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Spring Game 30: Erasmo Ramirez Debuts as Rays Lose 1-0

By Joe Saunders

The Rays lost 1-0 to the Detroit Tigers in their last exhibition game before Opening Day. Victor Martinez’s home run in the second inning would be the only run scored in the contest. It was the first time the Rays took the field at Tropicana Field in 2015 and it seemed very similar to 2014 in terms of offense. The Rays didn’t threaten until the 9th inning when they had the tying and winning runs in scoring position with two outs but couldn’t get them in.

Matt Andriese got the start and threw a solid 10-pitch first inning, coaxing a couple of groundouts and striking out Miguel Cabrera. Now that he’s been officially named to the rotation, his next start will be his official MLB debut. Newly acquired Erasmo Ramirez then took the ball in the second inning to make his first appearance as a Ray. He got off to a brutal start when Martinez launched a 3-2 fastball over the right field fence, he would settle down afterwards.

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Ramirez’s final line would be 3.2 innings pitched with 1 run allowed on 2 hits. He struck out 6 without walking a single batter. Ramirez’s pitches all looked like they possessed a good amount of movement to them. His plus changeup was especially impressive as it produced several swinging strikes. He also used quite a few times against right-handed batters, something he didn’t do much in Seattle. In any event, there is some reason to look forward to Erasmo Ramirez in the Rays’ rotation now.

Brandon Gomes would throw 2 shutout innings, striking out 4, and was followed by Jordan Norberto who threw 1.1 scoreless frames. Jhan Marinez threw a scoreless 9th as well. Tigers’ starter Alfredo Simon had an excellent day on the hill, not allowing a baserunner until the fifth inning when he gave a single to Desmond Jennings. Six other Tigers pitchers combined to keep the Rays scoreless for the last four innings of the game.

Offensively, the Rays didn’t have much happening. Jennings and Brandon Guyer each singled but those were the only hits the Rays could muster. Guyer stole a base (call was reviewed but confirmed) in the ninth to try to get something going, but he couldn’t get brought around.

On the defensive side, meanwhile, the Rays looked fine. Tim Beckham made a really nice diving stop going to his left in the top of ninth for a big out. Asdrubal Cabrera made a few plays at short and looked very comfortable there. Finally, John Jaso started in left and caught a high fly ball up against the warning track in the second inning as well. It definitely seems like we will see him in the outfield occasionally this season.

Opening Day is finally right around the corner. On Monday at 3:10 PM EST, Chris Archer will toe the rubber to face the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field to kick off the 2015 season. Chris Tillman will be on the mound for the O’s. Get excited!

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