Alfaro’s 9th-inning single lifts Phillies past Rays 2-1
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) The Philadelphia Phillies are having success in one-run games.
Philadelphia is 4-0 in one-run games, with three coming during the current streak.
”If we’re going to be a really good team, we’re going to win ballgames like this,” rookie manager Gabe Kapler said. ”We’re going to kind of stick our nose in it. These are games you have to grind out.”
Tampa Bay dropped to 0-6 when allowing three or fewer runs. The Rays are the only winless team in the majors when doing so.
”We knew coming in we’re going to play close ballgames,” manager Kevin Cash said. ”That’s the way our team is built.”
Tampa Bay is 2-7 in one-run games.
Colome has blown two saves and has a 10.80 ERA in six games.
”Alex has done a lot of good things over the last three years,” Cash said. ”He’s allowed, just as anybody else in that clubhouse, to go through some rough stretches. To me, this (game) didn’t come down to Alex Colome’s performance, it probably was more our lack of offense.”
Vince Velasquez permitted one run, four hits, one walk and had seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings for the Phillies, who were coming off a three-game sweep of Cincinnati.
”I only threw six or seven changeups, and that was to upset the timing of the hitters,” Velasquez said. ”Just the fact that I used my secondary pitches and having the conviction of throwing them for strikes.”
Jake Faria, coming off a start Saturday at Boston in which he gave up eight runs in 1 2/3 innings, limited Philadelphia to one run and two hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
”A big step compared to last game,” Faria said.
The Rays came within a few feet of another run in the fourth. Matt Duffy’s two-out fly was dropped by Aaron Altherr, but the right fielder recovered to throw out Duffy at second just before Joey Wendle slid across the plate.
Faria held the Phillies hitless until Williams opened the fifth with a single. Williams was then picked off first by catcher Wilson Ramos.
Phillies: RHP Tommy Hunter (strained right hamstring) will take part in an extended spring training game Saturday. … Kapler said RHPs Jerad Eickhoff (strained right lat) and Mark Leiter Jr. (strained right forearm) are both getting closer to throwing off a mound.
Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier said he is completely over an illness that first impacted him late in spring training. ”That’s a beautiful thing,” Kiermaier said. … RHP Nathan Eovaldi (right elbow surgery) has resumed playing catch.
FLASHING THE LEATHER
Alfaro made a fine catch against the screen on Cron’s foul ball for the first out in the ninth.
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