Baseball is back at the Bank, meaning the regular season is only days away.
The Phillies and Pirates paired up for an On Deck Series, playing a short two-game series before the two teams head to Pittsburgh to start the season off.
Joe Blanton got the start and he helped guide the Phils to a 4-3 win. He had command of his stuff, going 4 2/3 of three-hit ball, allowing two runs and striking out three.
The Phils scored runs the way they are going to have to get used to this season with the absence of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard for at least two months each.
In the first inning, Juan Pierre doubled and moved to third and scored on back-to-back sacrifice flies to give the Phils a 1-0 lead. In the second inning, they were at it again when Shane Victorino tripled to lead off the inning and then scored on a ground out by Ty Wigginton to make it 2-0.
Two batted outs and two runs manufactured in situations where the Phillies would be used to stranding runners.
They took a 3-0 lead in the 3rd when Juan Pierre was hit by a pitch and stoke second to get into scoring position. Rollins then doubled, driving in Pierre to make it 3-0.
Rollins, who batted third last season in 27 games, is going to bat third to start this season. With Pierre’s bat on fire and John Mayberry’s ice cold, it’s possible that Pierre could be the lead-off hitter on Opening Day and play left field, allowing Rollins and Victorino to bat before and after Hunter Pence in the order respectively.