Rays homer four times in win over Phillies

March 17th, 2016

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe continues to hit the baseball well this spring.

Forsythe hit a leadoff home run in the first inning off Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez in the Rays' 6-1 win over the Phillies at Bright House Field on Thursday. He entered the game hitting .500 (10-for-20) with five doubles, one RBI and six runs scored in eight games.

It was the only run allowed in five innings by Velasquez, who is competing to be the Phillies' No. 5 starter. He pitched himself out of trouble in the fifth, when he allowed a single to Brandon Guyer and a ground-rule double to Nick Franklin, putting runners on second and third. Velasquez then struck out Luke Maile and Forsythe on fastballs to end the inning.

• Velasquez's latest gem gives Phillies something to ponder

"You know he has the good stuff," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said about Velasquez. "It all boils down to his pitchability. He certainly looked good when he got into trouble. That was key."

Rays left-hander Matt Moore allowed one run in 4 2/3 innings, striking out eight in his third spring start. Ryan Howard doubled off him in the second before he hit a solo home run to right field in the fourth to tie the game. Howard is 3-for-6 with two doubles, one home run and two RBIs against left-handers this spring.

• Howard using spring to work on hitting lefties

"I feel like we're in a good place [at this point of the spring], like we've been able to get some conditioning in," Moore said. "Out there at the end of my outing, at the fourth and fifth innings, feeling like we're getting to the end of the pitch count, I'm just happy with the way we were able to get a good mix going."

Moore said he wasn't really surprised by the strikeouts.

"Just throwing the same pitches I normally throw," Moore said. "Sometimes they hit them sometimes they don't. ... My changeup and curveball, whenever I could get them below in the zone were pretty effective, I was doing a pretty good job of getting ahead in the count."

Steve Pearce hit his first long ball in the sixth, and Richie Shaffer and Mikie Mahtook added home runs in the eighth inning for the Rays, both off Phillies left-hander Elvis Araujo.

• Pearce homers in return from calf strain

Up next for the Rays: Dana Eveland will start Friday afternoon when the Rays host the Red Sox at 1:05 p.m. ET at Charlotte Sports Park. Also scheduled to pitch are right-handers David Carpenter, Danny Farquhar, Alex Colome and Steve Geltz along with left-handers Xavier Cedeno and Enny Romero. Left-hander Roenis Elias will start for the Red Sox. The game can be heard on an exclusive, free live webcast on MLB.com.

Up next for the Phillies: Phillies right-hander Charlie Morton faces his former team on Friday afternoon in a Grapefruit League game against the Pirates at Bright House Field at 1:05 p.m. The Phillies acquired Morton in an offseason trade, and he is a lock to make the rotation. The game can be seen on MLB.TV. Left-handers Adam Morgan and Brett Oberholtzer will pitch in a Minor League game at Carpenter Complex. Morgan and Oberholtzer are competing for the No. 5 job in the rotation.