Velasquez worked himself into a jam in the second inning when Kenny Vargas hit a double and reached third on a wild pitch. The pitcher responded by striking out the final two batters of his outing. Velasquez has struck out five this spring in 3 2/3 innings. Escaping the jam, he said, was “a little motivator.”
“Later on in the season or once the season starts, it can push you to the next inning,” Velasquez said.
Remember Brock Stassi? The feel-good story of last year’s Phillies camp is trying to crack Minnesota’s roster. He entered the game at first base in the bottom of the sixth inning and singled in the seventh. Stassi signed a minor-league deal this winter with the Twins.
Andrew Knapp made two terrific throws to nab runners at second. The Phillies’ catching competition is likely complete as the team appears set to begin the season with Knapp and Jorge Alfaro, who cannot be optioned to triple A. The Phillies will have to decide what to do with Cameron Rupp, who still has a minor-league option remaining.
Hoskins homered in the second inning. lifting a fastball on the outside of the plate with a smooth swing. Hoskins had been hitless in his last seven at-bats, and the homer was a welcomed sign.
The Phillies are off Tuesday before hosting Boston on Wednesday.