SPRING TRAINING: Pair of split-squad wins for Rays over Yankees and Orioles

By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports

Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Rickie Weeks Jr. (8) beats the tag by Yankees third baseman Chase Headly (12) during the fifth inning Tuesday at Charlotte Sports Park (Sun Photo by Tom O’Neill).

PORT CHARLOTTE — It was split squad day for the Rays, as half the team stayed in Port Charlotte to face the Yankees and the other half headed up to Sarasota for a game against the Orioles.

Blake Snell was the starting pitcher in the game against the Orioles and had a strange outing.

Snell allowed just one run on one hit in 2.2 innings of work, but he also walked five of the first nine batters he faced. He settled down over the next five batters.

Rays hitters had themselves quite the afternoon against the Orioles. Corey Dickerson went 4-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Steven Souza Jr. drove in three runs on three hits, and Curt Casali had a pair of hits with an RBI.

The Rays won that game 9-6.

YOU AGAIN?
Jake Odorizzi faced the Yankees for the second straight start in Tuesday’s win.

He surrendered three runs in 3.2 innings of work. The first time through the Yankees lineup, Odorizzi allowed four hits and a walk. Things got better the second time, allowing just one hit and one walk.

“I thought it was alright. I got my work in,” Odorizzi said. “I was just working on my off-speed pitches again. I’m pretty confident I threw more off-speed pitches than fastballs.”

Odorizzi and the Yankees will see each other again soon. Assuming he’s in the top-three of the Rays’ rotation, he could face them again in the opening series of the regular season.

“He was fine. Maybe didn’t quite have the finish on the pitches we normally see out of him. It was good to see him ramp it up there that last inning,” manager Kevin Cash said. “From our stand point, he looked good.”

WELCOME BACK
Shawn Tolleson made just his second appearance of the spring on Tuesday against the Yankees.

The offseason acquisition has been dealing with back spasms, but looked fine in his outing yesterday.

Tolleson threw one inning with a walk, a hit and a strikeout. This was the first time he had pitched since March 3, when he allowed two runs in one inning against the Tigers.

“We signed him with high hopes to come in and help stable our bullpen on the back end. We have to get him his reps,” Cash said.

SCRATCHED AGAIN
Kevin Kiermaier was initially scheduled to play outfield in the Rays’ road game against the Orioles. He was then changed to be a DH in the home game, but just before first pitch he was scratched from the lineup all together.

According to the Rays, it was due to a stiff neck and is not considered serious. Kiermaier missed some time earlier in the spring with the same issue.

RAYS 10, YANKEES 6

HITTER OF THE GAME
Rickie Weeks Jr., Rays:
The first baseman continued his hot spring with a solo homer and a two-run double. Weeks now has three long balls in eight games, with nine RBI, eight runs and a .500 average.

PITCHER OF THE GAME
Shawn Tolleson / Austin Pruitt, Rays:
The two pitchers had the same stat line in the win. Both of them tossed one scoreless inning, allowed one hit and struck out a batter.

KEY INNING
Bottom 5th:
The Rays sent 12 batters to the plate in the frame to score six runs. They did their damage with a home run, a double, a single and five walks.

PROSPECT WATCH
Dayron Varona, Rays:
 He had three RBI in that big fifth inning for the Rays. A pair of them came on a two-run homer. He then drew a bases-loaded walk the next time he came up.

THEY SAID IT
“When you face a team twice and they happen to be your opening-day opponent, you tend not to show them a lot of your go-to stuff.”

— Rays pitcher Jake Odorizzi on his approach against the Yankees

BOSTON (8-10-1) AT TAMPA BAY (8-8-1)

WHEN: Today, 1:05 p.m.
WHERE: Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte
SCHEDULED STARTERS: RH Matt Andriese vs. RH Kyle Kendrick
PITCHING PROBABLES
RAYS: RH Matt Andriese (start), RH Tommy Hunter, RH David Carpenter, LH Xavier Cedeno, RH Danny Farquhar, RH Ryan Garton
RED SOX: RH Kyle Kendrick (start), RH Marcus Walden, RH Chandler Shepherd, RH Ben Taylor, LH Luis Ysla.

ON DECK

THURSDAY: off day. FRIDAY: vs Minnesota, 1:05 p.m. SATURDAY:  at Toronto, 1:07 p.m. SUNDAY: vs. Philadelphia, 1:05 p.m. MONDAY: vs. Pittsburgh, 1:05 p.m.

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