Halladay returns as Phillies beat Diamondbacks

His velocity was not overwhelming, but Roy Halladay held Arizona to two runs in six innings in his return. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff
His velocity was not overwhelming, but Roy Halladay held Arizona to two runs in six innings in his return. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff
Posted: August 27, 2013

He was not overpowering and needed some great defense, including a home run-saving catch, but overall, Roy Halladay made a successful return to a major-league mound on Sunday.

Making his first Phillies appearance since May 5, Halladay allowed two runs in six innings during a 9-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park. The two-time Cy Young Award winner threw 94 pitches, 55 for strikes, with a fastball in the high 80s for much of the day.

Halladay, who underwent shoulder surgery on May 15, surrendered four hits while striking out two and walking two.

"I feel like I am getting stronger and I look forward to continuing to build," said Halladay, 36.

Halladay originally was supposed to make his third minor-league rehabilitation start Sunday at Reading.

However, Tyler Cloyd, Sunday's scheduled starter for the Phillies, pitched five scoreless innings of relief during Saturday's 12-7 loss to Arizona in 18 innings.

So Halladay was summoned to the Phillies, making his first start since May 5, when he lasted just 21/3 innings and allowed nine runs in a 14-2 loss to visiting Miami.

Without overpowering velocity, Halladay had success with his curveball and change-up. He ended his day by retiring second baseman Cliff Pennington on an inning-ending fly ball to left field with runners on the corners in the sixth inning.

"His command probably is not where he wants it to be, but he made pitches, kept them off balance," interim manager Ryne Sandberg said. "As he went along, he really found his curveball, which was a good pitch - an out pitch."

The Phillies are 6-4 under Sandberg, and Halladay senses a renewed sense of energy and confidence.

"I sensed in the middle of the year that if we were down in a game we were going to have a hard time coming back," Halladay said. "The last week or so, you are starting to get that sense back that we can overcome anything."

Halladay allowed a first-inning run when speedster Tony Campana led off with a triple to right and scored on Adam Eaton's groundout to short.

The Phillies answered with four runs in the first against all-star lefthander Patrick Corbin. Darin Ruf tied the score on an RBI single, followed by Cody Asche's two-run double and Kevin Frandsen's RBI groundout.

Halladay got out of a jam in the third when centerfielder Roger Bernadina leaped over the wall to steal a potential two-run homer from Matt Davidson to end the inning.

"That was probably a game-changing play," Halladay said.

As introspective as ever, the eight-time all-star was asked whether he can be as dominant as he once was.

"I just want to win games and win a World Series," Halladay said. "I am not worried about anything else, to be honest with you."

Halladay will be a free agent after the season. He believes that if he remains with the Phillies, the team can be a contender.

"I think there are just a few pieces that if we can add, we are right there," he said.

Contact Marc Narducci

at mnarducci@phillynews.com. Follow @sjnard on Twitter.

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