Posted by Kevin Durso
The Phillies and Pirates played extra innings in their Spring Training matchup today. (Philliedelphia/Frank Klose)
With each starter already making their debut, the next start is meant to stretch them out further. With the three aces headlining the rotation, complete games are not an uncommon occurrence. Cole Hamels was back on the mound today, and continued to look as good as ever.
The Phillies scored a run for Hamels early on, as Ty Wigginton doubled to the wall in left-center to score Hunter Pence in the second.
Hamels would pitch a gem, by Spring Training standards anyway, as he went 3 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball allowing four hits and striking out two. If not for an error by Wigginton with two outs in the fourth, Hamels would have completed four innings of work.
The Phillies added a run in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk by Laynce Nix.
The longball would extend the Phillies lead, as Shane Victorino belted a two-run shot in the fifth.
The Pirates got on the board in the sixth. Casey McGehee picked up an RBI single to start, and two more runs would score on outs, as the Pirates picked up an RBI groundout and a sac fly.Dave Bush finished the fourth inning for Hamels, and also pitched the fifth and sixth. He went 2 1/3 innings allowing three runs on four hits and added a strikeout.
Antonio Bastardo pitched a perfect seventh to keep the Phillies lead at one. David Purcey didn't have the same luck in the eighth.
Purcey allowed a leadoff home run to Starling Marte to open the eighth, tying the game at four. Purcey did close out the inning without allowing another baserunner.
Phillippe Aumont pitched a perfect ninth inning leaving the Phillies with a chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth.
Michael Martinez led off the ninth with a double, putting the winning run in scoring position. But Martinez would try to advance to third on a grounder to short by Hector Luna, and was thrown out. That helped the game get to extra innings, as the Phillies would strand a runner on second in the ninth.
Michael Schwimer came on in the tenth and stranded a runner at second during a scoreless inning to keep the game tied. That gave the Phillies one last chance to win it in the tenth. Luis Montanez wasted no time. He belted a 3-2 pitch to left that barely cleared the fence for a walk-off solo shot giving the Phillies a 5-4 win over the Pirates.
Once again, the Phillies got a great effort out of a starter. Cole Hamels was well on his way to four innings pitched, but did leave one out shy of that after an error by Ty Wigginton due to pitch count. Dave Bush struggled on the mound in the sixth after getting four straight outs in relief. Bastardo, Purcey and Aumont also pitched well despite bringing the game to a tie.
On the offensive front, a couple of starters picked up hits. Shane Victorino hit his first home run of the spring, going 1-for-3 on the day. Ty Wigginton had a strong day at the plate, driving an RBI double and walking twice. Jim Thome and Placido Polanco each added a hit, and Hunter Pence was the only Phillie with a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 on the day. But in the end, Montanez had the big hit, getting the game-winner in extras.
The Phillies are on the road tomorrow to face the Detroit Tigers. Roy Halladay is expected to start.
Kevin Durso is a contributor to @Philliedelphia. You can follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.