Joe Blanton hurled two scoreless innings in his first action this Spring, and the Phillies avoided their third straight loss to the Yankees with a 9-3 win. He induced five groundouts to go along with one strikeout in those two innings. He looked comfortable and in control on the mound, a very good sign for the righty’s first start since his elbow injury. If Blanton pitches that way throughout the Spring and avoids injury, he may even find himself as the fourth starter in the rotation, ahead of Vance Worley. But the likely scenario has Blanton holding down the final spot in the rotation behind Worley.
Austin Hyatt, a guy who would be considered for the rotation if Blanton were to have a setback with his elbow, gave up two runs in two innings, although one of the runs was a direct result of sloppy defense by the Phillies.
On the offensive side of things, Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco, and Jim Thome each had two hits. However, up until the sixth inning, the rest of the team had none. Jimmy stole two bases in one inning, and Hunter Pence was able to swipe a bag as well. Juan Pierre was caught stealing after he subbed in to run for Jim Thome.
Out in left, Domonic Brown again had issues with the glove, as he misplayed a ball which led to a triple for Brett Gardener, who scored on the play due to an error. At the plate, Brown was 0-2, but was able to draw a walk and eventually score. Third basemen Hector Luna knocked in three runs on a double in the sixth off Yankees pitcher Juan Cedeno. That’s four RBI in four at-bats for the likely minor leaguer this Spring Training. Michael Martinez showed some power with a home run in the seventh, a very rare sight from Mini Mart.
The Phillies take on the Blue Jays tomorrow at 1:00 PM.