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Ruiz's homer sparks big rally past Tigers

Ruiz's homer sparks big rally past Tigers

Ruiz's homer sparks big rally past Tigers
LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers' home run parade continued, but their unbeaten spring is over. Carlos Ruiz's three-run homer started the Phillies on a roll of seven unanswered runs, counteracting Eric Patterson's two-homer game off Roy Halladay for a 7-5 Phillies win Friday afternoon at Joker Marchant Stadium.

The Tigers (6-1) were the only unbeaten team left this Spring Training, and they seemed well on their way to carrying their perfect spring into the weekend with a 4-0 lead through five innings. Adam Wilk relieved Max Scherzer after 3 1/3 innings to thwart a Phillies attack by retiring Ruiz, but he got his revenge off Wilk the next time up.

Ruiz's drive to left just cleared the fence to bring the Phillies (4-3) within a run. The rest of the damage came in the sixth off David Pauley, who's fighting for the open long relief spot in Detroit's bullpen.

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John Mayberry's RBI double tied the game before Luis Montanez pulled Philadelphia ahead on a single through the right side. Cesar Hernandez's sacrifice fly and Kevin Frandsen's RBI single added insurance runs before Collin Balester replaced Pauley and escaped a bases-loaded jam.

The Tigers came into the game leading the Majors with 12 home runs so far this spring, though nine of them came on a windy Sunday afternoon against the Braves. With the flags blowing out Sunday, Patterson took advantage immediately when he got a Halladay cutter into the air toward right in the opening inning. The ball hit the trees near the right-field light tower, close to where Prince Fielder hit his first home run Sunday.

Two innings later, with Omir Santos on base, Patterson added a no-doubt shot in the same direction, clearing the indoor batting cages beyond the right-field trees.

The changeup, Halladay told reporters afterward, "came out like a spitball," with no movement at all.

Patterson, who finished the day with four hits and four RBIs, is 0-for-3 lifetime against Halladay in the regular season. He signed a Minor League contract with the Tigers over the offseason.

Halladay gave up four hits in three innings while striking out four before Don Kelly's solo shot to right in the fourth continued the damage off Joel Pineiro.

Scherzer became the first Tigers starter to pitch into the fourth inning this year. He retired seven straight Phillies from the first inning into the third, including back-to-back strikeouts of Ty Wigginton and Hunter Pence.

Up next for the Phillies: The Phillies host the Baltimore Orioles in a Grapefruit League game at 1:05 p.m. ET on Saturday at Bright House Field, live on MLB.TV. Right-hander Joe Blanton hopes to build on an impressive Spring Training debut. Scott Elarton also is scheduled to pitch. He is trying to return to the big leagues, where he hasn't pitched since 2008.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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