Mar 262011
Phillies RHP Joe Blanton

Phillies RHP Joe Blanton

March 25

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Opening Day is just six days away for the Phillies, who are entering the 2011 season with high expectations and who will need everybody to contribute offensively with Chase Utley opening the season on the disabled list because of chronic knee pain.

Jimmy Rollins, one of those players expected to pick up the slack, hit a two-run homer to right field in the first inning on Friday off Braves pitcher Rodrigo Lopez to give the Phillies an early lead at Bright House Field en route to a 3-1 win.

Rollins entered the game hitting .231 with three doubles, one home run and two RBIs in 23 Grapefruit League games.

In the third inning, Ryan Howard tripled to score Rollins, who’d singled, to give the Phillies a three-run lead.

Phillies right-hander Joe Blanton pitched well against the Braves, who played a split squad, allowing just five hits and striking out four in six scoreless innings.

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