The Tampa Bay Rays offense has been firing on all cylinders thus far in Spring Training, as they continued their scoring ways in an 8-2 victory over the Pirates Wednesday. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come once April comes around.
Aided by three Pirates errors, the Rays scored four runs in the second off Pittsburgh starter A.J. Burnett. Overall, Burnett only gave up one earned run and three hits in his two innings of work, but was undone by the Pirates defensive issues. Jeff Niemann got the start for the Rays, pitching a perfect inning in his debut. Jeremy Hellickson followed, and earned the victory as he struck out two while working around three hits in his 1.2 innings.
Jose Molina, Luke Scott and Tim Beckham each had two hits for the Rays, as the Rays pounded the Pirates pitching staff for 12 hits overall. Kelly Johnson also made his first appearance in left field since his rookie year in 2005, with his only action coming while chasing down a double off the bat of Pedro Alvarez. Despite the time away from the outfield, Johnson seems to feel that he can slide right back in.
“I felt all right out there,” Johnson said. “I didn’t feel too much like a fish out of water or anything. It’s different, I’ll say that. It definitely breaks up the routine to go out there and see things from a different angle.”
The Rays Spring Training schedule continues on Thursday afternoon, as they get set to face the Detroit Tigers at Charlotte Sports Park at 1:05PM.