By: Rebecca Serad, Sports Talk Philly Staff
Final: Detroit Tigers 11, Philadelphia Phillies 6 ❖ Attendance: 4,365
Clearwater, FLA — The Philadelphia Phillies (1-4) continued their rough start to Spring Training with a loss to the Detroit Tigers (4-1). Phillies pitchers had difficulty retiring the Tigers' hitters, with five of the eight pitchers allowing at least one run to score. Their efforts were not aided by the poor fielding. The Phillies made an inexcusable three errors in the game. Two of those errors led to unearned runs.
The offense had one good inning. The six-run fourth inning was highlighted by home-runs by Rhys Hoskins and Roman Quinn. Outside of that, however, the Phils' hitters struggled to string hits together and get timely hits. This has been a consistent issue over the last few seasons and needs to be fixed if the Phillies want to improve upon last season's record.
WP: Mike Fiers (1-0, 0.00 ERA) ❖ LP: Jerad Eickhoff (0-1, 13.50 ERA)
Hub: Game Summary ❖ Starting Pitchers ❖ At the Plate ❖ Bullpen ❖ What's Next
The Tigers came out bats swinging against Phils starter Jerad Eickhoff. Second baseman Dixon Machado and shortstop Jose Iglesias led off the game with back-to-back singles. On the latter, Machado went from first to third and beat out a throw from left fielder Tommy Joseph. Iglesias ended up on second base on the play. This put runners on second and third with no outs for Miguel Cabrera. He hit a sac fly to center field to score Machado and give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. One out later, Victor Martinez hit a ground ball into the shift and it looked like the inning would be over. However, shortstop J.P. Crawford threw the ball away and Iglesias scored. Martinez advanced to second on the play. Eickhoff struck out Mikie Mahtook to end the inning.
The Tigers added on in the second. After striking out Ronny Rodriguez and allowing a single to Derek Norris, Eickhoff's day was over. Ricardo Pinto entered the game in relief. He struck out Victor Reyes for the second out. Machado hit his second single of the game to put runners on first and third. Iglesias followed with a double into the left field corner to score both Norris and Machado and give the Tigers a 4-0 lead. Cabrera singled to right field to score Iglesias to increase the lead. Nicholas Castellanos was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Fortunately, Pinto was able to get the final out and avoid any more damage.
The Tigers continued to add on in the third. Mahtook led off the inning with a single. Rodriguez reached on an error to put runners on first and second for Norris. He homered to left field to make it a 8-0 ballgame. New Phillie Tommy Hunter bounced back and retired the next three batters in order to complete his first outing of the spring.
The Phillies' bats finally heated up in the fourth. With one out, Rhys Hoskins hit his first homer of the spring. Crawford followed with a single to left. Joseph doubled to left. Crawford scored on the play, thanks to a throwing error by shortstop Sergio Alcantara. This also allowed Joseph to move up to third. During the next at-bat, Joseph scored on a wild pitch to make it a 8-3 game. Cameron Rupp and Collin Cowgill reached on a walk and a single, respectively, to put runners on first and second with no outs for Roman Quinn. He homered to left-center field and doubled the Phillies' run total. After the home-run, the Tigers made a pitching change, electing to bring in Victor Alcantara. The Phils' next two hitters, Dylan Cozens and Eliezer Alvarez, both reached on pinch-hit singles to put runners on first and second with only one out. Pinch-hitter Ryan Flaherty struck out for the second out. A wild pitch during the following at-bat by Nick Rickles allowed the runners to advance to second and third, but unfortunately, Rickles was retired and the runners were stranded in scoring position.
The Tigers tacked on two more runs in the sixth. With two outs, pinch-hitter Chad Huffman homered to left field. At first, it was ruled to be a ball in play, but the call was quickly changed to a home-run once the umpires acknowledged that the ball went over the wall and bounced back on the field. Niko Goodrum followed with a solo homer of his own to make it a 10-6 ballgame. After allowing a walk, Phils pitcher Jose Taveras retired Jake Rogers for the final out.
The Tigers put another run on the board in the eighth. Goodrum led off the inning with a single off of Phillies reliever Edubray Ramos. He advanced to second on a passed ball during the at-bat of Kody Eaves, who ended up striking out. During Jake Rogers' at-bat, Goodrum stole third base. Rogers was also retired on a strike-out. This marked the end of Ramos' outing, as Enyel De Los Santos, who was acquired in the Freddy Galvis trade this past offseason, took the mound. He allowed a single to Mike Gerber, which scored Goodrum to score. The run was charged to the line of Ramos. De Los Santos struck out Harold Castro to end the inning.
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