The Phillies displayed their offensive power pounding 3 of their 4 homers against lefthander Mike Hampton. Veteran Chan Ho Park made a big pitch for the 5th rotation spot count as the Phillies belted the Houston Astros by a 13-3 score at Clearwater on Monday.
After the Astros touched Park for a run on rightfielder Hunter Pence’s RBI double in the 1st inning, the Phils answered in the bottom of the inning as shortstop Jimmy Rollins quickly knotted the score by solving Hampton for a lead-off homer.
When Kazuo Matsui’s RBI double put Houston up by 2-1 in the 2nd inning, Eric Bruntlett, playing 3rd base, reached Hampton for a 2 run shot to give the Phils a 3-2 lead. The Phils added 2 runs in the 4th on RBIs by Bruntlett and catcher Carlos Ruiz, as well as 2 more in the 5th on a 2 out, 2 run shot by 1st baseman Ryan Howard, his 9th homer of the spring.
Meanwhile, Park breezed through his final 3 2/3 innings, allowing a total of six hits, two runs while walking 1 and striking out 7 in an impressive 5 2/3 innings to win his 2nd game of the spring. Hampton was charged with his 2nd spring loss.
The Phils offense continued to click in the 6th inning busting the game wide open with 4 more runs highlighted by catcher Ruiz’s 2nd homer of the spring, a 2 run blast off of lefthanded reliever Wesley Wright as the score mounted to 11-3.
The Phillies added 2 more runs on 3 hits in the 8th off of reliever Chris Sampson
For all of Monday’s results of spring training play, click here.
In other news, the Phils reported releasing veteran infielder Marcus Giles while optioning off outfielder John Mayberry Jr. and right-hander Carlos Carrasco to Minor League camp. The Carrasco move was expected in that he’s got potential but showed this spring that he still needs more seasoning. Regarding Mayberry, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki notes:
Mayberry hit .246 (17-for-69) with six doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs. The Phillies prefer he play every day in Triple-A Lehigh Valley rather than sit on the bench and get a couple pinch-hit at-bats a week with the Phillies.
Ace lefthander Cole Hamels, recovering from left elbow discomfort, was shelled for 3 runs on 10 hits in 4 innings in a minor league start, also at the Carpenter Complex. Hamels threw 65 pitches in the outing and is scheduled to start the Saturday exhibition game in Philadelphia against the Tampa Bay Rays. MLB’s Todd Zolecki indicates that Hamels “believes he will be ready to pitch April 10 against the Rockies in Denver.”
Righthander Brett Myers goes for the Phils as they host the Toronto Blue Jays in a Tuesday night game at Clearwater in one of his final tune-ups for the April 5th season opener against the Atlanta Braves. Zolecki also indicates that the opening day start may be up for grabs between Myers and Joe Blanton who has had an excellent spring.
For all of Tuesday’s scheduled exhibition games, click here.