Here we go folks, the last leg of the Grapefruit League season is upon us. And with only seven spring training games left to go, the Rays will take on the Pirates tonight in Port Charlotte.
Tampa Bay is coming off of another loss, this time at the hands of the Yankees who won Sunday in walk-off fashion. Left fielder Ronnier Mustelier hit a tenth inning off Josh Leuke to give the Yankees the 7-6 victory. To be fair, the homer was aided by the wind which blew out at a steady clip throughout the duration of the game.
Tampa Bay Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson allowed four runs on eight hits and two walks in seven innings of work. Hellickson looked okay Sunday, but he certainly wasn’t spectacular. Helly gave up a pair of homers to the Yankees — a two-run homer to Kevin Youkilis in the first inning and a solo shot off the bat of Travis Hafner in the sixth — as well as an RBI-triple to Eduardo Nunez in the third inning. Nunez drove in Brett Gardner who had reached base after grounding into a force-out earlier in the inning. Hellickson is expected to get one more spring training start before the 2013 season opens in eight days.
Offensively speaking, the bulk of the Rays runs came from a fourth inning rally thanks to RBI’s from Jose Molina, Desmond Jennings, and Ben Zobrist.
Matt Moore will get the start tonight following a rain out last week which found him throwing a simulated game the following day. The Rays are looking for a confidence-building outing out of Moore. Brandon Gomes — who is competing for the final bullpen spot — as well as Joel Peralta are also slated to seem action tonight.
Rays 3/25/13 Starting Lineup:
- According to Marc Topkin of the Times, “OF Sam Fuld got six at-bats (0-for-5 with a walk) and played five innings in center during a minor league game, saying he felt good and tested his right hamstring again. Fuld said he’ll take Tuesday off, and plan is to play in the Rays home finale in Port Charlotte Wednesday. “Everything’s good,” he said.”
- Kyle Farnsworth said his bruised right middle finger is better. This news comes on the heels of a 1/3 inning outing Saturday, where he was pulled from the game following an attempt to bare hand a hit up the middle. He threw all his pitches Sunday with no issues, and plans to make his regularly scheduled appearances Wednesday and Saturday.