Philadelphia Phillies' pitching hopeful takes pounding

CLEARWATER — Kyle Kendrick's bid to win a spot with the Phillies was set back with an awful outing against the Braves.

The 24-year-old right-hander was pounded for eight runs and 10 hits in three-plus innings Wednesday during a 12-10 loss, allowing a pair of two-run homers to Clint Sammons.

Kendrick, who has 21 regular-season wins as a starter since June 2007, is competing with Chan Ho Park, J.A. Happ and Carlos Carrasco to be the No. 5 starter.

"It's in my mind," Kendrick said of the competition. "Next time I just have to have better results."

"If we start the season and we're going to pitch with one pitch again, we're looking at June through September again," Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said, referring to a slump that knocked Kendrick out of the rotation last summer. "He's got to get people off his sinker."

Notable: Closer Brad Lidge made his debut in a game this year in an intrasquad contest. Lidge allowed one hit — a homer — and struck out one in one inning.

Yankees: CC off

LAKELAND — Despite struggling in a 7-4 loss to the Tigers, Yankees ace CC Sabathia was not overly concerned.

"I felt like I was throwing the ball pretty sound," Sabathia said. "But they put the bat on the ball. It kind of snowballed."

All five runs off him came in the second, when Gary Sheffield hit the first of his two homers.

"I need to command both halves of the plate better," said Sabathia, who allowed five runs and six hits in 12/3 innings and took the loss.

Medical matters: Manager Joe Girardi said 3B Alex Rodriguez is recovering from his hip procedure. "He sounded good. Said: 'I'm doing well.' Good to hear from him." … Closer Mariano Rivera, 39, who had right shoulder surgery in October, threw batting practice for the first time this spring training in Tampa.

Coming up: The Yankees get an off-day today before playing the Red Sox at 7:05 Friday night in Fort Myers. Chien-Ming Wang is scheduled to start.

Jays: Halladay sharp

DUNEDIN — RHP Roy Halladay pitched four innings to stretch his shutout streak to nine, as the Blue Jays tied the Pirates 2-all in 11 innings.

Halladay gave up a one-out double and a walk in the first inning, then set down the remaining 11 Pirates he faced, including six on grounders and four strikeouts.

"I think I needed another eight or 10 pitches in the bullpen," after throwing about 55 in the game, Halladay said.

He added that he tried to throw as many changeups as he could, about nine in all, and experimented a bit with other pitches.

Medical matters: An MRI exam on RHP Brian Wolfe's shoulder showed inflammation but that he was "otherwise okay," manager Cito Gaston said.

The teams

The Blue Jays and Yankees are off today.

Yankees: 1 Steinbrenner Drive, Tampa. Tickets: Call (813) 879-2244 or online at yankees.com.

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

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

Philadelphia Phillies' pitching hopeful takes pounding 03/11/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 11:59pm]

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