Phillies 6, Red Sox 5: Situational Hitting, Small Ball Led by Roman Quinn Impresses Pete Mackanin

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- If the Phillies can bring a culture and expectation of winning into the clubhouse it will be days like Sunday that manager Pete Mackanin can look back at to see where it began.

Situational hitting, advancing runners, stealing bases, playing defense, dropping bunts and solid relief pitching all played a part Sunday in a 6-5 win against the Red Sox at Spectrum Field.

Boston got to starter Aaron Nola early when Pablo Sandoval sent a fastball well over the 401-foot sign in center field in the first inning and Steve Selsky added an RBI single in the second inning.

But Roman Quinn got the Phillies on the board with a solo home run off Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez and Daniel Nava went 4 for 4 with a run scored. The Phillies had nine base hits but made just as many productive outs to advance baserunners.

"I'm excited about the fact that Cesar [Hernandez] hit that ground to second with men on second and third, got a run in and got a man over," Mackanin said. "[Howie] Kendrick battled in his at-bats and put the ball in play on the right side and got us a run. Freddy [Glavis] dropped down the bunt for a base hit. That's the type of stuff that catches my eye. That's the type of thing I hope we can do all year."

Mackanin said he was excited the Phillies battled back from an early deficit and added that it goes in hand with the development of a winning culture.

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"We're trying to get these guys in a winning frame of mind," Mackanin said. "Winning is a big part of development. Everyone talks about development but winning is part of development and if you get in that frame of mind where you're used to winning, that's what we're looking for." 

Nola settled down after the early struggles and struck out six over 3 1/3 innings. He gave up five hits and three runs but said he felt good about where he is at this point.

"I felt pretty on point today, maybe the best I've felt all spring training," Nola said. "I made a couple mistakes over the plate. They hit some good balls but other than that all my pitches felt good."

Quinn looks mighty
Not only did Quinn get the Phillies started with the homer but the centerfielder had a single, stole a base and advanced a runner on a fly ball that would eventually score. 

Mackanin says Quinn has the ability to do several things during the course of a game to chance the outcome.

"He can win a game for you in a lot of different ways," Mackanin said. "Stealing a base late in a game. He's got enough pop to where teams won't worry about his size and they'll try to throw him fastballs because they don't want to walk him and have him steal a base. 

"But he's got the ability to hit a ball in the gap or out of the ballpark from both sides. He covers a lot of ground in the outfield. He's got an above-average arm. He can beat you in a lot of ways."

Learning off of television
When Mackanin was asked what he knew about newly acquired reliever Pat Venditte (see story), he simply replied "nothing". But Mackanin might get a sneak preview if he catches Team Italy in a World Baseball Classic game.

"Is he pitching for Italy?" Mackanin asked. "Maybe I'll watch him on TV."

Four head to minor-league camp
Infielder Rhys Hoskins, second baseman Scott Kingery, catcher Chace Numata and outfielder Andrew Pullin were assigned to minor-league camp after the game. The Phillies now have 58 players in major-league camp.

Up Next
Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, the likely opening-day starter, will make his fourth start of the spring. Hellickson pitched four innings in his last start on March 8 against the Braves.

"We are looking for another solid outing from him," Mackanin said. "The most important thing is to lengthen him out and raise up the pitch count."

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