Halladay Impresses, Phils Walk-Off in Spring Opener

In a game dominated by pitching for eight innings, the Phillies walked off with a 3-2 victory over the Yankees at Bright House Field.

Roy Halladay made his much-anticipated debut in live action for the Phillies, and he didn’t disappoint. The big ticket acquisition struck out three in two innings that were almost perfect; one runner reached base on a throwing error by third baseman Placido Polanco. His control sharp, his pitches moving with midseason cut and sink, Halladay eased his way through a lineup composed mostly of second- and third-stringers with 21 strikes on 24 pitches.

The rest of the Phils’ rotation wasn’t so bad, either, as Kyle Kendrick, Jose Contreras and Andrew Carpenter pitched six subsequent innings of four-hit relief, walking no one and striking out six.

It was a quiet game until the ninth, when bats suddenly came alive. Leading 1-0, the Phils sent out lefty Sergio Escalona to finish the game. After Yankee megaprospect Jesus Montero singled to lead off the inning, pinch-runner Greg Golson stole second and advanced to third on a groundout. Escalona struck out the next batter he faced before Golson was singled home by David Winfree. The Yanks would tack on another run to take the lead.

Catcher Paul Hoover doubled in the home half of the ninth, scoring Quintin Berry and retying the game. Wilson Valdez would plate pinch-runner Dewayne Wise from third on an infield single that caromed off of pitcher Wilkins Arias, who couldn’t make the throw to first in time.

Next up for the Phils are the Toronto Blue Jays for two split-squad games, Friday at 1:05 p.m. Cole Hamels will start the “A” game, while Jamie Moyer will start the “B” game.

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