Monday, March 7, 2011

Tampa Bay Rays Snap Losing Streak with Win Over Pittsburgh Pirates

The Game: The Tampa Bay Rays snapped their losing trend by beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 on Monday afternoon at McKechnie Field. Desmond Jennings helped secure the win by driving in the go ahead run in the top of the eighth inning.

The Rays took the lead first by scoring in the second inning. With Matt Joyce on first, BJ Upton doubled to center field, scoring Joyce and giving the Rays a 1-0 lead.

The Pirates battled back to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. A two run home run by Matt Diaz sailed over the right field wall and gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead.

But the Rays bounced back an inning later by posting another run on the scoreboard. BJ Upton and Dan Johnson led off the inning with back to back walks. Upton stole third and then later scored on an RBI single by Tim Beckham to tie the game 2-2.

The game remained tied until the top of the seventh inning. Joe Lobaton drew a walk with one out to put a runner on the bases. Casey Kotchman then singled to right, moving Lobaton to third. With runners on the corners, Jennings knocked home the go ahead run with a sac fly to score Lobaton. Felipe Lopez then drew a walk followed by a single by Sam Fuld to load the bases for the Rays. Justin Rugginao drew a bases loaded walk to score Kotchman and give the Rays an insurance run.

That was all they needed as they kept the Pirates off the board in the final two innings and secure the 4-2 win and break the losing streak.

David Price made the start and pitched 4 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits with 2 strikeouts and a walk in the no decision. Rob Delaney picked up his second win of the spring by pitching a scoreless frame. Alex Cobb and Matt Bush each pitched a no-hit inning with Cobb earning a hold and Bush the save.

RP Top Prospect Watch:
Alex Cobb: earned the hold with 1 no-hit inning with 2 strikeouts.
Desmond Jennings: drove in the go ahead run in his only plate appearance.
Tim Beckham: 1 for 3 with an RBI.

A Look Ahead: The Rays (2-7-1) return home to Charlotte Sports Park on Tuesday for the first of back to back home games against the Toronto Blue Jays (4-5). James Shields will start for the Rays against Brandon Morrow for the Blue Jays. Kyle Farnsworth, Juan Cruz, Joel Peralta, Adam Russell and Cesar Cabral are also scheduled to pitch.

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