The Game: The Tampa Bay Rays opened up the 2010 spring training season with a 12-2 loss against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. A strong breeze out of the ball park aided in a combined seven home runs during the contest. Six of the home runs came from the bats of Baltimore as the wind blowing out to right aided the predominantly left handed lineup of the Orioles.
The Orioles drew first blood with a solo home run by Josh Bell off Matt Garza in the third inning. They then posted two more runs in the fourth inning off Dale Thayer to increase the lead to 3-0.
The Rays reached the scoreboard in the top of the fifth. Kelly Shoppach led off the inning with a single to short. Shoppach advanced to second on a ground out by Ryan Shealy then moved to third on a wild pitch. Reid Brignac struck an RBI single that scored Shoppach and pulled the Rays to within two runs of the lead. Baltimore matched the run in the bottom of the inning on a solo home run by Nick Markakis to give the Orioles a 4-1 lead.
Baltimore struck again the bottom of the sixth inning with back to back homers. Former Rays minor leaguer Rhyne Hughes struck a two run homer to right. Josh Bell followed with his second home run of the afternoon with a solo home run to left to increase the lead to 7-1.
Tampa Bay picked up their only home run of the slugfest in the top of the seventh inning. Sean Rodriguez came into the game and delivered a solo home run to left field for the second and final run of the contest for the Rays.
But it wasn’t long for the Orioles to strike again and once again with the long ball. Scott Moore got thing started with a solo home run to right. Chad Moeller then drew a walk and later scored on an RBI single by Jonathan Tucker. Rhyne Hughes followed with his second home run of the game, a two run shot to give the Orioles a 11-2 lead.
Baltimore picked up their final run of the game in the eighth inning. Matt Angle led off the inning with a free pass after being hit by a pitch. Angle later scored on an RBI double by Lou Montanez to give the Orioles the 12-2 margin of victory.
Tampa’s pitching struggled with the playing conditions, allowing 12 runs on 14 hits with six of them homers. James Shields pitched a no-hit inning allowing 1 walk and recording a strikeout. Matt Garza suffered the loss, allowing 1 run on 1 hit with a strikeout and a walk in 2 innings. Dale Thayer gave up 2 runs on 4 hits in an inning on the mound. Heath Phillips allowed 4 runs on 3 hits with a strikeout and a walk in 2 innings. Jason Cromer was hit the worst, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits with a walk in an inning of service. Richard De Los Santos allowed a run on 1 hits with a walk in an inning to end the game for the Rays. Will Ohman was the winning pitcher for Baltimore.
RP Top Prospect Watch:
Tim Beckham: 0 for 1.
Reid Brignac: 1 for 2 with an RBI.
John Jaso: 0 for 2.
Desmond Jennings: reached base on HBP in only at bat.
A Look Ahead: The Rays (0-1) will play host to the Orioles (1-0) on Thursday at Charlotte Sports Park. Jeff Niemann will get the start for the Rays with Brian Matusz starting for Baltimore. Alex Torres, Grant Balfour, Joaquin Benoit, Lance Cormier and Dan Wheeler will also be available for action.