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Hutchison strong as Blue Jays blank Phillies

Thursday - 3/27/2014, 6:31pm  ET

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Drew Hutchison (36) watches his warmup pitch before starting in a spring exhibition baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, Fla., Thursday, March 27, 2014. The Blue Jays shutout the Phillies 3-0. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

JEFF ODOM
Associated Press

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) -- Drew Hutchison gave up one hit in 5 1-3 scoreless innings and led the Toronto Blue Jays past the Philadelphia Phillies 3-0 on Thursday.

Hutchison is scheduled to start Toronto's second regular season game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday. He allowed a single to Jimmy Rollins in the fourth, walked three and struck out three.

The right-hander beat out several candidates, including Todd Redmond, Esmil Rogers and Ricky Romero, for a spot in the rotation. He was 5-3 with a 4.60 ERA in 11 starts as a rookie last season.

"I battled today," Hutchison said. "I wasn't really crisp. I got behind way too much, actually. But on days like that, I can come back and make good pitches, it's a good sign."

Dioner Navarro hit a sacrifice fly off Phillies starter A.J. Burnett in the fourth. Gabe Jacobo added a two-run single in the eighth.

Burnett gave up three hits with one walk and six strikeouts in five innings. The right-hander signed a two-year, $22.5 million deal with Philadelphia in February after spending the last two seasons with Pittsburgh.

HAMELS PITCHES

Phillies starter Cole Hamels (left shoulder inflammation) pitched two innings in a minor league game, his first outing of the spring.

The left-hander said he felt well after recording nine outs and throwing 20 of 30 pitches for strikes against Pittsburgh's Triple-A players.

"I'm really pleased and really confident, and what I'm able to do now is to truly get spring training in," Hamels said. "Obviously it's a little late, but I feel healthy and I think that's really the key."

Hamels plans to join the Phillies in Arlington for their season opener against the Rangers on Monday before returning to the team's training complex in Clearwater to continue his rehab.

STARTING TIME

Blue Jays: Hutchison said despite close competition, he never doubted his chances to make the rotation and is prepared to show he belongs.

"For me, I expected to make the team," Hutchison said. "This is not anything (surprising). I expected to make the team and now I'm ready to go perform."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Phillies: Outfielder Domonic Brown was held out of the game because of lingering flu-like symptoms. Manager Ryne Sandberg expects the 2013 All-Star to play on Friday against Pittsburgh.

Blue Jays: Shortstop Jose Reyes missed his fifth straight game with left hamstring tightness. He is expected to play on Friday against the New York Mets in Montreal.

First baseman Edwin Encarnacion said he feels better, but was given the day off after being hit by a pitch on his right forearm Wednesday against the Yankees.

ABREU RELEASED

The Phillies released outfielder Bobby Abreu on Thursday to allow the 40-year-old to explore an opportunity with another team.

Philadelphia's decision to part ways with Abreu came one day after the 17-year veteran was informed by the organization that he would not make the 25-man opening day roster.

In 17 games this spring training, Abreu batted .244 with two RBIs and 10 walks, but struggled defensively.

"We just felt like at this stage of the game, he wouldn't be a fit for us," general manager Ruben Amaro said. "It was a tough decision. Not just because of how it affects our roster, but also as a person. Bobby is a great guy. He really made an effort to make this team. It obviously was a goal of his. We decided he wasn't prepared to do that to help us at this time."

Abreu signed a minor league deal in January with the hope of returning to the majors for the first time since 2012 when he appeared in 100 games with the Angels and Dodgers.

MORE MOVES

Philadelphia placed left-hander Cole Hamels on the 15-day disabled list along with right-handers Mike Adams, Miguel Gonzalez and Ethan Martin, shortstop Freddy Galvis and first baseman Darin Ruf.

Toronto put left-hander J.A. Happ on the 15-day DL.


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