Gameday Live: Rays at Pirates
The Rays held on to beat the Pirates Thursday in a 16-15 slugfest, their ninth straight spring victory.
Reid Brignac went 2 for 3 with 3 RBI, with Pat Burrell, Carl Crawford and Justin Ruggiano among the Rays with homers.
Right hander Wade Davis gave up five runs in two innings in his first spring start. Dioner Navarro left the game in the third with a left thumb contusion.
The Rays took a 16-11 lead into the ninth, but the Pirates scored four times and loaded the bases off Heath Rollins before ending the game.
Update 4:19: The Rays take a 15-11 lead into the ninth.
Update 3:48 The Rays scored six runs in the seventh to take a 14-8 lead, including an RBI single by Elliot Johnson and a two-run homer by Justin Ruggiano, his second HR of spring.
Update 3:31 p.m. Elliot Johnson just made the defensive play of the day from centerfield, throwing out Delwyn Young at the plate, preserving a tied game in the sixth.
Rays 8, Pirates 8
Update 3:11 p.m. The Pirates added a run apiece in the fith and sixth to tie the game.
Rays 8, Pirates 8
Update 2:55 p.m. Another good at-bat by Reid Brignac, who slaps a single to rightfield on a 1-2 count to drive in another run (his third RBI of the day).
Rays 8, Pirates 6 (fifth inning)
Update 2:49 p.m. LF Carl Crawford and Pat Burrell each hit solo homers in the fifth to help the Rays take a 7-6 lead.
Update 2:23 p.m. The Pirates scored an unearned run in the third off RHP Jeff Bennett, thanks to an RBI groundout by Jeff Clement.
Pirates 6, Rays 5
Update 2:13 p.m. RHP Wade Davis' outing is over after just two innings; he gave up five runs on three hits, three walks and a homer. Dave Martinez had wanted to stretch him out to three or four innings, but Davis' rough first inning threw that off a bit.
RHP Jeff Bennett is now pitching.
Update 2:05 p.m. C Dioner Navarro left the game in the third holding his left hand after getting hit by an errant pickoff attempt.
Update 1:58 p.m. Davis had a lot smoother second inning, helped by getting Akinori Iwamura to ground into a 4-6-3 double play.
Update 1:41 p.m. Reid Brignac continued his impressive spring with a big hit in the second inning, a two-run double. The Rays had loaded the bases on three walks issued by Kevin Hart.
Elliot Johnson added a sacrifice fly, and then Sean Rodriguez added another chapter to his interesting spring. He ripped a single up the middle, which was misplayed by Jose Tabata (going through him and to the warning track). Rodriguez made it all the way home, with third base coach Bobby Ramos nearly running all the way down the line himself.
Officially scored a single and three base error, it helped the Rays tie the game at 5-5.
Update 1:23 p.m: RHP Wade Davis had a rough first inning, falling behind hitters (and walking two to load the bases with two outs). Andy LaRoche made him pay, hitting a bases-clearing double off the centerfield wall.
Then, Ronny Cedeno hit a two-run homer (on a 3-2 count).
Pirates 5, Rays 0.
Update 12:40 p.m. Bench coach Dave Martinez, who is managing the Rays split-squad team in Bradenton, said they're hoping RHP Wade Davis to go three-to-four innings (or around 50-55 pitches).
He praised both Reid Brignac and Sean Rodriguez for their improved at-bats this spring - which has led to some impressive results, and great competition for a roster spot. "It's going to be interesting to see what's going to happen," he said.
One other thing to watch is Pat Burrell making his second spring start in the outfield (he's in right).
Update 12:30 p.m. Akinori Iwamura says he's getting more comfortable with his new team, and even has some gold streaks in his hair to match the Pirates colors.
Iwamura said it was great to meet up with some of his former Rays teammates during batting practice, and laughed when asked if first base coach George Hendrick teased him like he always did in Tampa Bay. "He hasn't changed," Iwamura said, smiling.
We're live here in Bradenton, where the Rays will (hopefully) play the Pirates. Though there are some dark clouds overhead, early forecasts predict the rain will be holding off until around 3 or 4 p.m.
Ex-Ray 2B Akinori Iwamura, who is batting leadoff for Pittsburgh, said he's excited to face his former team, and see so many familiar faces.
RHP Wade Davis will make his second spring appearance, and it'll be interesting to watch the double play combo of SS Sean Rodriguez and 2B Reid Brignac, who are both off to hot spring starts.
D. Johnson 1b
E. Johnson 3b