Phillies 6, Rays 6
Juan Pierre came into the Phillies’ spring training camp without
a major league job. A return to a familiar spot in the lineup might
be just what he needs to convince the team to take him to
Pierre batted leadoff and played center field for a split squad
of Phillies, coming through with two hits, two RBIs and scored two
runs in two innings of a 6-6 tie with the Tampa Bay Rays on
”I got a chance to lead off today the first time this spring
and to actually play center field which I haven’t done in a couple
of years so it felt like old times out there for me, so I felt
comfortable,” the 34-year-old Pierre said. ”That’s my goal when I
lead off games, trying to get stuff started early.”
Pierre, a non-roster invitee in his 13th season, said he’s
approaching this spring training as he would any other.
”Even when I had deals I had to go out and prove myself to
start still,” he said. ”I just try to approach it like pretty
much every spring training. Try to get my work in and be ready to
play whenever they need me.”
Also competing for a spot as a non-roster invitee, Joel Pineiro
pitched two innings, giving up one run on two hits and a walk. He
had one strikeout.
”Every time you get out there you feel better and better,”
Pineiro said. ”My command was a little off today. My off-speed was
really good. I was getting behind hitters, I threw too many
pitches, so that’s something to keep working on, trying to do
whatever they want me to do coming out of the pen or start. I still
got to go out and prove I can get people out. There’s no room for
error. You’ve got to go out there and have a good outing.”
Rays manager Joe Maddon was happy with his offense, which is off
to slow start this spring.
Luke Scott got his first hit with the Rays and the team had 12
overall. Sam Fuld and Reid Brignac both went 2 for 3.
”All those little things matter,” Rays manager Joe Maddon
said. ”Getting the signs right, playing the game properly, playing
nine innings hard to the very end was all apparent today.”
Wade Davis, on the other hand, struggled. In four innings, the
right-hander gave up four runs – three earned – on eight hits and
struck out three.
Davis is vying for the fifth spot in the Rays’ rotation, and the
26-year-old said he knows what he needs to work on.
”I physically felt good,” Davis said. ”A little sluggish at
first getting into it, but after we got going I got a better
rhythm. Executing the curveball was better, and everything was a
little bit sharper. I’ve just got to sharpen up a little bit on my
spots, my fastball, and I think we’ll be in a pretty good
NOTES: Rays LF Desmond Jennings and CF B.J. Upton didn’t play
Thursday after their collision on the left-center field warning
track on Wednesday. . Domonic Brown was a late scratch for the
Phillies with neck stiffness.