Spring game report: Rays vs. O's (9-8 loss)
UPDATE, 4:18: Rays lose 9-8. Maddon was pleased with Niemann's work and the offense, but acknowledged that both Adam Russell and Ekstrom are having some issues they need to straighten out. Also, Maddon had a fan - who was in in Orioles jersey - removed from the stadium after he was making racist comments about B.J. Upton.
UPDATE, 3:52: The Rays were on the verge of closing out the win, but Mike Ekstrom loaded the bases and gave up a two-run single to ex-Ray Nick Green, so it's 9-8 O's in the ninth.
UPDATE, 3:46: Justin Ruggiano's three-run homer put Rays ahead 8-7 in 7th.
UPDATE, 3:19: The Rays are rallying in the bottom of the seventh, have cut the lead to 7-5.
UPDATE, 3:03: Reliever Adam Russell, who came into camp with a job in the bullpen, had another rough outing, as the O's added three more runs and now lead 7-2 in the seventh.
UPDATE, 2:46: The Orioles tacked on anoter run in the sixth to make it 4-2, and end Niemann's day. For the six innings, he allowed the four runs on nine hits. Most of the starters are now out.
UPDATE, 2:32: And with a Luke Scott single up the middle, the O's are now up 3-2.
UPDATE, 2:30: After the Rays waste a bases loaded chance with Manny Ramirez flying out to end the fifth, the O's tie it in the sixth as Adam Jones and Nick Markakis rap back-to-back doubles off Niemann.
UPDATE, 2:02: Rays tied it in the third when Ben Zobrist tripled in Reid Brignac, then rallied in fourth when Longoria and Ramirez opened with singles, and B.J. Upton delivered a two-out single to right-center. Rays lead 2-1.
UPDATE, 1:27: O's take a 1-0 lead in second - Niemann allowed two singles then had an escape act just about done but Longoria had trouble with ground ball and threw wide of base (tho it was scored a hit).
UPDATE, 1:14: Impressive 13-pitch 1-2-3 first inning by Rays starter Jeff Niemann.
UPDATE, 11:33: Maddon said Jaso is expected to miss about three days, talking tentatively about having him hit in a game on Wednesday and possibly get behind the plate on Thursday.
UPDATE, 9:31: The Orioles are bringing some of their big names, but not all.
A. Jones cf
UPDATE, 9:15: Jaso said he was "stilling hurting, still throbbing" in THAT area - and while he didn't expect to miss a lot of time, he didn't have a set date to get back on the field. Given that he was still in considerable pain today he knew one thing: "Not today.'' Jaso said. "I'm not ready to strap it back on just yet.''
He was taken to a hospital in Fort Myers to be checked out extensively Saturday, is on pain killers today and will be watched closely, with a followup exam in about two weeks. "As soon as I stood up this morning, this pressure just took over. They're hurting right now pretty bad,'' he said. "It's a sensitive area down there and I guess things can go wrong really easy, so they spent a lot of time going over the charts and ultrasounds and stuff, but the doctor said it was fine.''
Jaso, like all catchers (but not all players, as Carl Crawford revealed last year), Jaso wears a protective cup, but "there's only so much you can do. I can only imagine if I wasn't wearing a cup. I would probably be on a surgery table.''
DEVELOPING: The Rays are enjoying another late report this morning, with no formal morning workout and batting practice in the cages or on the back fields at 11 a.m. Most of the regulars are scheduled to play today, and RHP Jeff Niemann will be on the mound.
One item of note today is the condition of C John Jaso, who was in considerable pain Saturday after being struck by a foul tip in the groin area. On Saturday, the Rays said that he had a contusion and was day to day. He was not scheduled to play today anyway.
Here is the lineup posted in the clubhouse this morning:
D. Johnson 1b
There will be a free postgame concert today by the B-Street Band, a Bruce Springsteen tribute band led by Willy Forte, a chldhood friend of manager Joe Maddon.