Philadelphia Phillies crushed by Dominican Republic, 15-2
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Team USA will hope it has better luck slowing down the Dominican Republic national team than Cole Hamels did Tuesday.
Hamels allowed 12 hits and as many earned runs (8) as he got outs in the Phillies' 15-2 loss to the Dominicans, whose All-Star laden lineup looked primed for the World Baseball Classic.
The damage could have been worse.
Prospect Cody Asche made an exceptional diving play to his left to rob Nelson Cruz of an RBI double and end the first inning.
Trouble started quickly in the second against Hamels, who had allowed just five combined hits in his first two spring starts.
All-Star Hanley Ramirez led off with a double, and batting practice ensued. Hamels allowed six hits and four runs in the second inning.
The Dominicans matched that pace in the third, which Ramirez again started with a double to the gap in right center. Jose Reyes' two-run homer was the big blow and put Hamels in an 8-1 hole. He left one batter later after giving up another hit to Robinson Cano.
This game was considered an exhibition, so the numbers didn't count against Hamels' spring ERA. It remains 0.00.
That also meant Laynce Nix's stat sheet still shows 0 home runs, although he ripped his first one of the spring over the right field wall in the second inning. He added a bad-hop RBI single in the ninth.
Ramirez's stats didn't count either, but he was one of four Dominicans to collect at least three hits. Five others had two hits as they piled up 28.
Ramirez' two-run homer in the seventh inning against Jonathan Pettibone extended their lead to 13-1.
He and Miguel Tejada each had four hits.
Hamels wasn't their only target. Reliever Ethan Martin allowed six hits, and Pettibone allowed nine more.
Darin Ruf started again in left field as manager Charlie Manuel continues to give the Double A prospect every opportunity to win a roster spot.
Ruf was 0-for-4. He struck out three times and didn't catch a line drive to his left that many others would have as his adaptation to a new position continues.
Kevin Frandsen started in place of Chase Utley and had two hits for the Phillies.
Roy Halladay is expected to start Wednesday against Washington ace Stephen Strasburg.