Phillies 6, Reds 2
Edinson Volquez's first start was a good one. He went five shutout innings, allowing three hits and walk. He struck out six, 69 pitches, 47 strikes.
The Reds took a 2-0 lead on Ken Griffey Jr.'s two-out, two-run single in the sixth. The Phillies took the lead with three unearned runs off Gary Majewski in the seventh. Brad Salmon allowed three more in the ninth.
Volquez lowered his spring ERA to 3.46. Most impressive: 19 Ks and 3 walks in the 13 innings. He retired 11 of the first 12 he faced -- five by strikeout. His change-up was fooling guys big time.
"My change-up was best pitch today," Volquez said. "I threw four sliders, four curves or something like that. I found out in the bullpen that change-up was better today, so I better used it."
Volquez says the difference from past is control.
"I'm throwing my strikes," he said. "That's what I'm going for. i control my emotions, too. I'm getting old, man."
He was not intimidated for the Phillies' lineup.
"When those guys go to home plate, I think this is big guy," he said. "I pitch like normal. But facing Ryan Howard, oh man. He's a big guy."
He went to a 3-ball count on Jimmy Rollins before striking him out with a good change-up to start the game. Volquez wouldn't go to a 3-ball count until facing Ryan Howard with two outs in the fourth. Howard ended up singling. "He was working looking for change-up," Volquez said. "That's what good hitters do." Jayson Werth followed with a single, but Volquez struck out Geoff Jenkins for his sixth strikeout to leave them runners stranded.
Volquez threw 10 pitches in the 1-2-3, 2-strikeout second, eight of which were strikes.
Volquez was at his best in the fifth. He got a routine groundball on the first pitch. But Brandon Phillips booted it. He walked the next hitter. But he got out of it. Brett Myers popped up trying to bunt. Rollins hit into a fielder's choice and Shane Victorino grounded out.
Volquez said he had never thrown more than eight inning in big league camp for the Rangers.
"This is most I've had," Volquez said.