03/06/10 6:34 PM ET
Blanton changes grip to right debut
Pitcher retires five of final six after allowing three runs
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Phillies pitchers Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ, Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick already had pitched in game action before Blanton made his Grapefruit League debut Saturday in a 3-3 tie in 10 innings against the Pirates at McKechnie Field.
Blanton allowed five hits and three runs and struck out two in two innings. He allowed a single, two doubles and a home run to the first five batters he faced, but retired five of the final six batters he faced.
"I kind of changed my grip on my sinker a bit," said Blanton, explaining his sudden improvement after a rocky start. "I wasn't super comfortable with the grip I was using. It was going sideways, and I want it going down. I changed it and got it going down a little better."
Danys Baez, who essentially replaced right-hander Chan Ho Park in the bullpen, allowed one hit and struck out two in two scoreless innings. B.J. Rosenberg and Mike Zagurski also didn't allow a run in two frames. David Herndon and Jesus Sanchez each tossed a scoreless inning.
"Baez threw pretty good for his first time out," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Zagurski threw good. He kind of surprised me with his velocity. He had a good outing."
Right fielder Domonic Brown went 2-for-3. Tyson Gillies stole a base and impressed Manuel with his play in center field.
"We couldn't muster any offense after the first inning, but at the same time, our pitching and defense were pretty good," Manuel said.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.