Afternoon report: Rays lose to Jays 5-0
The Rays lost to the Blue Jays 5-0 today in Dunedin, falling to 3-9-3 in the spring.
*RHP Jeff Niemann was doing well in the first three innings, then gave up four straight hits to start the fourth before getting pulled. He finished having allowed four runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings with three strikeouts. Manager Joe Maddon thought Niemann pitched really well, had some good stuff, just "ran out of gas" in the fourth.
Niemann said the fourth was a bonus inning, just to get him up and down one more time, and reach 66 pitches (considering he threw just 27 in three innings his last time out. "It wasn't exactly as sharp or as hard as it was early on, that's when most of the damage happened," Niemann said. "I had 10 pitches to work with, usually that's 1 or 2 hitters and it turned out to be five hits and eight pitches. It's one of those things."
Niemann said he was working on some stuff, specifically his slider, which he threw more than usual and got three outs on it, "That was huge."
*C Jose Molina said he was encouraged with how good he felt after catching back-to-back games for the first time in two years. He said he'll do it again in the middle of next week.
*The Rays continued their offensive struggles, getting held to no hits through five, broken up on a bunt by Brandon Guyer (who said it was his call).
*Maddon liked a lot of things about the game, including relievers RHP Dane De La Rosa (4 straight strikeouts in relief) and RHP Matt Bush. SS Tim Beckham played good shortstop, and LF Desmond Jennings had two walks, a stolen base and sliding catch.