Phillies' Halladay pounded by Twins in 6-4 loss

March 14, 2012 2:12:06 PM PDT
Roy Halladay sat in the dugout, drenched in sweat and wearing a disgusted look on his face after getting yanked early.

Even in spring training, a poor performance gets to Halladay.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner got rocked in the Minnesota Twins' 6-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday.

Halladay allowed five runs and seven hits, including two homers, in 2 2-3 innings. Pitching coach Rich Dubee came to the mound after Halladay gave up a long three-run homer to Chris Parmelee in the third. Dubee was back again to take the ball after Halladay walked the next batter on four pitches.

"I hate innings like that, but they help build stamina. They humble you and they push you to work," Halladay said. "It's still the consistency issues for me. The bullpen session between last start and this start was good and I addressed a lot of things."

It's rare for the eight-time All-Star to struggle like this. Halladay is 40-16 with a 2.40 ERA, 17 completes game and five shutouts in his two seasons with the Phillies. He has a 10.56 ERA in three spring starts.

"I'm going to use the entire spring to get ready. I feel like we're close," Halladay said.

Dubee isn't worried.

"It's spring training," he said. "He doesn't have the feel for his change-up yet and his cutter doesn't have the usual finish."

Twins starter Jason Marquis didn't fare much better. He gave up four runs and eight hits in four innings. Marquis has a 9.34 ERA in three starts this spring, though he was encouraged by his latest outing.

"A lot of positives," he said. "I felt like I executed my pitches the way I wanted to. Obviously, by the amount of ground balls, obviously that shows that. The change-up felt real good. I'm feeling really good about my delivery and getting everything out front, and the action of the pitches, the quality of the pitches, and that's really all you can focus on right now. You only can control what you can control."

Josh Willingham hit a solo shot off Halladay in the first. His RBI single in the third tied it 2-2. Parmelee followed with a blast to deep right for a 5-2 lead.

Carlos Ruiz hit an RBI single, and John Mayberry Jr. and Placido Polanco drove in runs with doubles for Philadelphia.

Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon tossed a scoreless fifth, working around a hit and a walk.

Notes: Phillies 1B Ryan Howard was cleared to do some light exercises with a walking boot on his surgically repaired left Achilles. Howard hasn't practiced in 2½ weeks. Manager Charlie Manuel said he doesn't know when Howard will play. ... Phillies 2B Chase Utley, who hasn't played this spring, could see action "pretty soon," according to Manuel. ... Plate umpire Tom Hallion left the game in the middle of the fifth inning. There was no reason given, though he was hit in the face mask by a foul ball. ... Twins CF Denard Span returned to the lineup after missing two games with neck stiffness. He was 3 for 4. ... Twins SS Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who missed the last two games with a sprained left pinkie, also was back. He was 1 for 4. ... The Phillies trimmed their roster by sending nine players to the minors, including RHP Dave Bush and OF Tyson Gillies.