Right-hander Charlie Morton worked into the sixth inning of his second-to-last start of the Spring. The Tampa Bay Rays ultimately dropped the ballgame to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-2.
Morton retired the first 10 batters of the game before he allowed a one-out single to right-center.
I thought Charlie looked really good. We didn’t anticipate the sixth up, but he was so efficient that it kind of worked in our favor. Really good day as far as that’s concerned.— Kevin Cash
Because he was able to efficiently plow through the Pirates’ lineup, Morton took the mound again in the sixth inning (to get an extra up-down). But, that’s when he ran into trouble. The right-hander walked Jacob Stallings to start the frame, then allowed an opposite-field single to Alfredo Reyes, before Morton was pulled in favor of Casey Sadler. Both runners eventually scored after Morton left.
Be that as it may, Morton hit 95 mph with his fastball and leaned on his offspeed stuff throughout his start. He finished with four punchouts and allowed just two hits (both singles) along with two walks while throwing 44 of 74 pitches for strikes (59% strike rate).
I feel good, I think my stuff is pretty good right now.— Charlie Morton
Following the game, Rays skipper Kevin Cash told the media that Morton likely would be scaled back in his final Spring start on Saturday, against the Tigers — a subject Morton also touched on.
I’m not sure what we’re going to do because I was able to get six ups today. I think Kyle and I will talk about it and see what we want to get done next time.— Charlie Morton
You can hear Morton’s interview below, courtesy of Rays Radio.
As Neil Solondz (Rays Radio) writes it, there was a scare in the outfield on Monday.
Kevin Kiermaier made a running catch in right-center on Colin Moran and collided with Austin Meadows. Meadows had his neck jarred a bit but stayed in the game and says he should be fine.— Neil Solondz
Brandon Lowe continued his hot Spring campaign, going 1-for-3 on Monday while picking up his team-leading 14th RBI of the Spring with a double (seventh of the Grapefruit League season) in the sixth inning off Kyle Crick.
Even though Morton made the headlines, it was also a good day for third baseman Matt Duffy, who took the next step in his recovery process by running at 90%.
Duffy had a really good day He felt good. I’ll put a soft landing on (it that) he’ll play after (the) off-day. Let’s just see how we go the next couple of days.— Kevin Cash
Duffy will run the bases again on Tuesday, which will be followed by treatment on Wednesday. How he responds will determine whether he will be ready for game action Thursday afternoon.
The New What Next
Tyler Glasnow will take the mound on Tuesday against the New York Yankees. Jalen Beeks and Emilio Pagan are also scheduled to pitch.
Rays 3/19/19 Starting Lineup
- Wendle SS
- Perez C
- Choi 1B
- Robertson 3B
- Kiermaier CF
- Heredia RF
- Wong 2B
- Smolinski LF
- Bonifacio DH
- Glasnow RHP
— Have you pre-ordered your “Legend of Dan Johnson” t-shirt yet? If no, why not?!