The Tampa Bay Rays improved their Spring Training record in games against the Minnesota Twins to 3-0, with an 8-5 win Tuesday in Ft. Myers. They also improved their overall Grapefruit League record to 8-4 on the spring. Since I live tweeted the game, I won’t bore you with the gory details of Tuesdays matchup. You can pour over my inane on-field observations by visiting our twitter feed, located in the top righthand corner of the page. In turn, I’ll briefly recap Tuesday’s game.
- First off, I took a slew of pictures at the game. You can see those photos, via our Flickr account, here.
- Matt Moore really didn’t have a good outing. Moore’s ERA increased to 9.00 on the spring, following a 2-2/3 inning outing where he struck out two, but gave up two walks and two runs off two hits. Moore seemed to primarily throw a low-90’s fastball and change-up, while erring away from his breaking pitches. Moore got behind by a 3-1 count multiple times, putting himself in situations that he had to labor to get out of. I could be wrong, but I didn’t notice Moore throwing any first pitch strikes, something that he had a hard time with last season as well. He acknowledged that his poor outing was due to an issue with his mechanics.
- Roberto Hernandez had another decent outing, though things fell apart for him in the sixth when he walked two and gave up an earned run. Matt Buschmann, who replaced Hernandez, also got touched up for two runs on three hits that same inning. In his 2-2/3 innings outing, Hernandez struck out three and induced three ground-outs and two pop-outs.
- Juan Sandoval, who’s trying to make the big leagues after losing sight in his right eye in a hunting accident seven years ago, struck out one and earned the save – his second of the spring. “I felt great,” Sandoval said. “I feel like I’m getting better every day. I was just trying to keep the ball down, let them put the ball in play and see what happens.”
- Stephen Vogt, yes that Stephen Vogt, had a big day at the plate, going 2-2 with an RBI and a run. He also flashed the leather to get out of the seventh inning, stretching to snag an errant, air-mailed, throw by Longoria. If only his spring training and minor league numbers translated to the bigs.
- I know I’ve said it one hundred times or more by now – try not to look too deeply into things during spring training. Regardless of my sage wisdom, it was great to watch the Rays battle back from a three run deficit and win the game by three runs. The Rays really battled back in the eighth, scoring five runs while tacking on an insurance run in the ninth.
- Leslie “The RBI Machine” Anderson had another run batted in the eighth inning. Anderson now has eight RBI thus far.
- Bench coach Dave Hernandez called for a Figueroa/Guyer double steal in the ninth, and it worked perfectly. Brandon Guyer scored the insurance run from third after the double steal.
Tampa Bay has a rare spring off-day Wednesday, resuming action Thursday against the Pirates in Bradenton.