Howard Goes Yard as Phils Beat Bucs

Slugger hits 1st homer of the spring in 7-4 Phillies win

Ryan Howard is officially on the board.

The Phillies first baseman knocked a sixth inning solo home run to put the Phillies up 3-2 Friday afternoon as the Phillies beat the Pirates in Bradenton, Fla.

Howard’s knock, though, was quickly negated as lefty reliever Dan Meyer gave up two earned runs in an inning of work. But the Phillies offense came alive late scoring three runs in the seventh and adding an insurance run in the eighth.

Despite the shaky performance Meyer took the win while Pittsburgh reliever Fernando Nieve gave up four runs in 1 1/3 innings to take the loss.

Joe Blanton started for the Phightins. He allowed four hits and a walk and struck out two while giving up two runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Blanton gave way to Danys Baez who allowed just one hit in 1 1/3 innings. After Meyer bullpen hopefuls Andrew Carpenter, Mike Zagurski and Antonio Bastardo shut the door combing for three shutout innings.

At the plate Jimmy Rollins and Wilson Valdez each doubled and scored a run and Raul Ibanez knocked in his first run of the spring.

The same teams play in Clearwater Saturday at 1:05 p.m.

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