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For starters, Rays vs Team Puerto Rico

4

March

Update 10:11 p.m. Puerto Rico's 2-1 lead holds up, and they beat the Rays in a quick game at Charlotte Sports Park.

Maddon was pleased with how Talbot settled in after giving up early hits, getting himself out of jams. Maddon also liked the way his bullpen faired, including Lance Cormier, Neal Frontz and Winston Abreu.

Not a lot of offense, but Adam Kennedy's savvy play of deciding to bunt on his own with two outs in the fifth paid off for the Rays only run (Fernando Perez scored).

Puerto Rico 2, Rays 1  (FINAL)

Update 9:23 p.m A well-pitched game so far, with not a lot of runs late in the game.

Puerto Rico still leads 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth. The Rays regulars are pretty much out of the game right now.

Update 8:35 p.m. The Rays got on the board in the fifth in an interesting way.

With Fernando Perez on third and two outs, Adam Kennedy laid down a bunt. Perez hesitated. And it appeared Puerto Rico would be out of the inning if they had a clean throw to first.

But they didn't, the throw pulled the first baseman off the bag, and Kennedy was safe, scoring Perez.

Kennedy then got thrown out at the plate trying to score on a Gabe Gross single.

Puerto Rico 2, Rays 1

Update 8:27 p.m. Puerto Rico tagged on a run in the fifth off of RHP reliever Lance Cormier, to go up 2-0.

Update 8:04 p.m. Not much offense from the Rays so far, just two hits in the first three innings.

Talbot has given up just one run (on five hits) through four innings. Looked much more poised than his last start, when he gave up five first inning runs to the Phillies.

Puerto Rico 1, Rays 0

Update 7:32 p.m. Talbot survived a scare - literally - in the second. After giving up a leadoff triple to Alex Rios, Talbot retired the next two hitters before Ramon Vazquez ripped a line drive right up the middle.

Talbot reached up with his glove to knock down the liner - which appeared headed for his head - and it bounced near second base.

The run scored, and Talbot is ok.

So far, Talbot hasn't been rattled, and even though he has given up four hits, the Rays are down just 1-0.

Update 7:15 p.m. RHP Mitch Talbot's night didn't start off well, giving up sharp singles to two of the first three batters he faced - albeit they were Bernie Williams and Carlos Beltran.

But Talbot settled down, and instead of letting the first inning get away from him (like it did Saturday against the Phillies), he battled his way out of it without giving up a run. Talbot got Carlos Delgado to ground into a double play to end the threat.

The Rays will play their first night game of the spring, a 7:05 p.m. exhibition with Puerto Rico's team for the World Baseball Classic.

Several Rays regulars are slated to be in the lineup tonight, with SS Jason Bartlett, LF Carl Crawford, 3B Evan Longoria, DH Pat Burrell and C Dioner Navarro, just to name a few.

The Puerto Rico roster is stacked too, with the likes of Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran and Ivan Rodriguez.

One thing to watch tonight will be RHP Mitch Talbot. Talbot, vying for the fifth rotation spot, got roughed up in his last outing Saturday, when he gave up five runs (three homers) in the first inning before settling down to throw two scoreless innings after that.

Talbot said it was a big learning lesson for him that he needs to make adjustments quicker - mixing in some of his offspeed stuff with his fastball. 

RAYS
Bartlett, ss
Crawford, lf
Longoria, 3b
Burrell, dh
Kapler, rf
Navarro, c
Kennedy, 2b
Ensberg, 1b

Perez, cf

Talbot, RHP

PUERTO RICO
Bernie Williams, lf
Ivan Rodriguez, dh
Carlos Beltran, cf
Carlos Delgado, 1b
Alex Rios, rf
Geovany Soto, c
Mike Aviles, ss
Ramon Vazquez, 3b

Alex Cora, 2b

- JOE SMITH

joesmith@sptimes.com

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

    

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