CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies right-hander Jerad Eickhoff had his best start of the spring Tuesday afternoon in a 9-0 victory over the Braves in a Grapefruit League game at Spectrum Field.Eickhoff, who is scheduled to start the Phillies' second game of the season next month, allowed three hits, one walk
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies right-hander Jerad Eickhoff had his best start of the spring Tuesday afternoon in a 9-0 victory over the Braves in a Grapefruit League game at Spectrum Field.
Eickhoff, who is scheduled to start the Phillies' second game of the season next month, allowed three hits, one walk and struck out five in five scoreless innings. He had allowed seven earned runs in eight innings in his first three Grapefruit League starts.
"I was attacking the zone a lot better today," said Eickhoff, who pitched so efficiently he had to throw more pitches in the bullpen afterward. "I had a good feel for my pitches today. I had some good, clean innings."
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The Phillies had better luck against Braves right-hander Aaron Blair, who allowed six hits, three runs, one walk and struck out three in four innings. Phillies left fielder Tyler Goeddel tripled to score two runs in the second. Cesar Hernandez singled to score Goeddel to hand the Phillies a 3-0 lead. Brock Stassi also tripled and homered in his quest to make the Phillies' bench.
Blair allowed hits to four of the first five batters faced in the second inning and then retired seven of the final nine batters faced. He is projected to begin the season with Triple-A Gwinnett.
"The one inning when [Blair] got hurt, he just kind of left some two-strike pitches flat," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "But I saw some good breaking balls that had some depth and his velocity was OK. We're working on some stuff and he's making some strides."
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Braves Up Next: Fresh of his experience with Canada in the World Baseball Classic, Freddie Freeman will rejoin the Braves on Wednesday when they play the Tigers in Lakeland at 1:05 p.m. ET, in a game available on Gameday Audio. R.A. Dickey will be making his third start of the Grapefruit League season.
Phillies Up Next: The Phillies play the Yankees in a Grapefruit League game at 6:35 p.m. ET at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, in a game available on MLB.TV. Right-hander Clay Buchholz (0-1, 7.56 ERA) makes his fourth start of the spring.
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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.