Rays pick up a 8-2 win over Pirates in Bradenton
Rays righthander Jeremy Hellickson felt good in his spring debut, as did starter Jeff Niemann in his second outing, as Tampa Bay beat the Pirates, 8-2, Wednesday at McKechnie Field.
The Rays jumped out early with five runs in the first three innings, largely thanks to three Pirates errors. DH Luke Scott had a big day, with two hits, including an RBI double off the right-center wall. INF Tim Beckham, the former No. 1 pick, had a double and a triple, and made some good plays at second. "Everything he was doing was outrageously good," manager Joe Maddon said.
Veteran Kelly Johnson handled himself well in leftfield, saying he didn’t feel “like a fish out of water” in his first appearance there since 2005.
On the mound, Niemann tossed an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 first inning, saying he felt stronger than his first outing.
Hellickson, making his debut in relief, threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings, getting himself out of a jam in the second.
The Rays return home to Port Charlotte Thursday to face the Tigers. 3B Evan Longoria will return to the lineup, as he continues his every-other-day schedule. RHP Roberto Hernandez will start, with LHP Matt Moore making his spring debut.