2016 Spring Training

Franco Extends Spring HR Lead, Phils Tie 4-4

Maikel_Franco_1280_umcia7yz_69g4ttqq-300x168.jpgMaikel Franco hit his MLB Spring Training-leading eighth home run as the Phillies tied the Toronto Blue Jays for the second time this March 4-4.

Efficient Offense Powers Late Comeback

Franco put the Phillies on the board first with a third inning shot off of Marco Estrada but the 1-0 lead would last only a half inning. Casey Kotchman put the Blue Jays out in front 2-1 in the top of the fourth with a two-run homer off of Jeremy Hellickson. Hellickson, recently named the Phils Opening Day starter, struck out four but walked three and gave up four hits, while allowing two earned.

Darrell Ceciliani hit a one-out homer off of Daniel Stumpf in the top of the sixth to extend the Jays lead to 3-1 while Michael Saunders pushed the lead to 4-1 following a seventh-inning single. But the Phillies, who only registered six hits and three walks, made the most of their baserunners in the seventh. A Darnell Sweeney single was followed by a two-run Peter Bourjos homer that cut the lead to 4-3. Freddy Galvis would hit a pinch-hit single and steal second before Cesar Hernandez, hitting .346 on the Spring, drove him home with a single of his own to tie things up at 4-4. David Hernandez and Jeanmar Gomez, two of the few locks to break camp in the Phillies bullpen in 2016, pitched scoreless frames in the eighth and ninth respectively to take this to a 4-4 draw.

Herrera Back with Great Defensive Play

Odubel Herrera returned to Spring action for the first time since March 12 and made a spectacular catch on a Josh Donaldson fly ball to deep center.

The Phillies resume Grapefruit League action tomorrow against the Detroit Tigers. James Russell, the lefty reliever, was scheduled to get an inning of work to start tomorrow’s game against Justin Verlander but likely will not be used after striking out Michael Saunders, the only batter he faced in relief of Hellickson. The Phillies sit just two games off the Grapefruit League pace for first place.

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