RAYS: Pirates top Rays in Spring home opener; preview of today’s game

By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports

PORT CHARLOTTE  — Prior to Friday’s game, manager Kevin Cash said he was unsure exactly when third baseman Evan Longoria was going to make his first appearance in a game this spring.

Cash said it could likely be Tuesday against Minnesota or Wednesday against Philadelphia.

NICE START
David Carpenter looked solid in his one inning of work to start Saturday’s game. The only base runner he allowed was on an error. He got a swinging strikeout to end the inning.

“It felt really strong,” Carpenter said “Curt (Casali) put down good fingers and everything. We were on the same page. I was able to go out there and execute what I wanted to do.”

GETTING HANG OF IT
Rickie Weeks played in just his second ever game at first base during spring training (has never played the position during the regular season) on Saturday

He was tested a few times, including a nice backhanded play, where he flipped the ball to pitcher Dana Eveland, who couldn’t corral the toss. The error went to Eveland.

“It’s just playing baseball, like I’ve always said,” Weeks said. “Every time I cross the line I feel like I’m confident.”

THE YOUNG, THE HITLESS
Jake Bauers, the youngest player at the Rays’ camp, didn’t get a hit in his first start of the spring, but in his second at-bat he gave the ball a good ride. Unfortunately, for Bauers both shots were in the vicinity of a Pittsburgh outfielder.

NOT AS SHARP
The Rays looked great in the spring training opener on Friday night, but didn’t repeat that on Saturday.

The two runs they scored didn’t come until the eighth and ninth innings. One bright spot was Jesus Sucre’s solo home run to get the Rays on the board.

PIRATES 7, RAYS 2

HITTER OF THE GAME
Phil Gosselin, Pirates:
 The Pittsburgh centerfielder went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, including a two-run double in the fifth inning to give his team a 6-0 lead.

PITCHER OF THE GAME
Jaime Schultz, Rays:
Schultz had one of the better lines of any Rays pitcher on Saturday. He tosses 1.1 innings and struck out a pair of batters over that time.

KEY INNING
Top fifth:
 Pirate Jacob Stallings hit a leadoff home run, but a two-out rally plated five more runs in the frame for Pittsburgh, giving them a 7-0 lead. Four of the runs were charged to Danny Farquhar and the other two were surrendered by Cory Rasmus.

PROSPECT WATCH
Willy Adames, Rays:
 The Rays’ No. 1 prospect started at shortstop and committed an error in the first inning. He came back the next frame to start a 6-4-3 double play. He went 0-for-2 with a strikeout at the plate.

THEY SAID IT

“Well, that’s tough to look at right now. I’m not sure. We got our pitchers in. that’s for sure. If there’s any positive, our pitchers threw a lot of pitches.”

— Kevin Cash, Rays manager on finding a positive from Saturday’s game.

BOSTON (1-0) at TAMPA BAY (1-1)

WHEN: Today, 1:05 p.m.
WHERE: Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte
SCHEDULED STARTERS: RH Chris Archer vs. RH Hector Velazquez
PITCHING PROBABLES
RAYS:
 RH Chris Archer (start), RH Chase Whitley, RH Kevin Gadea, RH Chih-Wei Hu, LH Ryan Yarbrough, RH Jeff Ames, RH Andrew Kittredge.
RED SOX:  RH Hector Velazquez (start), LH Fernando Abad, LH Luis Ysla, RH Marcus Walden, RH Ben Taylor, RH Jamie Callahan.

ON DECK

MONDAY: at Philadelphia, 1:05 p.m. TUESDAY: vs. Minnesota, 1:05 p.m. WEDNESDAY: vs. Philadelphia, 1:05 p.m. THURSDAY: at Boston, 1:05 p.m. FRIDAY: vs. Detroit, 1:05 p.m.

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