Phils and Baseball 2013 Now In Session With Spring Training Play

Utley, Hamels come out sharp in Phils’ spring opener

 

Second baseman notches RBI in first at-bat; starter tosses two shutout innings

 

CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros opened their Grapefruit League schedules Saturday with a game at Bright House Field.

 

It was the Astros’ first game in the American League.

 

Spring training

 

It also was Phillies second baseman Chase Utley’s first Spring Training game since 2010 because of knee injuries. He ripped a single up the middle on the first pitch he saw from Astros right-hander Lucas Harrell in the first inning to score the Phillies’ first run in an 8-3 loss.

 

The Astros took a 3-2 lead in the fourth, when Nate Freiman — who had two RBIs — and Carlos Corporan each singled to knock in runs.

 

Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels threw two scoreless innings. Harrell allowed four hits, two runs and one walk in two innings.

 

“Physically, I feel really strong,” Hamels said.

 

Cole Hamels pitching a complete game shutout v...

 

“I was just mainly trying to locate,” said Harrell, who could be the Astros’ Opening Day starter. “I didn’t locate very well, and the results showed that. A couple of times I made good pitches and got a lot of ground balls, which was a plus. I was pulling off on my front side a little bit, and a few pitches were pretty flat. Then I started making [pitches in] the second inning when I went back out to make sure my front shoulder was closed. Just trying to work [at keeping] the ball down and work the sinker.”

 

Robbie Grossman notched his first of two RBIs with a single, and Freiman added his second RBI in a two-run Astros fifth before Brandon Barnes clubbed a solo home run in the seventh.

 

Second baseman Pete Orr mashed the Phillies’ first home run of the spring, a solo shot in the eighth.

 

The Phillies committed four errors.

 

Up next for Phillies: Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay will make his Grapefruit League debut Sunday against the Tigers in Lakeland at 1:05 p.m. ET, live on Gameday Audio. Halladay is trying to bounce back from a disappointing 2012 season and says a revamped offseason training program has him moving in the right direction. Sunday will be his first true test in finding out if that program worked.

 

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

 

 

Hunter Signs For $10.4 Million Pence

Pence agrees to one-year deal with Phillies

Slugger was Philly’s lone remaining arbitration-eligible player

By Paul Hagen / MLB.com
The Phillies on Friday announced that they’ve agreed to terms with outfielder Hunter Pence, avoiding arbitration with their lone remaining player. Pence received a one-year contract for $10.4 million, plus award bonuses.
Hunter Pence

“We’re always focused on getting a deal done with a player,” said assistant general manager Scott Proefrock. “We think that’s the most productive way to handle these situations.”

Pence, who sparked the Phils’ offense after being acquired from the Houston Astros just before the non-waiver Trade Deadline last July, had been asking for $11.8 million, while the team filed at $9 million, so the agreement came at exactly the midpoint.

The right fielder made $6.9 million last season.

Pence became an almost immediate fan favorite after arriving at Citizens Bank Park and batted .324 with a .954 OPS in 54 games with Philadelphia. When asked after one game what he was thinking while rounding third to score the winning run, Pence responded, “Good game. Let’s go eat.” That phrase soon appeared on T-shirts sold at the stadium.

Hunter Pence

The contract also features the following bonuses: $100,000 each for winning the National League Most Valuable Player Award and World Series MVP Award; $50,000 each for NL Championship Series MVP Award, All-Star Game MVP Award, NL Silver Slugger Award and NL Gold Glove Award.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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