Win-win as Phils walk off, get peek at future

April 2nd, 2016

PHILADELPHIA -- Cesar Hernandez hit a walk-off single to lead the Phillies to a 6-5 victory over the Futures team, comprised of some of the organization's best prospects, at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday. And the good news continued for the Phils, because if they're looking for an outfielder at some point this season, Nick Williams did what he could to make sure the front office will remember him.

Williams, part of the Cole Hamels deal with Texas last July, had a home run, a double and three RBIs for the Futures team.

The 22-year-old is rated the organization's No. 3 prospect by He'll open this season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. After joining the organization last year, he batted .320 with four homers and 10 RBIs in 22 games at Double-A Reading.

Williams came up with one out and No. 1 prospect J.P. Crawford on first in the first inning and drove in the first run of the game with a booming double to center. He had sacrifice fly in the second and homered to lead off the fifth, breaking a 3-3 tie.

All of Williams' at-bats came against veteran Charlie Morton, who will be the Phillies' No. 3 starter this season.

Morton pitched 4 2/3 innings in his final tuneup, allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out three.

Right-hander Jake Thompson, the No. 2-ranked prospect, started for the Futures team. The 22-year-old, who was also part of the Hamels trade, held the Phillies to three runs in his five innings, allowing eight hits but also striking out four.

The Phillies got on the board in the first with an RBI single by Darin Ruf and an RBI double by Ryan Howard, and Freddy Galvis added an RBI double in the second, all with Thompson pitching.

Rhys Hoskins hit a solo homer in the top of the eighth for the Futures team to bring the score to 5-3. In the bottom of the ninth, though, Ruf tied things up with a two-run double, and Hernandez delivered in the next at-bat for the walk-off victory.

Up next for the Phillies: Veteran right-hander Jeremy Hellickson will make the first Opening Day start of his career Monday when the Phillies play the Reds at Great American Ball Park. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET.

"It's definitely going to be different," Hellickson said. "The emotions are going to be high. The atmosphere is going to be crazy. The adrenaline is going to be flowing, and I'm going to be really excited. I'm grateful for the opportunity, and I'm looking forward to it."

Outfielder Cedric Hunter, 28, is expected to make his first big league start after coming to camp as a non-roster player.