March 2011

The 2011 Phillies…

The Phils have finally announced their opening day roster…

The starting eight:

Ryan Howard – 1B

Wilson Valdez – 2B

Jimmy Rollins – SS

Placido Polanco – 3B

Raul Ibanez – LF

Shane Victorino – CF

Ben Francisco – RF

Carlos Ruiz – C

Bench:

Brian Schneider – C

Michael Martinez – INF

Pete Orr – INF

Ross Gload – OF

John Mayberry, Jr. – OF

Starting Rotation:

Roy Halladay (Ace)

Cliff Lee

Roy Oswalt

Cole Hamels

Joe Blanton

Bullpen:

Kyle Kendrick (Longman)

David Herndon

Danys Baez

Antonio Bastardo

J.C. Romero (Left-handed specialist)

Ryan Madson (8th Inning)

Jose Contreras (Closer)

Disabled List:

Chase Utley, Brad Lidge, Domonic Brown

The roster is, of course, subject to change during the season, especially with Lidge and Brown expected to be back, although Brown will more then likely be spending time at Lehigh Valley to get back his stroke and Lidge might also spend some time there to work on his arm before returning to the main team. As for Utley, no real idea when he’ll be back this year, if at all, because of his bum right knee, so I would not be surprised if the Phils make a trade for a second baseman by the trade deadline in August. The Phils should, hopefully, be able to manage without both Lidge and Utley, thanks to their starting rotation, and some comeback seasons from Howard, Rollins and Ibanez, especially Rollins, as he is in a contract year.

Go Phils!!!

The Phils end spring training on a low note as they lose to the Pirates, 4-1.

Spring training ends on a low note for the Phils as they lose to the Pirates, 4-1.

The Pirates took a 2-0 lead in the second as, with one man on, and with one man out, Pedro Alvarez hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the spring, knocking in Lyle Overbay, who had earlier doubled. The Phils cut the Pirates lead to 2-1 in their half of the second as, with one man on base, and with one man out, Wilson Valdez hits an RBI ground out, 3-1, knocking in Ben Francisco, who had earlier reached based on a two-base throwing error by third baseman Alvarez, then moved up to third on Carlos Ruiz’s ground out, 6-3. The Pirates then increased their lead in the sixth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Jordy Mercer hits an RBI single, scoring Steve Pearce, who had earlier doubled, making it a 3-1 Pirates’ lead. The Pirates added an insurance run in the ninth as, with two men on, and with two men out, John Bowker hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Josh Rodriguez, who had earlier singled, then went to third on pinch hitter Josh Harrison’s single, giving the Pirates a 4-1 lead, while moving Harrison, who had earlier singled, up to second base. That would be the final score as the Phils were unable to develop a rally in the bottom of the ninth.

Cole Hamels (1-2, 6.67) took the lost as he pitched three innings, giving up two runs on four hits, while he struck out three. Jose Contreras pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while stiking out one. Joe Blanton pitched three innings, giving up a run on four hits, while striking out three batters. Kyle Kendrick pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Juan Perez pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on three hits. Antonio Bastardo pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Charlie Morton (2-0, 2.63) got the win as he pitched five innings, giving up an unearned run on one hit and two walks, while striking out two. Michael Crotta picked up his third spring hold as he pitched a scoreless inning, while striking out a batter. Chris Resop recorded his fourth spring hold as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Joel Hanrahan recorded his third hold of the spring, as he gives up a hit. Jared Hughes received his first save of the spring as he pitched a scoreless ninth, walking a batter.

The Phils had only two hits in the game, a single by Jimmy Rollins and a triple by Pete Orr. Wilson Valdez knocked in the only Phil run on a ground out.

The Phils ended the spring with a 21-14 record.

The Phils will begin the 2011 season with a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park against the Houston Astros, starting on April 1, weather permitting. The first game, opening day, is to begin about 1:05 pm Eastern Daylight Time. The Phils’ starter will be their ace, 2010 NL Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, who is coming off a 21-10 season, with an ERA of 2.44. He will be trying to continue his 2010 season, and his well pitched spring by trying to start the Phils’ 2011 season with a win at home. The Astros will counter with ex-Phil Brett Myers, who is coming off a 14-8 record during his first season with Houston, with a 3.14 ERA. He will be looking for his second win against his old team.

Phils have released Luis Castillo, have decided to keep rule fiver Martin Martinez.

The Phils have recently announced that they have just released Luis Castillo, deciding not to keep the former Met. The Phils obviously did not see enough from Castillo to keep him as their regular second baseman while Chase Utley continue to recover from his injury. Which means that Wilson Valdez will be, for the time being, the Phils’ regular second baseman.

The Phils manager, Charlie Manuel, has also announced that he plan to keep Michael Martinez, whom the Phils have gotten from the Washington Nationals via last year’s Rule 5 draft. The rookie infielder will be with the team for the upcoming season.

Martinez’s staying was no surprised, since he did rather well during spring training. As for Castillo, the Phils obviously did not see anything from him to pick up his contract.

Looks like the roster for 2011 is almost fixed.

A Brief History of Phils’ Opening Day/Night via Phillies.com

A brief history of the Phillies on Opening Day

Philadelphia Phillies 

Hmm, time for a short history lesson, folks.

The 129th season opener in Phillies franchise history is set for Friday afternoon against the Astros at Citizens Bank Park.

Back on May 1, 1883, the Phillies lost their initial opener, 4-3, to Providence at Recreation Park, 24th and Columbia Avenues, when the Grays scored four runs in the eighth to overcome a 3-0 deficit. Attendance was an estimated 1,200. Future Hall of Famer Charles (Old Hoss) Radbourn was the winner, the first of 48 victories for him that season. John Coleman was the loser, the first of his 48 defeats (13 wins).

Since then, 1,880 players have worn the Phillies uniform, and 128 million fans have attended games in Philadelphia.

The initial loss seemed to set the tone, as the Phillies have won 57 openers and lost 69, with a pair of ties (1923 at Brooklyn, 5-5, in 14 innings, and 1924 vs. Boston, 6-6, in 11 innings.).

Friday’s opener marks only the third time in Astros history that they have started a season against the Phillies. The most logical reasoning is that they are in the NL Central. So, the Phillies will see Houston at home in the first three games and not the rest of the season.

The Phillies are 2-0 all time in openers vs. Houston, winning 2-0 behind Chris Short on April 12, 1965, the very first regular season game in the Astrodome. Dick Allen hit the Dome’s first home run during the season. The other Phillies win came on April 5, 1993, also in the Astrodome. Terry Mulholland was the winner in a 3-1 final.

Of the previous 128 openers, 12 have gone extra innings, with the most recent being a 5-3 loss to the Braves at Citizens Bank Park in 2007.

Other Opening Day notes:

• The Phillies are 1-1 in openers played on April 1 (no foolin’), a 3-0 Curt Schilling win in Los Angeles in 1997 and a 7-2 setback at the hands of the Braves in 2002.

• The latest season opener for the Phillies was May 2, an 8-2 defeat against Providence in 1885.

• Roy Halladay is bidding to win back-to-back season openers for the Phillies. The last pitcher to do that was Art Mahaffey, 1962-63. Halladay was the winner in an 11-1 romp at Washington a year ago, which started a new decade.

• Last decade, the Phillies were 3-7, losing the last four.

• As far as Citizens Bank Park season openers, the Phillies are 1-4.

• Hall of Famer Robin Roberts has the most Opening Day wins for the Phillies, five, and most losses, six.

• The Phillies have had a winning pitcher named Blanton, only it was Cy and not Joe, the current starter. Cy Blanton was the 1941 winner against the Braves on April 15. Wonder if he had to file his income tax forms that same day? (H/T Phillies.com)

All I can say is, I hope Halladay will be able to make the Phils 3-0 against the Astros in opening day games between the two clubs.

Despite a so-so performance from Roy Oswalt, the Phils win their next to last spring training game, defeating the Pirates, 8-5.

In spite of a subpar pitching performance by Roy Oswalt, the Phils defeat the Pirates, 8-5, winning their next to last spring training game.

The Pirates took the lead in the first as, with two men on, and with one man out, Lyle Overbay hits a two-run double, scoring Jose Tabata, who had earlier walked, went to second base on Neil Walker’s single, then went to third on Andrew McCutchen’s ground out, 5-3, and Walker, who had earlier singled, then went to third on McCutchen’s ground out, giving the Pirates a 2-0 lead. The Phils got a run back in their half of the first as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Luis Castillo, who had earlier singled, then went to third base on Jimmy Rollins’ single, would score on Pirates’ catcher Ryan Doumit’s throwing error to second, as Rollins, who had just singled, successfully stole second base, before moving up to third on the error, cutting the Pirates lead to 2-1. The Phils tied the score up at two-all in the second as Ben Francisco hits a lead-off home run, his fifth home run of the spring. The Phils later took the lead as, with the bases loaded, via Pete Orr being hit by the pitch, a walk to Carlos Ruiz, moving Orr up to second base, a sacrifice bunt by Roy Oswalt, moving both runners up a base, and Shane Victorino being hit by a pitch, and with one man out, Orr would score on a Ronny Cedeno fielding error of a Castillo grounder, allowing Orr to score, and both Ruiz and Victorino to move up a base, leaving the bases loaded, while giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. One batter later, the Phils made it a 4-2 lead as Rollins hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Ruiz, while Victorino would move up to third. The Phils would make it a 5-2 lead in the fourth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, knocking in Castillo, who was safe at first on a force out, 3-6, as Victorino was wiped out at second base, who, in turn, had reached first on an earlier force out, 4-6, as Oswalt, who had an infield single, was wiped out at second, then stole second base, while sending Rollins, who had been hit by the pitch, over to third base. One batter later, the Phils took a 6-2 lead as Raul Ibanez hits an RBI single, scoring Rollins, while sending Howard up to second base. The Pirates would cut the lead in the fifth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Walker hits an RBI single, knocking in pinch hitter Josh Rodriguez, who had earlier walked, then moved to second base on Tabata’s walk, making it a 6-3 Phils’ lead, before Tabata, who had just walked, would also score because of a Francisco fielding error as he let the ball get past him for a two-base error, making it a 6-4 Phils’ lead, while allowing Walker to get to third base. One batter later, the Pirates cut the lead to 6-5 as McCutchen hits an RBI single, scoring Walker. The Phils would get a run back in the sixth as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Rollins hits into an RBI ground out, 4-3, scoring, Victorino, who had earlier walked, then went to third on a hit and run single by Castillo, giving the Phils a 7-5 lead, while sending Castillo, who had earlier singled, up to second base. The Phils added an insurance run in the eighth as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Erik Kratz and John Mayberry, Jr., with Kratz stopping at second base, Kratz and Mayberry both moving up a base on Wilson Valdez’s ground out, 4-3, and Michael Martinez being safe at first on second baseman’s Walker’s fielding error, and with one man out, Ross Gload hits an RBI ground out, 6-1, scoring Kratz, while sending Mayberry to third and Martinez up to second base, giving the Phils an 8-5 lead. That would be the final score as Michael Stutes recorded his first save of the spring as he had an easy ninth inning.

Roy Oswalt (1-2, 6.11) got the win as he pitched four innings, plus four batters, as he gave up five runs on five hits and four walks, while he struck out four. J.C. Romero recorded his third spring hold as he pitched an inning, striking out a batter. Michael Herndon recorded his third spring hold as he pitched an inning and two-thirds, giving up a hit and a walk. Antonio Bastardo received his first hold of the spring as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Ryan Madson recorded his fourth spring hold as he pitched an inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Michael Stutes recorded his first spring save as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out three. Ross Ohlendorf (0-5, 9.82) took the loss as he pitched four innings, giving up six runs, four of which were earned, on seven hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Michael Dubee pitched a scoreless inning, striking out a batter. Chris Leroux pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and a walk. Garret Olsen pitched two-thirds of an inning. Jose Veras pitched a scoreless inning, strking out a batter. Evan Meek pitched an inning, giving up an unearned run on two hits.

The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Luis Castillo leading the team with two hits, both singles, while knocking in a run. Jimmy Rollins, (Single, 2 RBIs), Ryan Howard (Single, RBI), Raul Ibanez (Single, RBI), Ben Francisco (Home Run, RBI), Roy Oswalt (Single), Pete Orr (Double), John Mayberry, Jr. (Single) and Erik Kratz (Single), had the other eight Phils’ hits. Ross Gload knocked in a run on a ground out, while the other run came in on a Pirates error.

The Phils’ spring training record is now 21-13.

In other news, the Phils announced that Ben Francisco will be their regular right fielder, although he will be in a platoon with Ross Gload and John Mayberry, Jr., but being given most of the at-bats. Also, the Phils announced that they will be placing Brad Lidge on the disabled list because of a rotator cuff strain of his right shoulder. He will be out until at least mid-May. The Phils will be using Jose Contreras as their closer until Lidge is able to return, and leaving Ryan Madson as their eighth inning specialist. Finally, Chase Utley was yesterday moving around on his legs, fielding ground balls. Hopefully, this will be a sign that his legs are starting to get better. Keeping fingers cross, as I don’t expect to see him before the all-star break, if he doesn’t do anything to aggravate his knees. 

The Phils hang on to defeat the Astros, 7-6, as they win their final Grapefruit League game.

The Phils, after taking a big lead, hang on to defeat the Astros, 7-6, to win their last spring training game in Florida.

The Astros took a 1-0 lead in the first as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Michael Bourn, a single by Angel Sanchez, sending Bourn up to second base, a ground out by Brett Wallace, 4-3, which sent Bourn to third base and moved Sanchez to second base, and Jason Michaels being hit by the pitch, and with one man out, Chris Johnson hits an RBI ground out, 5-3, scoring Bourn, while sending Sanchez to third and Michaels to second. The Phils would take the lead in their half of the first as, with two men on, and with two men out, Shane Victorino hits an RBI single, knocking in Luis Castillo, who had earlier walked, then moved up to second base on Raul Ibanez’s walk, before Ibanez, who had just walked, would score on right fielder Jason Bourgeois’ throwing error to third, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead, while Victorino would stop at third on the throwing error. The Phils then took a 3-1 lead in the third as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Ibanez hits an RBI double, knocking in Castillo, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Jimmy Rollins’ ground out, 3-unassisted. The Phils then added to their lead in the fifth as, with two men on, and with two outs, Victorino hits an RBI single, scoring Placido Polanco, who had earlier walked, then moved up to second on Castillo’s sacrifice bunt, 5-4, giving the Phils a 4-1 lead, while sending Ibanez, who had just walked, up to second base. One batter later, the Phils made it a 7-1 lead as, with two men on, and with still two men out, Ben Francisco hits a three-run home run, his fourth home run of the spring, knocking in both Ibanez and Victorino. The Astros got a run back in the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Bourn, a single by Sanchez, moving pinch runner Brandon Barnes up to second base, and a walk to Wallace, moving both Barnes and pinch runner Matt Downs up a base, and with one man out, Michaels hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Barnes, making it a 7-2 Phils’ lead, while Downs would move up to third. The Astros then made it a 7-3 Phils’ lead as, with runners on the corners, and now with two men out, Downs scored on a Wilson Valdez throwing error of a Johnson grounder, while Oswaldo Navarro, who was pinch running for Wallace, would move up to second base, as Johnson was safe at first. The Astros then made it a 7-4 Phils’ lead in the top of the ninth as, with a runner on second, and with nobody out, Navarro hits an RBI single, scoring Downs, who had earlier doubled. One batter later, with still nobody out, J.B. Shuck hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the spring, scoring Navarro. That would end up as the final score as Ebelin Lugo would buckle down and strike out three of the last four Astros batters.

Nate Bump (1-0, 1.80) got the win as he pitched five strong innings, giving up a run on eight hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Danys Baez pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, as he struck out a batter.  Jose Contreras pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Derrick Loop pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on a hit and two walks. Michael Cisco pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while he struck out a batter. Ebelin Lugo pitched an inning, giving up three runs on three hits, while striking out the side. Bud Norris (1-3, 7.71) took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up seven run, six of which were earned, on six hits and four walks, while he struck out two. Aneury Rodriguez, Enerio Del Rosario and Fernando Abad combined for three scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Abad), while striking out three (Rodriguez (2), Del Rosario (1)) between them.

The Phils had only seven hits in the game, with Shane Victorino leading the team with two hits, both singles, knocking in two runs as he raised his spring batting average to .323. Luis Castillo (Double), Raul Ibanez (Double, RBI), Rich Thompson (Single), Ben Francisco (Home Run, 3 RBIs) and Carlos Ruiz (Single), had the other five Phils’ hits. The seventh Phils’ run came in on an Astros’ error.

The Phils’ Grapefruit League record is now 20-13, as they head back to Philadelphia for two spring training games at Citizens Bank Park.

Behind two home runs by Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard, the Phils easily defeat the Braves, 6-1.

Thanks to two round trippers by Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard, the Phils defeat the Braves with ease, 6-1.

In the top of the second inning, with the bases loaded, via singles by Shane Victorino and Ben Francisco, with Victorino stopping at second base, and a walk to Wilson Valdez, moving both Victorino and Francisco up a base, and with two men out, Roy Halladay give the Phils a 2-0 lead with a two-run single, scoring both Victorino and Francisco, while sending Valdez over to third base. The Phils made it a 3-0 lead in the third as, with one man out, Raul Ibanez hits a solo home run, his fourth home run of the spring. The Braves cut the Phils’ lead in the fourth as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Chipper Jones, a walk to Dan Uggla, sending Jones to second base, and with Jason Heyward being hit by the pitch, moving up a base both Jones and Uggla, and with nobody out, Eric Hinske hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Jones, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead, while sending Uggla up to third base. The Phils took a 5-1 lead in the fifth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run home run, his fifth home run of the spring, scoring Luis Castillo, who had earlier reached base on a force out, 4-6, wiping out Placido Polanco, who had earlier walked, then went to second on Ibanez’s ground out, three-unassisted. Two batters later, with a man on first, via a Victorino single, and with still two men out, Francisco hits an RBI double, knocking in Victorino, giving the Phils a 6-1 lead. This would end up being the final score, as the Phils turned back a threat in the ninth inning, as the Braves loaded up the bases, via walks to Hinske, who then moved up to second on a Jordan Ellis wild pitch, a walk to Ed Lucas and a single to J.C. Boscan, with Hinske stopping at third base and Lucas at second, with one man out, before Ellis dug in and struck out first Brandon Hicks, and then pinch hitter Joe Mather, both swinging.

Roy Halladay (4-0, 0.42) got the win as he pitched three strong innings, giving up just a hit, while striking out three. Michael Schwimer recorded his second hold of the spring as he pitched two innings, giving up a run on a hit and two walks,while striking out two. B.J. Rosenberg, Jose Contreras and Jordan Ellis followed with four scoreless inning, as they combine for two hits (Rosenberg (1), Ellis (1)) and two walks (Ellis), while striking out two batters (Ellis). Kenshin Kawakami took the lost (0-1, 3.75) as he pitched four innings, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out two. Cristhian Martinez pitched an inning, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Jaye Chapman, Eric O’Flaherty and Craig Kimbrel followed with four scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Kimbrel) and a walk (Chapman), while striking out four Phils between them (Chapman (2), O’Flaherty (1), Kimbrel (1)).

The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Ryan Howard (Single, Home Run, 2 RBIs), Shane Victorino (Singles) and Ben Francisco (Single, Double, RBI) leading the team with two hits each. John Mayberry, Jr. (Single), Raul Ibanez (Home Run, RBI) and Roy Halladay (Single, 2 RBIs) had the other three Phils’ hits.

The Phils Grapefruit League record is now 19-13, leading NL teams, while Roy Halladay showed himself to be ready for his opening day assignment against the Astros this coming Friday.

A two-run home run by Jimmy Rollins help leads the Phils to 3-1 win over the Braves.

A two-run homer by Jimmy Rollins in the first is enough to lead the Phils to a 3-1 Grapefruit League win over the Braves.

In the bottom of the first, with one man on, and with one man out, Jimmy Rollins gives the Phils an early 2-0 lead as he hits a two-run home run, his first home run of the spring, as he knocked in Luis Castillo, who had earlier walked. The Phils made it 3-0 in the third as, with one man on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI triple, scoring Rollins, who had earlier singled. The Braves would finally get on the board in the seventh as, with a man on second base, and with one man out, Brandon Hicks hits an RBI single, knocking in Brooks Conrad, who had earlier doubled, cutting the Phils’ lead to 3-1. That would be the final score as Jose Contreras collected his first save of the spring as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.

Joe Blanton (2-1, 3.21) got the win as he pitched six shut out innings, giving up five hits, while striking out four. Danys Baez collected his second hold of the spring as he pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits. Ryan Madson collected his first hold of the spring as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Jose Contreras collected his first save of the spring as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out two Braves. Rodrigo Lopez took the lost (0-2, 3.85) as he went five innings, giving up three runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out three. Cristhian Martinez and Craig Kimbrel combined for three scoreless innings, giving up two hits (one hit each) and three walks (Martinez (2) and Kimbrel (1)), while striking out 1 (Martinez) between them.

The Phils had seven hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins (Single, Home Run, 2 RBIs) leading the team with two hits, as he raised his spring training batting average to .250. Luis Castillo (Single), Ryan Howard (Triple, RBI), John Mayberry, Jr. (Single), Ben Francisco (Single) and Joe Blanton (Single), had the other five Phils’ hits.

The Phils Grapefruit League record is now 18-11 with six games left, including a pair of split squad games tomorrow, before they start opening day on Friday, April 1, at Citizens Bank Park, against the Astros.

In other news, it is likely that Chase Utley will be placed on the disabled list (come on guys, just go ahead and do it already) at the start of the season. He will be having company on the list as the Phils have announced that Brad Lidge (man, can’t he get through spring training without an injury?) will be placed on the disabled list because of problems with the back of his shoulder. He should be out for at least fifteen days at the start of the season. Meanwhile, Roy Oswalt, who was hit behind his right neck by a line drive off of the bat of Manny Ramirez on Wednesday, said he should be able to make his last spring training start next Tuesday. I’m keeping my fingers cross on this one, folks. Also, Placido Polanco returned to the lineup during the Phils’ game with the Braves, going 0 for 2. I hope this will be the last time I will hear the word, injury, around Polanco.

The Phils fall easily to the Twins, 7-3.

The Phils lose easily to the Twins, 7-3.

The Twins took the lead in the fourth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Danny Valencia hits a two-run double, knocking in Delmon Young, who had earlier doubled, and Michael Cuddyer, who had just singled on a pop up that was not fielded by third baseman Michael Martinez, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead, before Valencia is thrown out at third, trying to stretch the double into a triple, 8-6-5, for the inning’s second out. The next batter, Luke Hughes, then made it a 3-0 Twins’ lead as he hits a solo home run, his first home run of the spring. The Twins increased their lead to 6-0 in the fifth as, with two men on, and with one man out, D. Young hits a three-run home run, his first home run of the spring, as he scored Alexi Casilla and Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who both got on base with singles, with Casilla stopping at second base on Nishioka’s single. The Phils finally got on the board in the eighth as, with two men on, and with two men out, pinch hitter Delwyn Young hits an RBI single, knocking in Cory Sullivan, who had earlier walked, then moved up to second base on John Mayberry, Jr’s single, making it a 6-1 Twins’ lead, while Mayberry, who had just singled, would stop at second base. One batter later, the Phils cut the Twins’ lead to 6-3 as Dane Sardinha hits a two-run double, knocking in both Mayberry and De. Young. The Twins would get one of the runs back in the ninth as, with two men out, Dustin Martin would hit a solo home run, his first home run of the spring, making it a 7-3 Twins’ lead. This would end up being the final score, as the Phils went down 1-2-3 in their half of the ninth.

Cole Hamels took the lost (1-1, 6.75) as he pitched six and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs on nine hits, while striking out seven. Danys Baez pitched two-thirds scoreless innings. J.C. Romero also pitched two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up a walk. Brad Lidge then followed with two-thirds innings, giving up a run on two hits and two walks, while striking out two. Mike Zagurski pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only man he would face. Nick Blackburn (3-1, 2.05) picked up the win as he pitched six shutout innings, giving up six hits and a walk, while striking out five. Matt Capps pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Joe Nathan pitched an inning, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk. Jose Mijares pitched a 1-2-3 inning.

The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Ross Gload (two singles) and Carlos Ruiz (single, double), leading the team with two hits each. Raul Ibaenz (Single), John Mayberry, Jr. (Single), Dane Sardinha (Double, 2 RBIs), Cole Hamels (Single), Rich Thompson (Single) and Pinch Hitter Delwyn Young (Single, RBI) had the other six Phils’ hits.

The Phils’ spring training record is now 17-11.

The Phils fall behind early before they lose to the Rays, 4-1.

The Phils fall behind early in the game before they finally fall to the Rays, 4-1.

The Rays took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Manny Ramirez hits an RBI double, knocking in Johnny Damon, who had earlier doubled. The Ray then doubled their lead in the fourth as Evan Longoria hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the spring, making it a 2-0 Rays’ lead. Three batters later, with a man on second, and with one man out, B.J. Upton hits an RBI single, scoring Ramirez, who had earlier singled, then went to second on a David Herndon wild pitch, giving the Rays a 3-0 lead, before Upton is thrown out at second base, trying to stretch it for a double, 7-4, for the second out of the inning. The Rays made it 4-0 in the eighth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Anthony Scelfo hits an RBI double, knocking in Justin Ruggiano, who had earlier singled. The Phils finally got on the board in the ninth as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Delwyn Young, who then moved up to second base on a pass ball by Kelly Shoppach, and walks by Ben Francisco and pinch hitter Tagg Bozied, which moved both Young and Francisco up a base, and with one man out, Erik Kratz hits an RBI infield single, scoring Young, making it a 4-1 Rays lead, while moving Francisco up to third base, and Bozied up to second base. But that would be the final score as Cesar Cabral would end the game by getting the next two batters out.

Roy Oswalt (0-2, 4.61) took the lost as he pitched three innings plus two batters, giving up three runs on four hits, while striking out four. David Herndon then followed with two scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out two. Scott Mathieson and Antonio Bastardo combined for two scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Bastardo) and three walks (Mathieson) between them. Ryan Madson pitched an inning, as he gave up a run on three hits. James Shields (1-0, 1.88) got the win as he pitched seven shut out innings, giving up just four hits and a walk, while he struck out four. Andy Sonnanstine recorded his first hold of the spring, as he pitched a scoreless inning, striking out a batter. Cesar Cabral then pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and two walks, while striking out a batter.

The Phils had six hits in the game, with Michael Matinez leading the team with two hits, both singles. Jimmy Rollins (Double), Delwyn Young (Single), Pete Orr (Triple) and Erik Kratz (Single, RBI), had the other four Phils’ hits.

The Phils’ Grapefruit League record is now 17-10.

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