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News: Competitors for final spots shine in split-squad sweep

The Phillies are playing their best baseball of the spring. And good timing, too!

8-2. 8-2.: The Phillies beat the Pirates 8-2 on Wednesday. They also beat the Tigers 8-2 on Wednesday. What a day!

Let’s start in Bradenton, where the Phils disposed of Pittsburgh. And let’s start with Aaron Altherr, who hit a bomb off Gerrit Cole in the second inning. I mean, look at it.

Cam Perkins and Maikel Franco added homers, while Tommy Joseph racked up two hits.

Meanwhile in Lakeland, the Phils bashed Justin Verlander and Detroit with a few choice hits from the competitors for the final roster spots. Daniel Nava hit a three-run home run in the third, then Brock Stassi – competing for a job against Nava – hit a solo shot of his own off Big Mike Pelfrey. Not to be outdone, Rhys Hoskins smacked a solo shot against Pelfrey, too.

Both Nava and Stassi finished with two hits. Obviously both are doing their best to make the big club.

And in the pitching battle, Joely Rodriguez (2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K vs Pittsburgh) fared better than Luis Garcia (2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 K vs Detroit). Adam Morgan – pitching three innings of one-run ball – also turned in a solid tryout against the Pirates.

RAMOS’ TIME: Matt Gelb looks at Edubray Ramos, who will make the team as a middle reliever but still has plenty of room to grow.

GREEN PATCH: Todd Zolecki reports the Phillies will wear a jersey patch this season to commemorate the life of Dallas Green, who died last week at age 82.

TODAY’S GAME: Just two games left this spring (cue the “Hallelujah” chorus). Today’s pits the Phils against the Yankees. First pitch is 1:05 p.m. I’d imagine Jerad Eickhoff is getting the start, but we’ll see …

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