The Phillies snapped a seven game winless streak on Wednesday with a 9-2 shellacking of the Atlanta Braves in Clearwater.
The Phils inconsistent offense piled up 10 hits, including eight off of Braves starter Julio Teheran. Two of those hits were home runs from second baseman Chase Utley, who homered in four consecutive at-bats after hitting two home runs in his previous contest against the Tigers on Sunday. Utley is hitting .448 with four home runs this spring.
Lefty ace Cole Hamels picked up the win in his final tune up before he starts against the Red Sox on Opening Day. Hamels pitched six strong innings giving up six hits, two runs (one earned), one walk, and striking out three. The Phillies ace wrapped up his spring training with a 1-1 record and a 4.15 ERA in six games.
In relief, Jake Diekman pitched a scoreless inning, while Cesar Jimenez closed out the game with two scoreless innings and three strikeouts. This was a much needed clean inning for Diekman who has given up 10 earned runs in 10 innings thus far in spring training.
Offensively, the Phillies got some much needed power today as they clobbered four home runs today. Aside from Utley’s two home runs, Freddy Galvis blasted his second home run of the spring, and catcher Rene Garcia hit his first home run of the spring.
Galvis, whose offensive skills have been non-existent thus far in his MLB career, is hitting .288 this spring in 21 games. Whether or not he can transfer that to the regular season remains to be seen, but if the Phillies want any chance of surprising people this season he’s going to have to step up his offensive game.
The win brings the Phillies record to 12-16 in the exhibition season. They’ll play their final game in Clearwater against the Rays on Thursday before heading back to Philadelphia for a two game on-deck series against the Pittsburgh Pirates this weekend.