BRADENTON, Fla. -- In Grapefruit League play, the Phils improved their record to 2-1, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4 this afternoon. They also won an earlier, eight-inning game against the Pirates 4-3.
Non-roster invitee and minor-league vet Casey Smith hit a game winning home run in the ninth inning. Smith, playing second base, finished 3-4 with two doubles and a home run. Also contributing was Shane Victorinio, who went 2-3 with a triple, which could have been an inside the park homerun.
Non-roster invitee Gary Knotts pitched two shutout innings for the win. Starter J.D Durbin was fortunate to only be charged with two runs in his two innings. His stuff was consistently up in the zone and was hit solidly by the Bucs. The Pirates scored their other two runs in the fifth off lefty Shane Youman. I didn't have access to radar gun readings, but it was still easy to see that Youman is a soft tossing lefty. Youman has a deceptive delivery and release point, but today he couldn't find the plate, walking in two runs in one inning. J.A. Happ and Joe Bisenius both pitched well, each pitching two shutout frames.
In earlier B-game action, the Phils defeated the Pirates 4-3. Scheduled opening day starter Brett Myers scattered five singles in three innings, two of them of the bloop variety. Myers was throwing hard and throwing strikes. Myers' line was 3 IP, 5 H, 3 K, 0 BB, and 1 ER. J.C Romero followed with two shutout innings, walking none, and breaking off some sharp curves. Brian Mazone also pitched and was charged with two runs. Prospect Greg Golson hit a game winning home-run in this eight-inning affair.
-- Billy Mac