WATCH: Rays outfielder Brett Phillips makes dazzling catch during mop-up pitching appearance vs. Athletics


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USATSI

Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Brett Phillips had an eventful Monday night against the Oakland Athletics. Not only did he get the start in right field, but he also became the second position player to pitch this season, mopping up the final two innings of a 13-2 drubbing (box score) that saw Rays starter Luis Patiño depart early because of an oblique injury.

Depending on the source, Phillips is known best either for his defensive prowess or his zest for the game. He combined both aspects into a single memorable play in the ninth inning. Phillips delivered a 1-2 pitch to Seth Brown, who popped up the ball into foul territory on the third-base side. Phillips, rather than leaving it up to his catcher to make the play, pursued the ball himself. He made the catch, too, in grand fashion. 

Observe:

For those wondering, Phillips went hitless in four trips to the plate. As for his work on the mound, he surrendered four runs on three hits (including a grand slam to Sheldon Neuse) and two walks. More importantly, he delivered 28 pitches on the night, with his highest velocity checking in at 51.8 mph. His average was 46.7 mph, and he bottomed out at 42.5 mph. Predictably, Phillips did not generate a single swinging strike; he did, however, coerce three foul balls. That feels like a win of sorts.

The Rays, now 3-1 on the season, will continue their four-game set against the Athletics on Tuesday. Right-handed prospect Tommy Romero, a popular request at the trade deadline according to what league sources have told CBS Sports, will make his big-league debut. Depending on Patiño’s status, Tampa Bay could have as many as six starting pitchers on the injured list heading into Tuesday’s action.



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