Springtime Rivals: Phils Win

By on March 12, 2016

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Vince Velazquez logged a serviceable outing against Toronto on Saturday. (photo Buck Davidson)

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Vince Velazquez logged a serviceable outing against Toronto on Saturday. (photo Buck Davidson)

Clearwater, Fla. — A pair of spring training juggernauts did battle Saturday in front of a sellout crowd at Bright House Field in Clearwater, as the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays entered the game with a combined record of 17-4-3 thus far. The Phillies again rode a strong offensive performance to victory, pounding out 14 hits on the way to topping the Jays 8-5 and recording their ninth win of the spring.

Ryan Howard Flys Out to Right in 2nd (EDDIE MICHELS PHOTO)

Ryan Howard Flys Out to Right in 2nd (EDDIE MICHELS PHOTO)

Toronto threatened but did not score in the first, thanks in large part to a spectacular running catch by Phillies’ center fielder Odubel Herrera to rob Kevin Pillar of an extra-base hit. The Jays were not to be denied in the second frame, though, as they tallied runs on Michael Saunders’ single and Josh Thole’s groundout. Philadelphia’s David Lough tied the game in the bottom of the third with his first home run of the spring, a two-run shot that plated Carlos Ruiz, who had singled to lead off the frame. Lough was also in the middle of things when Philadelphia took the lead in the bottom of the fifth: he singled, stole second and scored on Herrera’s bloop single to left.

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Nick Williams is congratulated by third base coach Juan Samuel after Williams' key three-run homer against Toronto on Saturday. (photo Buck Davidson)

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Nick Williams is congratulated by third base coach Juan Samuel after Williams’ key three-run homer against Toronto on Saturday. (photo Buck Davidson)

The Phils padded their lead the following inning, when J.P. Arencibia drilled a two-run shot into the bullpen in left field. Some sloppy defense by the Phillies helped fuel a Toronto rally in the top of the eighth: Reliever Chris Leroux tossed a wild pitch on strike three to pinch-hitter Jon Berti, and catcher J.P. Arencibia uncorked a wild throw to first that allowed Berti to advance to second. Jio Mier followed with a long two-run homer to left that cut the Philadelphia lead to a single run. The Phillies broke the game open in the bottom of the frame, though, with Nick Williams’ three-run blast the key blow in the inning. The Jays picked up a run in the top of the ninth thanks in large part to a dropped third strike, but Phillies reliever Yoervis Medina was able to quell the Toronto rally.

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey delivers during Saturday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies. (photo Buck Davidson)

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey delivers during Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies. (photo Buck Davidson)

Philadelphia starting pitcher Vince Velasquez struggled through the first two innings, yielding two earned runs on three hits and committing a throwing error. He retired Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Troy Tulowitzki in easy fashion in the third inning, though, and then pitched around Michael Saunders’ double to escape trouble in the fourth. On the day, Velasquez threw 64 pitches, 38 of which were strikes. Offensively, Lough and Arencibia both had nice days at the dish, while Herrera continued his fine start with a pair of hits. Williams only logged one plate appearance, but his three-run blast was the telling blow in the Phils’ victory.

oronto Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders smacks an RBI single in the second inning of Saturday's game. (photo Buck Davidson)

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders smacks an RBI single in the second inning of Saturday’s game. (photo Buck Davidson)

 

Phillies Coach Larry Bowa Hits Grounders Prior to Game With Jays. (EDDIE MICHELS PHOTO)

Phillies Coach Larry Bowa Hits Grounders Prior to Game With Jays. (EDDIE MICHELS PHOTO)

Starting pitcher R.A. Dickey logged a serviceable four and two-thirds of an inning for the Blue Jays; one of the three earned runs he allowed was the result of an inherited runner scoring. On the day, Dickey threw 47 of his 67 pitches for strikes. The veteran knuckleballer figures to be a key part of Toronto’s starting rotation in 2016. Saunders had a solid day at the plate for Toronto, while Mier’s two-run homer pulled the Jays to within a run at the time.

Outfielder David Lough was one of the offensive stars for Philadelphia in Saturday's game against Toronto. (photo Buck Davidson)

Outfielder David Lough was one of the offensive stars for Philadelphia in Saturday’s game against Toronto. (photo Buck Davidson)

The Phillies hit the road for a trio of games and have an off day before returning to Bright House Field on Thursday, March 17 to host the Tampa Bay Rays. First up for the Phils is a date with the New York Yankees in Tampa on Sunday, March 13, and then it’s on to Sarasota the following day to take on the Baltimore Orioles.

Ryan Howard Chats with Fans (EDDIE MICHELS PHOTO)

Ryan Howard Chats with Fans (EDDIE MICHELS PHOTO)

TORONTO (5) AT PHILADELPHIA (8)

 TORONTO          AB  R  H BI  PHILADELPHIA     AB  R  H BI
 Pillar cf         3  0  0  0  Galvis ss         3  0  0  0 
 Fields rf         1  0  0  0  T Featherston ss  2  0  0  0 
 Jansen ph         0  0  0  1  Herrera cf        3  0  2  1 
 Donaldson 3b      3  0  1  0  Sweeney cf        2  0  2  0 
 Dominguez 3b      2  0  0  0  Franco 3b         3  0  1  0 
 Bautista dh       3  0  0  0  Jackson 3b        2  0  0  0 
 Berti ph-dh       1  1  0  0  Howard 1b         3  0  0  0 
 Tulowitzki ss     2  0  0  0  Ruf 1b            0  0  0  0 
 Mier pr-ss        1  1  1  2  Blanco dh         3  0  0  0 
 Colabello 1b      3  1  1  0  Crawford ph-dh    1  0  0  0 
 Tellez 1b         1  0  0  0  C. Hernández 2b   3  1  1  0 
 Saunders lf       3  1  2  1  Nina 2b           1  1  1  0 
 Burns lf          1  0  0  0  Ruiz c            2  1  1  0 
 Ceciliani rf-cf   1  0  1  0  Arencibia c       2  1  2  2 
 Alford cf         1  0  0  0  Moore pr-c        0  1  0  0 
 Goins 2b          2  0  0  0  Goeddel lf        3  0  1  0 
 D Adams 2b        1  1  0  0  N. Williams rf    1  1  1  3 
 Thole c           3  0  0  1  Lough rf-lf       4  2  2  2 
 T. Sanchez c      1  0  1  0  
 TOTALS           33  5  7  5  TOTALS           38  8 14  8

 TORONTO                   020 000 021 --  5
 PHILADELPHIA              002 012 03x --  8

 E--Velasquez, Arencibia. DP--PHILADELPHIA 1. 
 LOB--TORONTO 6, PHILADELPHIA 7. 2B--Arencibia, T. 
 Sanchez, Saunders. 3B--Colabello. HR--Arencibia 1 
 (2) (off Penny), N. Williams 1 (1) (off 
 Hernández), Lough 1 (1) (off Dickey), Mier 1 (1) 
 (off Leroux). SB--Sweeney 1 (1), Lough 1 (1). 
 CS--Mier. S--Goins. SF--Jansen.
                                   IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR
  TORONTO
 Dickey (L,1-1)                 4 1-3   5   3   3   0   1   1
 Tepera                           2-3   1   0   0   0   1   0
 Penny                              2   4   2   2   0   0   1
 Hernández                          1   4   3   3   0   1   1
  PHILADELPHIA
 Velasquez                          4   4   2   2   2   3   0
 Bailey (W,1-0)                     1   0   0   0   0   1   0
 Hinojosa                           2   1   0   0   1   3   0
 Leroux                             1   1   2   2   0   3   1
 Y. Medina                          1   1   1   0   0   3   0

 WP--Leroux. HBP--Ruf by Penny. PB--Moore. 
 SO--TOR: Dominguez 2, Goins 2, Thole, Tellez, 
 Berti, Colabello, Alford, Fields, Donaldson, 
 Tulowitzki, D Adams. PHI: Lough, Goeddel, Franco. 
 BB--TOR: Ceciliani 2, Tulowitzki.  T--2:43. 
 A--8,691.
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