Halladay battered but unconcerned

LAKELAND — RHP Roy Halladay says there's nothing to worry about. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel agrees.

Halladay gave up three runs, including two homers to nonroster invitee Eric Patterson, but the Phillies rallied for a 7-5 win Friday and handed the Tigers their first loss in seven spring games.

Halladay, who went 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA last season, said he's working on consistency in his pitches after his spring ERA rose to 7.20.

"I feel like everything is going good," Halladay said. "I have just been inconsistent so far. I only made two mistakes, and they were to the same guy. I feel like I have a long way to go, but I am not concerned."

"I didn't see anything wrong," Manuel said, adding that he wasn't looking at spring numbers. "I just have to look at his numbers from last year."

Short hops: Manuel said 1B Ryan Howard is progressing well after his Achilles tendon injury. He will wear a boot for at least another week. … INF Chase Utley (chronic knee tendinitis) is taking batting practice and doing drills. … Carlos Ruiz hit a three-run homer as the Phillies rallied from a 4-0 deficit.

Yanks: Garcia's bid

TAMPA — RHP Freddy Garcia strengthened his bid for a rotation spot, allowing one hit and striking out two in three innings against Atlanta.

"I want to pitch good to earn the spot," said Garcia, who walked one in the 3-0 victory.

He is competing for a rotation spot behind CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda.

"That's vintage Freddy," manager Joe Girardi said. "Changed speeds, changed location. Used his split."

Reliever bruised: All-Star reliever David Robertson, who injured his right foot stumbling on stairs Wednesday, was told by doctors he has a bone bruise and the team expects him to be ready by opening day, April 6 against the Rays. Robertson will wear a protective boot through Sunday, and he won't pitch in an exhibition until the soreness is gone.

Jays: Budding star?

KISSIMMEE — 3B Brett Lawrie, who came to the Jays 15 months ago in a trade with Milwaukee for P Shaun Marcum, is off to a solid spring start.

The 22-year-old hit .293 in a 43-game taste of the majors last year. This spring he is 8-for-16 with four doubles after driving in his sixth and seventh runs in the Jays' 11-2 win over the Astros.

His best play might have been tagging and advancing to second on a flyout, which enabled him to score on DH David Cooper's two-out single.

"He's got very good instincts inside the game," manager John Farrell said. "He's a confident player, and he makes very good decisions."

Short hops: RHP Henderson Alvarez, bidding for a spot in the rotation, pitched two innings, giving up a run on one hit and striking out three. Alvarez has "an inside track on one of the spots in our rotation," Farrell said. … Reliever Luis Perez, who worked two innings, has faced 20 batters in three outings, giving up a walk, a hit batsman and a single, and striking out six.

>>LOCAL CAMPS

Blue Jays

Where: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin

Today: 1:05 vs. Astros, Dunedin

Info: bluejays.com/spring training; (727) 733-0429

Phillies

Where: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater

Today: 1:05 vs. Orioles, Clearwater

Info: phillies.com/spring training; (727) 467-4457

Yankees

Where: Steinbrenner Field, corner of Dale Mabry and Martin Luther King, Tampa

Today: 1:05 at Braves, Kissimmee

Info: yankees.com/spring training; (813) 879-2244

Halladay battered but unconcerned 03/09/12 [Last modified: Friday, March 9, 2012 10:03pm]

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