Giles faces Phillies for first time since trade

Right-hander allowed two runs in inning of work

Giles faces Phillies for first time since trade

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Ken Giles flashed a smile and shook a few hands on Sunday morning at Bright House Field.

A couple hours later his fastball flashed 101 mph on the scoreboard.

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During the Phillies' 5-4 win on Sunday, Giles faced his former team for the first time since it traded him to Houston in December. The Phillies sent Giles and Minor League infielder Jonathan Arauz to the Astros for five pitchers: right-handers Vince Velasquez, Mark Appel, Thomas Eshelman and Harold Arauz and left-hander Brett Oberholtzer. Velasquez is the favorite to be the team's No. 5 starter, while Oberholtzer is expected to open the season in the bullpen.

"I think it's great," Giles said about being the key piece in a seven-player trade. "I didn't think I was that valuable to begin with because I'm just a reliever. Nobody thinks a reliever is that valuable. The market's changed for a reliever. I feel humbled that they thought of me as that valuable, and hopefully both teams get the best benefit."

Giles seemed a little fired up to face the Phillies. His first pitch to J.P. Arencibia, who led off the fifth, hit 101 mph. But the Phillies still got him for two runs. Rule 5 Draft pick Tyler Goeddel hit a 99 mph fastball to center field for a one-out single. Pinch-hitter Cedric Hunter then hit an 86 mph slider for a two-out double down the right-field line to score Goeddel to make it 2-0.

Cesar Hernandez followed, hitting a 97 mph fastball to left field for a single to score Hunter.

"They said he throws hard," Goeddel said.

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Phillies manager Pete Mackanin liked the fact Goeddel squared up the fastball from Giles because he had been tardy on them lately.

"I was just trying to get on top of something," Goeddel said. "You've got to hit the fastball in this game to be successful. I've been trying to shorten everything up."

"He's been working on a little flaw in his mechanics," Mackanin said. "It was good to see.

"I like Hunter a lot. He's an aggressive hitter. The guy comes up there to do damage. I like aggressive hitters. We've tried with a few guys the past few years to be aggressive early in the count, but they haven't been. They're starting to get the hint."

Hernandez went 3-for-4 with one double, one home run and three RBIs. He is hitting .390 (16-for-41) with three doubles, one triple, one home run and eight RBIs this spring.

"Thank God it's gone well," Hernandez said about his spring through Arencibia, who translated for him. "I'm a lot more relaxed. Now I understand I'm an everyday player so I know I'm going to be out there every day."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.