Phillies Win on Hellickson’s Quality Spring Start

By on March 20, 2016

 

Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez led off the bottom of the first inning with his first home run of the spring. (Buck Davidson Photo)

Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez led off the bottom of the first inning with his first home run of the spring. (Buck Davidson Photo)

The Philadelphia Phillies ran their spring record to 13-5-2 with a 5-4 victory over the Houston Astros Sunday at Bright House Field in Clearwater. The game featured a pair of outstanding pitching performances from both starters, but the difference was a huge day by Philadelphia second baseman Cesar Hernandez, who collected three hits, scored twice and plated a trio of RBIs in leading the Phillies to victory.

Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco tags out Houston's Jose Altuve on an attempted steal of third. (Buck Davidson Photo)

Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco tags out Houston’s Jose Altuve on an attempted steal of third. (Buck Davidson Photo)

The Phillies jumped on the board early, thanks to Hernandez’s first home run of the spring in the bottom of the first inning. The game then became a pitchers’ duel for the next few innings, with Philadelphia starter Jeremy Hellickson and Houston’s Wandy Rodriguez both turning in fine outings on the day.

Houston Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus smacked a three-run homer in Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies. (Buck Davidson Photo)

Houston Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus smacked a three-run homer in Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies. (Buck Davidson Photo)

Once the two starters exited the game, though, the two offenses set to work in earnest. Philadelphia tallied two runs in the fifth against projected Houston closer Ken Giles to extend their lead to three runs. That lead evaporated once Hellickson took a seat, though, as Houston put up a four-spot in the top of the sixth to take a one-run lead. The Phillies answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh, with Hernandez again right in the middle of the action with an RBI double. Hernandez then scored what would turn out to be the winning run on a squeeze bunt by shortstop Freddy Galvis. The Philadelphia bullpen tightened up after Houston’s big inning, and held the Astros scoreless for the game’s final three frames.

Houston Astros starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez logged a fine four innings of work against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. (Buck Davidson Photo)

Houston Astros starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez logged a fine four innings of work against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. (Buck Davidson Photo)

Hellickson did not allow a hit and struck out six batters during his five stellar innings of work, though he did issue three walks. It was an impressive outing for the former Tampa Bay Ray, who is expected to occupy a prominent place in Philadelphia’s starting rotation this season. Offensively, Hernandez’s big numbers garnered the headlines, but Cedric Hunter’s pinch-hit RBI double against the hard-throwing Giles was a key moment in the Phils’ two-run fifth inning.

Meanwhile, Houston starter Rodriguez turned in a strong four-inning stint of his own – allowing just two hits and fanning five batters. The veteran lefty has posted strong numbers thus far this spring. Giles, who is expected to open the season as Houston’s closer, struggled through a bumpy inning of work, allowing two earned runs and three hits. On the offensive side, Rasmus provided the big blow with his three-run shot in the sixth, while second baseman Jose Altuve singled, walked twice, scored a run and stole a base. Top prospect first baseman A.J. Reed popped out in his only plate appearance.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H
HOU 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 4 3 0
PHI 1 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 5 6 1
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson twirled five no-hit innings against the Houston Astros on Sunday. (Buck Davidson Photo)

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson twirled five no-hit innings against the Houston Astros on Sunday. (Buck Davidson Photo)




















HOUSTON (4) AT PHILADELPHIA (5)

 HOUSTON          AB  R  H BI  PHILADELPHIA     AB  R  H BI
 Altuve 2b         2  1  1  0  C. Hernández 2b   4  2  3  3 
 Sclafani 2b       0  0  0  0  Galvis ss         3  0  0  1 
 Springer rf       3  0  0  1  Franco 3b         3  0  1  0 
 D Vasquez pr-lf   0  0  0  0  Nina 3b           1  0  0  0 
 Correa ss         3  0  0  0  Howard 1b         2  0  0  0 
 Valdez p          0  0  0  0  Ruf pr-1b         1  0  0  0 
 Rasmus cf         3  1  1  3  Bourjos rf        3  0  0  0 
 Wojciechowski p   0  0  0  0  Arencibia c       2  0  0  0 
 Worth ss          1  0  0  0  Rupp c            2  0  0  0 
 White 1b          2  0  0  0  Goeddel lf        3  1  1  0 
 Singleton ph-1b   2  0  0  0  Sweeney cf        3  0  0  0 
 Hyde pr           0  0  0  0  Hellickson p      1  0  0  0 
 Duffy 3b          2  0  0  0  Hunter ph         1  1  1  1 
 Moran 3b          2  0  0  0  Neris p           0  0  0  0 
 R Pena c          3  0  0  0  García p          0  0  0  0 
 Ritchie c         0  0  0  0  Lough ph          0  1  0  0 
 Reed ph           1  0  0  0  Stumpf p          0  0  0  0 
 E Perez lf-rf     2  1  0  0  LaFromboise p     0  0  0  0 
 Rodríguez p       1  0  0  0  
 Giles p           0  0  0  0  
 K. Tucker ph      0  1  0  0  
 Hernández cf      1  0  1  0  
 TOTALS           28  4  3  4  TOTALS           29  5  6  5

 HOUSTON                   000 004 000 --  4
 PHILADELPHIA              100 020 20x --  5

 E--Nina. DP--PHILADELPHIA 1. LOB--HOUSTON 3, 
 PHILADELPHIA 4. 2B--Hernández, Hunter, C. 
 Hernández. HR--Rasmus 1 (3) (off Neris), C. 
 Hernández 1 (1) (off Rodríguez). SB--Altuve 1 (1),
 E Perez 1 (2). CS--Altuve. S--Galvis. 
 SF--Springer.
                                   IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR
  HOUSTON
 Rodríguez                          4   2   1   1   0   5   1
 Giles                              1   3   2   2   0   2   0
 Wojciechowski (L,0-1)              2   1   2   2   2   0   0
 Valdez                             1   0   0   0   0   2   0
  PHILADELPHIA
 Hellickson                         5   0   0   0   3   6   0
 Neris                              1   2   4   4   2   1   1
 García (W,1-0)                     1   0   0   0   0   1   0
 Stumpf                             1   1   0   0   0   1   0
 LaFromboise (S,1)                  1   0   0   0   0   2   0

 WP--Giles. HBP--Bourjos by Wojciechowski. 
 SO--HOU: Correa 2, Rasmus, Worth, E Perez, Duffy, 
 Moran, Altuve, White, R Pena, Springer. PHI: 
 Howard 2, Arencibia 2, Galvis 2, Rupp, Hellickson,
 Ruf. BB--HOU: Altuve 2, K. Tucker, Correa, E 
 Perez. PHI: Lough, Howard. T--2:37. A--8,200.

The Phillies travel to Lakeland for a date with the Detroit Tigers on Monday, and then return home to host the Minnesota Twins Tuesday, March 22 at Bright House Field.

 

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