tickets: Call (813) 879-2244 or online at

Duo shines in bid to make Philadelphia Phillies' rotation 02/26/09 [Last modified: Thursday, February 26, 2009 11:02pm]
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