Spring game report: Rays vs. Pirates (6-5 loss)
UPDATE, 3:56: Rays lose to Pirates 6-5, had tying run on in 9th.
UPDATE, 3:42: Rays trail 6-5 going to ninth. Manny on his hustle to score from third on wild pitch: "The game says "Play Ball," so I just go and play.
UPDATE, 3:01: The Pirates took the lead with a 5-run fourth inning, highlighted by a three-run Garrett Atkins homer off Mike Ekstrom. A wild pitch led to another run. It is 5-4 Pirates in the bottom of the sixth.
UPDATE, 2:01: Brignac doubles off the LF wall in the third and Damon scores him with a single to right. Longoria follows with a single.
UPDATE, 1:47: Reliever Joel Peralta hit on back of leg by liner from Alex Presley, makes the out and after visits from trainer and Maddon stays in the game.
UPDATE, 1:29: Niemann sailed through his inning, getting three quick outs and throwing only 12 pitches. ... RHP Kyle Farnsworth also had a strong debut, retiring three straight. Manny Ramirez has been a big part of the story so far, running down Garrett Atkins liner to left-center to end the second, singling hard over shortstop in his first at-bat then later scoring from third on a wild pitch sliding across the plate.
UPDATE, 1:04: Manager Joe Maddon said Manny Ramirez could make 6-7 spring appearances in leftfield, as he is today. ... RHP Jeff Niemann makes his first spring appearance on his 28th birthday. ... There was some spirited clapping in the Rays dugout before they took the field, apparently led by SS Ray Olmedo.
UPDATE, 12:57: Pirates lineup:
G. Hernandez cf
A. Presley lf
C. Snyder dh
D. Brown c
B. Morris p
DEVELOPING: The Rays and Pirates play the rubber game of their three-game exhibition-season opening series today in Port Charlotte.
RHP Jeff Niemann will be on the mound for his first start of the spring, and Manny Ramirez is going to be in leftifeld.
The players went through a media training session this morning, so the quotes and comments later today should be especially interesting.
This is the lineup posted in the Rays clubhouse:
D. Johnson 1b