Going into today’s game, the Phillies have struggled to either plate runs or with pitching throughout the spring. This has lead to a record 1-8-1 this spring, with the only win coming on February 28th against the Tigers. Today, the Phillies sent Roberto Hernandez (2 games, 3.60 ERA) to hill for his third start of the spring. He opposed southpaw Dallas Keuchel of the Astros. Keuchel is looking to earn a spot in the Astros rotation.
The Game: In the first inning, Roberto Hernandez sent down the side with a quick 123 inning. In the bottom of the first, after two hard outs by Cody Asche and Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley worked a walk. Ryan Howard struck out to end the threat.
In the third inning, the Astros struck first. With two outs in the inning, Hernandez walked Delino DeShields followed by a single by Robbie Grossman who scored DeShields from first. Hernandez walked the next two batters to load the bases, only to strike out Brett Wallace to end the threat. 1-0 Astros
After a shaky top of the fifth inning by Kevin Munson, the Phillies Rule 5 draft pick, the Phillies went to work in the bottom. With one out, Carlos Ruiz hit a single to left for the Phillies first hit of the game. Freddy Galvis followed by working a walk. Maikel Franco hit a sharp out to shortstop, but Galvis disrupted the play at second allowing Franco to be safe on a fielders choice. Cody Asche, who has been struggling at the plate as of late, hit a three run shot to right giving the Phillies the lead. 3-1 Phillies
In the top of the 6th, Jesse Biddle replaced Kevin Munson. After recording one out, he walked Rene Garica and Marwin Gonzalez hit a double to left to put runners on second and third. With Gregorio Petit batting, Biddle threw a wild pitch allowing Rene Garcia to score. Petit then followed with a single to score a second run. Biddle ended the threat with a strike out and fly out. In the bottom of the inning, Chase Utley flew out to start the inning. Howard followed by hitting a double to right field. Marlon Byrd and Darin Ruf both followed with singles scoring Howard. After a pitching changeby the Astros, “red hot” Charlos Ruiz hit a shot to left field plating three more runs. 7-3 Phillies
In the bottom of the 7th, Phillies struck again. Cody Asche lead off with a double to center. Tony Gwynn followed with a walk to bring Cesar Hernandez to the plate. Hernandez proceeded with a single to center to load the bases. With one out, John Mayberry Jr. would hit double to deep center clearing the bases. 10-3 Phillies
In the bottom of the 8th, the Phillies were gunning for more. After back-to-back singles by Andres Blanco and Maikel Franco, Reid Brignac struck out for the first out. Tony Gwynn hit force to third base for the second. Cesar Hernandez then followed with a walk to load the bases again. Clete Thomas, pinch hitting for Ryan Howard, hit his first of the spring to plate the final run of the game. 11-3 Phillies
The other Phillies pitchers to make appearances were Antonio Bastardo, Jake Diekman, and Shawn Camp. Each of them pitched a scoreless frame.
Some notable offensive performances:
Cody Asche: 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI
John Mayberry Jr: 1-2, 3 RBI
Marlon Byrd: 1-3, 1 R
Carlos Ruiz: 2-3, 2 R, 3 RBI
Maikel Franco: 1-4, 2 R
The Impact: This is the second win of the spring for the Phillies. Also, the Phillies bats finally exploded. Though I admit that it is the Astros, it was a good overall win. Also, it is nice to see Cody Asche’s bat finally waking up going 3 for the last 7 with two doubles and a homerun. Carlos Ruiz, Marlon Byrd, and John Mayberry Jr. also continued their hot spring.
Up Next: The Phillies travel to face the Twins at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers at 1:05pm. The Phillies will send Jeff Manship to hill for his first start of the spring. Manship has pitched very well so far this spring out of the bullpen. In four innings he has giving up two hits while striking out five and giving up no runs. Mike Pelfery will oppose him. Pelfery has a 4.15 ERA this spring in two starts and 4.1 innings.
Side note: Don’t forget to change your clocks tonight. Spring forward.
Andrew Shipotofsky is a writer for Philliedelphia. Follow him on twitter @AShipotofsky