With the regular season just days away from beginning, the Phillies arrived in Reading, Pennsylvania after a month and a half in Clearwater, Florida. It’s their last stop before arriving home at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Their task: defeat the “Futures” squad. Boy, did they ever.
The major league squad showed no mercy against their less-experienced teammates, winning 19-4 in a seven-inning contest. Youngsters Zach Eflin and Mark Appel surrendered four home runs each. Odubel Herrera, Freddy Galvis, Darin Ruf, Cesar Hernandez, Tyler Goeddel, Maikel Franco, Cedric Hunter, and Ryan Howard each homered for the major league squad. Dylan Cozens, Roman Quinn, and J.P. Crawford homered for the Futures.
Appel, acquired from the Astros in the Ken Giles trade, didn’t have a great start to his night. He got two quick outs after replacing Edubray Ramos, but he then served up back-to-back-to-back solo home runs to Goeddel, Franco, and Hunter. In fairness to the pitchers, Reading is very friendly towards hitters.
Hector Neris had the best pitching performance on the night, pitching on the big league side. He went three innings in relief, allowing a run on three hits and a walk while striking out six.
Maybe all of this was to make up for losing 6-2 to the University of Tampa — a Division II college baseball team — last year. The Phillies beat the University of Tampa 8-3 last month and now have vanquished their minor league squad.