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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.

Kyle Kendrick pitches his first complete game start of his career as the bats come alive to crush the Pirates, 12-4.

Kyle Kendrick throws his first complete game start of his career as the Phils’ offense scored early and often, as the Phils finally defeat the Bucos, 12-4.

The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Shane Victorino hits an RBI triple, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled. The Phils added to their lead as, with Victorino still on third, and now with one man out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, knocking in Victorino, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. The Pirates would cut the Phils’ lead to 2-1 as, with one man out, Pedro Alvarez hits a solo home run, his first major league home run of his career. The Phils then busted the game wide open in the third. With the based loaded, via a walk to Rollins, a Victorino infield single, moving Rollins up to second, and a throwing error by shortstop Bobby Crosby on a force attempt of a Jayson Werth grounder, as Victorino beats the throw to second, while Rollins reached third, and Werth was safe at first, and with nobody out, Howard hits a two-run single, scoring both Rollins and Victorino, giving the Phils a 4-1 lead, while sending Werth over to third. The Phils then made it 5-1 one batter later, as Ben Francisco hits into an RBI force out, 5-4, as Werth scores from third while Howard was wiped out at second for the inning’s first out, before Francisco beats the throw to first. Two batters later, with two men on base, as Wilson Valdez reaches base with a single, sending Francisco up to second, and with still one man out, Cody Ransom, who the Phils have just called up, hits an RBI single, scoring Francisco, giving the Phils a 6-1 lead, while sending Valdez up to second base. The Phils then made it 7-1 as, with two men on base, and still with one man out, Dane Sardinha hits an RBI double, knocking in Valdez, while sending Ransom to third. The Phils added to their lead in the fourth as, with a runner on base, and with nobody out, Jayson Werth hits an RBI double, knocking in Victorino, who had earlier singled, making it an 8-1 Phils’ lead. The Phils made it 10-1 in the fifth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Jimmy Rollins hits a two-run home run, scoring Ransom, who had earlier singled. The Pirates got a run back as Ryan Church hits a solo home run, his third home run of the season, making it a 10-2 Phils’ lead. The Phils made it 11-2 in the sixth as, with two outs, Francisco hits a solo home run, his first home run of the year. The Phils added their final run in the seventh as, with one man on, and with two men out, Rollins hits an RBI double, knocking in Kyle Kendrick, who had earlier doubled, making it a 12-2 Phils’ lead. The Pirates made it 12-3 in the eighth as, with a runner on third and with two men out, pinch hitter Ronny Cedeno hits an RBI double, scoring Delwyn Young, who had earlier reached base on a Ransom fielding error, moved to second on a Jose Tabata’s ground out, 1-3, and went to third on a Neil Walker’s ground out, 3-unassisted. In the ninth, the Pirates made it a 12-4 Phils’ lead as, with runners on the corner, and with two men out, Young hits an RBI single, scoring Alvarez, who had earlier singled, moved up to second on Church’s single, and then went to third on Crosby’s force out, 6-4, wiping out Church at second base, while sending Crosby, who was safe on the force out, over to second. The game was then ended as Tabata hits into a force out, 1-5, wiping out Crosby at third for the game’s final out.

Kyle Kendrick gets the win as he pitches a complete game, his first career complete game, as he gives up four runs, three of which were earned, on ten hits and two walks, as he strikes out four. His record is now 5-3 with a 4.70 ERA. Paul Maholm takes the lost as he goes only three innings, plus two batters, as he gives up eight runs, seven of which were earned, on ten hits and two walks, while striking out just one Phil. His record is now 5-7 with a 4.50 ERA. Justin Thomas pitches three innings, giving up three runs on three hits, while striking out one. Brendan Donnelly pitches an inning, giving up a run on two hits. D.J. Carrasco and Javier Lopez combined for two scoreless innings, giving up no hits, while striking out two (Carrasco).

The Phils errupted for fifteen hits in the game, with both Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino leading the team with three hits, with Rollins’ hits being a triple short of the cycle, as he had a single, a double and a two-run home run, knocking in three runs, while scoring three runs, while Victorino’s hits were two singles and a triple, as he scored three runs, while knocking in one run. Ryan Howard and Cody Ransom followed with two hits apiece, with Howard’s hits being two singles, knocking in three runs, while Ransom’s hits were also singles, knocking in a run. Jayson Werth, Ben Francisco, Wilson Valdez, Dane Sardinha and Kyle Kendrick had the other five Phils’ hits, with Werth, Sardinha and Kendrick’s hits being doubles, with Werth and Sardinha both knocking in a run, while Valdez’s hit was a single and Francisco’s hit being a solo home run. Just when it looks like the Phils were feeling sorry for themselves, the bats wake up. Question is, how long will they stay awake, as the Phils face both the Reds and the Braves after today’s game.

The Phils (42-37, 3rd NL East) will conclude their four-game series with the Pirates (29-52, 6th NL Central) with an afternoon game, already in progress, with the Phils leading 4-2 in the top of the fifth.

The Phils gets off to a bad start as they lose a close one to the Pirates, 3-2.

The Phils starts off their four-games set with the Bucos on a bad note as they lose a close one to the Pirates, 3-2.

The Pirates took the lead in the second as, with two men on base, and with one man out, Bobby Crosby hits an RBI single, scoring Lastings Milledge, who had earlier singled, and then moved up to second on Ryan Doumit’s walk, giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead, while sending Doumit, who had just walked, on to third. The Phils tied it up at one-all in the third as Wilson Valdez hits a lead-off home run, his fourth home run of the season. The Pirates regain the lead in their half of the third as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Pedro Alvarez hits an RBI double, scoring Jose Tabata, who had just walked, to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead. The Pirates then added to their lead in the fourth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Tabata hits an RBI single, knocking in Andy LaRoche, who had earlier singled, and then went to second base on Daniel McCutchen’s sacrifice bunt, 2-4, making it a 4-1 Pirates’ lead. The Phils cut down the Pirates’ lead in the fifth as, with a runner on base, and with two men out, Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled and then stole second base, scores on a LaRoche’s throwing error of Greg Dobbs’ infield single, beating the throw to the plate, making it a 3-2 Pirates’ lead. But that would end up being the final score as the Phils would be unable to mound up any offense for the rest of the game, before Victorino ended it in the ninth as, with a man on third, Dane Sardinha, who had come into the game earlier to replace Brian Schneider, who was taken out after his thumb got hit by a foul tip, and in the inning had singled, moved up to second on Valdez’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4, then went to third on pinch hitter Ross Gload’s ground out, 4-3, and with two outs, he struck out looking for the final out.

Cole Hamels took the lost, being hurt early by walks, as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out eight. His record is now 6-7 with an ERA of 4.07. Jose Contreras pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Daniel McCutchen gets the win as he pitches five and a third inning, giving up two runs, one of which was earned, on six hits, while he strikes out four. His record is now 1-3 with an 8.87 ERA. Javier Lopez receives his fourth hold as he pitches a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. D.J. Carrasco also picks up his fourth hold as he also pitches a third of an inning, getting out the only batter he would face. Evan Meek collects his fifth hold as he pitches two scoreless inning, as he gives up only one hit and one walk, while striking out a batter. Octavio Dotel gets his seventeenth save of the year as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter.

The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Greg Dobbs leading the team with two hits, both singles. Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Wilson Valdez, Dane Sardinha and Cole Hamels had the other six Phils’ hits, with Victorino, Howard, Sardinha and Hamel’s hits being singles, Rollins’ hit being a double and Valdez’s hit being a solo home run, knocking in the Phils’ only RBI. An error allowed the other Phil run to score. The top part of the Phil’s batting order is once again being its own worst enemy, trying a bit too hard to make things happen, while major parts of the machine are still on the disabled list. Come on guys, just calm down, and try to relax. Else, you’re going to end up looking at the Washington Nationals’ rear end. That’s right, I went there!!!

The Phils (41-36, 3rd NL East) continue their four-game series with the Pirates (28-51, 6th NL Central) with a night game. The game will be played at PNC Park and will begin at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Jamie Moyer (9-6, 4.30), who is coming off a win against the Blue Jays on June 27, as he went seven innings, giving up just two runs on six hits, as he strikes out seven, in the Phils’ 11-2 rout. In his last three starts, he is 3-0, pitching twenty-three innings, giving up just five runs (all on home runs) and two walks, while striking out seventeen. He will go for both his fourth win in a row and his fourth straight quality start since getting shell at Boston for nine runs in one plus innings of work on June 11. Against the Pirates he is 2-1 with an ERA of 4.30. The Pirates will counter with Ross Ohlendorf (0-6, 4.90), who is coming off a no-decision against the A’s on June 27, as he went six innings, giving up two unearned runs on two hits and four walks, while striking out three, in the Pirates’ 3-2 lost. In his last three starts, he is 0-2 with a no-decision, as he pitched seventeen innings, giving up eleven runs, nine of which were earned, on sixteen hits and two walks, while striking out eight. He is 0-0 against the Phils with a 3.75 ERA. He will be looking for his first win of the season. The Phils’ offense will be trying to overcome the loss of both Chase Utley, who will be out for at least eight weeks, as he had his thumb operated on yesterday, and Placido Polanco, who may not be back until after the All-Star break, as they continue to play the lowly Pirates. Come on, guys, concentrate. This is no time for the June Swoon to became a July Funk.

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