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March 13, 2015

Utley plays 1st game, Howard homers, Phils beat Rays 2-1 

Phillies MLB
031315_Utley_AP Steve Nesius/AP

Chase Utley juggles a ball while playing catch during the team's first full-squad workout last month at the Phillies spring training facility in Clearwater, Fla.

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Chase Utley made his spring training debut after recovering from an ankle injury, Ryan Howard hit his first home run of the exhibition season and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 Friday.

Utley missed 10 games because of a sprained right ankle sustained in January. Batting third as the designated hitter, he struck out in his first at-bat and singled off Chris Archer leading off the fourth.

Howard sent the next pitch, a changeup, over the right-field wall for a 2-1 lead, only the Phillies' third home run of spring training.

Evan Longoria hit an RBI single in the first off Joely Rodriguez after the Phillies failed to turn what could have been an inning-ending double play. Second baseman Cesar Hernandez's relay throw landed in the Rays dugout, putting Asdrubal Cabrera on second.

Rodriguez, obtained from Pittsburgh during the offseason, allowed one hit in three innings.

Archer gave up two runs and four hits in 4 1-3 innings with three strikeouts and no walks. Tampa Bay had four hits.