Domonic Brown returned to the Phillies lineup and contributed two key doubles in a 5-1 win over the Twins Sunday. Credit: Getty Images
Spring training is a long stretch of time, lasting well over a full month long.
And sometimes it feels like an eternity between when pitchers and catchers report and when opening day arrives.
With just one week left until the Phillies open the season against the Texas Rangers next Monday, Philadelphia is starting to look like a big league baseball team.
Against the Twins Sunday, the offense and Kyle Kendrick looked to be in mid-season form, pounding out 11 hits in a 5-1 win.
The Phillies regulars shined, with Domonic Brown hitting two doubles, Jimmy Rollins blasting a home run and Marlon Byrd tallying two singles.
Kendrick, in this third appearance this spring, went six innings allowing one run and six hits.
Closer Jonathan Papelbon tossed a scoreless frame in relief as well.
Other good news came from Clearwater, after ace Cole Hamels pitched to live batters for the first time this spring.
The lefty said he “feels great,” after tossing a pair of simulated 15-pitch innings.
Most important in the performance was Hamels’ comfort on the mound after taking a simulated break between innings.
He is expected to return around May 1, but he could appear earlier if he continues to feel good.