Kyle Kendrick gets hit hard in spring finale

Posted: March 31, 2013

Kyle Kendrick will hope the main event goes better than the dress rehearsal.

Kendrick, scheduled to start the Phillies home opener Friday, had one last spring tune up Saturday in the exhibition finale against the Toronto Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park.

The 10-4 loss wasn't the warm homecoming he wanted.

Kendrick allowed five earned runs on six hits in three innings. He left the mound to sarcastic cheers after finally retiring the side in a four-run third inning.

"The good thing is they don't count," Kendrick said. "I'll be ready to go when my time comes."

Kendrick, who is assured of a spot in the rotation entering the season for the first time since 2008, is at ease despite a poor spring. After taking Saturday's loss, he finished the exhibition season 1-3 with an ERA of 6.88.

Kendrick attributed his troubles against the Blue Jays to leaving the ball up in the zone. Everything else is fine, he insisted.

"I feel good," Kendrick said. "My arm feels good, my body feels good."

Gone but not forgotten

Before the game, the Phillies optioned right-hander Michael Stutes to triple-A Lehigh Valley, choosing instead to keep Phillippe Aumont on the opening day roster.

Stutes, who was an important part of the bullpen in 2011, only appeared in six games with the Phillies last season before season-ending shoulder surgery in June. He went 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA in spring training.

"We don't forget what he did for us two years ago," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He just needs to get back and start getting his reps. He hasn't pitched for almost a year. He's needs the consistency."

The Phillies enter the regular season with seven relievers, including three lefties - Antonio Bastardo, Jeremy Horst and Raul Valdes.

Hamels plays coy

Cole Hamels spent about 15 minutes in the dugout before Saturday's game holding court with reporters. Topics ranged from his opening day start - surprise, he's honored - to his ringing endorsement of Roy Halladay's health.

But there was one subject Hamels wouldn't broach: why the typically clean-cut pitcher has been sporting a woolly mustache the last two days, or if it will still be there when he takes the mound Monday night in Atlanta.

"That's a trade secret," Hamels said with a smile.

Contact Tim McManus at Follow on Twitter @ByTimMcManus.

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