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Rhys Hoskins powers Phillies past Twins

Matt Breen, Staff Writer

Updated: Monday, March 5, 2018, 3:59 PM

Rhys Hoskins celebrates his second-inning solo home run with his teammates.

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Rhys Hoskins hit his second homer of the spring Monday, and the Phillies went into their off day with a 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins in Grapefruit League play.

Phillies pitcher Vince Velasquez throws the baseball. YONG KIM/Staff Photographer YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Phillies Maikel Franco runs into Twins Kennys Vargas after Vargas advance to third on a pass ball. YONG KIM/Staff Photographer YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Phillies Rhys Hoskins watches his solo home run. YONG KIM/Staff Photographer YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Phillies Rhys Hoskins celebrates his solo home run. YONG KIM/Staff Photographer YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Phillies Tommy Joseph tags out Twins Ehire Adrianza on a Adrianza sacrifice ground ball. YONG KIM/Staff Photographer YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Phillies pitcher Mark Leiter Jr., throws the baseball. YONG KIM/Staff Photographer YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Phillies J.P. Crawford tags out Twins Chris Heisey at second base on a steal attempt. YONG KIM/Staff Photographer YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Phillies Rhys Hoskins runs to first base on a throwing error against Twins Kennys Vargas. YONG KIM/Staff Photographer YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Phillies Rhys Hoskins reaches second base on a error against Twins Nick Gordon. YONG KIM/Staff Photographer YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Phillies Carlos Santana hits a RBI double. YONG KIM/Staff Photographer YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Phillies Cesar Hernandez steals second base past Twins Nick Gordon. YONG KIM/Staff Photographer YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Phillies pitcher Hector Neris throws the baseball. YONG KIM/Staff Photographer YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Photo Gallery: Phillies 4, Twins 3

Here’s a look at the game:

The starter

Vince Velasquez: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 36 pitches, 24 strikes

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.

Three things

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.

Next up

The Phillies are off Tuesday before hosting Boston on Wednesday.

Matt Breen, Staff Writer

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