Lee talks improvement after spring game vs. Tigers

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee made his final Grapefruit League start Sunday at Bright House Field.

His next start is Friday in an exhibition game against the Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park.

Lee allowed nine hits, six runs (four earned) and a home run with seven strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings in a 7-6 loss to the Red Sox. He allowed a wind-aided three-run home run to left field in the second. He finished his Grapefruit League schedule with a 5.94 ERA.

"I feel good about it," he said. "I'm ready to get up to Philly and play some real games. It's been a good spring. I feel strong. I'm ready to go."

Halladay's arm remains work in progress

Halladay talks about his outing

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Roy Halladay's start Saturday in a Minor League game at Carpenter Complex drew plenty of attention.

He has had a rough month, struggling in starts because of dead arm, lethargy and illness, respectively. Then 11 of the 18 batters he faced Saturday reached base. He got just three swings and misses, with Triple-A hitters from the Toronto Blue Jays hitting numerous balls hard.

Halladay's fastball consistently hit 87-89 mph on the radar gun, hitting 90 mph once in the first inning. He officially allowed three runs, although he had the bases loaded with two outs when the first inning got cut short after he reached his pitch limit.

Halladay insisted he felt fine and would be ready to go April 3 in Atlanta.

"He was OK," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

"After what he's gone through, he was fine," pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "I'm not looking for results right now. The good part was he threw 80 pitches, he felt strong and felt like he could have thrown more. The arm slot was fine. He's a ways from repeating it.

"Do you see anybody at their level yet? He's not where he's going to be yet. But I thought the velocity for not having pitched was good. He sat 88 to 90 consistently and finished the game at 89 almost 80 pitches into it. So arm-strength wise that was good, and he feels like there is more there. I think the more we get it right, the more it will come out."

Worth noting

• The Phillies traded Minor League right-hander Julio Rodriguez to the Orioles for Minor League outfielder Ronnie Welty. The 25-year-old outfielder hit .286 with 11 doubles, two triples, eight home runs, 30 RBIs and an .868 OPS last season with Double-A Bowie. Rodriguez went 7-7 with a 4.23 ERA in 29 appearances (22 starts) with Double-A Reading.

• Phillies manager Charlie Manuel used a lineup Sunday that fans could see Opening Day.

He had Ben Revere hit leadoff followed by Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Michael Young and Domonic Brown. Hitting Revere first and Rollins second would give the Phillies speed atop the lineup but not put three left-handed hitters in a row in Revere, Utley and Howard. (Rollins is a switch-hitter.) Hitting Young fifth would also not line up an excess of left-handers. Laynce Nix, who batted seventh Sunday, is also a good candidate to start April 1, with Braves right-hander Tim Hudson on the mound.