BOOM TIME! PHILLIES ROUGH UP JAYS STAR PITCHERS IN 8-2 WIN!

By Sam Bush

It’s only spring training, but the Phillies’ bats are looking a lot bigger than they did last season!

The Phillies scored four times in the first four innings against Marco Estrada and Aaron Sanchez and rode to an 8-2 Grapefruit League win over the Blue Jays yesterday.

Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez settled down after a shaky start and turned in an encouraging performance, allowing two hits and one run in 3 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.

Estrada allowed just one walk to the first eight batters he faced before giving up back-to-back doubles to Nick Williams and Cesar Hernandez, ending his afternoon. The second run charged to Estrada came when Hernandez scored on a single by Brock Stassi off reliever Wil Browning.

“I’m really pleased with the way my body is feeling out there,” Estrada said. “Things are still off, which they’re expected to be. The more I get out there, the more comfortable I’ll be, and basically that’s what I’m trying to get at.”

Sanchez, making his first appearance of the spring after pitching over 200 innings last year for the first time in his career, gave up a pair of runs after getting two quick outs in the fourth. Aaron Altherr started the rally with a walk. Cameron Perkinsdoubled him home and then scored when Williams singled up the middle.

“They both did fine,” said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. “[Estrada] is one of those guys where the command usually comes later. And Sanchez sort of knocked the dust off in that first inning. They both looked good. You don’t look at the results. They’re out there to get their work in.”

Kevin Pillar led off the bottom of the first for the Blue Jays with a single, went to second on a wild pitch with one out and scored on a base hit by Justin Smoak.

After that, however, Velasquez retired nine of the next 11 batters he faced. The only runner he allowed after the first came on a walk to Pillar, who was erased trying to steal.

Williams and J.P. Crawford (above), the Phillies’ No. 4 and No. 1 prospects, respectively, made sure the game stayed out of Toronto’s reach. Williams went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored, while Crawford, who entered in the fifth inning, finished 2-for-2 with two RBIs.

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