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Phillies pitcher Eickhoff says he's back on track

CLEARWATER — Phillies RHP Jerad Eickhoff declared himself ready for the season after pitching four innings in his first major-league exhibition game of spring training, a 7-5 loss to a Twins split squad Tuesday.

Acquired in the July trade that sent former World Series MVP Cole Hamels to Texas, Eickhoff entered spring training behind schedule after sustaining a small fracture in his right thumb last month during a bunting drill. He allowed three runs and four hits, struck out seven and walked two.

Eickhoff, 25, allowed two solo homers to Daniel Palka and walked Miguel Sano twice.

"I think he was getting me on the heaters there early," Eickhoff said of Palka. "I think it's just one of those things. I'm trying to fill up the strike zone and the ball kind of got up and got out."

Eickhoff posted a 2.65 ERA in eight starts with the Phillies last year. He likely will make two more exhibition starts.

"Should be right on track," Eickhoff said.

INJURY REPORT: OF Odubel Herrera missed his ninth straight game with inflammation on his left middle finger. He hopes to rejoin the lineup by the end of the weekend.

Yanks: Ellsbury improving

TAMPA—The Yankees re-evaluated CF Jacoby Ellsbury's bruised right wrist and continue to believe that he will return to the lineup Thursday.

Ellsbury has been out since being hit by a pitch Saturday.

"It has felt better the last few days," Ellsbury said. "I'm happy it was nothing worse. (I'm) fortunate."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Ellsbury will resume hitting off a tee and hit soft toss today.

Jays: Hutchison impresses

LAKELAND — Blue Jays RHP Drew Hutchison gave up one run in four innings in a 16-1 win over the Tigers.

Hutchison doesn't have any guarantees, but he gave himself a shot at the final spot in the rotation. He had a 5.57 ERA in 28 starts last season.

"All I can focus on is what I am doing right now," he said. "I feel comfortable and am just trying to doing what feels right for me."

Phillies pitcher Eickhoff says he's back on track 03/22/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 9:39pm]
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