Burrell gets cheers in first game against Phils
Howard hit his first home run of the spring, Burrell got a warm reception in his first game against Philadelphia and the Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays 12-5 Saturday in a rematch of last year’s World Series.
It was the defending world champions’ first victory of the spring after opening with three consecutive losses.
“We got Ruben Amaro his first win,” manager Charlie Manuel said of his first-year general manager. “He won’t be able to buy dinner tonight, but we’ll get him.”
Burrell spent his first nine seasons with the Phillies before signing a $16 million, two-year deal with the Rays in January. The designated hitter got a rousing ovation when he came to the plate in the first inning to face former teammate Kyle Kendrick.
“The fans were pretty amazing,” said Burrell, the No. 1 overall selection by the Phillies in the 1998 amateur draft. “It was a fun day. I was just thrilled to be on the field.”
Burrell went 1-for-2 with a double while his former team provided the long ball power.
Howard, hitless in his previous two spring games, launched the first pitch he saw from Mitch Talbot into the Phillies bullpen beyond the left-field fence in a five-run first inning. John Mayberry Jr. followed with a line-drive homer into the left-field bleachers.
Kendrick pitched 2 2-3 effective innings, allowing one run and four hits. His only mistake was a hanging slider that Ray Sadler hit for a solo homer in the second.
“It was a good step in the right direction,” said Kendrick, who is competing with Chan Ho Park, J.A. Happ and Carlos Carrasco for the final spot in the starting rotation. “I need to keep it going, but I was definitely pleased with the way things went.”
Phillies reliever J.C. Romero on the team’s annual meeting with players’ association chief Donald Fehr: “I still got a raw deal. It doesn’t matter how many questions I ask, what I believe. It’s not going to change anything.” Romero will serve a 50-game suspension at the start of the season for testing positive for a banned substance after taking an over-the-counter supplement. … OF Jayson Werth was scratched with soreness in his right shoulder. Werth, who has not played in a game this spring, suffered the injury in batting practice Friday and is hoping to make his spring debut Monday. … The announced crowd of 10,270 was the largest in Bright House Field history.