The fact that the Phillies have question marks in their corner infield spots reaffirmed itself Saturday. Darin Ruf
made his first error of the spring in the Phillies first game of the spring, an 8-3 loss to the Astros.
Ruf's error was just one of four errors - Ben Revere, Erik Kratz and Michael Martinez - made the other three. The errors led to two unearned runs.
On the plus side, Chase Utley drove in a run with an RBI single in his first spring at-bat since 2009 as the Phillies jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against Astros starter Lucas Harrell.
The day started perfectly for the Phillies when Ben Revere singled and stole a base before advancing to third on a ground ball by Michael Young. Utley's single then brought Revere home with the first run of the spring.
Yuniesky Betancourt went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Phillies, while Pete Orr hit the first home run of the spring to drive in the Phillies other run.
Cole Hamels faced just seven hitters over two innings and was the only Phillies pitcher not to give up a run. B.J. Rosenberg was touched for two earned runs in two innings, Zach Miner allowed one earned run in one inning of work. Jeremy Horst and Justin De Fratus each pitched two innings, with Horst allowing one earned run and De Fratus allowing two.
Former Phillies prospect Jared Cosart, who was dealt to Houston in the deal that brought Hunter Pence to the Phillies, threw two perfect innings against his former teammates. Another player who went to Houston in that deal, pitcher Josh Zeid, threw one inning, allowing one hit and no runs.
The Phillies are now 0-1 on the spring and will have Roy Halladay on the mound to start game two of the spring on Sunday when the Phillies travel to Lakeland, Florida to face the Detroit Tigers.
Chase Utley fans who attended spring training the past couple seasons didn't get to see their hero. This year, they not only saw him, but he drove in a run in his first spring at-bat since 2009. The bad news is that the Phillies dropped their spring opener 8-3 to the Houston Astros.
Four errors paved the way for an 8-3 Phillies loss against Houston.