Ruf, Abreu impressive as Phillies tie Braves

Darin Ruf has a lot to prove in spring training as the young power-hitter is looking to earn a place on the Phillies bench. Credit: Getty Images
Darin Ruf has a lot to prove in spring training as the young power-hitter is looking to earn a place on the Phillies bench. Credit: Getty Images

It took a minute for Darin Ruf to shake off the effects of being struck in the back of the head. Braves centerfielder Jordan Schafer uncorked a throw, which struck Ruf in the helmet as he slid into third base.

But the young, enigmatic power hitter, stayed in the game and is alright. However, Ruf, who struggled last season against left-handed pitching and with runners in scoring position, has been better than alright so far this spring. Ruf, who was 1-4, during the Phillies 2-2 tie with the Braves, has hit the ball hard and played a solid outfield.

“I’ve been working on this now for a year and I think I’m playing decent out there,” Ruf said. “Today is just the second start I’ve had out there this (Grapefruit) season. It’s good. I’m working on my outfield play and working on playing first base.”

Ruf, who should make the team as a backup-outfielder/first baseman, is charging the ball and throwing with authority. He’s also been more aggressive at the plate.

“I’m doing all that I can to make the team,” Ruf said. “I want to have the best spring I can and help this team as much as possible.”

Starters rest against Atlanta

Only three Phillies, who figure to be regulars started against Atlanta. Watching Bobby Abreu start in right and bat cleanup was like flashing back to 2006. If Abreu, who gunned a Brave down at the plate and singled to left, continues to hit and reach base like he has so far, expect him to be a lock as a left-handed bat off the bench once the team leaves for Texas to start the season in late March.

“It’s been so much fun coming back here,” Abreu said with his familiar smile. “I’m loving every minute of this.”

Phillies honor Fregosi

Prior to the game, the Phillies and Braves paid tribute to the late Jim Fregosi. The manager of the Phillies pennant winning 1993 team was the assistant to the general manager in Atlanta. A number of his former players sported retro jerseys from when they shared a dugout with Fregosi. Former Phillies Darren Daulton and Kent Tekulve and the White Sox Greg Walker were among those, who joined the Fregosi family for a video tribute to the revered baseball lifer.

“There was no one like Jim,” Tekulve said. “It was a huge loss for baseball. He knew baseball as well as anyone. He was a great manager and above all a great guy. The thing about Jim was you would know he was in the room before you entered it because he was so loud and boisterous. He would just light up the room. The thing about Jim Fregosi was that if you couldn’t get along with Jim, you couldn’t get along with anybody.”

Lee to work on curveball

Cliff Lee was sharp over three innings Tuesday night against the Blue Jays. Lee, who gave up a run and three hits, had excellent command of his fastball and changeup but had some issues with his curveball.

“The curve is always the last pitch to come for me,” Lee said. “But I’m exactly where I want to be at this point. I feel really good. I’m just trying to take it one step at a time. I’m stretching out from two to three to four innings. I’m getting there.”


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.