The Tampa Bay Rays were split today; one half of the team played the Pittsburgh Pirates while the other half played the Boston Red Sox. The lineup against the Pirates was:
- Sam Fuld (CF)
- Yunel Escobar (SS)
- Kelly Johnson (2B)
- Jose Molina (C)
- Luke Scott (DH)
- James Loney (1B)
- Wil Myers (RF)
- Chris Gimenez (3B)
- Rich Thompson (LF)
- Roberto Hernandez (P)
What many of Rays fans were looking forward to was the debut of one of baseball’s top prospects: Wil Myers. Though Myers will probably start the season off in the Minor League, everyone was excited to see a player known for hitting. Myers grounded out and walked, good signs since he is willing to put the ball into play (yay to no more strikeouts) and walked, an important part of Rays baseball. Myers admits to initially being nervous, “New jersey on a new team, a new field, but I was excited to be out there and I thought it went well.”
The first pitchers of the game were impressive: Roberto Hernandez retired three batters with 12 pitches, Jeff Niemann retired three with 11 pitches, and Fernando Rodney retiring three batters with ten pitches (notice the 12-11-10?). Rodney even did a “spring training” arrow. The last rotation spot will be either Hernandez and Niemann.
The Pirates scored first in the 4th inning off of right-handed pitcher J.D. Martin. Martin has a Minor League career 72-49 record with a 3.78 ERA. Martin pitched two innings. The next pitcher Mike Montgomery (acquired through the trade with Kansas City Royals) gave up two runs to the Pirates. Rays finally scored two runs in the 8th inning when Nick Weglarz walked (on two outs) followed by Rich Thompson’s single. After a balk and a ground-rule double by Kevin Kiermaier, the Rays score two runs.
The Rays ended up losing 3-2 against the Pirates. Besides the substitutes, the other Rays to get a hit in the game were: Yunel Escobar and Kelly Johnson. Due to the World Classic Baseball, Spring Training has started earlier, meaning coach Joe Maddon’s goal is to not overuse the players before the season starts. Attendance was only 4,436, probably.