The weather may have been cool in Clearwater, but the Philadelphia Phillies' bats were hot, getting 14 hits (four doubles, two triples, and two homers) en route to a 13-5 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays. Philadelphia's split squad starter Aaron Cook went four innings giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits and Toronto starter Ricky Romero threw two innings of one hit, one run, one strikeout, and one walk ball. The majority of the damage came against the Blue Jays' bullpen--every reliever in the game not named Claudio Vargas gave up at least a run and two hits.
Adam Lind got the blue birds in flight in the first with a sacrifice fly to score Anthony Gose, who led off the game with a single. Yes, it's early, but Lind has been looking good and is now hitting .444 in 18 at bats with a homer and four RBI.
Emilio Bonifacio made a horrible throw into right field but did get a couple of stolen bases in the second that induced an error, allowing him to score. The Phillies' infield defense continued its struggle in that second inning, with Yuniesky Betancourt throwing away an Anthony Gose grounder to bring in Henry Blanco. The Blue Jays extended their lead to 4-1 in the top of the third when Jose Bautista got all over an Aaron Cook fastball and sent it beyond the fences in left field.
Sergio Santos came in for Ricky Romero in the bottom of the third and allowed a couple of hits to Ender Inciarte and Yuniesky Betancourt. A batter later, Santos caught Betancourt sleepwalking off third base by sneaking in behind him and tagging him out. Although that was a bonehead play by Betancourt, third base coach Juan Samuel should have been hollering at him to go back. Santos, a former shortstop, joked with the Fan 590's Mike Wilner that he missed making tags in the infield and wanted Mark DeRosa to take the mound.
Following Santos were two lefties, Aaron Loup in the fourth and Brett Cecil in the fifth. Loup game up a solo homer to lefty Dominic Brown to narrow Toronto's lead to 4-3, then got a little wild, allowing a double to Tommy Joseph, hit Inciarte, then threw a wild pitch before Betancourt grounded out to end the inning. Cecil got into trouble with a leadoff walk to Frandsen and a single by Chase Utley, then he got into more trouble when Ryan Howard launched a humongous homer to right that probably landed on the US-19. Cecil was able to strike out two and induce a groundout to end the fifth, but the Phillies came from behind to grab a 6-4 lead.
In the top of the next inning, Mark DeRosa turned on a first pitch fastball slammed a big solo shot, against the wind, to the left field berm to cut the Phillies lead to 6-5.
Right after that, Justin Germano allowed five straight hits--two singles and three doubles--resulting in four Phillies runs (including a close play at the plate). Claudio Vargas had a 1-2-3 seventh. Alex Hinshaw allowed a two-run triple to a very fast Jermaine Mitchell, who had stumbled around first base in his previous at bat, and then an RBI-groundout to make it 13-5 Phillies.
The Blue Jays' bullpen did not look very good today, giving up 12 runs on 13 hits through seven innings, while the Phillies' relievers stopped the Blue Jays, allowing just one run and one hit--the DeRosa homer.
Toronto will be enjoying their first in a series of three Mondays off tomorrow before facing the Orioles at Dunedin on Tuesday at 1 pm. Sean Nolin, John Stilson, and Rich Thompson will not be joining them--they have been reassigned to minor league camp.