When you are battling for the last spot in the starting rotation, chances are the last thing you want to do is to get shelled in what may be your final start of the spring. Unfortunately for Roberto Hernandez, that advice may be a bit too late.
First, the positive. Through the first four innings, Hernandez held the Philadelphia Phillies scoreless as the Rays had built a 1-0 lead. After Jason Bourgeois singled, Sean Rodriguez drove him in with an RBI double to give the Rays a lead at the top of the third inning. With the way Hernandez was pitching, it seemed as though that run may hold up.
Then everything fell apart starting with the beginning of the fifth inning. A single by Ryan Howard and a double from Domonic Brown put runners on second and third with no outs. A fielder’s choice and an RBI single put the Phillies ahead 2-1. Freddy Galvis then followed with his third home run of the spring, putting Philadelphia ahead 4-1.
The Phillies were not finished, as they kept battering Hernandez in the sixth, scoring five more times, en route to an eventual 10-1 victory over the Rays. Overall, he gave up nine earned runs on eleven hits and one walk in six innings of work. Both Galvis and Kevin Frandsen had three RBIs for Philadelphia.
Philadelphia pitching held the Rays to three hits all game, with Bourgeous, Rodriguez and Drew Vettleson each managing a hit.
Hernandez’s competition for the fifth starter spot, Jeff Niemann, pitches later today as he attempts to seize hold of the final spot in the rotation.