03/18/12 4:24 PM ET
Hamels struggles in Phils' loss to Blue Jays
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
Toronto first got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third off left-hander Cole Hamels, thanks to back-to-back doubles by Gomes and Escobar. Bautista later followed with his sixth RBI of the spring to give the Blue Jays an early 2-1 lead.
That production continued in the third as Toronto recorded four consecutive singles to plate three more runs and chase Hamels from the game. Philadelphia's left-hander surrendered five runs -- four earned -- on eight hits without striking out a batter in his fourth start of the spring.
"I was very happy with what I was able to do today," said Hamels, who was chased after 3 1/3 innings.
"It's all about fine-tuning now, to be able to throw all of your pitches where you want to. It's nice to know you can go out there and be free and easy, and build up the arm strength that you have to have. I feel I'm getting there."
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel wasn't concerned with Hamels' rough outing.
"I've seen a lot of superstars really get hit in Spring Training. That doesn't bother me," Manuel said. "He's fine. He'll be ready."
Gomes and Escobar struck again in the bottom of the sixth with another pair of RBI doubles. Gomes finished the day 3-for-3 with three RBIs while Escobar added two RBIs of his own and a run scored. Bautista capped the offensive outburst by crushing a first-pitch homer well over the wall in left-center field off David Herndon.
Left-hander Brett Cecil got the start for Toronto and got himself into trouble in the first inning, but was able to minimize the damage. He gave up a one-out triple to center fielder Shane Victorino, who would later come around to score on a single by Hunter Pence, but that's all Philadelphia would score off Cecil.
The 25-year-old allowed four hits while striking out two and not issuing a walk in four frames. His fastball was registered between 85-87 mph, but Cecil appeared to be locating the ball down in the zone with more effectiveness.
Up next for the Phillies: Scott Elarton will make his first start and fourth appearance of the spring on Monday against Max Scherzer when the Phillies face the red-hot Tigers at 1:05 p.m. ET. Monday would have been Roy Halladay's turn to pitch, but he will get an extra day of rest and start Tuesday instead, possibly setting him up for the regular season.