Saturday, March 3, 2012

Rays Drop Spring Opener

Despite jumping out to an early lead, the Rays could not hold off the Twins as they fell 7-3 on Saturday afternoon at Hammond Stadium.

The Rays took the lead in the first inning. BJ Upton set the stage by getting on base with a double. Then Matt Joyce took an offering from Twins starter Carl Pavano deep over the right field wall to put the Rays ahead 2-0.

The Twins cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third inning. Rays reliever Jhonny Nunez got into a jam early in the inning by walking Alexi Casilla and giving up a single to Denard span to lead off the inning. Joe Mauer drove home a run with an RBI single that scored Casilla to cut the lead in half 2-1.

The Twins tied the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Justin Morneau hit an RBI single off Alex Colome that allowed Joe Benson to score and tie the game 2-2.

Albert Suarez got roughed up in the bottom of the sixth inning, surrendering three runs and committing an error that allowed the Twins to get their first lead of the afternoon.

The Twins strung together back to back one run inning in the seventh and eighth innings to increase their lead to 7-2.

The Rays pushed across a lone run in the top of the ninth. Chris Gimenez doubled to left to lead off the inning. Tim Beckham picked up the RBI with a ground ball to short that scored Gimenez. But the Rays could not overcome the large deficit as they fell to the Twins 7-3.

Suarez suffered the loss for the Rays, allowing 3 runs on 2 hits with 2 walks in an inning pitched.

Notable Performances

  • Chris Archer pitched a no-hit inning with a walk. 
  • Tim Beckham was 1 for 1 with an RBI. 
  • Dane De La Rosa struck out the side in the fourth while allowing just one hit in the inning. 
  • Matt Joyce was 2 for 2 with a two run homer. 
  • David Price pitched a no-hit inning, striking out 2 of 3 hitters faced. 
  • BJ Upton was 2 for 2 with a double, triple and a run scored. 

A Look Ahead: The Rays return home to Charlotte Sport Park for their spring home opener against a split squad from the Twins. Jeremy Hellickson will start the opener followed by Fernando Rodney, Joel Peralta, JP Howell, Jake McGee, Josh Lueke, Burke Badenhop and Romulo Sanchez . Terry Doyle is the probable starter for the Twins.

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