Finally, after a month and a half of games and practices in Florida, the Phillies are coming home. As far as final impressions go, this was a good one for the Phillies regulars that are coming home.
It was also the last tuneup for Cliff Lee, who looked dominant in his final outing of the spring.
Lee would allow the first run of the game to the Braves in the third, as Brian McCann singled home a run.
After that, it was all Phillies. Hunter Pence tied it with an RBI groundout. Shane Victorino gave the Phillies the lead with a double. Carlos Ruiz added another run, reaching on a fielder’s choice error. Back-to-back RBI singles by Freddy Galvis and Lee added to the lead. Juan Pierre capped the six-run inning with a sac bunt that scored Galvis.
Ruiz would also single home another run in the fifth, in what would be his final at-bat in Florida. Going 1-for-3 on the day, Ruiz finishes the spring with a .500 average, hitting in 22 of his 44 at-bats. The RBI also gives him 10 on the spring.
Lee finished after four innings allowing one run on five hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Joe Savery allowed another run on a double by J.C. Boscan in the sixth. Savery would allow just the one run over two innings of work.
Jeremy Horst pitched a scoreless seventh. Brian Sanches allowed a run in the eighth.
The ninth inning was a different story. Frank Gailey came on to pitch, and allowed a two-run home run to Josh Wilson. Another run scored as Jose Yepez grounded into a double play. Down to their final out, Eric Hinske doubled home the tying run off Ryan Duke, which forced the game to end in a 7-7 tie.
The Phillies’ spring record will close at a 12-16-4 if you don’t count the two on-deck games played tomorrow and Tuesday against the Pirates.
To close out spring training, the Phillies have actually provided some consistency in the offensive numbers. That is a good sign as they head north with players like Carlos Ruiz and Placido Polanco being red-hot at the plate.
The Phillies now return home for two more games before they open the season. They will host the team they will open the season against in just four days, the Pittsburgh Pirates. The first of those two games is tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park.