Halladay and Friends Blank Yankees

In Clearwater Thursday afternoon, the expected pitchers’ duel was just as advertised through the first 5 1/2 innings of the contest. However, in the end it was the Phillies persistent offense that took control and pounded the Yankees’ bullpen to lock down the team’s eighth victory of Grapefruit League play.

Reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay appeared to be in mid-season form and as though he could have kept going after he baffled New York hitters through 6 innings, allowing just 4 hits and walking none, while striking out 2 batters.

Halladay has yet to allow an earned run in 3 Grapefruit League starts this year. In 11 innings this spring, Halladay has struck out 7 and walked 3, while allowing 7 hits. His 6 innings on Thursday marked the longest start by a Phillies hurler to date this spring.

Yankees ace and former American League Cy Young Award winner CC Sabathia held the defending NL East division champions scoreless through 5 innings.

The Phillies took control in the bottom of the 6th inning as Josh Barfield led off with a triple and was brought home on a Shane Victorino sacrifice fly. Placido Polanco then plated Jimmy Rollins with a double. And before Yankees hurler Robert Fish could retire the side, John Mayberry Jr. slammed his third homer of the spring season to put the Phillies up, 4-0.

The Phillies added three more runs in the bottom of the 8th when Ben Francisco mashed a double off of Yankees reliever Mark Prior that scored Wilson Valdez from first base and a misplayed ball off the bat of Eric Kratz by New York center fielder Justin Maxwell scored 2 additional runs.

Three Phillies’ relievers combined to retire all nine Yankees batters they faced. Michael Stutes, JC Ramirez and Michael Schwimer each tossed a 1-2-3 inning in relief of Halladay, whose record went to 2-0 this spring, with the victory.  Each of these three young hurlers were recently ranked among the Phillies’ top prospects by PhilliesNation.

The Phillies (8-6) travel tomorrow to face the Orioles at 1:05 PM. The game will be broadcast on

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