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.

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Nice to see the redstripes do a little pre-seasonal thumping of the Braves to remind them of the NL East pecking order. Still, it is great to see the Phillies have made the adjustments and arrangements to fill their 2B and closer holes until a healthier Utley and Lidge can contribute.
I know there will not be any “official” announcement on Lidge until Tuesday, but it is better to get him 100% now than have him go down during a critical series or portion of the season. One or two weeks now will not cost the season….But a implosion or abscence in September could be an unexpected disaster.

Rays Renegade
http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

It most certainly was.

As for the adjustments at second and in the closer spot, well, I’m just hoping that Castillo does not become an hinderance instead of an asset, since we really have no idea if Chase will be back by the All-Star break. As for Lidge, yeah, better to shut him down now, and give him a chance to get better than to do it when it is really going to count.

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