Evan Longoria homers for Rays in win over Orioles
SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Nelson Cruz had a scary end to spring training.
Baltimore’s designated hitter, signed to an $8 million, one-year contract last month, was hit in the helmet by a curveball from Rays starter Alex Cobb in the fourth inning Thursday night.
Cruz’s helmet cracked, but he walked off the field and had a precautionary CT scan. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he had few worries about Cruz.
”We’ll take a look and see how he feels (Friday), but he feels pretty good,” Showalter said.
Evan Longoria homered and Cobb pitched four innings in his final spring training tuneup, leading Tampa Bay to a 4-3 victory.
Scheduled to start the second game of the season, Cobb allowed a run and three hits. He felt bad about plunking Cruz.
”I don’t want to make excuses, but it slipped a little bit. It was a curveball and just got away from me,” Cobb said. ”I don’t think any pitcher wants to hit a guy in the head. … It still stinks to see a guy go down like that. I’ve heard he’s OK, so that’s good.”
Cobb was sidelined for an extended stretch last season after getting hit in the head by a line drive.
Longoria doubled and hit his third home run of the spring for the Rays, who improved the best record in the Grapefruit League to 16-6-4.
Ubaldo Jimenez yielded three runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings for the Orioles. He walked two and struck out four.
David Lough had three hits for Baltimore.
Rays: Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon has set his rotation: David Price, Cobb, Matt Moore, Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi.
”I like the rotation. I couldn’t be happier,” Cobb said. ”One through five, really happy.”
Orioles: Jimenez, who is Baltimore’s No. 2 starter, is eager to get out of Florida.
”I can’t wait. I’ve only been here for a month, but spring training is too long. Finally, we’re going to start the season,” he said.
Baltimore outfielder Nolan Reimold, who will start the season on the disabled list, said he thought the decision was best for everyone.
Reimold, limited to 56 games over the past two seasons because of two neck operations, has been able to hit this spring, but not play the outfield comfortably.
”I’m more tired about talking about it than anybody. I’m ready for these neck issues to be over and done with. If I look at it from where I’m at right now, I’ve progressed a lot from the beginning of spring training to now. So I will keep progressing and I’ll be 100 percent in the near future,” Reimold said.
Orioles left-hander Johan Santana threw from the top of the mound for the first time as he tries to make it back to the major leagues after missing last year due to his second major shoulder surgery.
Rays outfielder Wil Myers didn’t play after getting hit by a pitch on his left leg Wednesday. He’s fine and will play Friday in Lakeland against Detroit.
Orioles: Right-hander Alfredo Aceves will exercise the opt-out clause in his contract Friday. He was told Thursday he wouldn’t make the team.
Aceves, who has pitched for Boston and the New York Yankees, was signed as a minor league free agent in January.
Rays: Maddon hasn’t announced his final roster, but said no relievers from outside the organization will be added. RHPs Brandon Gomes and Josh Lueke are the favorites to win the last two bullpen spots.
RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo has pitched only two innings after missing last season following Tommy John surgery and won’t be ready to start the season.