Jays-Phils see-saw battle ends in draw
Victorino's solo homer in ninth ties it up
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies left Clearwater in wild fashion Thursday, playing to a 9-9 tie with the Blue Jays at Bright House Networks Field.Shane Victorino's solo homer tied the game in the bottom of the ninth, and both teams agreed to call it a draw. Jason Alfaro's single off Billy Wagner scored Frank Menechino in the top of the ninth to give Toronto a 9-8 lead. Menechino had tied the game with an RBI double off Wagner, who has a 6.75 ERA this spring. The Phillies had grabbed an 8-7 lead in the bottom of the eighth when Danny Sandoval's single to right scored Jason Michaels from second. Jim Thome's two-run homer in the seventh gave the Phillies a 7-6 lead. But Alexis Rios tied it with a solo shot off Tim Worrell in the eighth. Thome's shot traveled well over the fence in right field, his fifth homer of the spring. He was playing in his second consecutive game since returning from back stiffness. Vernon Wells had given Toronto a 6-4 lead in the top of the seventh with a three-run homer, capping a five-run frame. The blast came off Ryan Madson with two outs, scoring Menechino and Frank Catalanotto. Jose Offerman may have cemented his roster spot with a two-run shot off starter Josh Towers in the sixth that gave the Phillies a three-run lead. Philadelphia scored twice in the third when Michaels doubled and scored on a Jimmy Rollins, who then scored on a Bobby Abreu single.
The Phillies play their final two exhibition games at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday and Sunday.Mike Bacsik, who will start the season as a starter for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, pitched four scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks, while striking out three. Towers, slated to be Toronto's No. 5 starter, allowed four runs on eight hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out one.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.