Phillies turn to Halladay to even series with Braves

Philadelphia Phillies v Detroit Tigers Halladay went 2-1 with a 6.06 ERA in spring training.

The Phillies lost their opener, but don’t panic. It’s one game out of 162, as Chase Utley made sure to remind everyone after Monday night’s 7-5 loss in Atlanta.

“Listen, obviously you want to win the first game, but I think we have a few more to go,” Utley said.

Yes, the Phillies lost to the Braves. Yes, Cole Hamels wasn’t quite the ace everyone expected in his first start. No, the sky isn’t falling.

The Phillies’ offense put five runs on the board and clubbed 10 hits, including a home run and triple from Utley.

The second baseman looked like his old self, going 3-for-5 and racking up three RBIs on the night. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. Hamels (0-1) took the loss after giving up five runs on seven hits (three homers).

“You have to tip your cap,” Utley said. “We had some opportunities there to tie the game, we just didn’t get the big hit. We will take [Tuesday] off and stay ready to rock.”

The Phils had Tuesday off. They’ll get back at it Wednesday night in Atlanta as Roy Halladay makes his 2013 debut.

Halladay struggled in spring training. His velocity was way down and the pitcher isn’t getting any younger — he turns 36 next month.

Worried? Don’t be. His skipper isn’t.

“I expect him to go out there and pitch, keep us in the game and give us a chance to win,” Charlie Manuel said.

Fly balls

The Phillies enjoyed an off day yesterday, but the team still made some news.
• All tuned in. PHL17 announced that Monday night’s game in Atlanta set a new record for TV ratings on Opening Day. According to Nielsen, the game averaged an 11.5 household rating — the highest in 17 years.

• Making moves. The Phils claimed outfielder Ezequiel Carrera off waivers from the Cleveland Indians. The team designated outfielder Ender Inciarte for assignment. The 25-year-old Carrera hit .272 and scored 20 runs in 48 games last season for the Indians.

• Broken Doc? Roy Halladay is coming off a shaky spring, where he went 2-1 with a 6.06 ERA in six starts. He was also pulled from a game due to a stomach virus.

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