After a rough 2-7 road trip, the Tampa Bay Rays returned home to sweep the Oakland Athletics’s and continued their winning streak against the New York Yankees.
- Desmond Jennings CF
- Ryan Roberts 2B
- Ben Zobrist RF
- Evan Longoria 3B
- Sean Rodriquez 1B
- Yunel Escobar
- Shelley Duncan DH
- Jose Lobaton C
- Sam Fuld LF
- Matt Moore P
- Brett Gardener CF
- Ben Francisco DH
- Robinson Cano 2B
- Vernon Wells LF
- Francisco Cervelli C
- Brennan Boesch RF
- Eduardo Nunez SS
- Lyle Overbay 1B
Kevin Youkilis* Jayson Nix 3B
- CC Sabathia P
*While Alex Rodriquez is recovering from steroid allegations and surgery, Kevin Youkilis is the new third baseman; but he was scratched from today’s game due to back pain. Youkilis had missed Sunday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays for the same reason.
While Rays and Yankees fans are used to seeing David Price and CC Sabathia match-ups, the match-up between Matt Moore and Sabathia was just as entertaining. Moore walked lead-off hitter Brett Gardner in the 1st inning, but quickly got the next three batters out. When the Rays were at-bat, Ryan Roberts (the one with all the tattoos) hit a homerun to left field. With two outs, Evan Longoria singled and then scored when Sean Rodriquez hit a triple. Yunel Escobar then hit a homerun, making it 4-0 at the end of the 1st inning.
In the 3rd inning, Roberts once again hit a homerun to left field (seriously, who does this against Sabathia?) The Yankees scored at the top of the 4th when Robinson Cano hit a homerun, but they never scored another run in the game. The Yankees had a threat in the 6th when Moore walked Gardner and Cano reached first base due to an error by Escobar – Gardener moved up to third base on this same error. Moore was able to get the next two batters out to end the threat. The rest of the game quickly went by – total game time was only 2:29.
Matt Moore became the first Rays pitcher in history to win his first four starts: he pitched 8 innings, struck out 9, and pitched a total of 117 pitches.
The attendance was 15,331 – meaning that the New York Yankees fans aren’t coming to the Rays games anymore. Gone are the days when Rays vs. Yankees brought 80% Yankees fans and 20% Rays fans. Is it because the Rays have won 12 of its last 14 home games against the Yankees dating back to July 2011?
Also, Robinson Cano is being investigated for steroid use. A Biogenesis client roster lists the spokeswoman for Robinson Cano’s foundation, plus the fact that he’s friends with A-Roid and Melky Cabrera. Hmm…he did hit a homerun today. But seriously, stop taking steroids and doing illegal drugs.
Around the League
- Cy Younger Winner R.A. Dickey having back/neck problems, but will pitch against the Baltimore Orioles.
- Felix Hernandez got win 100 today – pitched 6 scoreless innings against the Houston Astros.
- Albert Pujols will be the Los Angeles Angels’ DH for a while due to foot pain.
Today the Tampa Bay Rays played the Houston Astros in Port Charlotte. After being one of the worst teams in the National League for years, the Astros hope a move to the American League will turn things around. Good thing the game was not being played in Tampa because Tampa spent the morning in a Tornado Warning. Today was the Spring Training debut of third baseman Evan Longoria and pitcher David Price.
- Ben Zobrist (SS)
- Ryan Roberts (2B)
- Evan Longoria (3B)
- Leslie Anderson (LF)
- Shelley Duncan (1B)
- Wil Myers (RF)
- Jack Cust (DH)
- Sam Fuld (CF)
- Jose Lobaton (C)
- David Price (P)
- Marwin Gonzales (SS)
- Brandon Barnes (LF)
- Justin Maxwell (CF)
- Chris Carter (1B)
- Nate Freiman (DH)
- Matt Dominguez (3B)
- Jimmy Paredes (RF)
- Jason Jaramillo (C)
- Jake Elmore (2B)
- Jordan Lyles (P)
David Price had a 19-pitch inning, 10 of which were strikes. When Price reached for a ground ball with his bare hand, the ball hit his wrist but luckily he was fine. At the bottom of the 1st, Shelley Duncan hit a single, bringing Ryan Roberts home while Evan Longoria was called out at home. Longoria, who singled at his first at-bat of spring training, was not running at full speed and was trying to score from second base. After missing at least half of the 2012 season due to his hamstring, Rays fans are hoping the hamstring will not be a problem this year.
At the bottom of the 2nd, the Rays scored five runs, making the game 6-0. One of baseball’s top prospects, Wil Myers, singled to start the inning. Though a few singles and a sac-fly scored a few runs, it was the triple by Leslie Anderson that scored two runs. At the moment, Anderson is the top RBI leader in the Grapefruit League (with 7, ahead of Miguel Cabrera’s 4) and is currently batting a .556. Anderson has had a hit in every Spring Training game he has played in so far.
In the 4th, Ryan Roberts hit a homerun to make the game 7-0. The Astros manage to put 2 runs up on the scoreboard in the 6th inning, but the game is called right after the inning ends due to the heavy rain. The other Rays pitchers invovled in the game were: Fernando Rodney, Brandon Gomes, Josh Lueke, Matt Buschmann, and Alex Colome.
- Jeff Niemann will now be starting Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates instead of Jeremy Hellickson. Hellickson will still be pitching.
- Alex Rodriquez’s Yankees 2009 World Series Ring is being cold by his cousin. Must be to pay off a certain doctor…
- Manny Ramirez will play for a team in Taiwan if no Major League Baseball team offers him a job this year.
- Johnny Damon doesn’t understand why the Rays re-signed Luke Scott instead of him.
The Rays have played four games (including a split squad on opening day) and already they have beaten their arch nemesis, the Boston Red Sox, twice. Unlike previous spring training games so far, the Rays lineup is similar to an actual lineup during baseball season, one in which Evan Longoria is hurt…
- Ben Zobrist (RF)
- Desmond Jennings (CF)
- Matt Joyce (Left Field)
- Yunel Escobar (SS)
- Luke Scott (DH)
- Kelly Johnson (2B)
- Jose Molina (C)
- James Loney (1B)
- Ryan Roberts (3B)
- Alex Cobb (P)
Red Sox Lineup
- Jason Ellsbury (CF)
- Dustin Pedroia (2B)
- Shane Victorino (RF)
- Jonny Gomes (LF)
- Stephen Drew (SS)
- Ryan Sweeney (DH)
- Drew Sutton (3B)
- Mike Carp (1B)
- David Ross (C)
- Alfredo Aceves (P)
Today marked Alex Cobb’s spring training starter debut. Cobb was told last week that he is starting pitcher number four, which means he won’t be competing with four other pitchers for the limited starting positions. Cobb allowed four hits and two runs. “I was trying to throw a little too hard, keeping the ball up, rushing a little bit. When I did control myself, I had good results. Obviously the home run isn’t very good, and the RBI double isn’t very good. But I got a lot of ground balls, which is what I’m looking for, and it shows me I’m getting the angle I’m looking for” said Cobb. Another pitcher contending for a spot on the roster was Jamey Wright. The 38-year-old is looking for a spot in the Rays bullpen.
The Red Sox quickly took a lead in the 1st inning when Dustin Pedroia hit a homerun. The Rays answered back after Desmond Jennings and Matt Joyce drew walks, followed by newcomer Yunel Escobar hitting a double to score two runs. The Red Sox tied the game up in the 2nd due to Mike Carp hitting a double, bringing Ryan Sweeney home. The Rays did most of their damage in the 4th thanks to Ryan Roberts hitting a double, driving Jose Molina and James Loney home. Ben Zobrist hit a single, causing Roberts to score and making the score 5-2. In the 7th, the Rays score their last run of the game after Cole Figueroa scores on Jose Lobaton’s groundout. The Red Sox manage a run in the 8th, but lose 6-3.
- Red Sox had a split squad today; the other half of the team beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2.
- David Price makes his pitching debut Tuesday February 26 against the Houston Astros.
- Evan Longoria will be making his debut Tuesday February 26 against the Houston Astros.
- In five years since becoming the Rays in 2008, Tampa Bay owns the third-best record in the Major Leagues behind the Yankees and Phillies. Also during this span, the Rays have won five major Baseball Writers’ Association of America awards, more than any other team. David Price (2012 AL Cy Young Award), Joe Maddon (’08, ’11 AL Manager of the Year Awards), Evan Longoria (’08 AL Rookie of the Year Award) and Jeremy Hellickson (’11 AL Rookie of the Year Award).
Remember Bobby Valentine? The 2012 Boston Red Sox manager who was able to destroy Red Sox Nation in only one season? He was able to make several players “disappear” (Carl Crawford, Kelly Shoppach, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett) and his fight with Mr. Red Sox Kevin Youkilis is one reason why Youkilis is now a New York Yankee. Valentine was never afraid to speak his mind, even joking about punching radio hosts in Boston. Though he had to deal with injuries throughout the year, the way he would bad mouth players on the radio probably played a huge factor in the reason why he was fired released by the Red Sox after the season ended. The Red Sox ended the season 69-93, the worst in 46 years and are predicted to have trouble selling tickets this year, according to the Red Sox President.
Well, Valentine has moved on with his life and was hired as the Sacred Heart University Athletic Director. Sacred Heart University is in Fairfield, Connecticut, about 20 miles away from Stamford where Valentine grew up. On Tuesday, February 26, there will be an official news conference to introduce Valentine, who takes over the position in July. “This is what I do. I accept challenges, and I enjoy life. And to hell with public perception.” O Valentine, he still has that lovely mouth.
The Tampa Bay Rays headed to Fort Myers to play the Minnesota Twins. Since most of the regular Rays were not in the line-up today, the focus would be on the pitchers competing for a bullpen spot, Sam Fuld’s defense in the outfield, Chris Gimenez behind homeplate, and if Stephen Vogt can hit a ball. Ben Zobrist was scratched from the game because coach Joe Maddon is concern about not over-working him due to the World Baseball Classic.
Rays Line Up:
- Sam Fuld (CF)
- Sean Rodriquez (2B)
- Ben Zobrist Stephen Vogt (DH)
- Shelley Duncan (1B)
- Chris Gimenez (C)
- Rich Thompson (RF)
- Jason Bourgeois (LF)
- Mike Fontenot (3B)
- Tim Beckham (SS)
- Chris Archer (P)
Twins Line Up:
- Aaron Hicks (CF)
- Jamey Carrol (2B)
- Joe Mauer (C)
- Josh Willingham (LF)
- Justin Morneau (1B)
- Chris Parmelee (RF)
- Jeff Clement (DH)
- Ray Olmedo (3B)
- Pedro Florimon (SS)
- Liam Hendricks (P)
The Rays got the first hit of the game in the 1st inning by Stephen Vogt…the guy who still does not have a Major League hit. Hopefully his double is a sign of good things to come. Rays pitcher Chris Archer retired three batters while walking one; he was working on his change-up and was falling behind the batter. The Rays put up the first run in the 2nd inning. With two outs, Jason Bourgeois walked, stole second base, and scored on Mike Fontenot’s double. The next Rays pitcher was Jake Odorizzi, a pitching prospect traded along with Wil Myers from Kansas City Royals. He retired three batters while walking one.
The Twins tied the game in the bottom of the 3rd when Juan Sandoval pitched. Sandoval lost sight in his right eye in shooting incident in Dominican Republic. He was the innocent bystander of a fight between a restaurant customer and a security guard. After bouncing around the Major Leagues and the Mexican League, he met Joel Peralta during Dominican Winter League. Peralta called Andrew Friedman and now Sandoval has a chance at the majors again. Though Sandoval allowed a run (a double that was almost foul) he was able to regain his composure and get the next two batters out.
The Twins took the lead in the 5th inning while Frank De Los Santos takes the mound. The leadoff man’s walk turns into a run after a ground out and a single. Rays answered back in the 6th inning due to Chris Gimenez’s single, Myers’ double, Jason Bourgeosis’ single, and Mike Fontenot’s single. Rays now lead 4-2.
The Rays blew the game open in the 9th when Twins pitcher Anthony Slama walks the leadoff batter, Kevin Kiermair. The next batter Shawn O-Malley reaches on a fielding error then steals; Robinson Chirinos walks and then Leslie Anderson singles, scoring two runs. Anderson was the hero in Saturday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, hitting a 2-run homerun to win the game for the Rays. The Rays entered the bottom of the 9th leading 7-2. The Twins came back and scored 5 runs due to a walk, single, and a 3-run homerun off of Pitcher Jim Patterson, plus several more singles. In the 10th, O-Malley singled, stole second, and scores on Anderson’s single. Mark Thomas hits a homerun, making it 10-7. The Rays win 10-7.
On a side note…
- Evan Longoria will not be playing on Monday against the Boston Red Sox. Longoria missed three days of practice due to the birth of his daughter. He is scheduled to start on Tuesday, but that could also be postponed.
- Former Rays Pitcher Scott Kazmir goes two scoreless Indians for the Cleveland Indians.
- Yankees Outfielder Curtis Granderson is out for 10 weeks due to a fractured right forearm. He was hit by a pitch by Toronto Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ at his first at-bat on Sunday afternoon. Yankees don’t have many outfielders so this could be a big factor into creating the roster at the end of Spring Training. Also, Granderson was supposed to play his first game in left field with Brett Gardner moving over to center field. Now Granderson will not be able to practice for a month in left field.
- Tampa ends boil-water alert Sunday morning. No longer will locals have to brush their teeth with bottled water.
As a female Tampa Bay Rays fan, I am here to help other fans pick out the perfect gifts for their special ladies who also shares their love of the Tampa Bay Rays. Here are the Top 10 Stocking-Stuffers that guarantee you will not be spending the night on the couch.
10) Tampa Bay Rays Beach Towel: A must need for any Rays female devotee since she is likely a fan of the local beaches. Tampa Bay Rays Beach Towel $20
9) Tampa Bay Rays Flip Flop: The type of shoe that Floridians can wear in the summer and winter. It also goes along with the Rays beach towel. Tampa Bay Rays Flip Flop $10
8) Tampa Bay Rays Earbuds: When she needs to block out noise or listen to the Rays game on her tablet. Tampa Bay Rays Earbuds $10
7) Tampa Bay Rays Women’s Jobie Military Fitted Cap: A stylish hat that can be worn to the baseball game or on a shopping trip to the mall. Tampa Bay Rays Hat $24.99
6) Tervis Tumbler Tampa Bay Rays: When she needs a cup of coffee to get through the day at work – don’t forget the lid! Tampa Bay Rays Tervis Tumbler $19.99
5) Tampa Bay Rays Wristlet: On date night, a must for her to keep her money, phone, and credit cards in. Tampa Bay Rays Wristlet $30
4) Phone Case: To let everyone know what team she supports when she is on the phone. iPhone case $29.99
3) Earrings: Every lady wants jewelry for Christmas – instead of getting the stereotypical hearts or diamonds, get her something that only Rays fans can wear. Tampa Bay Rays Earrings $32.99
2) Jersey: A jersey of her favorite player for her to wear to the game. Tampa Bay Rays Longoria Jersey $74.99
1) Pair of Tickets: A pair of tickets to the home opener. Tampa Bay Rays Tickets Prices range.