ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Phillies provided Jake Arrieta with an early cushion to help the ace get his first win for Philadelphia.
Rookies J.P. Crawford and Scott Kingery drove in two runs each Saturday night in a 9-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, the Phillies’ fifth straight.
Arrieta (1-0) gave up three runs in 6 2/3 innings after being spotted a 6-0 lead in the second.
“We put up a 6-spot on a really good starting pitcher early in the game, and I knew I had about 90 pitches to work with tonight so I was pretty economical,” said Arrrieta, who threw 88 pitches. “I got a ton of ground balls and that’s the way I pitch.”
The 32-year-old right-hander, who signed a three-year, $75 million contract on March 12 after winning 68 games and a Cy Young Award in five seasons with the Chicago Cubs, gave up seven hits and two walks in his second start for Philadelphia. He got 14 groundball outs and struck out only one.
“Maybe a little fatigue set in, but that’s what I need to pitch through as we move forward,” he said. “Having some success when your body starts to show signs of fatigue, that’s the sign of a good starting pitcher and a guy who knows how to combat things like that.”
Crawford hit a double and his second home run off Rays starter Chris Archer. Kingery, who had scored the winning run Friday night after a ninth-inning double, hit two more doubles Saturday.
Doubles by Nick Williams, Kingery and Crawford were among six Phillies hits in a six-run second inning off Archer.
“It’s difficult to square a guy like Archer up consistently anytime, let alone have it all come in one big inning,” said Phillies manager Gabe Kapler. “Up and down the lineup we had contributions and a lot of loud contact.”
Odubel Herrera had three of the Phillies’ 13 hits.
Archer (1-1) gave up seven runs on eight hits in four innings in the first start of his career against Philadelphia.
“The one thing I pride myself in is at least giving the team length, regardless of the results, and I didn’t do that,” Archer said. “I put us in a bad spot all around.”
C.J. Cron drove in two runs for the Rays and Kevin Kiermaier scored twice in his first multi-hit game of the season.
Rays outfielder Johnny Field went 0 for 3 with a walk in his major league debut.
During their five-game win streak, the Phillies have outscored opponents 27-14 and have compiled a 2.44 earned run average . . . Arrieta has16 straight starts of giving up three earned runs or fewer . . . At 8-5, the Phillies are three games over .500 for the first time since May of 2016.
Phillies: RHP Tommy Hunter (strained right hamstring) said he felt good after pitching in an extended-spring game in Clearwater. Manager Gabe Kapler said the Phillies might want one more rehab outing before bringing Hunter off the disabled list. … C Andrew Knapp (stomach virus) will be ready to play Sunday.
Rays: OF Denard Span felt “a little achy,” according to manager Kevin Cash and was out of the lineup.
RHP Ben Lively will pitch Sunday’s series finale for the Phillies against Rays LHP Ryan Yarbrough, who will make his first major league start.