After smooth start, Hellickson yields two homers

After smooth start, Hellickson yields two homers

After smooth start, Hellickson yields two homers
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Marlins used two home runs to defeat the Rays, 4-2, on Wednesday afternoon at Charlotte Sports Park.

Jeremy Hellickson made his third start of the spring, and the reigning American League Rookie of the Year Award winner cruised through the first two innings before surrendering a leadoff home run to Brett Hayes in the third.

In the fourth, Austin Kearns hit a ball deep to left-center field that resulted in a collision between B.J. Upton and Desmond Jennings. In the aftermath of the crash, the ball popped loose from Upton's glove and Kearns rounded the bases for a three-run inside-the-park home run.

Both outfielders were removed from the game for precautionary reasons but seemed to be OK afterward.

Hellickson did not get an out in the fourth, allowing four runs on four hits while walking one and striking out three.

"I felt really good again, pretty much the same thing as last time," Hellickson said. "I'd like to pitch a little bit better. [I] felt really good, and that's the main thing right now."

Anibal Sanchez made his first start of the spring and held the Rays scoreless on two hits through two innings. The right-hander struck out four, throwing 29 pitches, 20 of which were strikes.

"I feel good, [and] that's the most important thing," Sanchez said. "I know that's what they're looking for in this outing, how I feel. I didn't try to do too much. Everything was working good, [and] the pitches moved a lot today. ... I threw everything -- a lot of fastballs. ... Everything's working good."

Up next: Wade Davis, who is hoping to nail down a spot in the starting rotation, will start for the Rays when the Phillies travel to Port Charlotte on Thursday afternoon for a 1:05 ET contest, which will air live on MLB.TV, at Charlotte Sports Park. The right-hander has been in the rotation the past two seasons, but newcomer Matt Moore is now in the mix, which has created a competition among Davis, Moore and Jeff Niemann to claim the two available spots. Joel Pineiro will start for the Phillies.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.