Spring game report: Rays at Pirates
UPDATE, 3:48: Rays win 4-2, snapping 8-game winless streak. RHP Matt Bush works the ninth, striking out two.
UPDATE, 3:28: Rays push the lead to 4-2 with a bases loaded walk by Justin Ruggiano. Alex Cobb is pitching the eighth.
UPDATE, 3:18: Rays take a 3-2 lead in the eighth when Jose Lobaton scores on a sac fly to center by Desmond Jennings. Lobaton walked with one out went to third on a single by Casey Kotchman.
UPDATE, 2:44: Sam Fuld makes a big play in his return to action, running in and diving to rob Neil Walker of a hit in the sixth. Mike Ekstrom has looked good in relief. Still 2-2 going to the seventh.
UPDATE, 2:20: Tim Beckham singled in B.J. Upton as the Rays tied it in the top of the fifth. Upton and Dan Johnson walked to start the inning against Jose Veras, then Upton stole third and scored on Upton's single off the glove of 3B Garrett Atkins.
UPDATE, 2:12: Price's day appears to be over, with 59 pitches (38 strikes) over four innings, throwing 27 in the fourth alone. He allowed two runs on four hits, with one walk and two strikeouts. He also seemed to break at least three bats.
UPDATE, 2:03: Price was looking sharp and the Rays were cruising, until the fourth when Ronny Cedeno singled and then scored on a two-run homer to right by Matt Diaz, the former Ray. It's 2-1 Pirates in the fourth.
UPDATE, 1:29: The Rays Hot Stove radio show airs from 6-7 tonight - an hour earlier than usual - on 620-WDAE, with RHP Kyle Farnsworth among the guests.
UPDATE, 1:19: The Rays break on top with a run in the second, as B.J. Upton doubled deep into the gap in left-center. Manny Ramirez singled hard up the middle to start the inning, tho was out when he was nicked by Matt Joyce's hard grounder. But with Joyce on first, Upton laced a Ross Ohlendorf pitch nearly to the wall to score Joyce.
UPDATE, 11:43: Bucs assistant coach Eric Yarber will take batting practice with the Rays before Tuesday's game in Port Charlotte, and assistant Alfredo Roberts will accompany him. Head coach Raheem Morris is coming to the game too, and Maddon invited him to sit in the dugout during the game.
UPDATE, 11:38: The Rays injury report is thinning out, as OF Sam Fuld (elbow) was cleared to return to duty and will return to action today, INF Elliot Johnson (left quad) is set to return Tuesday, and SS Reid Brignac (groin tightness) is improved and pushing to return earlier than the projected end of the week. INF/OF Ben Zobrist (right ankle) is still a bit sore and his planned Tuesday return may be pushed back a day. ... RHP Jeremy Hellickson, with one more batting practice session set for Tuesday, is now officially scheduled to make his spring debut on Friday against the Pirates. ... Manager Joe Maddon raved again today about the work done by relievers Cesar Ramos, Juan Cruz, Jake McGee and Brandon Gomes on Sunday and how it got him excited about the possibilities for reconstructing the bullpen.
DEVELOPING: The Rays face the Pirates today in Bradenton, seeking to end an eight-game spring winless streak, with most of their big names in the lineup and ace David Price on the mound.
SS Reid Brignac said the tightness in his groin had subsided considerably, and that he thought he could be ready to play in the next few days though the Rays may hold him out until the end of the week. "It's nothing serious, I'm good,'' Brignac said. "It's like 10 times better than it was a couple days ago.''
Here is the lineup posted in the Rays clubhouse this morning:
D. Johnson 1b