Starter slated to pitch later in game, stepped in after Williams was scratched
By Bill Chastain and Todd Zolecki
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Rays designated hitter Logan Forsythe smacked a pair of opposite-field solo home runs Tuesday in a 5-3 victory over the Phillies at Bright House Field. The first came in the fifth inning against right-hander Phillippe Aumont and the second came in the seventh against left-hander Elvis Araujo.
Alex Cobb made his third start of the spring for the Rays, allowing no runs and no hits while striking out three in three innings before coming out of the game with what the Rays are calling right forearm tightness. He threw 32 pitches of which 25 were strikes.
Cobb has been tabbed as the team's Opening Day starter. The elder statesman of the Rays' rotation, Cobb is the only American League pitcher with 10-plus wins, a winning record and a sub-3.00 ERA in each of the last two seasons.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rays outfield: Left fielder Desmond Jennings was a late scratch on Tuesday due to a stomach virus. Jake Elmore stepped in to take his place. Jennings, who mostly started in center field the past two seasons, will be used more in left this season, particularly on nights when Kevin Kiermaier is in the lineup. Kiermaier was told this past week that he would be used only in center field. Kiermaier made a signature Kiermaier play with a diving catch to rob Ben Revere of a base hit in the first inning.
Trying to win spot: Aumont, who is out of options and fighting for a bullpen job, allowed a solo home run to Forsythe in the fifth.
Whispers are that Rays shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera has lost some range over the years. Rays manager Kevin Cash was asked how hard that assessment is to deal with by the athlete, to which Cash replied: "I don't know. I never had range."
Mike Schmidt, on Pete Rose petitioning MLB for reinstatement and possibly being eligible for the Hall of Fame: "It's surely been a long enough time to wait, huh?"
RED GOES GREEN
The Phillies wore their traditional green jerseys and caps for St. Patrick's Day.
Chris Archer will make his third start of the spring on Wednesday afternoon when the Rays travel to Dunedin, Fla., to face the Blue Jays in a 1:07 p.m. ET contest. Also expected to see action are Jeff Beliveau, Jim Miller, Brandon Gomes and Jhan Marinez.
The Phillies have their only day off of the spring Wednesday, but resume play Thursday night on MLB. TV and Gameday Audio at 7:05 against the Yankees in Tampa, Fla. Right-hander Aaron Harang has missed two of his first three starts because of back problems, but he is going to try to pitch Thursday. Joely Rodriguez, who suddenly is a rotation candidate, also is scheduled to pitch.
Bill Chastain and Todd Zolecki are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.