The Phillies are red hot.
On Sunday afternoon in St. Petersburg, the Phillies completed a 3-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays winning 10-4.
Sunday’s game concluded an extremely productive series against the dreadful Rays.
The series kicked off on Friday night just as the Flyers were taking care of the Pens. Vince Velasquez put on a stellar show for Phillies die hearts who were flipping back and forth between the hockey and baseball games. Vinny Velo pitched a dominant 6.2 innings against Tampa allowing just one run. This continued a stellar run by Phillies starters: Velasquezs’ outing Friday night was the eighth time a Phils starting pitcher allowed less than 2 earned runs in the last nine ball games. Phillies catcher Jorge Alfaro provided the game-winning run in the top of the ninth by ripping a go-ahead single against Rays reliever Alex Colome. This gave Philadelphia a 2-1 lead and Hector Neris secured his second save of the season.
In Game 2 of the series in Tampa, it looked to be an incredible pitchers dual on paper. However, as the old adage goes the game ain’t played on paper, it’s played between the lines.
After over a week of dominant starting pitching, the Philadelphia offense really broke out against Rays ace Chris Archer. Archer got obliterated by the Phillies young hitters in a 6-run second inning. The rout began with back-to-back doubles by Nick Williams and Scott Kingery to open up the frame. After a Maikel Franco walk, short stop JP Crawford continued the doubles parade with a two bagger of his own plating Kingery. The Phils then followed Crawford’s double with three consecutive singles by Cesar Hernandez, Carlos Santana and Odubel Herrera. As beloved skipper Charlie Manuel would call it: “small ball.”
Following Herrera’s single, Rhys Hoskins was robbed of a single by first baseman CJ Cron who made a nice diving play. Cron got the force out at second but the Rays were unable to get Hoskins at first as he was hustling down the line to beat the potential double play. Santana then scored the 6th and final run of the second inning vs Archer but the damage was already done.
Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams opened up the top of the fifth with back to back singles off Tampa reliever Austin Pruitt. Kingery, nicknamed Scotty Jet Packs, then roped an RBI double. Kingery advanced to third with Maikel Franco at the dish who hit a sacrifice fly to make it 9-2 Philadelphia.
Scotty Jet Packs leads all rookies with six doubles this year.
Jake Arrieta made his second start for the Phillies on Saturday with plenty of run support. He had a very productive outing throwing 6.2 innings of 2 run ball.
Arrieta picked up his first win as a member of the Phils as they beat the Rays 9-4 Saturday afternoon.
The Phillies would continue their offensive outburst on Sunday beating the Rays 10-4. Rookie second baseman Scott Kingery extended his hitting streak to 6 games and Aaron Altherr hit his second homer of the season. Altherr also made a tremendous diving catch in right field.
The Phillies lit up Rays starters on back-to-back afternoons, this time feasting on LHP Ryan Yarbrough.
Ben Lively took to the hill for the Phils in an outing he’d like to forget. He surrendered a lead-off homer to veteran Denard Span to begin the Rays first inning, settled down for a little but ultimately couldn’t make it past four innings due to a high pitch count. Right handed reliever Yacksel Rios picked up his second win of the season tossing 1.1 innings allowing no runs, 2 hits and a strikeout.
The Phils will look to continue their hot streak Monday night in Atlanta. It’s important for the Phils to play well this series after being embarrassed by the Braves in the opening series of the season.
Written By: Seamus Doyle, @saintseamus
Feature Photo Source: Philly.com