Phillies 8, Pirates 5

Ben Francisco hit a solo homer to lead the Philadelphia Phillies

to an 8-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in an exhibition game

Tuesday night.

Francisco, who entered spring training trying to win the

starting right field job vacated by Jayson Werth’s departure to

Washington, tied Ryan Howard for the team lead with five homers. He

finished 1 for 4, dropping his average to .377.

Philadelphia right-hander Roy Oswalt gave up a pair of

first-inning runs before retiring 11 of 12 until faltering in the

fifth when he walked two and allowed two RBI singles before being

lifted. Oswalt, who will start Sunday’s game against his former

Houston Astros, finished the spring with a 5.76 ERA.

”I was a little wild and the ball felt cueballish,” said

Oswalt, who allowed five hits, walked four and struck out four.

”It didn’t feel like seams, going from 85 degrees to 30.”

Asked if he felt ready for the regular season, Oswalt said,

”Better be.” He suffered a neck contusion in his previous start

last Wednesday against Tampa Bay, but showed no ill effects on

Tuesday. He said there was some stiffness during his first few

pitches in the bullpen, but it loosened up as the game wore on.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel isn’t concerned about


”He got his work in,” Manuel said. ”His arm is fine, that’s

the only thing I care about. He’s healthy and ready to go.”

Ross Ohlendorf, who won 11 games last year, started for the

Pirates and finished a rocky spring by allowing six runs – four

earned – and seven hits in four innings while hitting three

batters. The right-hander was 0-4 with a 10.05 ERA in his first

five spring outings.

”I’ve seen guys have springs that don’t get anybody out,”

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Ohlendorf. ”He’s one of our

starters. He’ll be in the rotation. He knows what he has to do,

keep the ball down and his breaking ball has to be sharper. He has

to trust his stuff and keep it low.”

NOTES: Pirates RHP Michael Dubee, son of Phillies pitching coach

Rich Dubee, pitched one scoreless inning, striking out one. …

Phillies LHP Cole Hamels is scheduled to start against right-hander

Charlie Morton in the conclusion of the two-game exhibition series

Wednesday. … Pittsburgh’s Neil Walker went 3 for 4 and now has 12

hits in his last 20 at-bats. 2B Luis Castillo, vying for a spot on

the Phillies after being released by the New York Mets, went 2 for

4 with an RBI.