Doc delivers in spring debut

If first impressions are important to baseball fans in Philadelphia, new Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay aced his entry exam.

Detroit Tiger Audy Ciriaco

Detroit Tiger Audy Ciriaco

Phillies 3 Yankees 2

CLEARWATER, Fla. — If first impressions are important to baseball fans in Philadelphia, new Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay aced his entry exam.

Halladay’s spring debut with the Philadelphia Phillies did nothing to kill the buzz that engulfed the City of Brotherly love when the team dealt for the former Cy Young Award winner three months ago.

Halladay got the Grapefruit League schedule under way with two near-perfect innings in the Phillies’ 3-2 win over the New York Yankees on Thursday.

Halladay threw a pair of hitless innings while striking out three. He was at the crux of a blockbuster four-team set of trades in December between the Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics.

“I was excited for it,” said Halladay, who spent his first 12 seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays. “You anticipate it, but once you get into the game, the game is always the same. Your approach is the same. I looked forward to it, especially early on. It’s as much fun for me as it is for everyone else.”

Halladay allowed just one base runner in his first outing with the Phillies. New York’s Jamie Hoffmann reached on an error by Philadelphia third baseman Placido Polanco with one out in the first. Halladay struck out the next batter, Jorge Posada, before getting Robinson Cano out on a fly ball to end the inning. Halladay struck out Nick Swisher and Randy Winn to begin a 1-2-3 inning.

Blue Jays 9 Tigers 7

LAKELAND, Fla. — J.P. Arencibi’s two-run homer in the ninth inning led the Toronto Blue Jays to a 9-7 exhibition victory over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.

Arencibia’s homer came off Zach Miner after a single by Adam Loewen of Surrey, B.C.

Left-hander Zach Jackson, who struck out four in two relief innings, got the win for the Blue Jays.

Brent Dlugach homered for the second straight day for Detroit.

Starting pitcher Rick Porcello pitched two perfect innings, and Dontrelle Willis pitched two scoreless frames for the Tigers. Starter Marc Rzepczynski pitched two shutout innings for the Blue Jays, who had 15 hits.