From Grapefruit League correspondent Billy Mac: "Howard's homer to left got the Phillies on the board in the in the second inning. Ryan Madson had another strong outing. He started and in three innings gave up just one hit (a double to Damon Hollins), surrendering one run and walking none. Of the 10 batters he faced, only two hit the ball out of the infield. The Phils scored three runs in the seventh with key hits being doubles by Jimmy Rollins and Michael Bourn. Arthur Rhodes pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning.
"On a side note, I was surprised the Devil Rays did not have a moment of silence today for Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett. I e-mailed Scott Palmer of the Phillies that even though Puckett did not have ties to Philadelphia or the Phillies, he was a beloved player and his passing should be acknowledged by the Phils tomorrow at the game in Clearwater. Let's hope the Phils do the right thing."
Thanks to Billy Mac for his reports and photos from Clearwater this week, and for putting us in a warm weather baseball state of mind.