Last time Roberto Hernandez took the mound, he took a perfect game into the sixth inning. Would he be able to match that? Hernandez would pitch quite the opposite, as the Toronto Blue Jays shelled Hernandez en route to a dominating win over the Phillies.
The Game: The Phillies appeared to have everything going their way in the early going against former Phillies starter J.A. Happ. Happ struggled to find control, and the Phillies took advantage early.
In the second inning, Ryan Howard singled to lead off the inning. After Carlos Ruiz lined up, Bobby Abreu and Cody Asche walked. Ben Revere would come to the plate with the bases loaded and he delivered. Revere doubled into the gap to score all three on base. Revere would get thrown out at third trying to advance on a throw home, but the Phillies were up 3-0.
The lead would only last for a short while. In the bottom of the third inning, Dioner Navarro and Ryan Goins would single to start the inning. Long-time Met and Phillies foe Jose Reyes followed with a double, scoring Navarro. Doins would score a second run on a Melky Cabrera sacrifice fly. Jose Bautista his the first of two home runs today to score Reyes and himself. 4-3 Jays.
Cody Asche would hit a solo home run in the top of the fourth to tie the game back up at four, but the Jays and Roberto Hernandez were not done.
Ryan Goins, Jose Reyes, and Melky Cabrera would hit successive singles to start the bottom of the fourth inning, putting the Blue Jays up 5-4 and knocking Hernandez out for the day. Kevin Pillar took Cabrera's place on the basepaths and Hector Neris, a Phillies minor leaguer along for the trip, was tasked with the rest of the inning. Neris immediately gave up a double to score Adam Lind to put the Blue Jays up 7-4.
The Blue Jays were not done. They got three more runs off of their former reliever Brad Lincoln, the first two runs he has allowed all Spring. The next two runs came in the sixth inning on a two-run home run by Jose Bautista, his second of the day. Lincoln gave up one more run in the seventh inning on a trip to Ryan Doins after a single to Brett Lawrie.
The Phillies got two runs in the top of the eighth inning. Cameron Rupp drove in Clete Thomas with a single for the Phillies fifth run. The next batter Darin Ruf grounded into a double play to allow a second run to score to make the score 10-6 Blue Jays.
Shawn Camp gave up another in the bottom of the eighth inning to make it 11-6 Blue Jays. After the Phillies went down in the ninth inning, the score stood as final.
Impact: Hernandez will make the Phillies no matter what with a guaranteed contract and with the Phillies having few options. Like a fifth starter, Hernandez should be up and down as he was between his last start and this one. Lincoln's three runs are the only runs he gave up this Spring, so he remains a likely bullpen piece for the Phillies. The Phillies used most of their starting lineup, minus Domonic Brown and adding Bobby Abreu and John Mayberry.
Up Next: The Blue Jays head to Bright House Field in Clearwater tomorrow, while the Phillies send a squad northeast to Kissimmee to face the Astros on their home turf.