Phillies, Braves play to 2-2 tie in Grapefruit League game
CLEARWATER, Fla. – Ryne Sandberg said Tuesday he wasn’t happy with the Phillies’ spring training record.
It’s doubtful his mood improved Wednesday after visiting Atlanta shut down the Phillies offense and rallied for a 2-2 tie.
The Phillies fell to 1-6-1 and have scored just seven runs in their past five games, all losses.
The Braves tied it in the ninth on a once-in-a-decade type play scripted for SportsCenter’s Not Top 10.
With a runner on third and the Phillies’ infield in, Atlanta's Matt Lipka hit a ground ball to second. Cesar Hernandez snared it, spun and threw home. A rundown ensued. After several throws, Phillies reliever Brad Lincoln finally tagged out the trapped runner, then tried to throw out Lipka, who was racing toward third. Lincoln’s throw was wild though, and Lipka easily scored.
The Phillies, who collected just five hits, went in order in the bottom half and the game was declared a tie.
A walk and two hit batters accounted for their only three base runners until Darin Ruf singled with one out in the fourth inning. After Domonic Brown was retired, Kevin Frandsen followed with an RBI single to tie the score at 1.
Atlanta took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth against reliever Kevin Munson.
Frandsen opened the seventh with his second hit – the Phillies’ fourth -- and the Phillies used a little bit of everything to get him home. Frandsen moved to second on Cameron Rupp’s single. Both runners advanced on Reid Brignac’s sacrifice bunt, and Frandsen scored the go-ahead run on Tony Gwynn Jr.’s groundout.
Lincoln escaped a bases loaded jam in the eighth to preserve the lead. Catcher Sebastian Valle provided the key assist, throwing out Tyler Greene trying to steal third.
Sean O’Sullivan, the winning pitcher in the Phillies’ lone victory this spring, tossed three scoreless innings in his second start. O’Sullivan allowed three singles, walked one and struck out two.
Reliever Antonio Bastardo pitched a scoreless sixth inning and recorded one out in the seventh before B.J. Upton doubled down the line. Jake Diekman replaced Bastardo, who pitched more than one inning just nine times in his past 113 appearances, and got two quick outs to strand Upton.
Chase Utley started and went 0-for-2 before leaving in the top of the fifth inning. Jimmy Rollins returned to the lineup after missing three games and went 0-for-3 before leaving in the sixth.
The Phillies play two split-squad games Thursday. Kyle Kendrick will face New York Yankees newcomer Masahiro Tanaka in Clearwater. David Buchanan will oppose Detroit ace Justin Verlander in Lakeland.
Fregosi tribute: The Phillies honored former manager Jim Fregosi in a touching ceremony before the game. Phillies president David Montgomery told fans that Fregosi was a baseball treasure, “and we’ll always remember him as such.”
Roger McDowell, Kent Tekulve and Terry Pendleton were among former players who wore jerseys of teams that Fregosi played for or managed. Darren Daulton represented the 1993 Phillies and received the loudest ovation.
The 15-minute celebration of Fregosi’s life closed with a video of the former Phillies manager saying no matter what city he visited, somebody thanked him for 1993.