Today was a game of young guns for the Phillies, with Joely Rodriguez getting the start for the Phillies (5-4-1) against the Tampa Bay Rays. Rodriguez came over from the Pittsburgh organization in the Antonio Bastardo trade.
Rodriguez ran into some trouble in the first after allowing a one out walk to Desmond Jennings. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a ground out to Freddy Galvis who threw it to Cesar Hernandez covering second. Hernandez then air mailed the throw to first allowing Cabrera to move to second base. Evan Longoria capitalized on the error and drove in Cabrera with a single to center.
After three dominant innings by Chris Archer, the Phillies broke threw in the fourth. Chase Utley had first hit of the spring to lead off the inning. Ryan Howard got a hold of one in the next at bat for his first home run of the spring. This would give the Phillies the lead and be it for the runs today.
Offensively, the Phillies were relatively quiet again today with the exception of the bomb by Howard. In the fifth the Phillies had bases loaded and two outs and failed to capitalize with Howard popping out to third. Pitching and defense was relatively strong today with the exception of the two-out error by Cesar Hernandez early in the game. Hernandez is normally a soundly strong defender. Phillies had strong outings by Rodriguez, Biddle, Martin, Jimenez, Diekman, and De Fratus were what ultimately gave the Phillies the win.
Notable performances came from Chase Utley getting a hit in first start of the spring and Ryan Howard hitting his first home run of the spring. Revere, Asche, and Brown also had hits in the game.
Saturday the Phillies will head to Lakeland, FL to face the Tigers at 1:05pm. Aaron Harang will get his second start of the spring. Tigers will send Anibal Sanchez to the hill to face Harang.
Andrew Shipotofsky is a writer for the Phillies