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For starters, Rays vs Jays

10

March

4:49 p.m. Manager Joe Maddon was pleased with LHP David Price's spring debut, saying the touted prospect threw several very good changeups and held his composure after throwing six straight balls to start his outing.

Price said he felt good, and that his changeup has come a long ways. He said it's something he's worked on since he came to camp, getting tips from the likes of RHP James Shields, LHP Scott Kazmir and RHP Jason Isringhausen. He noted he struck out a left-handed hitter Tuesday on a changeup, and induced the 1-6-3 double play on another changeup. 

"Finally I struck somebody out on a changeup - it was huge," Price said. "It was a lefty so it was even better. Got a double play ball out of one so I proved not only to these guys but I’m proving to myself I can throw a good changeup to a big league  hitter. That’s huge for me."

4:30 p.m. Rays win 11-4 over the Jays.

3:16 p.m. Ray Sadler just came through with a solo homer in the seventh - tying him for the team-lead with three this spring (with Elliot Johnson).

3:06 p.m. LHP David Price makes his much-anticipated spring debut, opening the seventh inning.

Price walked Sanchez on four pitches; in fact, his first six pitches were balls. But Price stepped off the mound, took a deep breath and battled back, striking out Emus; he then got a pop-out and struck out Jays touted prospect Travis Snider for the final out.

Price also settled down in the eighth after walking the leadoff batter, retiring the side without any damage (thanks to a 1-6-3 he started with Tim Beckham) and a strike out looking.

So two innings, no runs, three Ks. Not a bad first start.

2:56 p.m. Garza said he felt good during his spring debut, and though he gave up three runs on three hits, he felt he locating his fastball well, threw his slider at times. "Everything felt fine." The only thing, however, he said he didn't throw his breaking ball how he wanted to.

Garza said he tried to ease back at first and not throw full throttle in his first spring start, but after the Jays picked up three straight hits, he got a little "mad" and amped up, changing this up a little bit.

"It's hard to get happy or ahead over the results," Garza said. "But it's about the process."

Garza said is comfortable and confident this camp, after having "found myself" - and found his style of pitching - during last season.

2:50 p.m. The Rays opened up the game with a five-run fifth, capped off with a grand slam by Pat Burrell.

Rays 7, Blue Jays 4

2:33 p.m. RHP Andy Sonnanstine has come in for his spring debut to start the fifth, and will likely pitch two innings.

Sonnanstine finished his day with a 1-2-3 fifth inning. We'll go down and talk to him soon.

2:04 p.m. RHP Lance Cormier, competing for one of the bullpen spots, has come in to pitch the fourth.

Cormier got the first out before catcher Curtis Thigpen belted a solo homer toward the tiki bar in leftfield.

Jays 4, Rays 2

1:47 p.m. LHP Brian Shouse has entered the game in the third (and Sonnanstine is warming up in the bullpen). Looks like David Price won't make his debut until around the 6th inning or so.

Shouse gave up a couple hits, but also struck out two in his one inning of work.

Jays 3, Rays 2

1:35 p.m. Garza's second inning went a little smoother (other than a Dioner Navarro error on a pop fly).

Garza didn't give up a hit in the inning, and likely finished his day with a line of - two innings, three runs, three hits.

He got some help from 2B Ray Olmedo, who made a great defensive play. Angel Sanchez hit a sharp grounder up the middle, off Garza's glove. Olmedo, having raced to his right for the grounder, made a quick reaction to his left to dive and snag the ricochet before flipping the ball to Reid Brignac at second for the force play.

Jays 3, Rays 2

1:22 p.m. OF Jon Weber, who replaced the injured Perez in centerfield, led off the first with a double to left-center off RHP Matt Clement.

Reid Brignac followed up with a double of his own down the rightfield line, scoring Weber to cut the Jays lead to 3-1. The Rays scored a second run when Carlos Pena grounded into a double-play.

Jays 3, Rays 2

1:16 p.m. RHP Matt Garza's spring debut got off to a little bit of a rocky start, as he gave up three hits in the first inning.

On one, a liner to right-center by Travis Snider, CF Fernando Perez got hurt while diving to make the catch and had to leave the game (he appeared to be favoring his left wrist).

Garza gave up three runs on three hits, with one run on a wild pitch (which got away from Dioner Navarro, who couldn't find it).

Jays 3, Rays 0

1:10 p.m. The Rays got a scare here in the first inning, with CF Fernando Perez leaving the game after injuring himself trying to make a diving catch on a shallow liner to right-center. Perez appeared to be favoring his wrist, was attended to by a trainer and taken to the clubhouse. OF Jon Weber replaced him.

Should be a big day on the mound, with RHP Matt Garza, RHP Andy Sonnastine and LHP David Price making their spring debuts.

RHP Grant Balfour's right arm - bruised by a line drive Saturday - is feeling better, and he said he should be good to go for his next scheduled appearance, Thursday. Manager Joe Maddon said Balfour would "probably" pitch Thursday, but if it's Friday, he's not overly concerned.

In other pre-game news

*Maddon was impressed with RHP Jason Isringhausen's live batting practice session, saying he was "very encouraged" with how it went. But Maddon said Isringhausen will likely get two more live BP sessions before his spring debut, which probably won't be until next week. 

Several regulars in the Rays lineup for an exhibition with the Jays.

RAYS
Perez, cf
Brignac, ss
Longoria, 3b
Pena, 1b
Burrell, dh
Navi, c
Gross, rf
Ruggiano, lf
Olmedo, 2b
Garza, p

JAYS

Inglett, 2b
Adams, lf
Snider, rf
rolen, 3b
Dopirak, 1b
Coats, cf
Arencibia, dh
Thigpen, c
Sanchez, ss
Clement, p

-- JOE SMITH

joesmith@sptimes.com

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:45am]

    

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