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Pasco High's Domonic Brown impresses Phillies

The Phillies’ Domonic Brown, bidding to play leftfield, rounds the bases after homering for the second time in three games.

Associated Press

The Phillies’ Domonic Brown, bidding to play leftfield, rounds the bases after homering for the second time in three games.

CLEARWATER — Domonic Brown's chance to contribute is right now. Tommy Joseph's opportunity should come in due time.

Brown, a former Pasco High standout, and Joseph hit long home runs in the seventh inning of the Phillies' 4-3 win over the Yankees on Tuesday.

Brown, 25, connected off RHP Zach Nuding, sending his second home run this spring over the 25-foot-high batter's eye in centerfield, more than 401 feet away.

In the dugout, catching coach Mick Billmeyer turned to manager Charlie Manuel and said, "He hit that pretty good."

"I was trying to look," Brown said, "but I didn't see."

Brown, once the Phillies' best prospect, is competing for the vacancy in leftfield.

"That was a well-struck baseball. … The ball went a long ways," Manuel said. "He put a good swing on it: nice, short and compact, with balance at the plate.

"His swing is more fluid and compact. It's more explosive."

Joseph, a catcher considered by some as the Phillies' top hitting prospect, sent a two-run drive deep over the leftfield fence.

Yanks: No to Johnny

CLEARWATER — Johnny Damon isn't going to be rejoining the Yankees, GM Brian Cashman told espn.com.

Damon, 39, who played for New York from 2006-09 (and spent the 2011 season with the Rays), had campaigned to be a short-term replacement for OF Curtis Granderson, out 10 weeks with a fractured right forearm. Damon had even offered to play for the major-league minimum salary.

"Have me for six weeks and send me on my merry way,'' Damon said on ESPN radio Monday.

Cashman put the kibbosh on the idea Tuesday afternoon.

"He's just not going to fit our needs,'' Cashman said. "It's the same reason we didn't bring him in last year. We need somebody who can play the outfield every day."

Granderson's spot is likely to be filled by one or both of the veterans in camp, Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera.

YOUK HURT: 3B Kevin Youkilis was scratched from the game because of a sore left oblique. He will be re-evaluated this week.

Jays: Wild start

DUNEDIN — Blue Jays LHP Ricky Romero, who is trying to bounce back from a miserable season, lasted just 12/3 innings in his spring debut against the Twins.

Romero allowed two runs, both on Joe Benson's second-inning homer, and two hits in Toronto's 8-4 loss. He threw just 17 of his 36 pitches for strikes.

"Right now, you're worried about that pitch count and getting it right," Romero said. "Whatever happens on the field happens. My job is to go out there and get the outs. Just left a sinker that stayed up and the guy hit it out."

Romero went 9-14 with a 5.77 ERA and left his final start of the season Sept. 30 after three innings with a left leg injury. He said his percentage of sinkers thrown last year decreased.

"I'm going to use this spring to work on my sinker," he said. "I think that's basically about 90 percent of what we threw, maybe 95. I'm just trying to get that pitch back and get it under control."

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Pasco High's Domonic Brown impresses Phillies 02/26/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 10:29pm]
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