Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tampa Bay Rays struggle against Minnesota Twins while split squad rained out against the Pittsburgh Pirates

The Game: The Tampa Bay Rays were scheduled to play a split squad contest on Sunday with a game against the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium and a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field. Mother Nature rained out the game against the Pirates and the Rays lost to the Twins 12-3 in the other.

Minnesota jumped out to a huge lead in the first inning, getting to Wade Davis quick for five runs. Orlando Hudson drew a walk then advanced to third on a single by Joe Mauer. Justin Morneau followed with an RBI single to right to score Hudson. Then Michael Cuddyer singled to left scoring Mauer and moving Morneau to third. Jim Thome drove home Morneau with a single to right. Then Delmon Young doubled to right to score Cuddyer. Hardy then plated the fifth game of the inning with an RBI single to give the Twins a 5-0 lead.

The Twins added two more runs the next inning. Thome drove home two runs with a double to right, scoring Morneau and Cuddyer to give Minnesota a 7-0 lead.

The Minnesota offense kept rolling, striking for two more in the fourth inning. Morneau drew a two out walk. Cuddyer cleared the bases with a two run home run to increase the lead to 9-0.

The Rays took the zero off the board in the sixth inning. Matt Joyce struck a solo home run to right field for the first Tampa Bay run of the game.

Tampa Bay managed to push across two more runs in the seventh inning. BJ Upton reached on error to get things started then was awarded second on a defensive indifference. Hank Blalock followed with a walk. Dan Johnson the plated a run by doubling to right, scoring Upton. Reid Brignac struck a sac fly to score Blalock.

But the Minnesota offense struck again in the eighth inning. Matt Macri and Ben Revere struck back to back singles to get things going. Matt Tolbert then drew a walk to load the bases. A passed ball by Joe Dillon allowed Macri to score and moved everyone else 90 feet closer to home. Then Joe Benson doubled to right, scoring Revere and Tolbert to give the Twins the 12-3 margin of victory.

Wade Davis struggled in his first loss, allowing 7 runs (5 earned) and 9 hits with a walk and a strikeout in 2 innings. Richard De Los Santos followed allowing 2 runs on 2 hits with a walk. Heath Phillips pitched 3 shut-out innings allowing a hit with 2 strikeouts. Dale Thayer pitched the final inning allowing 3 runs on 3 hits with 2 walks.

RP Top Prospect Watch:
Reid Brignac: 0 for 2 with an RBI.
Wade Davis: 7 runs on 9 hits with a K and a walk in 2 innings.

A Look Ahead: The Rays (12-6) travel to City of Palms Park to take on the Boston Red Sox on Monday afternoon. James Shields will start for Tampa Bay.

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