PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Scott Kingery homered again, Aaron Nola had the feel for his curveball, and the Phillies snapped their five-game losing streak in the Grapefruit League with a 9-2 win Friday over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Here’s a look at the game.
Aaron Nola: 3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 38 pitches, 28 strikes
Nola is the first Phillies pitcher this spring to be pushed to three innings. He felt as if he had regained the feel for his curveball, and it showed. He used the pitch to whiff Jake Bauers in the first inning, and it dived across the plate with its signature break. Nola will start for the Phillies on opening day, and the feel for his curve is much more important than his line in a Grapefruit League game.
“It’s the more I throw it in game situations as I try to get the shape back and get it to where it usually is,” Nola said of his curve. “It felt good coming out of my hand. There’s still some things I need to work on with it, but that’s going to come.”
The Scott Kingery hype machine received a bit more fuel. He homered to the opposite field in the third inning for his third blast this week. The Phillies will keep him at triple A for the first two weeks of the season to gain an extra year of club control. Expect his arrival to the majors to be the most anticipated story line of the season’s first month. He looks legit this spring.
Roman Quinn reached base in the fourth inning on a bunt single. The bunt was perfect, and Quinn got to first base with ease. The Phillies have lacked speed the last few seasons, and having Quinn on the bench would be a nice weapon. It will be interesting to see how Kapler uses him in the regular season.
Odubel Herrera played center field for four innings, his first work in the field this spring. Herrera worked in center field before the game, and he has plenty of time to be ready for opening day. He had been slowed by a sore shoulder, but it seemed as if the team was just being cautious.
The Phillies will have split-squad games Saturday. Ben Lively will face the Pirates in Bradenton, and Tom Eshelman will face the Orioles in Clearwater. Both games will start at 1:05. The game against the Orioles will be broadcast by NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus and WIP-FM.