CLEARWATER, Fla. — Cole Hamels’ third start of spring training looked more like batting practice for the Dominican Republic.
Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez and the Dominican Republic put on a relentless offensive display Tuesday in their first exhibition game ahead of the World Baseball Classic, amassing 28 hits in a 15-2 romp over Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies.
Hamels allowed eight runs on 12 hits in 22/3 innings.
Hamels, however, wasn’t concerned about the results because he’s still prepping for the regular season and not at his full strength.
“I can’t get off my game plan, because, thank goodness, it doesn’t count,” Hamels said.
“So, that’s the situation where I have a game plan of what I’m trying to execute today, no matter what their game plan is. So if it hits at the wrong time, which a lot of the pitches did, obviously it’s not going to look good.”
Reyes, Robinson Cano and Ramirez each homered. Ramirez and Miguel Tejada had four hits apiece for the Dominican team. Cano had three hits and three RBIs and Edwin Encarnacion also had three hits.
“That was really good,” Dominican manager Tony Pena said. “I was glad to see everybody swing the bat the way they did. It’s great. They really want to do it and I was just happy to see the way everybody took the field and performed.”
After a relatively quiet first inning, escaping trouble after a leadoff single from Reyes, Hamels gave up four consecutive hits to begin the second.
The Dominican Republic scored four runs apiece in the second and third innings.
When Cano followed Reyes’ two-out, two-run home run with his second single in two innings in the third, Hamels was removed from the game.
“He wants to get his fastball command going — that’s the purpose today,” Philadelphia pitching coach Rich Dubee said.
“It’s not about results. His goal was to get 60 pitches in and to try to control his fastball. Heck, he’s facing an All-Star team and he doesn’t have all of his weapons.”
Reyes was impressed by how deep the Dominican team is.
“It shows our lineup is very good,” Reyes said. “Because we were able to face one of the best left-handers in Cole Hamels and were able to score eight runs. That’s not easy to do. That doesn’t happen very often. So we feel very good about our chances.”
Dominican right-hander Samuel Deduno allowed one run on three hits to earn the victory. Deduno struck out three and didn’t walk a batter.
Laynce Nix homered for the Phillies.
Notes: Philadelphia right-handed prospects Ethan Martin and Jonathan Pettibone were also hit hard. Martin, who relieved Hamels, gave up three runs on six hits in 2 1-3 innings. Pettibone followed, giving up four runs on nine hits in 22/3 innings. ... Utility infielder Kevin Frandsen, who started at second base, had two hits. ... The Phillies return to Grapefruit League play in Clearwater against the Washington Nationals today. Right-hander Roy Halladay is scheduled to start opposite Washington ace Stephen Strasburg. ... The Dominican Republic will play another exhibition game today against the New York Yankees in Tampa. ... Right-hander Jose Veras will pitch opposite New York’s Hiroki Kuroda. ... The Dominicans begin World Baseball Classic play on Thursday against Venezuela. Right-hander Edinson Volquez will pitch against Venezuela’s Anibal Sanchez at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.