Spring game report: Rays vs. Jays, vs. Netherlands in St. Pete
UPDATE, 2:24: Jays take a 3-2 lead in fifth by roughing up RHP Dane De La Rosa, and it could have been worse if not for a running catch by Joyce in RF for third out.
UPDATE, 2:11: Rays take a 2-0 lead on another well-struck ball by Upton, this time a double to right-center that scored Evan Longoria (who doubled) and Matt Joyce (who walked).
UPDATE, 1:59: Bautista opens fourth with a single, but Shoppach throws him out trying to steal. Niemann gets Lind on a pop-up.
UPDATE, 1:42: Well struck two-out double off 3B glove for Upton in Rays second but Lopez flies out, still 0-0.
UPDATE, 1:34: Niemann struggled a bit in the second, throwing 22 pitches - single, wild pitch, walk - but didn't allow a run. Still 0-0 in bottom of second.
UPDATE, 1:21: RHP Jeff Niemann worked through the first inning pretty well, needing only 14 pitches. Rays went down quickly in the bottom of the first.
UPDATE, 10:27: Interesting observation in the Rays game notes - it was 16 years ago today the franchise was awarded at an MLB owners meeting in Palm Beach. Also, today is the Rays first game back at Al Lang Field since March 28, 2008.
UPDATE, 10:09: Jays lineup:
UPDATE, 10:07: The Rays have another special guest today, Justine Siegal, who will throw batting practice as part of her efforts to a) raise awareness about creating opportunities for women in baseball (ultimately a women's pro league) and also to honor the memory of Christina Green, the 9-year-old killed in the Arizona shootings.
UPDATE, 10:01: SS Reid Brignac (groin tightness) is feeling good and should be back in the lineup Thursday, Maddon said. OF Brandon Guyer, however, will be out a few days with a similar issue. ... John Jaso is not in the lineup, but Maddon said that is because he is trying to use the catchers on a lefty-righty basis as he will during the season, so Kelly Shoppach starts again against Toronto lefty Brett Cecil. .. As of now, Maddon plans to bring just about all the big-name players to the two weekend games in Clearwater and Dunedin (though he said he may give Manny Ramirez one of those days off).
DEVELOPING: The Rays are hosting the Jays for a second straight day today in Port Charlotte, and also have a squad of non-rostered players going to St. Petersburg for an exhibition with the Netherlands team.
The squad going to St. Pete is taking batting practice in Port Charlotte this morning and won't be getting to Al Lang Field until around noon for the 1 p.m. game. Also, the Rays will be the visiting team.
Most of the big names are playing in Port Charlotte today, and Ben Zobrist is back in the lineup for the first time since being scratched from Friday's game due to a tender right ankle.
Here are the lineups posted in the clubhouse:
VS. NETHERLANDS IN ST. PETE