Yankees crush the Phillies with the long ball

March 26, 2009 4:02:50 PM PDT
Hideki Matsui hit one of four New York home runs, offsetting consecutive long balls by Chase Utley and Ryan Howard and leading the Yankees to a 10-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday. Utley hit his second home run in two games and Ryan Howard connected for his seventh of the spring, but the World Series champions dropped to 10-13-2 in Grapefruit League play.

"We'll be all right," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. "I still think we have to get Utley and (Pedro) Feliz playing (more) and we have to get Jimmy Rollins and (Shane) Victorino some at-bats and I think we'll be fine. We have to get (Cole) Hamels 100 percent. We're going to be fine."

Cody Ransom, Nick Swisher and Melky Cabrera also homered for New York.

Utley, who began playing in Grapefruit games 11 days earlier, hit a 3-1 pitch from Joba Chamberlain in the first inning to right field. Utley homered in his previous at-bat on Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

"They're going to be ready," Manuel said when asked if Utley and Feliz, who each had surgery in the offseason, would be in the lineup for the regular-season opener April 5. "Feliz needs some work - he needs some timing. Utley looks like he's coming around."

Chamberlain gave up just one more hit - a double to Ronny Paulino - in 4 1-3 innings. The 23-year-old right-hander walked three and stuck out three.

"They crushed them - there's no getting around it," Chamberlain said of the homers. "They hit good pitches in hitter's counts. That's what they get paid to do."

"After the first inning, he seemed to get his location down," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "He got two quick outs and then gave up two home runs. That's the kind of lineup you face and we're going to face in the American League."

Philadelphia starter Carlos Carrasco gave up four runs and six hits in five innings, including home runs to Matsui - a two-run shot in the first - and to Ransom in the fourth.

"He has to be more aggressive with his fastball, not try to be too fine with it, trust his fastball," Manuel said of the 22-year-old Carrasco, a fifth starter candidate who is likely bound for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. "The ball Matsui hit today, it looked like he tried to get it in and it kind of got the big part of the plate. If he had been a little bit more aggressive, he could have got it inside on him."

Notes: Hamels, who experienced elbow tightness last week, had a bullpen session Thursday, two days after throwing in a minor league game. Hamels didn't report any pain and is scheduled to pitch in a Grapefruit League game Sunday against the Boston Red Sox. ... Girardi began experimenting with a new lineup - hitting shortstop Derek Jeter at leadoff and left fielder Johnny Damon second. Jeter finished 2-for-4 with two runs and a stolen base while Damon was 1-for-4 ... In his first game at Bright House Field since returning from the World Baseball Classic, Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins finished 0-for-2 with a walk.