In spite of a subpar pitching performance by Roy Oswalt, the Phils defeat the Pirates, 8-5, winning their next to last spring training game.
The Pirates took the lead in the first as, with two men on, and with one man out, Lyle Overbay hits a two-run double, scoring Jose Tabata, who had earlier walked, went to second base on Neil Walker’s single, then went to third on Andrew McCutchen’s ground out, 5-3, and Walker, who had earlier singled, then went to third on McCutchen’s ground out, giving the Pirates a 2-0 lead. The Phils got a run back in their half of the first as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Luis Castillo, who had earlier singled, then went to third base on Jimmy Rollins’ single, would score on Pirates’ catcher Ryan Doumit’s throwing error to second, as Rollins, who had just singled, successfully stole second base, before moving up to third on the error, cutting the Pirates lead to 2-1. The Phils tied the score up at two-all in the second as Ben Francisco hits a lead-off home run, his fifth home run of the spring. The Phils later took the lead as, with the bases loaded, via Pete Orr being hit by the pitch, a walk to Carlos Ruiz, moving Orr up to second base, a sacrifice bunt by Roy Oswalt, moving both runners up a base, and Shane Victorino being hit by a pitch, and with one man out, Orr would score on a Ronny Cedeno fielding error of a Castillo grounder, allowing Orr to score, and both Ruiz and Victorino to move up a base, leaving the bases loaded, while giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. One batter later, the Phils made it a 4-2 lead as Rollins hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Ruiz, while Victorino would move up to third. The Phils would make it a 5-2 lead in the fourth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, knocking in Castillo, who was safe at first on a force out, 3-6, as Victorino was wiped out at second base, who, in turn, had reached first on an earlier force out, 4-6, as Oswalt, who had an infield single, was wiped out at second, then stole second base, while sending Rollins, who had been hit by the pitch, over to third base. One batter later, the Phils took a 6-2 lead as Raul Ibanez hits an RBI single, scoring Rollins, while sending Howard up to second base. The Pirates would cut the lead in the fifth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Walker hits an RBI single, knocking in pinch hitter Josh Rodriguez, who had earlier walked, then moved to second base on Tabata’s walk, making it a 6-3 Phils’ lead, before Tabata, who had just walked, would also score because of a Francisco fielding error as he let the ball get past him for a two-base error, making it a 6-4 Phils’ lead, while allowing Walker to get to third base. One batter later, the Pirates cut the lead to 6-5 as McCutchen hits an RBI single, scoring Walker. The Phils would get a run back in the sixth as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Rollins hits into an RBI ground out, 4-3, scoring, Victorino, who had earlier walked, then went to third on a hit and run single by Castillo, giving the Phils a 7-5 lead, while sending Castillo, who had earlier singled, up to second base. The Phils added an insurance run in the eighth as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Erik Kratz and John Mayberry, Jr., with Kratz stopping at second base, Kratz and Mayberry both moving up a base on Wilson Valdez’s ground out, 4-3, and Michael Martinez being safe at first on second baseman’s Walker’s fielding error, and with one man out, Ross Gload hits an RBI ground out, 6-1, scoring Kratz, while sending Mayberry to third and Martinez up to second base, giving the Phils an 8-5 lead. That would be the final score as Michael Stutes recorded his first save of the spring as he had an easy ninth inning.
Roy Oswalt (1-2, 6.11) got the win as he pitched four innings, plus four batters, as he gave up five runs on five hits and four walks, while he struck out four. J.C. Romero recorded his third spring hold as he pitched an inning, striking out a batter. Michael Herndon recorded his third spring hold as he pitched an inning and two-thirds, giving up a hit and a walk. Antonio Bastardo received his first hold of the spring as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Ryan Madson recorded his fourth spring hold as he pitched an inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Michael Stutes recorded his first spring save as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out three. Ross Ohlendorf (0-5, 9.82) took the loss as he pitched four innings, giving up six runs, four of which were earned, on seven hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Michael Dubee pitched a scoreless inning, striking out a batter. Chris Leroux pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and a walk. Garret Olsen pitched two-thirds of an inning. Jose Veras pitched a scoreless inning, strking out a batter. Evan Meek pitched an inning, giving up an unearned run on two hits.
The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Luis Castillo leading the team with two hits, both singles, while knocking in a run. Jimmy Rollins, (Single, 2 RBIs), Ryan Howard (Single, RBI), Raul Ibanez (Single, RBI), Ben Francisco (Home Run, RBI), Roy Oswalt (Single), Pete Orr (Double), John Mayberry, Jr. (Single) and Erik Kratz (Single), had the other eight Phils’ hits. Ross Gload knocked in a run on a ground out, while the other run came in on a Pirates error.
The Phils’ spring training record is now 21-13.
In other news, the Phils announced that Ben Francisco will be their regular right fielder, although he will be in a platoon with Ross Gload and John Mayberry, Jr., but being given most of the at-bats. Also, the Phils announced that they will be placing Brad Lidge on the disabled list because of a rotator cuff strain of his right shoulder. He will be out until at least mid-May. The Phils will be using Jose Contreras as their closer until Lidge is able to return, and leaving Ryan Madson as their eighth inning specialist. Finally, Chase Utley was yesterday moving around on his legs, fielding ground balls. Hopefully, this will be a sign that his legs are starting to get better. Keeping fingers cross, as I don’t expect to see him before the all-star break, if he doesn’t do anything to aggravate his knees.