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Ibanez starting strong for Phillies

Philadelphia’s Raul Ibanez goes second to third on a Ryan Howard fly out to center field in the fifth inning as Toronto third baseman Brad Emaus waits for the throw. The Phillies topped the Blue Jays 12-7 on Monday in a spring training game.


DUNEDIN, Fla. — Raul Ibanez is starting to show the Phillies what he is capable of doing with a bat.

Ibanez hit two doubles, Ryan Howard drove a two-run homer off the light tower beyond the right-center field fence and Philadelphia beat the Toronto Blue Jays 12-7 Monday.

“He’s a gap-to-gap hitter,” manager Charlie Manuel said of Ibanez. “That’s how I remember him when I saw him in the American League. He’ll pull balls down the line now and then but he stays mostly in the middle of the field.

Jeremy Slayden homered to highlight the Phillies’ six-run sixth inning against Jeremy Accardo. Every Phillies starter got at least one hit.

“The first two or three games, we didn’t hit at all. We were kind of behind, but the more you play, the more you get your timing down and the more you start hitting,” Manuel said. “It’s good for us to get back-to-back hits and put some runs on the board.”

Yankees 5, Astros 5, tie

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Chien-Ming Wang made his first appearance since partially tearing a tendon in his foot running the bases against Houston in June, pitching two scoreless innings for the Yankees in a tie with the Astros.

“I feel good,” Wang said. “Nothing wrong.”

Wang was tested when he chased down a bunt in front of home plate and when he ran to cover the base on a groundball to the first baseman.

He threw 23 pitches, 12 for strikes, and allowed two singles, which both came on his trademark pitch, the sinker.

Pirates 2, Reds 1

BRADENTON, Fla. — Homer Bailey threw three scoreless innings for the Reds in a loss to Pittsburgh. He gave up a hit and a walk, and struck out four.

It was a positive step for Bailey, who is trying to reclaim his status as a top prospect with the Reds after a subpar 2008 season.

“I think every year is kind of a fresh start,” Bailey said. “But I have a little self-motivation that I’m trying to work with. So far, everything’s going well.”

Orioles 5, Red Sox 3

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Justin Masterson pitched two scoreless innings in Boston’s loss the Baltimore. In two appearances, the right-hander has allowed no runs, two hits and one walk in four innings.

As a rookie last year, Masterson started nine games and worked 27 out of the bullpen. In the postseason, he compiled an impressive 1.86 ERA in nine games as a reliever.

Royals 14, Giants 5

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Kansas City Royals right-hander Kyle Davies looked as if it was still the last month of the season, when he went 4-1 with a 2.27 ERA, throwing three scoreless innings to lead the Royals over San Francisco .

Davies has thrown five scoreless innings in his first two outings.

Rays 8, Cardinals 5

JUPITER, Fla. — Adam Wainwright allowed three runs — two earned — on five hits and a walk in two innings of St. Louis’ loss to Tampa Bay.

Padres 4, Brewers 3

PEORIA, Ariz. — Josh Geer, who missed his last start of the 2008 season due to a sore right elbow, pitched two solid innings in his first spring training start, a win over Milwaukee. He allowed one run and three hits while striking out one.

He’s competing for one the open spots behind Jake Peavy, Chris Young and Cha Seung Baek as the Padres look to rebound from a 99-loss season.

Diamondbacks 9, Cubs 1

MESA, Ariz. — Carlos Zambrano struck out three in two hitless innings for the Cubs in a loss to Arizona.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella was impressed with Zambrano’s debut, but he wasn’t ready to make any decisions about the opening day starter beyond saying it’s between Zambrano and Ryan Dempster.

Rangers 8, Indians 7

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Omar Vizquel, in camp as a non-roster player with Texas, started at shortstop in the Rangers’ win over the Indians. He was mobbed by autograph seekers, most of whom were decked out in Indians hats and T-shirts, before the game at Goodyear Ballpark.

Vizquel, who thrilled Cleveland fans for 11 seasons with acrobatic plays in the field and an engaging personality, was given a loud ovation in each of his four plate appearances. The fans cheered him again when he was removed from the game and walked down the right-field line to the Rangers clubhouse, shaking hands and waving along the way.

“I think he shook hands with everyone in the ballpark,” said Indians manager Eric Wedge, who exchanged a handshake with Vizquel as he walked by.

Angels 12, Rockies 3

TUCSON, Ariz. — Angels ace John Lackey did just about everything right in Los Angeles’ victory over Colorado while on the mound, throwing two innings of hitless ball.

The Angels ace retired all six batters he faced, with one strikeout.

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