Rough third inning for Matusz (Neshek replaces him)

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Brian Matusz had allowed four runs in four starts this spring before today, but the Phillies almost matched that total in the third inning.

Matusz gave up three runs and four hits, and walked former Oriole Lou Montanez, in a 27-pitch inning.

Freddy Galvis led off with a single before pitcher Roy Halladay struck out. Jim Rollins and Placido Polanco followed with singles, which delivered the Phillies’ first run, and Jim Thome doubled to center field for a 3-2 lead.

Xavier Avery slowed up as he neared the warning track, and the ball easily cleared his head.

Montanez walked with two outs before Carlos Ruiz grounded into a 6-4 force.

Matusz has thrown 48 pitches in three innings, 32 for strikes.

The radar readings aren’t posted at Bright House Field, so I can’t tell how whether his velocity is down. It looks fine from the press box, for what that’s worth.

Update: One scout has Matusz’s fastball 89-90 mph today. He’s mostly been 90-92 mph this spring.

Matusz allowed a hit in a scoreless fourth inning. He’s thrown 69 pitches, 46 for strikes.

Update II: Matusz lasted 4 2/3 innings. He allowed three runs and six hits, walked two and struck out two. He threw 83 pitches, 52 for strikes. Pat Neshek replaced him and got the final out in the fifth.

A pitching note: Tsuyoshi Wada is now listed as the starter for Tuesday’s game against the Twins at Ed Smith Stadium, while Wei-Yin Chen will throw six innings in a minor league game against the Twins at Twin Lakes Park.

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