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Werth's bat backs Happ's first shutout

Werth's bat backs Happ's first shutout

TORONTO -- When Phillies manager Charlie Manuel first walked into the visitors' dugout at Rogers Centre on Friday for the series opener against the Blue Jays, he marveled to reporters about the massive home runs he'd witnessed in the ballpark.

Jim Thome, Jose Canseco and Carlos Delgado were just some of the players Manuel mentioned. Little did he know that the next day, one of his own players would join that group.

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Phillies right fielder Jayson Werth launched a monster home run into the stadium's fifth deck in left field, while starter J.A. Happ tossed a shutout as Philadelphia hammered Toronto, 10-0, on Saturday.

It was the first complete game of Happ's career, but that milestone was somewhat overshadowed by Werth's mammoth shot during the clubhouse discussion following the contest.

"I think he hit it pretty good," Manuel said of Werth. "He had some height on it. He got through the ball. He got it very good."

The Phillies opened the scoring in the first inning when Werth launched a majestic two-run homer. It was only the 14th time in the history of the building that a player had reached the 500 level with a homer. The last player to do so was Toronto's Vernon Wells, who accomplished the feat on Sept. 16, 2004, against Baltimore.

Werth clearly downplayed the home run when asked about it.

"It felt pretty good," Werth said. "When I hit it, I didn't know if it was going to stay fair, so I watched it a little bit longer than I usually would."

Werth added another home run in the sixth, launching a 3-2 pitch from Jays reliever B.J. Ryan into the left-field stands that pushed the score to 10-0. For Werth, who went 4-for-4 with three RBIs, the solo shot was his 15th homer of the season.

"He has a very good swing," said Manuel. "He's got power to all fields. When he pulls the ball, he gets it a long way."

Werth, who began his career in Toronto, where he played 41 games from 2002-03, has now become a Blue Jays nemesis. He has homered five times in five games against the Jays this season. In his career, Werth has homered in eight of his 10 career games against his former team.

"I'll be kind of glad to see the last of him -- that's for sure," said Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston. "He's really hit us well over the last couple of years. We'll see him [Sunday]. We'll see if we can get him out and get him out of town."

Another player Gaston would not like to see again is Happ, who dominated Toronto. Given plenty of run support, Happ needed just 100 pitches to dispose of the Jays (41-35). The left-hander yielded five hits and didn't walk a batter while striking out four. He retired 10 consecutive batters to end the game.

"He didn't walk anyone," Gaston said. "I know that made Charlie happy over there. Any time you don't walk people, it's a good day for managers, anyway. That kid pitched great."

The Jays manager was right -- Manuel was especially pleased with the 26-year-old lefty's outing, given that Happ was making only his seventh start of the year after spending most of the season in the bullpen.

"I think today's a good indication of what he can do and what his capabilities are," said Manuel. "And you have got to remember he has not been in the rotation very much. The more experience he gets at this level, I think [it] is definitely going to help."

Happ, for his part, is hoping that his performance on Saturday will help to solidify his spot in the rotation.

"That's something I think about a lot -- trying to gain the manager and general manager's trust and confidence," Happ said. "Games like this are a step towards that. You need to continue on this road."

Happ also mentioned that it was easy to pitch with a lead, which the Phillies gave him early. After Werth's first-inning blast, third baseman Pedro Feliz added a two-run homer in the same frame to put the Phils up, 4-0. Philadelphia banged out 14 hits, while six different players collected RBIs.

"All in all, it was a good day," said Werth. "We need to build on that and continue to win ballgames."

David Singh is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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