Thanks to two round trippers by Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard, the Phils defeat the Braves with ease, 6-1.
In the top of the second inning, with the bases loaded, via singles by Shane Victorino and Ben Francisco, with Victorino stopping at second base, and a walk to Wilson Valdez, moving both Victorino and Francisco up a base, and with two men out, Roy Halladay give the Phils a 2-0 lead with a two-run single, scoring both Victorino and Francisco, while sending Valdez over to third base. The Phils made it a 3-0 lead in the third as, with one man out, Raul Ibanez hits a solo home run, his fourth home run of the spring. The Braves cut the Phils’ lead in the fourth as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Chipper Jones, a walk to Dan Uggla, sending Jones to second base, and with Jason Heyward being hit by the pitch, moving up a base both Jones and Uggla, and with nobody out, Eric Hinske hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Jones, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead, while sending Uggla up to third base. The Phils took a 5-1 lead in the fifth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run home run, his fifth home run of the spring, scoring Luis Castillo, who had earlier reached base on a force out, 4-6, wiping out Placido Polanco, who had earlier walked, then went to second on Ibanez’s ground out, three-unassisted. Two batters later, with a man on first, via a Victorino single, and with still two men out, Francisco hits an RBI double, knocking in Victorino, giving the Phils a 6-1 lead. This would end up being the final score, as the Phils turned back a threat in the ninth inning, as the Braves loaded up the bases, via walks to Hinske, who then moved up to second on a Jordan Ellis wild pitch, a walk to Ed Lucas and a single to J.C. Boscan, with Hinske stopping at third base and Lucas at second, with one man out, before Ellis dug in and struck out first Brandon Hicks, and then pinch hitter Joe Mather, both swinging.
Roy Halladay (4-0, 0.42) got the win as he pitched three strong innings, giving up just a hit, while striking out three. Michael Schwimer recorded his second hold of the spring as he pitched two innings, giving up a run on a hit and two walks,while striking out two. B.J. Rosenberg, Jose Contreras and Jordan Ellis followed with four scoreless inning, as they combine for two hits (Rosenberg (1), Ellis (1)) and two walks (Ellis), while striking out two batters (Ellis). Kenshin Kawakami took the lost (0-1, 3.75) as he pitched four innings, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out two. Cristhian Martinez pitched an inning, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Jaye Chapman, Eric O’Flaherty and Craig Kimbrel followed with four scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Kimbrel) and a walk (Chapman), while striking out four Phils between them (Chapman (2), O’Flaherty (1), Kimbrel (1)).
The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Ryan Howard (Single, Home Run, 2 RBIs), Shane Victorino (Singles) and Ben Francisco (Single, Double, RBI) leading the team with two hits each. John Mayberry, Jr. (Single), Raul Ibanez (Home Run, RBI) and Roy Halladay (Single, 2 RBIs) had the other three Phils’ hits.
The Phils Grapefruit League record is now 19-13, leading NL teams, while Roy Halladay showed himself to be ready for his opening day assignment against the Astros this coming Friday.
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.