The Game: The Tampa Bay Rays made their final road game a winning affair by defeating the Minnesota Twins 10-3 on Wednesday at Hammond Stadium.
The Rays took the lead in the first inning. Sean Rodriguez doubled to right field, leading off the game. Reid Brignac followed with a single to move Rodriguez to third. Ben Zobrist drove home the first run with a double to score S-Rod. Then Evan Longoria drove home the second run with a sac fly to score Brignac and give the Rays a 2-0 lead.
The Rays increased their lead in the second inning. Elliot Johnson singled on a bunt to get things going followed by a single by Rodriguez. Zobrist delivered again, this time with a two run double to increase the lead to 4-0.
Minnesota cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second. Jim Thome and Brian Dinkelman drew walks for the Twins. Steve Singleton followed with a line drive double to score both runners and pull the Twins to within 2 runs of the lead 4-2.
But the Rays fought back to double their tally, striking for four more runs in the third inning. Carlos Pena and Willy Aybar struck back to back singles to lead off the inning. Gabe Kapler plated the first run with an RBI double to score Pena. Aybar then scored on a ground out by Nevin Ashley. Johnson singled to right to advance Kapler. Kapler then scored on a single by Rodriguez. Zobrist drove home his fourth run of the game on an RBI single to give Tampa Bay a 8-2 lead.
The offenses remained quiet until the eighth inning when Tampa Bay posted an insurance run. Rashad Eldridge double to right to lead off the inning then moved to third on a single by Kyle Spraker. Ty Morrison then reached on an error, allowing Eldridge to score and increasing the lead to 9-2.
The Rays posted their final run in the top of the ninth inning. Once again it was Morrison picking up the RBI by hitting a double to left to score Eldridge for the Rays tenth run of the game.
Minnesota posted another run in the bottom of the ninth on a solo home run by Joe Benson but the Rays held them off the board for the rest of the inning to secure the 10-3 victory.
Wade Davis pitched 6 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits with 5 strikeouts and 4 walks. Grant Balfour followed with 2 innings and gave up a hit with a strikeout. Andy Sonnanstine pitched the final inning and allowed 1 run on a solo home run and struck out 1 with 2 walks.
RP Top Prospect Watch:
Reid Brignac: 1 for 5 with a run scored.
Wade Davis: 2 runs, 4 hits, 5 K's and 4 walks in 6 innings.
Ty Morrison: 1 for 3 with 2 RBI's.
A Look Ahead: The Rays (19-7-2) return home to Charlotte Sports Park for their final spring game at Charlotte Sports Park, facing the Baltimore Orioles (10-17). Mike Ekstrom will start for Tampa Bay.