Russ Canzler

Phillies open up spring training with a loss to the University of Tampa

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Spring training exhibition games officially began today as the Phillies took on the University of Tampa. The Phillies are already going into 2015 with extremely low expectations, but they managed to disappoint in a new way, dropping Sunday afternoon’s contest 6-2. Ostensibly, the Phillies are still a major league quality team.

I kid, of course. Spring training games are meaningless for analysis.

Paul Clemens — no relation to former pitcher Roger Clemens — got the start for the Phillies and tossed two shutout innings. The University of Tampa was held scoreless until the sixth inning when Phillippe Aumont entered the game and surrendered a run on three hits. Nefi Ogando took the mound in the seventh and that’s when Tampa exploded for five runs, four of which came on a Giovanny Alfonzo grand slam off of Hector Neris, who had just come into the game to replace Ogando following two singles and two walks.

The Phillies’ two runs both came in the second inning. Russ Canzler and Aaron Altherr doubled to plate the first run, and Altherr later scored from third base on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt at first base.

The Phillies have Monday off before their first Grapefruit League game on Tuesday, when they’ll host the Yankees at 1:05 PM ET. As Jake Kaplan of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, second baseman Chase Utley won’t play as he is “still getting into the flow of things” according to manager Ryne Sandberg.