Phillies 9, Yankees 3
Right-hander Joe Blanton threw two shutout innings and third
baseman Placido Polanco drove home the game’s first run as the
Philadelphia Phillies beat the New York Yankees 9-3 in exhibition
play on Monday.
For both Blanton and Polanco, it was their first chance to get
on the field in 2012 after injury-plagued 2011 seasons.
The 31-year-old Blanton, who had averaged 32 starts in his first
six big league seasons, made just eight in 2011 while battling
elbow soreness. On Monday, Blanton allowed two hits, struck out one
and recorded five groundball outs.
The Yankees had their first look at offseason acquisition
Michael Pineda. The 23-year-old right-hander, traded from Seattle
in a deal that included catching prospect Jesus Montero, held the
Phillies to one hit in two shutout innings. Pineda made the
All-Star team as a rookie with the Mariners last season.
For Blanton, Monday was another step forward after he returned
in late September and pitched a scoreless inning in the National
League Division Series against St. Louis.
”I’m confident in how I feel,” he said. ”Really, really
confident. I feel good.”
Although he made the All-Star team and was awarded a Gold Glove
last season, Polanco was limited to 122 games with an assortment of
injuries, including elbow pain and lower back inflammation.
Polanco, 36, had double hernia surgery in October.
”I’m very happy. I dove for a ball and didn’t feel anything,”
Polanco said. ”I didn’t expect anything because I’ve been here for
a while and I’ve done a lot of stuff. But game situations are a
little bit different when you’re out there. But I felt really
Polanco finished his first game of the spring 2 for 3. Although
Polanco sat out the first three exhibition games, Philadelphia
manager Charlie Manuel said he planned to work Polanco in slowly in
the beginning of spring training.
Shortstop Jimmy Rollins (2 for 2 with a walk) and designated
hitter Jim Thome (2 for 3 with a double) also enjoyed multiple-hit
games for the Phillies. Thome came a few feet away from his first
home run of the spring when he doubled high off the center field
wall in the fourth. Second baseman Michael Martinez rebounded from
a two-error game on Sunday by hitting a two-run home run in the
Pineda ended the first inning of his Yankees debut with
back-to-back strikeouts of Shane Victorino and Thome.
”I’m very excited today,” Pineda said at his locker stall,
which was surrounded by a group of 20 reporters. ”It’s a little
different because in Seattle, you don’t have a lot of media at
Pineda credited Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild for
helping his first start. Rothschild has been working with Pineda on
a new grip for his changeup. Pineda responded by throwing eight
”Right now, I feel a little more comfortable with my
changeup,” Pineda said. ”It’s a good pitch for me, because I’m
(using) the same mechanics for the fastball.”
Yankees catcher Russell Martin was pleased.
”I’m not surprised because when I caught him in the (bull)pen,
he already had a good idea of it,” he said. ”I don’t see why it
couldn’t be a good pitch for him.”
NOTES: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera could make his spring
training debut on Sunday. The 42-year-old, who will throw around
eight innings overall during the exhibition season, made 30 pitches
during his first batting practice session. ”It went great,”
Rivera said. ”I feel good.” … New York reliever Rafael Soriano
threw batting practice, making 28 pitches. . Yankees shortstop
Eduardo Nunez left the game with a right hand contusion in the
fifth inning after getting hit by an Austin Hyatt pitch. X-rays
came back negative. … Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has
missed the first four games and isn’t likely to play any time soon,
according to Manuel. ”It’s going to be a while yet,” he said.
Utley sat out the first seven weeks of the 2011 season with right
knee tendinitis. … Philadelphia right-hander Justin De Fratus
began his throwing program after resting a sore elbow. De Fratus
threw 40 balls from 60 feet. . Phillies outfielder Laynce Nix is
battling a mild hamstring strain and did not play. Nix, who signed
a two-year, $2.5 million contract, has been limited to designated
hitter and pinch-hitting duties. . Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee
will make his spring debut on Tuesday against the Blue Jays.