DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) - Joe Blanton feels no pressure to muscle his way into the discussion when it comes to Philadelphia's bevy of aces: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels.
``If anything, there's less (pressure). With those guys, I don't have to do anything,' said a grinning Blanton after following a two-run first with three shutout innings Tuesday to help the Phillies to a 13-7 victory over Toronto.
``Just because you're the fifth guy, doesn't mean you're a No. 5 guy,' Blanton said. ``You look at different rotations, guys get thrown in different spots because of the other guys in that rotation. I mean, look at Cole. He's our No. 4 guy but he's not a No. 4 guy, if that makes any sense. If you learn one thing from each guy, that's four pretty good things.'
They're not really competitive, at least not with each other, Blanton said.
``From my point of view, if I was to go out and throw seven innings (giving up) one run, two runs, whatever, I hope everybody does better than me. You just want to keep up your end. If everybody else is throwing well, it feels good to throw well.'
Rajai Davis tagged Blanton for his third leadoff home run of the spring in a two-run bottom of the first.
``He's put a lot of good swings on some baseballs. It's very encouraging to see,' Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. ``He's shown some flashes in a pretty good stretch here of late. He's taken a strong hold of center field and not letting it go.'
The Phillies went ahead on Raul Ibanez's two-run single in the third off Blue Jays starter Jesse Litsch, who gave up nine hits and five runs in 3 1-3 innings.
``It's not uncommon for dead arms to start to show up in camp, and that's a normal progression for a pitcher,' Farrell said.
The Phillies scored two more runs in the fourth on catcher J.P. Arencibia's wild pickoff throw to third, and Ben Francisco added a solo homer in the fifth.
Anthony Gose hit a two-run triple in the seventh to finish a comeback that put Toronto ahead 7-6, but the Phillies erupted for five runs in the eighth, three on Wilson Valdez's double down the left-field line, and Michael Martinez doubled for their final two runs in the ninth.
Notes: LHP Ricky Romero, Toronto's scheduled Opening-Day starter, has what manager John Farrell said is ``some minor inflammation' causing discomfort in his middle finger, and will skip his next start, Thursday against the Phillies. ... OF Scott Podsednik, who appeared in his first spring game Friday, had a setback with plantar fasciitis (inflammation) in his left heel, has been reassigned to Toronto's minor-league camp and will wear a cast for at least 10 days. ... Phillies 3B Placido Polanco left the game in the second inning with a hyperextended elbow. ... Toronto RHP Kyle Drabek is set to start Wednesday against the Pirates. ... Fellow RHP Frank Francisco, who felt discomfort in his right pectoral muscle while warming up in relief Saturday, threw long toss and a about 15 pitches off the bullpen mound Tuesday. ... Toronto 2B Aaron Hill, slowed for the past two weeks by a strained right quadriceps muscle, is scheduled to be play his first spring game Wednesday as a DH in a minor league game.
The Associated Press News Service
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