Aaron Altherr following his solo home run on Wednesday. Photo by AP.
A day after our Philadelphia Phillies dropped their Grapefruit League opener to the Toronto Blue Jays, the team battled to a 4-4 tie in the rematch on Wednesday.
David Buchanan made his spring debut, and pitched two scoreless innings while allowing one hit, one strikeout, and no walks. Buchanan was expected to be a long shot to make the 2016 roster after he posted a 6.99 ERA in 74 innings last year, but a solid spring could bring the 26-year-old’s name back into the mix.
Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey got the start for Toronto, giving up one run in two innings of work. Phillies’ catchers continued their solid start to the spring as Cameron Rupp notched a two-out RBI single off Dickey in the second inning. Andrew Knapp, another young catcher, gave the Phillies a 4-3 lead with an RBI single in the 9th inning.
The Phillies looked poised to win the game until pitcher Reinier Robial allowed a two-out rally. A pair of singles followed by a wild pitch allowed to Toronto to tie the game.
Other standout hitters for Philadelphia were OF Peter Bourjos, with an RBI triple, and youngsters Maikel Franco and Roman Quinn, who each notched their first hit of the Grapefruit League season.
Next up for the Phillies is split-squad action on Thursday. They’ll play the Astros at 1:05 p.m. at Bright House Field, and the Yankees in Tampa at the same time. The matchup with the Astros will be broadcast on MLB.TV.
Promising young pitchers Jake Thompson, Zach Eflin, Mark Appel, and Alec Asher are all scheduled to throw tomorrow.