Myers leads Phillies by Reds, 8-1

Published 1:22 am Wednesday, March 18, 2009

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said he hopes Brett Myers will have a lot of outings this season like the one he had Tuesday.

‘‘We need about 35 out of him,’’ Dubee said.

Myers struck out seven in 5 2-3 shutout innings to lead Philadelphia to an 8-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday.

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The 28-year-old Myers, who has started on opening day each of the last two seasons, allowed four hits and walked none. He looked more like the pitcher who finished strong to help the Phillies win the World Series last year than the one who sent to the minors in July.

Myers could get the ball on opening day again if Cole Hamels isn’t ready to go. Hamels, the World Series MVP, was examined in Philadelphia on Tuesday and is returning to camp after a team physician found no damage in his sore left elbow.

Hamels received an injection to relieve inflammation and should be cleared to throw by Thursday. His status for the April 5 opener against Atlanta is unclear.

‘‘Opening day is probably a long shot,’’ Dubee said. ‘‘We’re going to have to get him stretched out and off the top of my head he’s up to 52 or so pitches. We like our guys ready to throw 100 pitches by opening day.’’

Aaron Harang, who has made the last three opening-day starts for the Reds, had a rough outing against the Phillies. He gave up six runs and seven hits in 3 1-3 innings.

Philadelphia scored all of its runs off Harang in the second.

‘‘Aaron just lost his rhythm that one inning but we had to get his pitch count up,’’ Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ‘‘I told him that if you can avoid that one big inning you’ll win a lot of games. He got ahead in the count but couldn’t put them away.’’