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Phillies closer Brad Lidge faces hitters for first time this spring

CLEARWATER — Phillies closer Brad Lidge faced hitters Wednesday for the first time since offseason surgeries on his right elbow and right knee.

The right-hander, 33, threw 21 pitches to Ozzie Chavez and Chris Duffy at the spring complex, then went through a round of fielding drills.

Lidge had been limited since arriving at camp last month.

"That was a full day," he joked. "It felt like I was in spring training."

Lidge led the majors with 11 blown saves last season and finished 0-8 with a 7.21 ERA.

RARE FEAT: Cody Ransom homered in two games. He hit a solo homer in the A game, a 4-2 win over the Blue Jays in Dunedin, and hit a three-run homer in a 4-1 B game victory over Toronto at Clearwater.

Yankees: Granderson robs ex-teammate

LAKELAND — Curtis Granderson made the play of the day in the first meeting between the Yankees and Tigers since their winter exchange of outfielders and pitchers.

Granderson's catch against the centerfield wall robbed Miguel Cabrera of at least an RBI double in the fourth inning, keeping New York in a game it eventually won 9-8.

"That catch was a dandy, or should I say that was a Grandy?" Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

"On the bus ride over here, I was just wondering how it was going to go, and everything went pretty good," said Granderson, Detroit's centerfielder for six seasons. "I wasn't really sure what to expect. In spring training they kind of cheer everybody. I'm thankful for it."

JOBA STRUGGLES: RHP Joba Chamberlain gave up five hits and three walks in 21/3 innings. "There's no panic button, but there's a sense of urgency. Trust me," Chamberlain said.

Jays: Drabek sterling vs. ex-organization

DUNEDIN — RHP Kyle Drabek, the pitcher the Blue Jays coveted and finally got in the trade that sent ace Roy Halladay to Philadelphia, tried to treat his start against the Phillies like any other game.

It was advice from his father, 1990 NL Cy Young winner Doug Drabek. The result: two shutout innings, one walk and one hit in the Phillies' 4-2 win.

"I told him I was pitching against them," Kyle Drabek said, "and he told me, 'It's just another team. Don't get too excited. Just go out there and pitch.' "

Was it just another team?

"Definitely not," he said with a laugh.

Drabek, 22, is likely to start the season at Double-A New Hampshire.

FAST FACTS

Yankees

Where: George Steinbrenner Field, corner of Dale Mabry and Martin Luther King, Tampa. Tonight: vs. Braves, 7:05, MLB Network. Information: yankees.com

Phillies

Where: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. Today: vs. Tigers, 1:05. Information: phillies.com

Blue Jays

Where: Dunedin Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Today: at Rays (ss), 1:05, Port Charlotte. Information: bluejays.com

Phillies closer Brad Lidge faces hitters for first time this spring 03/10/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 10:31pm]
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