Kendrick not making rotation decision easy

Kendrick not making rotation decision easy

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Kyle Kendrick finally found some trouble in the Grapefruit League, but maybe that wasn't such a bad thing.

Kendrick allowed three hits, two runs and two walks and struck out four in five innings on Friday night in a 2-0 loss to the Orioles at Bright House Field. Those were the first runs Kendrick had allowed in 14 innings this spring as he fights for the fifth spot in the Phillies' rotation.

Kendrick, who has a 1.29 ERA in four Grapefruit League appearances, allowed a leadoff double in the first inning to Robert Andino but got Ty Wigginton to line out softly to Greg Dobbs. He then struck out Nolan Reimold and Luke Scott on changeups.

Kendrick allowed back-to-back singles to Lou Montanez and Josh Bell and walked Chad Moeller to load the bases with nobody out in the fifth. He got Jeff Salazar to hit into a fielder's choice, which scored Martinez, for the first out. Andino hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Bell. Wigginton flied out to left field to end the inning.

"If it would have been smooth sailing the whole way through Spring Training, I don't know how good that would have been. Seriously," Kendrick said. "I think it was good to get into some tough situations. I hadn't had that this spring."

Kendrick is competing for a starting job with left-hander Jamie Moyer, who has pitched in three "B" games and will make his Grapefruit League debut on Sunday against the Orioles.

Kendrick will likely have two more starts before the season begins, and if he keeps pitching the way he has, it will be tough to keep him out of the rotation.

"It's really out of my control," he said. "But as long as I just keep going out there and getting better and having quality outings, I think I'll be happy with myself no matter where I end up."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.