Port Charlotte, Fla. – A pitching duel between Philadelphia Phillies go-to Aaron Nola and Tampa Bay Rays starter Drew Smyly ended with a Phanatical victory for Philadelphia Tuesday afternoon.

The Rays took an early lead on the Phillies but couldn’t hold on in late innings as minor league ball ensued. Only one error was placed on the Rays but off-target throws and fly balls lost in the blinding 84-degree sun were costly.

Smyly exited the matchup after 4.2 innings, with 3 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts. He racked up a pitch count of 66, with 45 of them called strike. His one run is the only one he’s allowed through 10 innings this spring.

The story was different for the freshly-debuted Nola (2015: 6-2, 77.2 innings, 74 hits and 68 strikeouts). The 22-year-old flexed his change-up and several Rays had trouble with the curve. He continued with a sub-par fastball, easily located, which closed the day out for Nola at 4.2 innings. His final line of the day: 6 hits, 2 earned runs, no walks and 5 strikeouts.

A 4-run eighth inning rally gave the Phillies a 5-2 win over the Rays, and Andrew Bailey was credited with victory.


Cedric Hunter has found himself another team. His third inning home run gave the Phillies life again to work their bats into another check under the win column for the spring. A big league return this year would be his first time playing in the show since 2011.

Logan Forsythe exited the game with a left elbow contusion after being hit by a pitch, and has been placed on day-to-day.



About The Author

In pursuit of a degree in Sports Journalism from Auburn University, Emily contributes to Baseball Essential while maintaining the position of Sports Editor at The Auburn Plainsman. You can follow her on twitter @emmmilliaa for Auburn, life and baseball hoopla.

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