DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP)—Raul Ibanez is starting to show the Phillies what he is capable of doing with a bat.
“He’s a gap-to-gap hitter,” manager Charlie Manuel said of Ibanez. “That’s how I remember him when I saw him in the American League. He’ll pull balls down the line now and then but he stays mostly in the middle of the field.
Jeremy Slayden homered to highlight the Phillies’ six-run sixth inning against Jeremy Accardo. Every Phillies starter got at least one hit.
“The first two or three games, we didn’t hit at all. We were kind of behind, but the more you play, the more you get your timing down and the more you start hitting,” Manuel said. “It’s good for us to get back-to-back hits and put some runs on the board.”
Right-hander Scott Richmond is scheduled to take the mound for Canada against his Toronto teammates in a warmup for the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday.
“It’s exciting,” the Vancouver-born Richmond said. “I grew up watching these guys, now I’m playing with them, and now I get to pitch against them.”
Starting against the Phillies last Saturday, Richmond pitched two hitless innings. Because of the tournament, he said he began throwing earlier than usual in the offseason.
“I wanted to come in looking sharp and ready to go. I didn’t want to come in rusty and work out the kinks here,” he said. “And with the WBC it’s just that much more reason to be sharp.”
“I just threw straight fastballs so they didn’t know what I have,” he said with a smile. “They’ve seen me enough.”