Triple-A Squad Keeps Winning

The Phillies' Triple-A Spring Training team won its third straight game to start the exhibition season - a 4-2 victory over the Blue Jays' Triple-A squad at Carpenter Complex.

Editor's Note: Players who are assigned to a particular minor league squad in spring training won't necessarily be assigned to that team to open the season. Players on the major league roster also play for minor league squads to get additional playing time.

The Phillies Triple-A squad fell behind, 2-1, in the top of the third inning, as starter Michael Stutes allowed two runs on four hits and three walks in his three innings pitched. However, the bullpen - paced by game winner John Ennis - combined to go six scoreless frames to contribute to the come-from-behind victory.

Ennis (W, 3.0 IP, 1 H) was followed by Patrick Overholt (H, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 BB) and Antonio Bastardo (SV, 1 IP, 1 BB), who recorded the save by closing the door in the ninth inning.

Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz led the way with three of the team's ten hits and two of the four RBI (he had a team-high six at-bats as he continues to receive extra work). No other batter collected multiple hits. Catcher Ronny Paulino, who came over in a trade this winter for Jason Jaramillo and is vying for a spot on the 25-Man Roster, went 1-for-4 and added a double and an RBI. SS Ozzie Chavez (1-for-1, SAC) had the other run batted in.

Outfielder Rich Thompson went 1-for-3 and added a walk, a run and a pair of stolen bases.

Prior to signing a minor league contract with the Phillies on April 22nd last season, Thompson started 2008 with an invite to Major League Spring Training with Boston. He also appeared in three games with Reading before being transferred to Lehigh Valley on April 28th.

An above-average defensive player, it didn't take long for Thompson to claim the IronPigs starting center field job. He wound up finishing the season hitting 4-42-.264 with a team-high 25 stolen bases in 97 games - but, of course, there aren't any stats for how many highlight-reel catches he made in the outfield. Among his other 'Pig highlights, the 2006 International League All-Star hit the first inside-the-park home run in Lehigh Valley history on May 3rd at Columbus. He also tied the franchise record with four hits on June 8 vs. Rochester (4-for-5, 2 RBI) and had a streak of 21 consecutive successful stolen base attempts (which came to an end on a pick-off attempt August 21st at Buffalo). The former James Madison University (VA) player made his Major League debut in 2004, appearing in six games with the Kansas City Royals.


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