Spectrum Field was once again the host to some spring Philly baseball. The Phillies would give the ball to Clay Buchholz for his first start for the team. Buchholz would take on a familiar foe in the Baltimore Orioles, a rival of the Boston Red Sox- his former team.
Buchholz was solid in his two-inning outing. The right-hander allowed two hits and no runs during his stint. Buchholz pitches out of the stretch and doesn’t seem to have any wasted movement in his delivery. It will be interesting to see if he remains a starting pitcher in the regular season, however; as he has experience as a relief pitcher.
The Phillies struck first blood in the bottom of the second inning of this ball game. After OF Michael Saunders beat out the throw to first for an infield single, Tommy Joseph CRUSHED a pitch for a towering homerun to left field. The shot high fived the clouds before landing atop the Tiki Bar at Spectrum Field, and gave the Phils an early 2-0 lead.
A funny moment occurred at the top of the fourth inning as Nick Pivetta entered the game with a jersey incorrectly spelling his last name with one ‘t.’ The broadcasters didn’t seem to catch the error so there was no explanation given as to how it came about, but it was definitely funny to see.
Pivetta escaped his first inning of work without allowing a run, after getting in some early trouble. In his second frame, however, the Orioles capitalized on his mistakes. Pivetta allowed a double down the third base line to begin the inning and two batters later he allowed a deep rbi triple. The replay cam revealed that the triple was actually a home run that bounced back into the field off the stairs in left, but there’s no challenges allowed in spring training. Baltimore followed that up with a sac fly that gave them their first lead.
Stud prospect Scott Kingery tied the game up in the bottom of the 5th with a solo blast to left field.
Pivetta was given an unusually long spring training outing today. He remained the starter in the 6th inning, his third inning of work, and I think Mackanin was trying to get him loose for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Pivetta will suit up for Team Canada and it should be a great experience for the young starter.
The Orioles tacked on two runs at the top of the seventh inning to give them a 5-3 lead. The 8th inning, however, was dominated by the Phils. Kingery flashed some leather made an amazing leaping catch to end the top half the frame. The Phillies absolutely exploded in the bottom half of the frame. 1B Brock Stassi started the charge with a three run moonshot to right field. He hit the cover off the ball and put the Phils back on top 7-5. OF Aaron Altherr made it back-to-back jacks with a homer to left.
Kingery did his part to keep the rally going, hitting a double for his third hit of the game. Although the team couldn’t bring Kingery home, they did enough to set Cesar Ramos up for the save. Ramos successfully shut the door on the Orioles, pitching a 1-2-3 inning, and giving Philly its third win of the spring.
The win was a complete team effort, 2B Scott Kingery really stood out today. He showed great vision and contact en route to a three hit game. The prospect also proved to be a plus defender. I think the Phillies really have a gem in him and if he starts the year in the minors it’s easy to envision him being a September call-up.
The Phillies will be back at it tomorrow as they seek revenge on the Tampa Bay Rays. Be sure to stay tuned right here at Philly Sports Network as we cover every Phillies game this season!
Mandatory Photo credit- AP Photo/Matt Rourke