Gameday live: Rays vs. Orioles
UPDATE, 4:32: Rays still clinch best record in Grapefruit League at 19-8-2 with Braves loss.
UPDATE, 4:02: Rays lose 4-3. No 20-win spring in Port Charlotte.
UPDATE, 4:00: Two outs with minor-leaguer Mike Sheridan at the plate, tying run on 3rd.
UPDATE, 3:55: Rays rallying in the ninth, two on, 1 out.
Update, 3:48: O's take a 4-3 lead off a Rays minor-leaguer named Dane de la Rosa.
Update, 3:35: Reid Brignac continues his torrid spring - (.362, 21 for 58) - with a one-out double in the eighth as the Rays threaten again. But with two outs, Blalock taps back to the mound, as his average drops to .175 (7-for-40). If that was the only criteria, it would be a simple decision.
Update, 3:16: And he bounces into a double play - still tied 3-3 through 7.
Update, 3:14: Rays rallying in the seventh: Bartlett reaches on infield single, Zobrist singles to right, Longoria at the plate.
Update, 3:10: It's 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh.
Update, 2:57: Rays rallying again, with first and third and one out in the sixth, but Blalock pops out against Steve Johnson. And Shoppach takes a third strike.
Update, 2:40: Rays tie it on a sac fly by Zobrist.
Update, 2:35: Rays are rallying in the sixth as Shoppach walks, Bartlett doubles and Crawford walks to load the bases.
Update, 2:25: And now it's 3-2 O's in the fifth as ex-Ray Ty Wigginton singles in the go-ahead run.
Update, 2:21: Two-run homer by Andino off Carlos Hernandez makes it 2-2 in the fifth.
Update, 1:59: Word just in from our man Joe Smith on the back fields here at Charlotte Sports Park, James Shields completed his tune-up for opening day with a four-inning, 56-pitch outing in a minor-league game. Shields gave up four hits and 1 unearned run.
Update, 1:55: Rays lead 2-0 after 3. Carlos Hernandez is coming to the mound in the first of a parade of minor-legauers.
Update, 1:45: Ekstrom did a good job, allowing only one hit (a bloop single) over his three innings and got out of his little bit of trouble (after an error by Jason Bartlett) with a ground ball double play.
Update, 1:33: Ekstrom zipped through the second, with three fly outs. Pretty good showing thus far, and it appears he'll be going out for a third.
Update, 1:25: Two-run homer by Evan Longoria, his fifth of the spring, gives Rays a 2-0 lead in first.
Update, 1:10: If Ekstrom is pitching for a spot on the team, he is off to a good start, with a 1-2-3 first as Pie struck out, Wigginton flied out (another nifty catch in RF by Burrell) and Markasis grounded out.
1:05: Underway here for the last time this spring in Port Charlotte on a picturesque day.