The Phils have finished playing their first official game of Spring Training, defeating the World Champions Yankees by scoring two-runs in the bottom of the ninth, winning the ballgame, 3-2.
After having to come from behind to win their first spring training game over Florida State, 13-6, in seven and a half innings, the Phils, after taking the lead in the seventh via an RBI double by non-roster invitee Oscar Chavez, scoring Juan Castro from second base, lost the lead in the top of the ninth as reliever and eventual game winner Sergio Escalona gave up RBI singles to David Winfree and Jose Gil. The Phils would win the game in the bottom of the ninth as non-roster invitee Paul Hoover hit an RBI double to left, tying the score as Quintin Berry just beat in the throw to the plate, allowing Hoover to move up to third base with one man out. Two batters later, with pinch runner Dwayne Wise on third, and with two men out, Wilson Valdez hits an RBI single which ricocheted off of Yankees’ relief pitcher Wilkins Arias, scoring Wise with the winning run, giving the Phils a 3-2 win, and a 1-0 record in Grapefruit League play.
Phils’ starter Roy Halladay, in his first game since the trade that brought him to the National League Champs, was in excellent form, striking out three batters in two scoreless innings, just missing a perfect outing as Placido Polanco commited a throwing error on a grounder to third base in the first, as he threw 21 of his 24 pitches for strikes. Kyle Kendrick, who is competing for the number five starter job with Jamie Moyer, followed Halladay with two scoreless innings of his own, giving up a hit, as he struck out one. The next two pitchers for the Phils, Jose Contreras and Andrew Carpenter followed by both pitching two scoreless frames apiece, with Contreras giving up two hits and Carpenter one, as they, between them, struck out five Yanks (Contreras (3), Carpenter (2)). The Phils’ winning pitcher, Escalona, had a bad ninth inning, blowing the save, his first in Grapefruit League play, as he gave up two runs on four hits, while striking out a batter, in one inning of work. Escalona’s record is now 1-0 with a high ERA of 18.00.
Besides the RBI hits by Chavez, Hoover and Valdez, the Phils had a total of eight hits in the game, with returning Phil, Polanco getting a hit in the first, a single, while John Mayberry, Jr., and Castro both got a basehit, while Brian Bocock had two. Chavez and Hoover had the Phils only extra-base hits, both doubles.
The Phils next Grapefruit League game will be a road game against the Toronto Blue Jays that will start at 1:05 pm.