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Cole Hamels will face live batters Thursday

Though the Phillies left-handed ace Cole Hamels is still a week or two away from starting a Grapefruit League game, he is taking a big step Thursday.

Cole Hamels is inching closer to game action and will face live batters Thursday for the first time. Credit: Getty Images Cole Hamels is inching closer to game action and will face live batters Thursday for the first time. Credit: Getty Images

Though the Phillies left-handed ace Cole Hamels is still a week or two away from starting a Grapefruit League game, he is taking a big step Thursday.

Hamels, who is behind at camp due to bicep tendinitis, will pitch in a live batting practice in Clearwater Thursday.

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He will also throw a bullpen session Tuesday.

Asche will resume hitting Tuesday

Phillies third baseman Cody Asche will not let Sunday’s hit by pitch keep him down for long.

Asche participated alongside his fellow teammates by taking infield drills Monday and will hit Tuesday, though he is being held from game action for two more days according to Phillies officials.

He has reported no further problems from his bruised hand.

Hernandez looks solid in Phillies loss

Roberto Hernandez, battling for a spot in the Phillies starting rotation, pitched three impressive scoreless innings Monday, giving up one hit and striking out three in a 6-1 loss to the Rays.

The Phillies’ sole run came on a Will Nieves RBI-single scoring Leandro Castro.

Shortstop Freddy Galvis exited the game with an ankle injury.

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