Twins bury the Phillies

March 15, 2008 2:43:25 PM PDT
Carlos Gomez, acquired from the New York Mets in the blockbuster Johan Santana trade before spring training, went 3-for-4 with his first home run this spring in the Minnesota Twins' 11-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday. Ryan Howard homered for the Phillies.

The win spoiled the impressive return of Philadelphia pitcher Adam Eaton. Pitching for the first time in nine days, Eaton struck out two and walked none in three scoreless innings.

The right-hander, who entered the game with a 15.75 ERA this spring, was diagnosed with a slight herniated disc in his back last Sunday.

"It felt good to get out there and feel good, not only body-wise, but stuff-wise - the two go hand in hand," Eaton said. "I didn't have to compensate for anything - the back felt great, the arm felt great."

After Eaton left, however, the Phillies pitching turned the game into a rout. J.D. Durbin, Fabio Castro and Gary Knotts combined to give up 11 runs and 13 hits in six innings of work.

Gomez got the Twins offense rolling with a two-run home run in the fifth inning off Durbin while Jason Kubel followed with a solo home run, also off Durbin, an inning later.

"The jobs are right there in front of them," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said about the poor performances out of his bullpen, where players are competing for roster spots. "If they don't get them, that's their fault."

Although Howard led off the second inning with a homer, Minnesota starting pitcher Kevin Slowey pitched four strong innings.

"He hit that one a long ways," said Slowey, who allowed a run and two hits while striking out five and walking one. "Obviously I left a couple other balls up, some line drives at guys. But overall I felt a lot better this time than last time.

"You know, you feel like that's all you can really hope for.

You hope throw up zeros and for me, keeping the ball down is huge."

Philadelphia pitcher Kyle Kendrick allowed two runs in four innings in a minor league game at the Carpenter Complex. ... Philadelphia center fielder Shane Victorino (.222) went 0-for-4 and is now the fifth Phillies regular with a sub.-240 batting average this spring. ... Before Saturday's game, the Phillies reassigned right-handed pitcher John Ennis to minor league camp and also optioned left-handed pitcher Shane Youman.