Pundits predicted a close series between the two surprise teams of the regular season, with many in the media forecasting a seven-game series, and, having lost 3-2 in the opener, the Rays bounced back to sneak game two by just two runs in Florida.
Tampa got off to a quick start with two runs in the first, as successive groundouts by Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria plated Akinori Iwamura and BJ Upton.
In the second inning, Upton singled to right to drive home Dioner Navarro but the Phillies avoided further trouble by throwing Rocco Baldelli out at the plate.
Jason Bartlett laid down a bunt in the fourth to bring home Cliff Floyd from third and starting pitcher James Shields did most of the rest, blanking the Philadelphia hitters over 5 2/3 innings.
The visitors got runs back in the eighth and ninth frames as pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett hit one into the stands and then Carlos Ruiz scored on an error in the final inning.
But it was too little, too late and the sides now head north to Philadelphia for game three in what is already turning out to be one of the closest World Series' match-ups in years.