CLEARWATER, Fla. --- Cole Hamels allowed two runs in three innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates in his second start of Grapefruit League play.
The Phillies' ace allowed two hits, the second of which was a two-run home run from Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer. The 31-year-old lefthander recorded one strikeout but also issued a pair of walks to catcher Francisco Cervelli. He worked mostly on establishing his fastball.
Hamels started the day with a nine-pitch at-bat against Josh Harrison, who flew out to right field. He walked Cervelli on five pitches before inducing consecutive groundouts to third base to end the first inning.
Jose Tabata and Gregory Polanco grounded out to second base to give Hamels two outs in the second inning but when Deibinson Romero hit a chopper to Ryan Howard, Hamels didn't cover first base and Romero reached for an infield single. Gorkys Hernandez grounded out to shortstop Chase d'Arnaud, a former Pirate, to end the inning.
Hamels struck out Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton on an 84-mile-per-hour changeup with a full count to open his final inning. Harrison popped out to d'Arnaud for the second out. But after Cervelli walked, Mercer smacked a full-count fastball into the left-field seats to give Pittsburgh an early 2-0 lead. Neil Walker popped out to end the third inning.