The last two days of Spring Training the Phillies lost to the Blue Jays. Before today’s game, the Phillies were looking to get back on the right foot. Starting for the Phillies was Kyle Kendrick against Jose Alvarez, the Tigers’ Minor League Pitcher of Year, looking to make the Tigers’ 25-man roster.
The Game: In the first inning, Kendrick got off to a slow start, giving up a hit and two walks, before Nick Castellanos doubled to deep center clearing the bases. Kendrick ended the inning with a strikeout of Trevor Crowe. 3-0 Tigers
To start the 2nd inning, Kendrick walked Luis Exposito, but settled down to retire the next three batters. At the bottom of the inning, Marlon Byrd lead off the inning with a single for the Phillies first hit. Two batters later, Carlos Ruiz walked to move up Byrd. With two outs, Darin Ruf hit an RBI ground ball single to put the Phillies on the board. 3-1 Tigers
Sean O’Sullivan replaced Kendrick in the 3rd inning, and set down the side 123 with two strikeouts. In the bottom on the inning, the Phillies had an offensive explosion. The bottom of the inning started with a Rollins walk, and an Utley single. After a Howard strikeout, Byrd singled to load the bases. Domonic Brown hit a sharp ground ball to second base only to have the second baseman not touch the bag and had a throwing error to first; both Byrd and Brown were safe. Rollins scored on the play. Carlos Ruiz was then hit by a pitch to bring in the tying run, followed by Maikel Franco drawing a walk to give the Phillies the lead. Darin Ruf hit a ground out, but drove in Ruiz. After a walk of Tony Gwynn, Jimmy Rollins came up for the second at bat of the inning, and worked the count until he saw his pitch and hit a three-run homerun. 9-3 Phillies
In the top of the 6th, Luis Garica came in to pitch and was very shaky. After a single by Austin Jackson and an error by Reid Brignac, Nick Castellanos hit his second double bringing in a run. Trevor Crowe and Luis Exposito followed with a ground out and a sacrifice fly to bring in two runs. 9-6 Phillies
In the bottom of the 8th, Lou Marson lead off with a double and Freddy Galvis moved him up with a fly out. Leandro Castro grounded out to bring in Marson to end the scoring for the day. 10-6 Phillies
Justin De Fratus came in the 9th to close out to game. He started off giving up 2 straight hits before striking out the side.
Other Phillies pitchers making apperarances in the game were Aumont and Jimenez.
Some notable offensive performances:
Jimmy Rollins: 1-1, 1 HR, 2BB, 2R, 3RBI
Chase Utley: 1-3, 1R
Ryan Howard: 0-3 2 K
Marlon Byrd: 2-3, 2R
Darin Ruf: 1-3, 2RBI
Impact: This game starts the Phillies headed in the right direction winning the first game of the spring. Key players such as Jimmy Rollins look to be taking more pitches and looks more confident at the plate and willing to take the walk. If this continues through out the spring and into the regular season look for the offense to improve.
Up Next: The Phillies travel to George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa to face the Yankees. The Phillies will send David Buchanan to the hill versus C.C. Sabathia at 1:05. Note: Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez will make his first appearance in tomorrow’s game.
Andrew Shipotofsky is a writer for Philliedelphia.com. Follow him on Twitter @AShipotofsky