In the first of two games with the Tampa Bay Rays before Opening Night, the 2008 World Champions Phils defeated the 2008 American League Champs with a two-run ninth inning rally, winning the ballgame 3-2.
Joe Blanton started the game for the Phillies, pitching five strong innings, as he gave up just two runs on six hits while striking out three Rays. He was followed to the mound by Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre and Ryan Madson, who each pitched a scoreless frame, giving up just one hit between them (Eyre) and two walks (Durbin and Eyre with one walk each), while they together struck out two Rays (Durbin and Madson one apiece). Brad Lidge, who got the win, pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Lidge spring training record is now 1-0 with a 4.00 ERA. Looks like Blanton and the bullpen are all ready to start the season.
The Phillies’ bats got six hits last night. Jayson Werth led the team with two hits, raising his spring training average to .324. Jimmy Rollins, Jason Donald, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz got the other four Phils’ hits. Raul Ibanez, Chris Coste and Donald had the Phils’ three RBIs, with Donald’s being a walk-off single in the ninth inning, knocking in Eric Bruntlett with the game winner.
The Phillies are presently playing their last spring training game, also with the Rays, this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. They are presently trailing the Rays 4-0 in the bottom of the third inning.