CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) -Jamie Moyer pitched six strong innings and the Philadelphia Phillies closed out their spring training schedule with a 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.
Moyer, who was named the fifth starter two days earlier, gave up solo home runs to Ryan Church and Ryan Doumit but held Pittsburgh in check the rest of the way. The 47-year-old left-hander scattered six hits while striking out three and walking none.
Moyer, who underwent three offseason operations, enters his 24th major league season healthy and coming off a strong spring. In six starts, including three 'B' games, Moyer had a 2.02 ERA while striking out 23 and walking just one in 26 2-3 innings.
Whether it was his health or his performance, Moyer secured a spot in the rotation.
``I think the most important thing for me was to go out and pitch and then let everything else fall into place,' said Moyer, who underwent right knee, groin and abdominal operations during the offseason. ``If I can pitch, than I'm healthy. So why worry about the health - that was something I had to worry about all winter long. I felt coming into the door like I could do what they asked me to do.'
After giving up home runs to Church and Doumit in the first and fourth innings, Moyer retired eight of the last 10 Pittsburgh hitters he faced. Moyer is slated to make his first start of the regular season during the series against the Houston Astros, which begins a week from Friday.
The Phillies broke a 2-all tie in the bottom of the sixth when Greg Dobbs hit a two-out, RBI single to left field to score Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz finished the game 2 for 3 with two runs scored.
DeWayne Wise added an insurance run in the eighth when he led off with a booming home run over the right field fence off Octavio Dotel.
After the game, the two-time defending National League champion Phillies return to Philadelphia tonight, where they'll host the Pirates again in exhibition games Friday and Saturday before opening the season in Washington on Monday. The team is ready to embrace the preseason buzz that's been building in the city.
``We've had such a great spring, with fan support, I think we've sold out every game here,' Ryan Howard said. ``It's going to be exciting to get up there and get at it for real.'
But Charlie Manuel is somewhat concerned with his pitching. Two of his key relievers, closer Brad Lidge and left-hander J.C. Romero, are set to open the season on the disabled list.
Before the game, he also learned starter Joe Blanton was also being placed on the DL.
``We're going to hit - if we don't score runs and we don't catch the ball, that means we didn't play good,' Manuel said. ``But if we play like we can, we're going to score runs. The big thing is the consistency in our pitching. We've had that for the last two or three years. When we started having problems, guys would step up.
``We got like 12 wins last year from guys who were released or were free agent pitchers,' Manuel added. ``That's saying a whole lot, but in some ways it's being very lucky. The consistency of our pitching has to improve.'
NOTES: With Blanton (oblique) also placed to the DL, the Phillies will bring Triple-A starter Andrew Carpenter to Philadelphia to handle Blanton's innings on Saturday, in one of the two exhibition games this weekend. The Phillies have not made final roster cuts. Catcher Paul Hoover, Wise and infielders Cody Ransom and Wilson Valdez and pitchers Michael Stutes and B.J. Rosenberg, all likely ticketed for Triple-A, will travel with the team to Philadelphia this weekend. ... The Phillies finished their Florida exhibition schedule 13-12-1.
The Associated Press News Service
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