The Tampa Bay offense cranked it up again in a rain shortened, 7-2 win over the Astros. The Rays will make their way up to Bradenton tomorrow afternoon with a 4-1 record on the spring. And though a 4-1 record in the Grapefruit League may not mean much, it sure does feel nice. Besides, if one thing holds true, it’s that the Rays do well in the regular season when they have a solid spring.
Ryan Roberts, Ben Zobrist, Evan Longoria, Leslie Anderson, and Shelly Duncan came up big at the plate, accounting for seven of the Rays 12 hits, while driving in the seven Rays runs.
David Price got the start for the Rays, allowing no runs in one inning in his first Grapefruit League appearance. There was a brief scare in the the Rays’ dugout when Astros leadoff man Marwin Gonzalez hit a ball back through the box. Price tried to stop it with his left hand, and the ball ricocheted off his wrist to shortstop Ben Zobrist, who threw to first for the out. Thankfully, Price was fine and did not require any attention. “It didn’t hurt, so I’m fine,” Price noted in his post appearance interview.
You can read selected highlights and lowlights after the box score and lines.
Highlights and Lowlights
- David Price threw 19 pitches in the 1st inning, 10 for strikes. Price gave up a hit and a walk.
- Ben Zobrist teed off on Lyles’ first pitch of the game, lacing a double to right field. He’s been leading off in Spring Training to get prepared for the WBC, though Desmond Jennings is slated to lead off come April second. Zobrist ended the day 1-2 with an RBI.
- Evan Longoria was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second base to end the first inning. A run scored ahead of him, while Longo was obviously taking it easy on his hamstring. Marc Topkin noted, “Rays 3B Evan Longoria said he felt good after his first game of the spring, joking about how his left hamstring was tested repeatedly on the bases, as he went hard into second, was thrown out trying to score from second, and came around from first on a double.”
- Fernando Rodney gave up a rare walk and a single, but got a line out double play and an easy grounder to get out of the jam.
- Leslie Anderson has certainly made a name for himself thus far. His Spring Training RBI total is seven following a second inning triple which drove in both Ryan Roberts and Evan Longoria. Anderson led the Durham Bulls with 56 RBI in 2012, and currently leads the Grapefruit League in runs batted in.
- Roberts also had a massive day at the plate, going 2-3 with three runs and a pair of RBI, including a fourth inning solo blast to center field.
- Jeremy Hellickson will make his first appearance of the spring in relief of Jeff Niemann on Wednesday when the Rays travel to Brandenton, Fla., to play the Pirates. Right-hander A.J. Burnett will start for the Pirates. Juan Sandoval, Dane De La Rosa, J.D. Martin, left-handers Alex Torres, Felipe Rivero, and Frank De Los Santos are also scheduled to see action for the Rays.
- Shocker, Kyle Farnsworth has experienced some “abnormal soreness” after his first batting practice session on Feb. 18. He’s been throwing bullpen sessions with no issues. “I threw everything yesterday, sliders, cutters, everything,” he said. “Felt great.” According to Marc Topkin of the Times, Farnsworth said he continues to feel good in bullpen sessions and expects to make his exhibition debut sometime next week. Joe Maddon confirmed as much, noting that Farnsworth is not scheduled to make his first exhibition appearance until next week and says that eight or so games will be plenty.
Rays 2/27/13 Starting Lineup:
OF Wil Myers will stay behind in Port Charlotte to work on sharpening his left field skills, since most of his time has been spent in right and center this spring. Interestingly enough, Johnson will get the start in LF, with Ben Zobrist getting the start at 2B. Marc Topkin called this decision the “Key spring issue.” Finally, the Rays have announced the starters for the next few games. Roberto Hernandez will get the start Thursday with Matt Moore in relief. Jake Odorizzi will see time on the mound Friday with Alex Cobb and David Price following suit on Saturday and Sunday.