Monday, March 5, 2012

Pence off to a hot start

Hunter Pence started his spring off with a bang in a pair of losses this weekend to the Yankees. Pence jacked a two-run first inning home run in each of the first two Grapefruit League games this spring. The first came off Ivan Nova, while yesterday's blast was off veteran Freddy Garcia.

Hamels pitched well in Saturday's 8-5 loss, allowing one run on three hits over two innings with one strikeout. The run was win aided; Raul Ibanez hit a foul pop-up down the left field line, which was blown back toward the field and dropped just fair.

Jonathan Papelbon was strong in his debut, pitching a one-two-three inning in the fifth. Lefty Raul Valdez also had a strong outing, pitching a perfect inning with two strikeouts.

Dave Bush followed Hamels for two innings, allowing one run on one hit, a Curtis Granderson home run, with two strikeouts.

The debuts of Dontrelle Willis and Chad Qualls did not go quite as well. Willis allowed one run on two hits and one walk over one inning, and Qualls allowed three runs on three hits over just one inning of work.

Starters Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Jim Thome, John Mayberry Jr, Domonic Brown, Eric Kratz and Michael Martinez were a combined 0-for-15.

Pence's first inning blast yesterday once again wouldn't hold the lead for long, as the Phils dropped this one 7-4 behind some shoddy defense.

The team made four errors; two by Martinez, one by Ty Wigginton and one by Brown. One three of New York's seven runs were earned.

Roy Halladay made his spring debut, allowing a run, on a first pitch opposite field home run to Alex Rodriguez in the first, on two hits with three strikeouts over two innings.

Joel Pineiro made his Phillies' debut and allowed three runs (one earned) over two innings. Phillippe Aumont also allowed three runs (one earned) over just one inning with two strikeouts.

Brown and Freddy Galvis each had two hits, with Galvis and Hector Luna each driving in a run.

Mayberry Jr. picked up his first hit of the spring, a double off D.J. Mitchell.

Many of the regulars did not make the trip, but Juan Pierre picked up another hit while additions Laynce Nix and Wigginton were a combined 0-for-6.

The Phillies will host New York this afternoon for a third straight match-up with the Bronx Bombers. Joe Blanton gets the start while Scott Elarton, Austin Hyatt, Brian Sanchez and David Herndon are all schedule to pitch.

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