The bats were working today as Tampa Bay Rays downed the Boston Red Sox in front of a record crowd of 7,852 at Port Charlotte Park today. James Loney lead the way with five RBIs and contributed three hits along the way. David Price looked very sharp in his third outing of the spring, giving up two runs on three hits in six and two thirds. He walked one, hit one and struck out seven. After the game, Price was in high spirits, “I feel good,” he told reporters. “I told Jim Hickey I wish today was opening day.”
Offensively, the Rays collected ten hits and are appearing more and more ready for the season to begin. James Loney singled to begin the game in the first. Ryan Hanigan scored on David Ross pass ball in the third and in the fifth Ben Zobrist singled in Hanigan. James Loney followed with a double that scored David DeJesus and Zobrist. In the sixth, Dejesus hit a ground rule double that scored Wilson Betemit. Justin Christian pinch ran for DeJesus and Loney continued with another single that scored Christian and Logan Forsythe, who played the outfield for the first time this spring.
Forsythe also showed off what he could do with the glove, making a diving backhanded grab in the fourth inning on a ball hit by Mike Napoli, impressing the Rays’ ace along the way as well. “That was the first ball hit to him and that was definitely a web gem,” David Price noted afterward.
Ryan Lavarnway and Brock Holt both drove in runs off of Heath Bell to cut the lead to 8-2. Both of those were charged to David Price. Bell got the final out of the six and Mark Lowe, in search of a suddenly available bullpen spot because of Juan Carlos Oviedo late reporting to camp, pitched a clean seventh, striking out two. In the ninth, Juan Sandoval, another reliever hoping to break camp with the Rays, gave up a solo homer to Daven Marrero. Later, Sean Coyle hit a ground rule double that scored Justin Henry.
All in all, a good win, with the Rays bats working their magic. A day off tomorrow. Up next, Matt Moore will make his fourth start of the spring season, a 7:05 p.m. ET start against the Minnesota Twins.