Thome is All Good, But Phils Split Pair of Games

Jim Thome is in a certifiable groove. The Phillies first baseman launched two homeruns off Braves pitchers and has hit three in the last two games. The homeruns helped the Phillies to a 10-9 extra inning win over Atlanta, while the rest of their squad was in Tampa, losing to the Yankees 5-2.

Phillies 10, Braves 9 (10 innings)

It's likely that Tim Gradoville only played because the Phillies split their squad for games on Saturday. Even then, he only came up as a pinch-hitter, but it was an event none the less. Gradoville's tenth inning single drove in two runs to give the Phillies a 10-9 win over Atlanta Saturday in Clearwater.

Gradoville is a non-roster catcher, invited to camp primarily to give the Phillies another catcher to warm up pitchers. He was the last man available off the bench for the Phillies and came through with a bases loaded single to cap the win.

Jim Thome launched two, two-run homeruns and Placido Polanco did the same as the Phillies had jumped out to a 6-2 lead.

Pedro Liriano made the start for the Phillies and worked three innings, giving up two runs on two hits. Geoff Geary (1-0) gave up two runs in the top of the tenth, but picked up the win on Gradoville's hit.

Rob Tejeda was the only Phillies pitcher to escape unscathed. Tejeda pitched two innings and allowed just an unearned run and no hits, while striking out two. The run scored on errors by left fielder Jim Deschaine and third baseman Juan Richardson.

Third base prospect Andy Marte also hit two homeruns for the Braves.

Yankees 5, Phillies 2

Randy Wolf (0-1) struggled through a start against the Yankees, giving up a first inning grand slam to Hideki Matsui. Wolf pitched a scoreless second inning, but gave up five hits and two walks without striking out a hitter.

Mike Bacsik was the pitching star of the day, giving the Phillies four shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out two. Bacsik is fighting for a shot in the Phillies bullpen, but could also wind up in the starting rotation at AAA or in the majors if injuries made it necessary.

Jason Michaels, Pat Burrell and Chris Coste each had two hits for the Phillies. Burrell chipped in with an RBI double and Coste hit his first homerun of the spring.

The Phillies split on the day gives them a 4-6 record this spring.

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