CLEARWATER, Fla. — The line drive was falling fast, and Darin Ruf had to decide whether he could catch it or play the hop. A left fielder with more seasoning would have made his choice before the ball arrived. Ruf did not.
It landed as a single for Braves shortstop Ramiro Pena and then bounced past Ruf and dribbled to the wall. Pena took two extra bases on the error and later scored.
For Ruf, it was his second fielding gaffe in four spring games as a left fielder.
"Darin is going to make some mistakes," Charlie Manuel said, and not for the first time. "Hopefully he can just keep working and see how much he can improve before the end of the spring."
Ruf did finally hit. He carried an 0 for 10 before a run-scoring single in the third inning. He later doubled off Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel.
"That's good," Manuel said, "0 for 10 doesn't faze me."
EXTRA BASES. Roy Halladay will make his second spring start Friday against the Yankees. ... The Phillies have but one split-squad day this spring. It comes Sunday and will afford veteran Aaron Cook the chance to start a home Grapefruit League game. ... Only the Brewers (13) and Twins (13) have more representatives in this spring's World Baseball Classic than the Phillies' 11 players. Many of the players will leave camp by the end of the weekend.
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