One of the lingering questions of the spring is: Who is going to protect Ryan Howard? Several of the leading options to bat fifth enjoyed big days at the plate against Toronto on Tuesday. (AP Photo)
Raul Ibanez went 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs. Ben Francisco was 3-for-3 with a solo homer. Even Shane Victorino, who could be an occasional option in the five-hole, singled, walked and scored two runs. Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez each drove in three runs for the Phils, who topped the Blue Jays, 13-7. Meanwhile, Joe Blanton logged four innings, allowing two runs and seven hits. Danys Baez, however, saw his scoreless streak end at five appearances (6.1 innings). He yielded a run on two hits and a walk in one inning. Placido Polanco was taken out of the game with a hyperextended left elbow, in the same area as his surgery, but the soreness is considered unrelated and is not believed to be serious. With the win, the Phillies improved to a Grapefruit League-best 13-7 record with 16 days until Opening Day.
Up next: The Phillies have their only off-day of spring training Wednesday before the Blue Jays visit Clearwater on Thursday.
- Written for Beerleaguer by Drew Silverman