Rodriguez homer sparks big offensive day for Rays
Starter Niemann sharp in fourth spring outing, earns win over Phillies
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Sean Rodriguez's two-run homer in the third sparked a big offensive day for the Rays, who earned a 15-7 win over the Phillies in front of a packed crowd at Bright House Field on Saturday.
Rays right-hander Jeff Niemann allowed a run on four hits and struck out three in 3 2/3 innings. He gave up his only run in the fourth, when Ryan Howard hit a solo home run to left field. It was Howard's fourth homer and 12th RBI of the spring.
The Rays got things going when Jose Lobaton reached on an infield single to lead off the third. Shawn O'Malley then ripped a ball off the third base bag to put runners on first and second with one out. Desmond Jennings singled to left, but Phillies left fielder Domonic Brown had the ball roll underneath his glove. Both Lobaton and O'Malley scored to make it 2-0.
The next batter, Rodriguez, punctuated the inning with a two-run shot to left.
Lobaton added a sacrifice fly in the sixth to score Ryan Roberts and make it 5-1.
Yuniesky Betancourt's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning scored Brown, and then Humberto Quintero and Ben Revere added two-out RBI singles to close the lead to 5-4.
The Rays added four runs in the seventh on Leslie Anderson's fielder's choice, Robinson Chirinos' RBI walk and Hak-Ju Lee's two-run single to make it 9-4.
Laynce Nix and Quintero added RBI singles in the bottom of the inning for the Phillies to make it 9-7.
The Rays added six runs in the eighth. Anderson had a two-run single and Chirinos followed with an RBI double before Shelley Duncan blasted a two-run homer to make it 14-7.
Cole Figueroa capped the scoring with a run-scoring single to make it 15-7.
Phillies left-hander John Lannan started and allowed four runs on five hits, including the Rodriguez homer, with three strikeouts in four innings. He has a 5.00 ERA this spring.
Up next: Left-hander Matt Moore will make his third outing of the spring when the Rays play host to the Red Sox at 1:05 p.m. ET on Sunday at Charlotte Sports Park. The game can be watched live on MLB.TV. Moore, who is slated as the team's No. 3 starter, has struggled thus far this spring, posting an 0-1 record with a 9.00 ERA. Also scheduled to pitch are Josh Lueke, Juan Sandoval, and Enny Romero. John Lackey is scheduled to start for the Red Sox.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.