Red Sox 7, Rays 7
If there was a day for the flailing Tampa Bay hitters to start
connecting in spring training, Saturday was it.
On an afternoon when Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine left
his regulars back at camp and opted to bring minor leaguers and
backups, the Rays got home runs from Carlos Pena, Evan Longoria and
Luke Scott in a 7-all tie called after nine innings.
The Rays committed four errors, uncharacteristic for a team that
preaches pitching and defense before offense.
”We were a little messy defensively,” Pena said. ”Next thing
you know, they’re scoring some runs because of our lapse.”
”I know they had their minor leaguers come in and play against
us today, but we understand that we can play any given day a Little
League team, and whoever executes the plays, that’s who’s going to
win the game,” he said. ”So we don’t take anything for granted,
and that’s a very good lesson to be reminded.”
Rays manager Joe Maddon sent out a handful of relievers because
scheduled starter Jeff Niemann was a late scratch due to a blister
on his right middle finger. Niemann, who just won the fifth spot in
Tampa Bay’s rotation, isn’t expected to miss his first regular
Wade Davis, who lost the fifth spot to Niemann, made his first
appearance since being sent to the bullpen, entering the game in
the fourth inning. The right-hander labored through three innings,
giving up five runs on five hits and a walk.
Davis made two errors, and four of the runs he permitted were
”If you really break Wade down, I thought he actually threw the
ball pretty darn good,” Maddon said. ”I thought he had a pretty
good fastball, threw some really good splits, which he’s been
working on. I kind of like that, some pretty good sliders. I
thought overall he threw the ball pretty well. He was just the
victim of some mistakes today.”
Pena homered to deep right-center in the second, moments after
Ross Ohlendorf picked off Ben Zobrist at first base.
”I’ve been feeling better and better as days have gone by, and
you come in and do the best you can to get to that comfort zone,”
Longoria hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the third. He hit a
solo homer in the fifth.
Jose Lobaton had a two-run double to center in the fourth and
scored on a double by Sean Rodriguez to make it 5-1. Lobaton, who
won the backup catcher job, went 3 for 4 and scored twice.
With the Rays down 7-6, Scott hit a tying homer in the
Ohlendorf, expected to start the season in Triple-A Pawtucket,
went 3 2-3 innings. He allowed five runs and seven hits.
NOTES: The Rays reassigned INF Will Rhymes and OF Jesus
Feliciano to minor league camp.