For the second straight night, the Phils lose to the last place Astros, 5-2.
The Astros took the lead in the first as, with a man on second, and with one man out, J.D. Martinez hits an RBI single, knocking in Clint Barmes, who had earlier doubled, giving the Astros a 1-0 lead. The Phils tied the game up at one-all in the fourth as, with one man out, Hunter Pence hits a solo home run, his twentieth home run of the year, and his ninth as a Phil. The Astros retook the lead in their half of the fourth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Jason Bourgeois hits an RBI single, knocking in J.B. Shuck, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, before moving up to third on Ryan Howard’s fielder error of J.A. Happ’s grounder, thanks to Cole Hamels breaking off the mound late, thus making things a bit harder for Howard when he finally got the ball, giving the Astros a 2-1 lead, while Happ, who was safe at first on Howard’s error, would stop at second base. The Astros then made it a 5-1 lead as Barmes hits a three-run home run, his eleventh home run of the season, knocking in both Happ and Bourgeois. The Phils would get a run back in the ninth as, with one man out, Carlos Ruiz would hit a solo home run, his sixth home run of the season, making it a 5-2 Astros’ lead. But that would be the final score as David Carpenter would get out the next two batters to end the game.
Cole Hamels (14-8, 2.71) took the lost as he went only five innings, giving up five runs, four of which were earned, on nine hits and a walk, while striking out six. David Herndon and Michael Schwimer combined for three scoreless innings, giving up only two hits (Schwimer) between them. J.A. Happ (6-15, 5.59) got the win as he pitched six innings in which he stifled the bats of his old team, giving up only one run on four hits and four walks, while he struck out four. Francisco Rodriguez pitched two 1-2-3 innings, striking out four batters. David Carpenter pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit, while striking out two.
The Phils had just five hits in the ballgame, a single by Jimmy Rollins, a solo home run by Hunter Pence, a double by John Mayberry, Jr., a single by Ben Francisco and a solo home run by Carlos Ruiz, as they were for the second straight night stifled by the slop thrown at them by a former teammate.
The Phils (94-51, 1st East) will conclude their series with the Astros (51-97, 6th Central) with an afternoon game, now in progress.
The Phils, after taking a big lead, hang on to defeat the Astros, 7-6, to win their last spring training game in Florida.
The Astros took a 1-0 lead in the first as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Michael Bourn, a single by Angel Sanchez, sending Bourn up to second base, a ground out by Brett Wallace, 4-3, which sent Bourn to third base and moved Sanchez to second base, and Jason Michaels being hit by the pitch, and with one man out, Chris Johnson hits an RBI ground out, 5-3, scoring Bourn, while sending Sanchez to third and Michaels to second. The Phils would take the lead in their half of the first as, with two men on, and with two men out, Shane Victorino hits an RBI single, knocking in Luis Castillo, who had earlier walked, then moved up to second base on Raul Ibanez’s walk, before Ibanez, who had just walked, would score on right fielder Jason Bourgeois’ throwing error to third, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead, while Victorino would stop at third on the throwing error. The Phils then took a 3-1 lead in the third as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Ibanez hits an RBI double, knocking in Castillo, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Jimmy Rollins’ ground out, 3-unassisted. The Phils then added to their lead in the fifth as, with two men on, and with two outs, Victorino hits an RBI single, scoring Placido Polanco, who had earlier walked, then moved up to second on Castillo’s sacrifice bunt, 5-4, giving the Phils a 4-1 lead, while sending Ibanez, who had just walked, up to second base. One batter later, the Phils made it a 7-1 lead as, with two men on, and with still two men out, Ben Francisco hits a three-run home run, his fourth home run of the spring, knocking in both Ibanez and Victorino. The Astros got a run back in the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Bourn, a single by Sanchez, moving pinch runner Brandon Barnes up to second base, and a walk to Wallace, moving both Barnes and pinch runner Matt Downs up a base, and with one man out, Michaels hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Barnes, making it a 7-2 Phils’ lead, while Downs would move up to third. The Astros then made it a 7-3 Phils’ lead as, with runners on the corners, and now with two men out, Downs scored on a Wilson Valdez throwing error of a Johnson grounder, while Oswaldo Navarro, who was pinch running for Wallace, would move up to second base, as Johnson was safe at first. The Astros then made it a 7-4 Phils’ lead in the top of the ninth as, with a runner on second, and with nobody out, Navarro hits an RBI single, scoring Downs, who had earlier doubled. One batter later, with still nobody out, J.B. Shuck hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the spring, scoring Navarro. That would end up as the final score as Ebelin Lugo would buckle down and strike out three of the last four Astros batters.
Nate Bump (1-0, 1.80) got the win as he pitched five strong innings, giving up a run on eight hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Danys Baez pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, as he struck out a batter. Jose Contreras pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Derrick Loop pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on a hit and two walks. Michael Cisco pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while he struck out a batter. Ebelin Lugo pitched an inning, giving up three runs on three hits, while striking out the side. Bud Norris (1-3, 7.71) took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up seven run, six of which were earned, on six hits and four walks, while he struck out two. Aneury Rodriguez, Enerio Del Rosario and Fernando Abad combined for three scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Abad), while striking out three (Rodriguez (2), Del Rosario (1)) between them.
The Phils had only seven hits in the game, with Shane Victorino leading the team with two hits, both singles, knocking in two runs as he raised his spring batting average to .323. Luis Castillo (Double), Raul Ibanez (Double, RBI), Rich Thompson (Single), Ben Francisco (Home Run, 3 RBIs) and Carlos Ruiz (Single), had the other five Phils’ hits. The seventh Phils’ run came in on an Astros’ error.
The Phils’ Grapefruit League record is now 20-13, as they head back to Philadelphia for two spring training games at Citizens Bank Park.