CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies first baseman Darin Ruf made the case for more playing time Wednesday against the Orioles at Bright House Field.Ruf hit a two-run home run in the first inning against Orioles right-hander Yovani Gallardo and then blasted a solo homer in the fourth against former Phillies righty
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies first baseman Darin Ruf made the case for more playing time Wednesday against the Orioles at Bright House Field.
Ruf hit a two-run home run in the first inning against Orioles right-hander Yovani Gallardo and then blasted a solo homer in the fourth against former Phillies righty Vance Worley in an 8-4 victory. Ruf hit three home runs in a span of five at-bats dating to Tuesday's game against the Pirates.
"Right now he's doing everything," Phillies bench coach Larry Bowa said about Ruf. "He's playing a good first base. He's swinging the bat well. He's swinging at strikes. We'll see what happens."
Gallardo made his first start of the spring since signing a two-year contract with an option last month. He allowed four hits and three runs in two innings as the Orioles fell to 0-9-1 in Grapefruit League play. Manny Machado hit a two-run homer against Phillies right-hander Alec Asher in the third inning.
The Phillies improved to 7-3-1. Odubel Herrera collected two RBIs and Taylor Featherston knocked in one run for the Phillies.
Xavier Avery belted a two-run homer for the Orioles in the eighth inning.
Up next for the Orioles: Baltimore will host the New York Yankees, the first of two consecutive games against its division rival, on Thursday. Tyler Wilson will get the start for the 1:05 p.m. ET contest on MLB.TV, with Chris Tillman and Kevin Gausman pitching in a "B" game earlier.
Up next for the Phillies: The Phillies host the Tigers at 1:05 p.m. ET on Thursday at Bright House Field on MLB.TV. Right-hander Aaron Nola is scheduled to make his second Grapefruit League start. Nola is expected to start Opening Day or the second game of the season, which would put him in line to start the home opener on April 11 against the Padres at Citizens Bank Park.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.