CLEARWATER, Fla. — Chipper Jones helped give the United States a win over the World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies, hitting a three-run homer in a 9-6 victory Thursday.
Jones’ homer was the fourth straight hit off Philadelphia right-hander Kyle Kendrick and turned a 1-all game into a 4-1 lead in the third inning of the U.S. team’s final warmup for the World Baseball Classic.
Following the game, Team USA boarded a plane bound for Toronto. They’ll meet host Canada at the Rogers Centre, home of the Blue Jays, on Saturday at 2 p.m. in their first game of the WBC.
“It was a good day to get some work in,” Johnson said. “But we’re gonna get the adrenaline up when we’re in front of 45,000. I’m looking forward to that.”
Ryan Braun, Brian McCann and Adam Dunn also homered for the American squad.
Braun and McCann hit consecutive home runs off Antonio Bastardo to lead off the fourth inning.
“It was nice to see the bats come alive (Wednesday) late in the game and today as well,” United States manager Davey Johnson said. “My biggest concern is the pitching it hasn’t been as sharp as we’d like it to be.”
The U.S. bullpen surrendered five runs in the game’s last five innings. Phillies slugger Ryan Howard and infield prospect Jason Donald hit home runs for the home team.
After back-to-back exhibition games with the United States and Canadian teams, the Phillies return to Grapefruit League play with a night game against the Toronto Blue Jays today. Chan Ho Park, one of four Phillies pitchers competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, is scheduled to start.
Kendrick, one of the other No. 5 hopefuls, made his second spring appearance Thursday. The 24-year-old right-hander allowed four runs on five hits in 2 2/3 innings.
After retiring six of the first seven batters in the first two innings, Kendrick surrendered five straight hits with one out in the third, including Jones’ three-run home run.
“I felt good the first two innings, but then the balls found some holes and Chipper hit that ball,” Kendrick said. “Other than that, I felt good. Obviously my line doesn’t look good. But there is always room for improvement.”
“He did his job today,” added Howard. “There are going to be times when you leave a pitch up, and against a team like this, they are going to make you pay.”
Howard’s home run was his third in seven games this spring.
“I felt like my swing was good,” said Howard, who hit a three-run home run off of Matt Lindstrom with two outs in the fifth inning. “You want to continue not peak but move toward that peak.”
Notes: Pedro Feliz (back) took batting practice with the team before the game for the first time this spring. He may get into a game late next week. ... Jimmy Rollins started at shortstop for Team USA and finished 1-for-2 against his teammates. ... Jermey Guthrie earned the win. He allowed one run on two hits in 2 1/3 innings.