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Phillies' Halladay hit hard in minor-league game

SARASOTA — Aaron Cook is ready, just in case Roy Halladay isn't.

Halladay, whose start against Baltimore last weekend was cut short after one inning because of a stomach virus, pitched — poorly — in a minor-league game Saturday in Clearwater. Cook pitched against the Orioles and helped the Phillies to a 13-4 win.

Halladay retired just seven of 18 batters, allowing three runs, seven hits and two walks in four innings with one strikeout. His fastball velocity was mostly in the high 80s, well down from his peak form.

Afterward, the two-time Cy Young winner spoke of "evolving with his body" and attacking hitters with a different approach.

"It's not a boxing match," Halladay said. "It's not strength vs. strength. It's a chess match. It's competition of the mind and execution and being smarter and being more prepared."

Philadelphia general manager Ruben Amaro declined to say much about Halladay, saying he'd talk about him today.

"He was okay. He got his work in," Amaro said.

Cook, meanwhile, allowed two runs and four hits in 42/3 innings.

"It was the best he's looked all spring," manager Charlie Manuel said.

Jays: A 'hiccup'

DUNEDIN — Brandon Morrow wasn't concerned about one tough inning.

Morrow allowed four of his five runs in the fifth inning during the Blue Jays' 10-5 loss to a Braves split squad. The right-hander wound up giving up eight hits in 51/3 innings and has allowed 15 runs over 15 innings in five spring starts.

"I was cruising, and a hiccup there getting out of the fifth," Morrow said. "They hit some good pitches. Guys got their hands in on some inside fastballs, which were well located. They kind of singled me to death."

Reed Johnson had a two-run single, the fourth consecutive hit off Morrow with two outs in the fifth, that pulled Atlanta to within 4-3. After the tying run scored on Morrow's wild pitch, Justin Upton hit a run-scoring infield single for a 5-4 lead.

"Good, except for that one inning," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "Looked like he ran out of gas a little bit."

Yanks: Wang's back

TAMPA — The Yankees brought back a familiar face, signing RHP Chien-Ming Wang to a minor-league deal.

The Yankees said he would report right away to the minor-league complex.

Wang, who turns 33 later this month, was signed by the Yankees in 2000. He went 55-26 with them during five seasons.

Wang has been slowed by injuries since, starting when he injured his foot on the basepaths in 2008. He spent the past three seasons with the Nationals.

GOOD TO GO: LHP Andy Pettitte, 40, struck out five over 61/3 innings in his longest outing of the year in the Yankees' 10-6 loss to the Tigers. He allowed four runs, eight hits and one walk in his second spring outing against a big-league opponent.

"I feel really good," Pettitte said. "I got some balls up, but I got it right where it needed to be when I needed it. Getting into the seventh inning was great."

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Phillies' Halladay hit hard in minor-league game 03/23/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 23, 2013 9:47pm]
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