Baseball is back! The Tampa Bay Rays started their Spring Training exhibition games off with a loss to the Phillies, 3-2.
The Tampa Bay Rays got off to a wacky start in the first inning of Spring ball. Gold Glove, rather Platinum glove, center fielder Kevin Kiermaier misplayed a ball in center that rolled past him, followed by a horrific relay throw that allowed Scott Kingery to score on an inside the park home run (though the official scorer called it a triple with an advancement on a throw).
Kevin Kiermaier said that play will bother him the rest of the day.
Austin Pruitt called it a day after one inning and one run. Pruitt earned a punch out to end his day.
The Rays then turned to Oliver Drake out of the pen. Drake finished his day with an Inning pitched, and a strikeout. His only blemish being a walk allowed.
Mike Zunino is good. The catcher who came over from Seattle in the Mallex Smith trade beat out an infield single in the second inning to grab the Rays first hit of 2019.
Kevin Cash called on Colin Poche to follow Drake, and he lasted two outs into the third inning. A young arm who many are excited about struggled with control, allowing three walks, a hit, and an earned run.
Richardo Pinto came in to finish the frame by inducing a ground out.
Pinto was taken out in favor of Hunter Wood who pitched a near perfect inning with his only mistake being a walk. The ball was then handed to Ryan Merritt and he gave up a pair of hits including a deep home run to Mikial Franco. Casey Sadler got the top of the sixth and earned a strikeout getting out of the inning unscathed.
At the dish, the Rays scored their first run of the year via a Ji-Man Choi sac fly that scored Daniel Robertson.
In the bottom of the sixth, Jason Coats hit a solo shot to cut the Phillies lead to just one run entering the seventh.
That is when Kevin Cash threw out Andrew Kittredge, the eighth pitcher of the day, so a standard game for Kevin Cash.
Kittredge continued the trend of picking up one strikeout and a walk in his inning of work.
Luis Santos came in the game in the top of the 8th inning, and he worked a quick 1-2-3 inning.
Andrew Moore got called on in the 9th for the Tampa Bay Rays, and he did his job going 1-2-3.
Going into the 9th inning, the Rays were down a run and the offense went down in order to end the game.
The best player on the first today was Tommy Pham, who made some noise off the field this offseason, was incredible today. Picking up right where he left off after the trade last season. Pham went 2-for-3 including a double on the day.
The Tampa Bay Rays collected seven hits, a pair of runs, and were charged with an error.
The Rays pitching staff combined gave up just four hits but three runs.
Up next for the Tampa Bay Rays, they play a night game with the Twins on Saturday with first pitch set for 6:05 EST tomorrow. Be sure to follow us on Twitter to follow along with the game, and interact with us!