A two-run homer by Jimmy Rollins in the first is enough to lead the Phils to a 3-1 Grapefruit League win over the Braves.
In the bottom of the first, with one man on, and with one man out, Jimmy Rollins gives the Phils an early 2-0 lead as he hits a two-run home run, his first home run of the spring, as he knocked in Luis Castillo, who had earlier walked. The Phils made it 3-0 in the third as, with one man on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI triple, scoring Rollins, who had earlier singled. The Braves would finally get on the board in the seventh as, with a man on second base, and with one man out, Brandon Hicks hits an RBI single, knocking in Brooks Conrad, who had earlier doubled, cutting the Phils’ lead to 3-1. That would be the final score as Jose Contreras collected his first save of the spring as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
Joe Blanton (2-1, 3.21) got the win as he pitched six shut out innings, giving up five hits, while striking out four. Danys Baez collected his second hold of the spring as he pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits. Ryan Madson collected his first hold of the spring as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Jose Contreras collected his first save of the spring as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out two Braves. Rodrigo Lopez took the lost (0-2, 3.85) as he went five innings, giving up three runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out three. Cristhian Martinez and Craig Kimbrel combined for three scoreless innings, giving up two hits (one hit each) and three walks (Martinez (2) and Kimbrel (1)), while striking out 1 (Martinez) between them.
The Phils had seven hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins (Single, Home Run, 2 RBIs) leading the team with two hits, as he raised his spring training batting average to .250. Luis Castillo (Single), Ryan Howard (Triple, RBI), John Mayberry, Jr. (Single), Ben Francisco (Single) and Joe Blanton (Single), had the other five Phils’ hits.
The Phils Grapefruit League record is now 18-11 with six games left, including a pair of split squad games tomorrow, before they start opening day on Friday, April 1, at Citizens Bank Park, against the Astros.
In other news, it is likely that Chase Utley will be placed on the disabled list (come on guys, just go ahead and do it already) at the start of the season. He will be having company on the list as the Phils have announced that Brad Lidge (man, can’t he get through spring training without an injury?) will be placed on the disabled list because of problems with the back of his shoulder. He should be out for at least fifteen days at the start of the season. Meanwhile, Roy Oswalt, who was hit behind his right neck by a line drive off of the bat of Manny Ramirez on Wednesday, said he should be able to make his last spring training start next Tuesday. I’m keeping my fingers cross on this one, folks. Also, Placido Polanco returned to the lineup during the Phils’ game with the Braves, going 0 for 2. I hope this will be the last time I will hear the word, injury, around Polanco.