Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Howard's way for Phillies

Ryan Howard's ninth home run of the spring highlighted a fireworks display from the Philadelphia Phillies as they crushed the Houston Astros 13-3 in Grapefruit League action.

Howard cracked a two-run shot to left field in the fifth inning on the back of earlier bombs from Jimmy Rollins and Eric Bruntlett. Carlos Ruiz later hit Philadelphia's fourth of the afternoon with a two-run blast in the sixth. Kaz Matsui went 3-for-3 for the Astros, while prospect Edwin Maysonet went deep.

Prospect Brooks Conrad hit a ground-rule double in the 10th inning to lift the Atlanta Braves to a 4-3 win over the Boston Red Sox.

Japanese import Kenshin Kawakami gave up only two runs - both on Rocco Baldelli's home run - in six innings in one of his strongest starts yet for the Braves. Countering for the Red Sox, Daisuke Matsuzaka gave up two runs, only one earned, in five innings.

Andy Pettitte looked stellar in giving up only one run through 6 2/3 innings for the New York Yankees in a 3-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Glen Perkins threw six scoreless innings as the Minnesota Twins topped the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2. Justin Morneau raised his spring average to .389 with two hits.

Home runs from prospects Ryan Raburn and Clete Thomas saw the Detroit Tigers come from behind to beat the Washington Nationals 3-2. The Nationals led thanks to Ryan Zimmerman's two-run homer in the first inning, but Detroit came back in the third with Raburn's solo effort and Thomas' two-run shot.

There was plenty of impressive starting pitching on show as the St Louis Cardinals edged out the Florida Marlins 2-1.

Russ Ohlendorf's strong spring continued as he tossed 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a 3-2 Pittsburgh Pirates win over the Cincinnati Reds, lowering his ERA to 0.87.

In the day`s late game Oliver Perez had a decent six-plus innings on the mound for the New Jersey Mets, but he still allowed a run in a 2-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Danny Murphy aided the win with a home run in the fourth and an RBI.

Source: pa-sportsticker.com

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