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Rays Spring Game 4: Corey Brown, Boog Powell Deliver Late RBIs

By Andrew Garrison

The Tampa Bay Rays fell to 1-2-1 this spring training as they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4.  A Phillies pitching combination of Kevin Slowey, Joely Rodriguez, and Elvis Araujo held the Rays at bay before Corey Brown and the offense finally rallied against Cesar Jimenez and Hector Neris.

Chris Archer was decent, but not great. He pitched two innings allowing an unearned run, striking out 1 while walking 1. He worked a lot on the weakest of his three offerings, his changeup, while also hitting 97 MPH with his fastball. It was disappointing that he got into trouble with two outs in the first inning and allowed a Freddy Galvis RBI single in the second, but we’re at the juncture in spring training where stuff matters a lot more than results.

In the positive, the Rays showed that they had some impressive arms in the bullpen as the combination of Andrew Bellatti, Kevin Jepsen, Brad Boxberger, and Jose Dominguez all threw shutout innings. They allowed just 1 hit and no walks between them while striking out 3. Steve Geltz can also be lumped in with that group as he tossed 1.1 innings allowing just a hit while striking out 1.

The outings of the lefties Jeff Beliveau and Enny Romero were a different story. Beliveau wound up allowed 3 unearned runs in the seventh as things got out of hand following his own throwing error. It was a frustrating outing, but after how good Beliveau looked last season, there is no real reason for concern. Romero, meanwhile, looked fine but was penalized by a pair of errors as he also allowed a run.

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The Rays offense wasn’t productive early on, but managed its first major rally of the exhibition season in the eighth and ninth inning. The prospects the Rays acquired in the Ben Zobrist trade combined to drive in a run as Daniel Robertson singled and scored on a Boog Powell RBI double. Powell later scored himself on an error. Powell has made some things happen early on in spring training between his double, a stolen base, and good defense in the outfield.

Red-hot right fielder Corey Brown brought the Rays as close as 5-3 in the ninth when he drove in Curt Casali on an RBI double. Brown is now 3 for his first 4 with a homer, a triple, and a double for the Rays. Juan Francisco‘s groundout brought in another to make four runs for the Rays, but that was as close as they could get.

On the defensive side, the Rays really stood out to help Chris Archer have an easier time. Asdrubal Cabrera made an excellent leaping grab in the first inning and Jake Elmore made a tough flip to Cabrera to force out Freddy Galvis to end the second. Casali also threw out a runner attempting a steal for the second time this spring.

Tomorrow, the Rays will head up to Tampa to take on the New York Yankees at 1:05 PM. The game will not have a Rays broadcast, but it can be seen on the YES Network for fans in the Tri-State Area or with MLB.TV subscriptions.

Next: What Will the Rays Do If Drew Smyly Starts 2015 on DL?