[This article was written by Nick Hanson, one of our Charlotte Stone Crabs, GCL Rays, and Extended Spring Training correspondents.]
The Rays' extended spring training program took on the Cincinnati Reds organization today on the back fields of Charlotte Sports Park. Although the Rays mounted a valiant comeback, they fell to the Reds 11-9 in 10 innings. Jason Isringhausen started for the Rays, in his final rehab appearance in Port Charlotte. He went 2 innings, allowing 1 earned run on 1 hit, striking out 2. He surrendered a triple to lead off the game, but settled in, not allowing another run after the Reds scored on an RBI groundout. Isringhausen will now head to Montgomery, AL to play for the Biscuits as he prepares to join the Rays.
The Rays tied the score 1-1 in the bottom of the second. Burt Reynolds led off with a triple, and Mark Thomas plated him with a sacrifice fly. Bradley Furdal took over the pitching duties for the Rays in the 3rd. He allowed 1 earned run in 2 innings of work. After the Rays went down in order in the 3rd, the Reds were shut down by Furdal, who only allowed a walk in the fourth but otherwise was perfect. In the Rays half of the 4th, they had 2 men on base but Mark Thomas grounded into an inning ending double play.
Omar Bencomo took over on the mound in the 5th, and looked solid in his first inning, putting the Reds down 1-2-3. The Rays went 1-2-3 as well in the bottom of the fifth, and Bencomo returned for the 6th. There, the game got out of hand as he allowed a leadoff double, who scored on an error by the short stop the next batter. An RBI double brought the score to 6-1 Reds. Two batters later, a 2 RBI triple left the Reds in front 8-1. Bencomo was one out away from getting out of the inning, but surrendered a 2 run shot to right field that gave the Reds a massive 10-1 lead. Matt Walker then replaced Bencomo, going 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. The Rays half of the 6th had them add runs, as Elias Otero hit a 2 run shot. Burt Reynolds plated 2 runs with a deep shot to left which was misplayed by the LF, Reynolds reached 3rd standing. The score was now 10-5, but after a pitching change Mark Thomas struck out to end the rally.
The top of the 7th was a defensive struggle for the Rays, as the Reds added another run on 2 errors, a passed ball, and a wild pitch. The score was now 11-5. In the bottom of the 7th, Christian Lopez walked but DJ Jones lined into a double play (4-3). Dustin Biell then grounded out to end the inning. Walker shut the Reds down 1-2-3 in the 8th. The Rays would strand Ty Morrison in the bottom of the frame. In the bottom of the 9th, the Rays put up a solid inning. Eli Sonoqui led it off with a single, and 2 batters later Christian Lopez was hit by a pitch. Lopez stole 2nd on defensive indifference. DJ Jones hit a massive 3 run homer to left to make the score 11-9. However, Tyler Hauschild flew out to end the inning.
The teams mutually went 10 innings. The Reds went down quietly in their half of the 10th. The Rays weren't looking to go down without a fight, and they didn't allow the Reds to breeze through the 10th. Ramon Novas walked, and Ty Morrison doubled to CF, moving Novas to 3rd. Elias Otero grounded out, bringing home Novas to make the score 11-9 with the tying run on at the plate. Cortez grounded out, and it was up to Eli Sonoqui. However, he lined out to 2nd, ending the game and giving the Reds a tight 11-9 victory.
Jake McGee threw batting practice (with batters, no swings) on the side during the game, and said afterwards that he felt great, especially his fastball. He expects to be pitching for the Charlotte Stone Crabs by June 1st.
The Rays play a double-header tommorow in Port Charlotte against the Baltimore Orioles organization. The first game is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
Nick's Play-By-Play Notes:
Triple to CF; Strikeout swinging (1 out); RBI groundout (2 out) 1-0 Reds; Groundout to Isringhausen (3 out)
Morrison grounds out to 2nd (1 out); Otero singles to CF; Cortez singles to RF; Sonoqui grounds into a double play (4-5-3, 3 out)
Batter reaches on E3 (Sonoqui); Everyone safe on E1 (Isringhausen); Popup (1 out); Strikeout swinging (2 out); Strikeout swinging (3 out)
Reynolds triples to LF; Sac-fly by Thomas (1 out) 1-1; Francisco walks; Jones grounds out to 1B, Fransisco to 2nd (2 out); Hauschild flies out to CF (3 out)
Furdal now pitching; Walk; Sac bunt 6-3 (1 out); Flyout to RF (2 out); Wild pitch, runner to 3rd); RBI double to CF 2-1; Walk
Biell flies out to RF (1 out); Morrison strikes out swinging (2 out); Otero flies out (3 out)
Popup to SS (1 out); Groundout to 2B (2 out); Walk; Flyout to LF (3 out)
Cortez flies out to RF (1 out); Sonoqui reaches on E4; Reynolds singles to CF, Sonoqui to 2nd; Thomas grounds into a double play, 5-4-3 (3 out)
Bencomo now pitching; Groundout to SS (1 out); Groundout to 1B unassisted (2 out); Popup to SS (3 out)
Francisco grounds out to the pitcher (1 out); Jones grounds out to 2B (2 out); Hauschild grounds out to 1B (3 out)
Lopez now playing C; Walk; Groundout; Double to CF (runner to 3rd); E5 allows runner to score 3-1; RBI double past 1B 5-1; RBI single to LF 6-1; 2 RBI triple 8-1; Popup to 3B (2 out); 2-R HR to RF 10-1; Walker now pitching; Popup to SS (3 out)
Novas hitting (example of one of the weird ST rules); Groundout to 3B (1 out); Morrison walks; Morrison steals 2B; Otero 2-R HR 10-3; Cortez walks; Cuello hitting (again, weird ST stuff); Cortez steals 2B; Cuello reaches on an IF hit to 3rd; Cuello steals 2nd (no throw); Sonoqui strikes out swinging (2 out); Error on LF, 2 runs score, Reynolds to 3rd 10-5; Pitching change; Thomas strikes out swinging
E5 (throw) allows runner to reach safely; E2 (pickoff) runner moves to 2nd; Passed ball, runner to 3rd; Strikeout swinging (1 out); Wild pitch, run scores 11-5; Groundout to 3B (2 out); Flyout to CF (3 out)
Lopez walks; Jones lines into DP (2 out); Biell grounds out (3 out)
Popup to 2B (1 out); Groundout to 1B (2 out); Flyout to LF (3 out)
Novas flies out to CF (1 out); Morrison walks; Otero flies out to CF (2 out); Cortez grounds out to SS (3 out)
Groundout to 1B (1 out); Base hit to CF; Line out to 1B, double play (3 out)
Sonoqui singles to CF; Burt Reynolds strikes out swinging (1 out); Thomas grounds into a 5-4 FC (2 out); Lopez hit by pitch; Thomas to 3rd on E1 (pickoff try); Lopez steals 2nd on defensive indifference; Jones 3-R HR to RF, 10-8; Hauschild flies out to CF (3 out)
IF hit to 3B; Popup to SS (1 out); Popup to 3B (2 out); 5-4 force out (3 out)
Novas walks; Morrison doubles to CF, Novas to 3rd; Otero RBI groundout, 10-9 (1 out); Cortez grounds out, Morrison to 3rd (2 out); Sonoqui lines out to 2B (3 out)