The Phillies found themselves down 5-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth before a nine-run inning that began with a Ryan Howard RBI single and ended with a three-run by Maikel Franco put them ahead for good. Three homers in the bottom of the fifth, including solo shots by Peter Bourjos and Cameron Rupp and a grand slam by “The Big Piece” would put the Phillies up 15-5. The Fightins would hang on to win 15-12.
Howard Hitting His Way (Back) Into Line-Up
For a former NL MVP with $35 million in guaranteed money left on his contract, there was an unprecedented amount of uncertainty regarding the role Ryan Howard would play on the Phillies in 2016. In attempt to reduce said uncertainty, Howard has picked up the pace in the Spring, adding a 3-5 day at the plate to his ledger, scoring two runs and driving hin three.
Franco Adds to MLB Spring Training Lead
Franco’s homer was his Major League-leading seventh of the Spring.
Outfield Has a Day, Rupp Rakes, Galvis’ Raises Average
All three starting outfielders for the Phillies, Cedric Hunter, Peter Bourjos, and Tyler Goeddel had two hits today with Hunter hitting a triple off of the bespectacled Kyle Lobstein and Bourjos taking Trey Haley deep. The trio are hitting .289, .355, and .275, and, barring any waiver wire editions, should make up three-fifths of the Phillies outfield patrol.
Cameron Rupp remains one of the Grapefruit League’s hottest-hitting catchers among incredible small sample sizes with a 3-4, 1 HR day, raising his average to .500 with a 1.615 OPS. Freddy Galvis went 1-4 with a run scored and a RBI, raising his average to .179 in 41 Spring Training at-bats.
Pitching Almost Blows It
Following a very shaky start from Charlie Morton (4.0 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 2 HR), Luis Garcia had his finest outing of the Spring, striking out three in 1.1 IP. Daniel Stumpf kept his name in the conversation to break camp with the Phillies from the left side striking out one in an inning pitched.
And that’s where the nice comments about the bullpen end. Jimmy Cordero made his Spring debut and allowed an earned run off two hits. Severino Gonzalez gave up three earned on four hits in the eighth. Finally, Dalier Hinojosa gave up three earned in the ninth, including a shot off the bat of Jose Osuna, before getting the final out in the ninth to lock down a 15-12 Phils win.
With the win, the Phils move to within a half game of first place in the Grapefruit League. The Fightins send Jeremy Hellickson to the mound tomorrow to face former Phillie Gavin Floyd of the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin.