Hernandez impresses, but Rays rally past Phillies
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – Roberto Hernandez looked strong in his second spring start, but reliever Michael Stutes was roughed up for five runs as the Philadelphia Phillies lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 6-1 on Monday.
Hernandez went three scoreless innings, giving up one hit while striking out three. He threw 46 pitches, 29 for strikes.
Will Nieves delivered Philadelphia’s only run with an RBI single in the fourth inning. Nieves’ hit scored Leandro Castro who had doubled earlier.
However, on the play, Philadelphia’s Freddy Galvis was thrown out while trying to go from first to third. Galvis appeared to be favoring his right ankle as he came off the field. He did not return.
The Phillies left nine runners on base Monday. They entered the day with the worst spring training batting average in baseball (.192), followed closely by San Diego (.195) and the New York Mets (.198).
Philadelphia’s seven hits on Monday, including two by Maikel Franco, raised the team average to .196 this spring.
Despite that it appeared that 1-0 lead might hold up as Philadelphia relievers Jeff Manship and Phillipe Aumont combined for three scoreless innings.
However, after Stutes got the first out in the seventh, he gave up a walk and a double, putting runners at second and third. Tampa’s Vince Belnome hit a ground ball to Philadelphia first baseman Darin Ruf, who threw home.
However, Tampa’s Justin Christian slid in safely as it appeared Phillies catcher Lou Marson wasn’t sure where he needed to stand under baseball’s new rules regarding catchers blocking the plate.
After Stutes successfully fielded a suicide squeeze attempt for the inning’s second out, he gave up a two-run single and a two-run double to make it a 5-1 Tampa Bay lead.
Tampa Bay’s Jeremy Moore homered off of Justin De Fratus in the eighth.
The Phillies, now 1-5 in spring training, will host Toronto at 6:35 p.m. on Tuesday at Bright House Field. Cliff Lee will pitch for Philadelphia while R.A. Dickey will get the start for the Blue Jays.