Sep 17, 2011; Boston, MA, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jeff Niemann (34) pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

What's Important Now: Niemann On the Mark

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Spring Game 10: Rays 4, Pirates 3

The Rays pulled off a walk-off win yesterday, with Chris Gimenez driving in two in the ninth. With yesterday’s victory, we saw the return of a lot of injured Rays. Evan Longoria made his comeback, going 0 for 1 with a walk. Luke Scott went 0 for 2 in his return. Jose Molina and Reid Brignac each went 2 for 3 in this one, with Brignac collecting a RBI.

On the mound Jeff Niemann was impressive. Niemann pitched 3 perfect innings, bouncing back after a rough first appearance. Fernando Rodney allowed 2 hits and an unearned run in his inning. Joel Peralta allowed a solo homer in his inning. JP Howell, Jake McGee and Brandon Gomes each pitched a perfect inning after Peralta. Josh Lueke allowed the final run, another solo homer.

Spring Game 11: Twins at Rays

Time: 1:05

Pitchers: Rays- James Shields, Kyle Farnsworth, Jake McGee, Cesar Ramos, Matt Bush, Matt Torra

Twins- Carl Pavano, Phil Dumatrait, Glen Perkins, Matt Capps

James Shields makes his second start of the spring in this one, after a strong showing his first time out. Kyle Farnsworth returns from injury, making his first appearance. Jake McGee pitches in back to back games, so we will see how he does.

Rays News and Notes

  • Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times looks at Joe Maddon’s decision to put Carlos Pena second in the order in yesterday’s game.
  • Topkin analyzes the early results of the battle for the fifth starting spot. Through two starts Jeff Niemann has an edge on Wade Davis, who has been a bit wild thus far.
  • Buster Olney tweets that the Rays are not interested in Ivan Rodriguez. The Rays had been reported to have interest in Pudge, but with three or four options for the backup catcher spot, they don’t really need him.
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Tags: Carlos Pena Ivan Rodriguez Jeff Niemann Rays

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