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Phillies reward GM Amaro with extension

CLEARWATER — The Phillies and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. agreed to a four-year contract extension Saturday.

Amaro, entering his third season on the job, helped the Phillies to back-to-back NL East titles and the pennant in 2009. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"For the last 2½ years, my opinion is he's done an outstanding job for the organization," team president David Montgomery said.

The Phillies have the most wins in the NL (190-134) in Amaro's first two seasons.

UTLEY UPDATE: All-Star 2B Chase Utley, out with tendinitis in his right knee, has been increasing his workouts in hopes of avoiding surgery and being ready for the season, Amaro said.

Yanks: Shrug it off

VIERA — If there was one hallmark of RHP A.J. Burnett's awful 2010, it was that when things went bad, they often stayed that way.

So when Michael Morse hit a two-run homer in the second inning of the Nationals' 6-5 victory over the Yankees, it was interesting to see how Burnett would react.

He reacted fine, retiring three straight to end the inning. He wound up allowing just the two runs and two hits in four innings.

"Got hit, gave up the bomb and didn't really care," Burnett said. "Get back on the mound and get the next three guys."

GOOD NEWS: Yankees LHP Kei Igawa has spoken with his family in northern Japan and is returning home after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami devastated the country.

Jays: No control

DUNEDIN — A day after being named the Blue Jays' opening-day starter, LHP Ricky Romero was lit up in a 6-4 win over the Pirates, allowing four runs on four hits and five walks in 32/3 innings.

"It was just I had no idea where my fastball was going," Romero told the Toronto Star. "It felt good in the bullpen. … I don't think it's anything to worry about."

STILL HURTING: OF Scott Podsednik was scratched a day after his spring debut because of continued pain with the plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

.Fast facts

Baseball for Kids Legends Game

Presented by MLB Players Alumni Association

Where: Bright House Field, Clearwater

Schedule: 1 p.m., youth baseball clinic (must register online); 4, batting practice; 4:30, HR derby; 5:30, game

Tickets: $7-$18, online at baseballalumni.com or stadium box office. All proceeds go to Children's Cancer Center.

Phillies reward GM Amaro with extension 03/12/11 [Last modified: Saturday, March 12, 2011 8:26pm]
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