Phillies 8, Tigers 2

BY foxsports • March 8, 2009

Ryan Howard and John Mayberry Jr. hit three-run home runs to power the Philadelphia Phillies to an 8-2 win over the Detroit Tigers in Grapefruit League play on Saturday. Mayberry launched his long ball off Detroit starter Edwin Jackson with two outs in the first inning. Howard, the major league leader with 48 home runs last season, hit his to cap a five-run fifth inning. The two have combined for seven home runs in the 10 games the Phillies have played this spring. "Howard's following the ball real well right now; he's taking some pitches and getting good balls to hit," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "(Mayberry is) really getting his swing down. We've been working with him, but at the same time, you have to give the kid credit - he's the one hitting and making the adjustments at the plate." While the two big men led the offensive charge, two lefties kept the Tigers' bats quiet. Jamie Moyer allowed four hits - three infield singles and a solo home run to Scott Sizemore - in four innings to earn the win. The 46-year-old veteran struck out five while walking one. J.A. Happ followed with three shutout innings of relief. Jackson took the loss for the Tigers, allowing three runs and one hit in three innings. He struck out three and walked three. Clete Thomas also homered for Detroit. With Chase Utley (hip) on the mend and Jimmy Rollins patrolling shortstop for the U.S. in the World Baseball Classic, Howard is glad to have the 6-foot-6, 230-pound Mayberry in the lineup. "He's got good pop - good pop everywhere across the field," Howard said of the son of former Kansas City Royals' slugger John Mayberry. "When he gets it, and is able to put it together, he's going to be a force to reckoned with. He's got all the tools." Acquired in an offseason trade that sent former first-round pick Greg Golson to the Texas Rangers, Mayberry is hitting .333 with three home runs. Howard finished 1-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout. Mayberry was 1-for-3. Happ allowed two hits and struck out seven of the 11 hitters he faced. The 26-year-old is one of four Philadelphia pitchers competing for the fifth spot in the rotation this spring. "This game is so much about confidence," said Happ, who has a 2.25 ERA in three Grapefruit League games. "When you start to feel good and you're making pitches where you're aiming and things are going well, that's kind of the way it (goes). I just tried to build momentum." Philadelphia native Mike Koplove pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close the game out. The defending World Champion Phillies have won five of their last seven games this spring after losing three straight to begin the exhibitions season. Notes: Philadelphia right-hander Joe Blanton will make his first Grapefruit League start of the spring Sunday against the Atlanta Braves at Lake Buena Vista. ... Phillies outfielder Raul Ibanez, who had played in every game this spring, was given the day off. ... Detroit designated hitter Gary Sheffield (0-for-3) is hitting .077 this spring.



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