PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Phillies scored four in the eighth to defeat the Rays, 5-2, for a Grapefruit League victory at Charlotte Sports Park on Tuesday.Aaron Nola started for the Phillies and hit leadoff batter Logan Forsythe on the arm. Forsythe left the game with a left elbow contusion
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Phillies scored four in the eighth to defeat the Rays, 5-2, for a Grapefruit League victory at Charlotte Sports Park on Tuesday.
Aaron Nola started for the Phillies and hit leadoff batter Logan Forsythe on the arm. Forsythe left the game with a left elbow contusion and was replaced by Juniel Querecuto. Brad Miller followed with a single to left before Evan Longoria grounded into a double play, moving Querecuto to third. Logan Morrison then doubled down the left-field line to put the Rays up, 1-0.
• Rays considering Forsythe as leadoff hitter
Rays starter Drew Smyly continued to look sharp in his third start of the spring, posting two scoreless innings before Cedric Hunter homered deep to right field on an 0-2 pitch leading off the third.
"I mean, kudos to that guy," Smyly said. "It was up and away. Might have hit a righty. Definitely would have backed him off the plate. And that was the first fastball he'd seen, because I'd thrown him curveball-slider the first two pitches."
Smyly allowed one run on three hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings. Of the 66 pitches he threw, 45 were strikes.
"I'm feeling great right now," Smyly said. "Confident, very comfortable. Just trying to get my work in and go out and have fun."
Kevin Kiermaier hit his first home run of the spring when he homered off Nola in the fifth to give the Rays a 2-1 lead.
Nola allowed two runs on six hits while striking out five in 4 2/3 innings.
• Klentak impressed with Phils' energy, effort this spring
Cesar Hernandez doubled off Xavier Cedeno in the eighth and was driven home by Andres Blanco's two-bagger in the next at-bat to tie the game at 2. Blanco later scored on Darnell Sweeney's single to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead, and Philly added two more runs when Taylor Featherston grounded into a force out with the bases loaded and Sweeney scored on a wild pitch.
Up next for the Phillies: The Phillies have a day off Wednesday, but they return to action Thursday afternoon against the Rays at Bright House Field. Vince Velasquez will make the start with Jerad Eickhoff scheduled to follow him. Velasquez is battling Brett Oberholtzer and Adam Morgan for the No. 5 job in the rotation. Eickhoff sees his first Grapefruit League action after being sidelined this spring with a broken right thumb. He is expected to make the rotation. Thursday's game will start at 1:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV.
Up next for the Rays: The Rays will also be off on Wednesday. Jake Odorizzi, whose turn it is to pitch, will pitch in a Class A game with Rene Rivera as his catcher at Charlotte Sports Park at 1 p.m. ET while the rest of the team is off. Tampa Bay will return to game action Thursday against the Phillies at 1:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV.
[Bill Chastain](mailto:[email protected]) is a reporter for MLB.com.