CLEARWATER – Jimmy Rollins hit his first home run of the spring, a three-run shot, to highlight an eight-run third inning as the Philadelphia Phillies rallied past the Detroit Tigers 10-6 Friday afternoon at Bright House Field.
Darin Ruf had a single and two RBIs and Sean O’Sullivan (1-0) pitched two innings of scoreless relief with three strikeouts as Philadelphia (1-2) picked up its first win of the spring.
Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick struggled with consistency in his two innings of work. He gave up three runs on two hits with three walks, three strikeouts and a wild pitch.
Marlon Byrd had two hits and scored twice for the Phillies. First baseman Ryan Howard went hitless in three at-bats with two strikeouts.
With one out in the first inning, Kendrick gave up a single to Detroit’s Andy Dirks, then walked Jordan Lennerton on four pitches. After going 0-2 on Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson, Kendrick threw four straight balls to walk the bases loaded.
Kendrick struck out Tyler Collins looking, but gave up a three-run double to third baseman Nick Catellanos to put Detroit out in front.
Philadelphia would get a run in the bottom of the second when Marlon Byrd led off with a single and eventually scored on a Ruf single up the middle.
Trailing 3-1, Rollins opened the bottom of the third with a walk, and after singles by Chase Utley and Byrd sandwiched around a Howard strikeout, Philadelphia had the bases loaded with one out.
Domonic Brown hit a ground ball to first, but Lennerton’s throw was dropped by Detroit shortstop Hernan Perez for an error – one of two Detroit would commit in the inning – and the Phillies were on their way to putting up an eight spot … with even more help from the Tigers.
Philadelphia would score on a hit batter (Carlos Ruiz), a bases loaded walk (Maikel Franco), a wild pitch and a ground out (Ruf).
Rollins then drove a 2-2 pitch from Detroit’s Jose Valdez over the right-field wall for a three-run home run to make it a 9-3 game.
Although Luis Garcia struggled in his one inning of relief for Philadelphia, giving up three hits and three runs in the sixth, the Phillies got a scoreless inning of relief from Phillipe Aumont, Cesar Jimenez and Justin De Fratus to close out the win.
The Phillies will travel to Tampa on Saturday to play the New York Yankees in a 1:05 p.m. game. David Buchanan will get the start for Philadelphia against C.C. Sabathia.