The Phils stop a ninth inning rally to hang on and defeat the Blue Jays, 5-4.
The Phils jump to a quick 3-0 lead in the first as, with two men on, and with two men out, Raul Ibanez hits a three-run home run, his first home run of the spring, scoring Ben Francisco, who had earlier singled, then went to third on Ryan Howard’s single, and Howard, who had just singled. The Blue Jays got a run back in their half of the first as, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Yunel Escobar hits an RBI ground out, 4-3, knocking in Rajai Davis, who had earlier tripled, cutting the Phils’ lead to 3-1. The Phils got the run back in the second as, with a man on, and with one man out, Michael Martinez hits an RBI single, knocking in Josh Barfield, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, giving the Phils a 4-1 lead, before stopping at second base on Travis Snider’s throwing error. The Blue Jays made it a 4-2 Phils’ lead in the third as Juan Rivera hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the spring. The Phils then increased their lead in the fifth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Wilson Valdez hits an RBI single, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Martinez’s sacrifice bunt, 1-3, making it a 5-2 Phils’ lead. That would be the score until the bottom of the ninth, when the Blue Jays tried to rally to tie up the game. With runners on the corners, via singles by Mike McCoy and Eric Thames, with McCoy stopping at third base, and with nobody out, Adam Loewen hits an RBI single, scoring McCoy, making it a 5-3 Phils’ lead, while sending Thames on to third base. Two batters later, with runners still on the corners, and now with one man out, Corey Patterson made it a 5-4 Phils’ lead with an RBI single, knocking in Thames, while sending Loewen on to second base. But that would be the final score as Danys Baez would record his first save of the spring as he got Jonathan Diaz to hit into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Patterson at second base.
Cliff Lee (2-2, 4.74) got the win as he pitched six strong innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out two batters. Kyle Kendrick received his first hold of the spring as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. J.C. Romero recorded his second hold of the spring as he also pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits. Danys Baez recorded his first spring save as he pitched an inning, giving up two run on four hits, while striking out a batter. Ricky Romero (1-2, 7.71) took the lost as he pitched four innings, giving up four runs on six hits, while striking out four. Chad Codero, Casey Janssen, Marc Rzepczynski, Carlos Villanueva and Sean Henn then pitched five scoreless innings, giving up four hits (Codero (2), Janssen (1), Rzepczynski (1)), while striking out four Phils (Janssen (1), Rzepczynski (2), Villanueva (1)).
The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Ben Francisco leading the team with three hits, all singles, followed by Raul Ibanez, who had two hits, a single and a three-run home run. Wilson Valdez (Single, RBI), Ryan Howard (Single), Josh Barfield (Single), Carlos Ruiz (Single) and Michael Martinez (Single, RBI), had the other five Phils’ hits.
The Phils have raised their Grapefruit League record to 17-9 with the win.