CLEARWATER, Fla. —  Carlos Ruiz and Cody Asche each hit a three-run homer to send the Philadelphia Phillies past a Houston Astros split squad 11-3 on Saturday.

Asche connected in the fifth inning to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead, and Ruiz's drive in the sixth made it 7-3. John Mayberry Jr. added a three-run double in the seventh, and Philadelphia won for the second time this spring.

"Some offense goes a long way to loosen everyone up," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "It all started with Asche and some good swings — three good swings, three good at-bats. That was good, to get things going."

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Astros starter Dallas Keuchel held Philadelphia hitless for three innings. His only baserunner came on a walk, and he struck out two.

Keuchel has been solid in his first two starts this spring, giving up one hit in five shutout innings.

Phillies starter Roberto Hernandez walked four and struck out four in 3 1-3 innings. He allowed one run and two hits in his third start of the spring.

Starting time

Astros: Keuchel is competing for a rotation spot in Houston and has made an outstanding impression thus far.

Phillies: Hernandez didn't display the control he had in his second Grapefruit League start a week ago against the Rays in Port Charlotte. He has a 3.60 ERA this spring and has faced mostly major league hitters.

Trainer's room

Phillies: Mike Adams threw his second bullpen session of the spring. The reliever is battling back from a litany of shoulder problems that plagued him last season. Adams threw 40 pitches and said his shoulder is feeling fine.

"I've noticed the advances I've made over the last couple bullpens, as far as delivery and how it's coming out of my hand," he said. "Now, everything is going the way I hoped."

Adams missed 92 games last season due to shoulder and biceps issues. He had shoulder surgery in late July.

Amador's debut

Japhet Amador, the 300-pound designated hitter the Astros signed last season, made his spring debut and went 0 for 2. Amador arrived in camp late, delaying his debut.

The Astros plucked Amador out of the Mexican League in August. He hit .302 in 10 games with triple-A Oklahoma City last season. Before signing with the Astros, Amador hit 36 home runs and batted .368 for Diablos Rojos del Mexico in the Mexican League.

Roster moves

The Phillies made their first round of cuts, demoting several players to minor-league camp. They optioned Michael Stutes and Luis Garcia, while reassigning Aaron Altherr, Kelly Dugan, Leandro Castro, Sebastian Valle and top prospect Jesse Biddle.

Stutes has struggled this spring and said he was surprised by the quick move. He appeared in 79 games for the Phillies over the last three seasons.

I've worked at newspapers since 1985. Mostly in N.J., but with an eight-year pit stop in N.C. I've been at The Press since 1997.

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