On the heels of an impressive 8-2 victory against the Blue Jays on Sunday, the Tampa Bay Rays will take on the Minnesota Twins Monday afternoon in Ft. Myers.
Takeaways and highlights from Sunday’s ball game:
— Jake Bauers hit a massive homer the left the confines of Charlotte Sports Park; the first of four homers for Tampa Bay.
— Erasmo Ramirez was efficient, although his fastball command was spotty. That is to be expected from Ramirez, who made just his second appearance of the spring. The righty threw two hitless innings — walking one and striking out one — and used just 20 pitches (11 strikes).
— Kevin Kiermaier robbed former Ray Jake Elmore of a run-scoring extra-base hit in the first inning, consequently helping Ramirez on the mound.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) March 12, 2017
Equally as impressive, Kiermaier quickly found his feet and threw the ball in to third, keeping the runner at second. It’s only March!
— Evan Longoria hit his first homer of the spring, and switch-hitter Casey Gillaspie homered from both sides of the plate in the seventh (a two-run shot to left) and eighth (a solo blast to right) innings.
— Longoria is focused on power per se, rather he’s trying to rack up spring at-bats.
I’m seeing the ball pretty well. I haven’t really been worried about the power or anything like that. It’s been more about trying to rack up at-bats. Just see pitches and get deeper into counts, and feel like I’m comfortable. … That at-bat, it was a changeup that he just made a mistake on.
The New What Next
Jose De Leon will make his third appearance of the spring, opposite of Rule 5 pick Justin Haley. De Leon will be followed by Chase Whitley, Taylor Guerrieri, Jeff Walters and Justin Marks. Willy Adames, Tim Beckham, Nick Franklin and Steven Souza Jr. will also make the trip to Ft. Myers.
Rays 3/13/17 Starting Lineup
Souza Jr. RF
De Leon RHP
— After the Rays’ four-homer day, they now have 22 in the first 15 games of the spring, good for third in the Grapefruit League.