Philllies win Penn Showdown

By on March 8, 2016

Philadelphia Phillies runner Cesar Hernandez is tagged out at the plate by Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz. (photo Buck Davidson)

Philadelphia Phillies runner Cesar Hernandez is tagged out at the plate by Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz. (photo Buck Davidson)

photo Buck Davidson

photo Buck Davidson

Clearwater, Fla. –The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 Tuesday, March 8 at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida. The Phillies logged their fifth win of the spring thanks to some strong pitching performances and a couple of run-producing extra-base hits in the game’s early stages.

Philadelphia jumped out to a quick lead in the bottom of the first, courtesy of a two-run homer off the bat of first baseman Darin Ruf. The Phillies tacked on two more runs in the second when Cesar Hernandez launched a two-run triple over the head of Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen. Pittsburgh managed only one hit through the first six innings, but the Bucs mounted a rally in the top of the seventh frame. With two outs, Cole Figueroa singled in Josh Bell and Harold Ramirez plated Willy Garcia with another single to cut the Philadelphia lead in half.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia bats had gone into hibernation: the Phils collected only four hits in the six-plus innings following Hernandez’s three-bagger, but on this day the Philadelphia bullpen was up to the task of protecting a lead. The Pirates did not mount another scoring threat in the final two innings; Philadelphia’s Dalier Hinojosa pitched a perfect ninth inning to notch his first save of the spring.

The Philadelphia Phillies Cesar Hernandez slides in with a two-run triple as Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Jason Rogers awaits the throw. (photo Buck Davidson)

The Philadelphia Phillies Cesar Hernandez slides in with a two-run triple as Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Jason Rogers awaits the throw. (photo Buck Davidson)

 

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Adam Morgan delivered a strong performance in picking up his first win of the spring Tuesday against Pittsburgh. (photo Buck Davidson)

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Adam Morgan delivered a strong performance in picking up his first win of the spring Tuesday against Pittsburgh. (photo Buck Davidson)

Philadelphia starter and winning pitcher Adam Morgan turned in a strong outing, allowing just one hit and one walk in his three shutout innings. Morgan threw 45 pitches, 32 of which were strikes. Offensively, Ruf and Hernandez were the hitting stars, with a pair of RBI apiece; Hernandez also added another hit in his three plate appearances.

Pirates starting pitcher Jonathon Niese endured a bumpy outing, surrendering four earned runs in his three innings of work. Niese walked two and also hit a batter; 33 of his 53 pitches went for strikes. Offensively, Bell singled and scored a run, but highlights were hard to come by on what was a very quiet day for the Pirate attack. Bell did put on quite a show during batting practice, launching several tape-measure blasts, including at least two that cleared the bullpen in left-center field. Bell batted .317 across two minor league levels last season, and he could have a bright future in the majors.

The Phillies play a pair of split-squad games on Wednesday, March 9, with part of the team heading to Fort Myers to take on the Minnesota Twins, while the remainder will host the Baltimore Orioles at Bright House Field.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R
PIT 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2
PHI 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 4

 

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