Spring Training Game 10: Longoria Goes Yard in Rays Loss

By Fletcher Keel

The Tampa Bay Rays squared off with division rival Boston Red Sox for the second time this spring to get a preseason look at each other before facing one another 19 times in the regular season.

Jake Odorizzi got his first start of the spring, and made a case for that fifth starter spot by going 2 and 1/3’s innings, giving up just one run on two hits, while giving a free pass to a batter, and sending another to the dugout on strikes. (That run came in the final inning of work for Odorizzi, as Wil Middlebrooks knocked home Shane Victorino.)

While Odorizzi’s two-plus innings were good enough to keep the Rays in the game, the Tampa Bay offense went silent, thanks in large part to three shutout innings from Boston starter Jon Lester, and a combined 3.2 scorless innings from the rest of the pitching staff, allowing only a Evan Longoria solo shot to leadoff the fourth.

While at that time it was only a 2-1 game, Erik Bedard came into the game (who, as Robbie pointed out in today’s pregame, is battling with Odorizzi for that 5th-starter role), and had a rough 6th inning, as he allowed three runs to give the Sox the insurance they needed to take the game 6-2.

They Rays had their opportunities to comeback though; in the 7th inning with two outs, the bases for Tampa Bay were loaded with two outs when Mikie Mahtook stepped in, but flew out to left field. The Rays didn’t go down quietly, either, as they started a small rally in the top of the 9th, capped off by Kevin Kiermaier knocking home Cole Figueroa from third, but that would be all she’d write as the Red Sox would win 6-2.

The Rays will take on the Minnesota Twins tomorrow at Charlotte Sports Park, as David Price will take the bump for Tampa, and will face Ricky Nolasco. First pitch from Price is set to be delivered at 1:05.