CLEARWATER, Fla. - Ready or not, Roy Halladay's next start will count.
Halladay allowed two runs over 4 1-3 innings in his first big league spring training appearance in 11 days, prepping for the regular season in the Philadelphia Phillies' 7-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner had not pitched in a major league game since March 17, when he came out of a start against Baltimore after one inning due to a stomach virus. He pitched in a minor league exhibition last Saturday.
"Physically this is as good as I've felt coming out of spring training in probably five years as far as total body," Halladay said. "Stuff-wise, I think location and movement, I'm just a click behind where I want to be."
Against the Blue Jays, he gave up eight hits, struck out six and walked two. Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind hit consecutive RBI singles in the third.
While Halladay got batters to swing and miss, his command was off. At one point, he threw 11 balls in 12 pitches during a stretch of the second inning.
"I thought there were a lot of goods," Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "A real lot of goods. I thought he held his legs fantastically, I think he's strong again. For me, today was a big upgrade."
Halladay is set to make his first start of the season Wednesday at Atlanta in the Phillies' second game.
Brandon Morrow, Toronto's No. 2 starter behind R.A. Dickey, gave up three runs — two earned — and six hits in seven innings. He pitched shutout ball until Chase Utley's sixth-inning home run, his fifth homer of spring training.
Coming in, Morrow had allowed 15 runs in 15 innings over five starts.
Laynce Nix hit a three-run homer in the eighth off Sergio Santos, who gave up four runs and three hits in one inning.