Final: Philadelphia Phillies 7, Baltimore Orioles 5 ❖ Attendance: 4,109
Clearwater, FLA — From the start, it was a battle of the bats, with both the Philadelphia Phillies (3-2) and the Baltimore Orioles (2-3) going back and forth between taking the lead and tying the game. Ultimately, a three-run homer by Brock Stassi in the bottom of the eighth inning ended up giving the Phils the lead for good. The Phillies' bats were on fire today, with Tommy Joseph, Scott Kingery, Aaron Altherr and Stassi all blasting homers off of Orioles pitchers.
Another high point in the game was Clay Buchholz's Phillies debut. The righty threw two scoreless innings and seemed relaxed on the mound. After leaving the game, he told CSN's Gregg Murphy that he has been working on his mechanics and is taking a different approach to Spring Training this year. Buchholz is off to a good start, but only time will tell if he'll continue to be effective and bring this new approach to the regular season.
WP: Elniery Garcia (1-0, 6.75 ERA) ❖ LP: Cody Sedlock (0-1, 36.00 ERA) ❖ SV: Cesar Ramos (1)
After a quiet inning and a half of baseball, the Phillies struck first. With one out, Michael Saunders reached on an error by Orioles' second baseman Johnny Giavotella. Tommy Joseph followed with a bomb to left field to give the Phils an early lead. The Phillies weren't able to tack on any more runs that inning.
The Orioles cut that lead in half in the top of the third. With one out, right fielder Chris Dickerson hit a solo homer against Phillies reliever Jeanmar Gomez. That was the only run that the Orioles were able to muster that inning.
Phillies pitcher Nick Pivetta came into some trouble in his second inning of work. In the top of the fifth, Robert Andino led off the inning with a double. A ground out by Dickerson moved him over to third, bringing Giavotella to the plate with one out. He tripled to left-center field, scoring Andino and tying the game. Giavotella scored on a sacrifice fly by DH Anthony Santander, giving the Orioles the lead. Trey Mancini grounded out to end the inning.
The Phillies fought back in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, second baseman Scott Kingery homered to tie the game at 3. One out later, Howie Kendrick doubled to right field. However, Chris Coghlan popped out and the Phillies were unable to capitalize on the runner in scoring position.
The tie only lasted an inning. In the top of the seventh, Joey Rickard walked with one out. He stole second and it ended up being a pivotal play in the inning. He moved up to third on a ground out to bring Yermin Mercedes to the plate. Mercedes singled to score Rickard. The next batter, Sean Coyle, doubled to left field. Mercedes was a dead duck at the plate, but the throw to the plate by third baseman Taylor Featherston went past catcher Logan Moore to allow Mercedes to score another run for the Orioles.
The bottom of the eighth brought an offensive surge for the Phillies. Dylan Cozens and Featherston hit back-to-back singles. Nick Williams hit into a force out, putting runners on first and third for first baseman Brock Stassi. He followed with a three-run homer to right field to put the Phillies ahead, 6-5. One out later, Aaron Altherr hit a no-doubt-about-it home-run of his own to left field to extend the Phillies' lead. This was all the Phillies needed to secure the victory.
- Chris Dickerson - 1-3, R, HR, RBI, .200 AVG
- Johnny Giavotella - 1-3, R, 3B, RBI, .500 AVG
- Robert Andino - 1-3, R, 2B, .250 AVG
- Brock Stassi: 1-1, R, HR, 3 RBI, .667 AVG
- Scott Kingery: 3-4, R, 2B, HR, RBI, .500 AVG
- Tommy Joseph: 1-3, R, HR, 2 RBI, .125 AVG
- Jayson Aquino (3rd, 4th): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 so, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA
- Mychal Givens (5th): 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR, 4.50 ERA
- Zach Stewart (6th, 7th): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA
- Cody Sedlock (8th): 1.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 2 HR, 36.00 ERA
- Jeanmar Gomez (3rd): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 1 HR, 9.00 ERA
- Nick Pivetta (4th, 5th, 6th): 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 3.60 ERA
- Elniery Garcia (7th, 8th): 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR, 6.75 ERA
- Cesar Ramos (9th): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 4.50 ERA
- Wednesday, March 1, 2017: at Tampa Bay Rays, 1:05 p.m.
- Charlotte Sports Park (Port Charlotte)
- RHP Vince Velasquez (2016: 8-6, 4.12 ERA) vs. RHP Jake Odorizzi (2016: 10-6, 3.69 ERA)
- TV: N/A; Radio: MLB.com