Phillies Lose First Spring Training Game to Yankees 9-4

Feb 22, 2017; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies players practice during spring training at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 22, 2017; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies players practice during spring training at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /

The Phillies started off their official spring training slate of games with a lopsided loss to the New York Yankees in Tampa.

The Phillies opened up their spring training schedule with a 9-4 loss to the New York Yankees Friday afternoon. The game saw some major-leaguers – Tommy Joseph and Cesar Hernandez were in the starting lineup while Alec Asher started – but minor-leaguers and non-roster invitees got a majority of the playing time in the loss.

After a quiet top of the first, Asher gave up a solo home run to Didi Gregorius in the bottom of the inning to put the Phils behind 1-0. He finished his two-inning outing with two hits, no walks, and two strikeouts. Despite a decent appearance, Asher was the losing pitcher for the game, putting his spring record at 0-1.

Nick Pivetta relieved Asher and he was solid in his two innings, striking out three while allowing just one hit. It was a good start to the spring for Pivetta, who will leave spring training later on to play in the World Baseball Classic for Canada.

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Elniery Garcia followed up Pivetta, but he didn’t have the same success. In two innings of work, Garcia surrendered two hits, three runs, two earned runs, two walks, and one home run. Garcia did manage two strikeouts, but the lefty looked overmatched against higher competition.

After giving up a solo home run to Aaron Judge in the fifth, Garcia allowed two more in the sixth.

Chris Coghlan couldn’t track down a Miguel Andujar line drive to the right field corner as Ruben Tejada scored. Scott Kingery threw the relay into the camera well, allowing Andujar to score an unearned run.

The pitching staff gave up four runs before the Phillies even managed a baserunner against the Yankees. Larry Andersen’s optimism on the broadcast paid off as Kingery was the first to get on base as Gleyber Torres made a throwing error in the top of the seventh.

The Phils finally got on the board after a RBI single from Daniel Nava drove in Kingery later in the inning. Cameron Perkins scored on a Brock Stassi groundout when Yankees first baseman Ji-Man Choi made a catching error on a potential double play.

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The game looked within reason at this point as the score was 4-2 in New York’s favor heading into the bottom of the seventh. However, that glimpse of a chance didn’t last long.

Non-roster invitee Sean Burnett gave up two runs in the bottom of the seventh and Luis Garcia gave up three more in the eighth to put Philadelphia behind 9-2, essentially sealing the game for New York.

The Phils put together a small rally in the top of the ninth as Perkins and Stassi each launched solo home runs to cut the deficit to 9-4.

Nick Williams managed to get to second base with two outs, but Rhys Hoskins ground out to end the game.

Perkins led the team with two hits and was one of three players with one RBI apiece.

Next: Phillies 2017 Season Preview: SP Jake Thompson

The Phils return to Clearwater Saturday to face the Yankees again with Adam Morgan taking the mound to start the game.