The Rays tied the Baltimore Orioles 4-4 on Wednesday night. It was the last home game of Spring Training and also David Price’s last start before he toes the rubber on Opening Day. The offense filled with regular put together another solid all-around performance, which should be encouraging with Opening Day right around the corner.
David Price pitched fairly well in his last start of the spring but also struggled at times. His final line was 4 innings pitched, 3 runs allowed on 5 hits and 5 strikeouts with just 1 walk. His command was sharp at times but other times he left his fastball out over the plate and allowed a few two out hits that came back to haunt him. His fastball velocity was around 93-94 MPH while touching 95 a few times, which was a good sign. Overall it would’ve been nice to see Price go deeper in the game but after 73 pitches coming out of the 4th inning he got his work in. Price looks ready for his Opening Day start on Monday after a very strong Spring Training.
The lineup was once again a cast of mostly regulars and they continued to put on a strong showing. The Rays recorded 9 hits of Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman in the 4.2 innings he pitched. Matt Joyce had a solid day in the leadoff spot going 2 for 5 with 2 runs score and an impressive bunt for a hit against the shift to lead off the game. This could be a nice weapon for Joyce if teams continually shift on him this season. James Loney went 3 for 3 on the game spraying line drives all over the field. Evan Longoria went 1 for 2 with a pair of RBIs in the game as well. Desmond Jennings went 1 for 4 and added a pair of stolen bases in the 5th inning. Becoming a bigger threat on the base paths would really help Jennings game in 2014.
Among the non-regulars, 2012 second rounder Spencer Edwards had a nice game. He entered the game as a pinch runner and scored from first on a ball that barely got midway between the outfielders in the right center gap showing off some impressive speed. After walking in his lone at bat, he was able to steal second base easily and advanced to third on the errant throw. He would eventually score the tying run in the 9th.
Grant Balfour had an impressive inning in his outing. He threw a scoreless inning while striking out a batter and only allowed an infield single. His fastball velocity was around 91 MPH and he worked in several good off-speed pitches. Juan Carlos Oviedo pitched a scoreless innings while striking out a batter and allowing just 1 hit but still needs to work on his command. Some of his pitches missed by a pretty wide margin. Brandon Gomes pitched a 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout to finish off a strong spring campaign where he likely has earned a spot in the Rays’ bullpen.
The Rays play the Orioles again Thursday night in Sarasota at 7:05 PM. Check back here at Rays Colored Glasses for the game preview.