Yesterday the Tampa Bay Rays took to the field as two very different teams in split squad games against the Boston Red Sox in Port Charlotte and also traveled to Dunedin to face the Toronto Blue Jays. The majority of the starting offense and Erasmo stayed home to face the Red Sox while younger players led by Taylor Guerrieri, Jacob Faria, and Jaime Schultz made the trip to Dunedin.
Tampa Bay 1, Toronto 6
Taylor Guerrieri was handed the start after Matt Andriese was scratched due to left abdominal tightness. Guerrieri induced many weak ground balls and was cruising along until he got in trouble in the third inning when he loaded the bases and then threw a 50 foot curve ball to allow the first run of the game and then surrendered a three-run homerun off the left field foul pole to Jose Bautista. Guerrieri ended up taking the loss with a line of 2.2 IP, 4 hits, 4 earned runs, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout.
Jacob Faria came on to pitch the fourth inning and worked a perfect two and a third innings, striking out three. In particular Faria's fourth inning was impressive as he struck out the side (Russel Martin swinging, Justin Smoak looking, and Michael Saunders swinging).
Jaime Schultz pitched 1.2 innings without allowing a run while walking one and striking out two. Justin Marks would finish the game allowing two runs on three hits while striking out one in the eighth inning.
Offensively the bats were quiet following a leadoff double by Brandon Guyer. The Rays would finish the game with four hits including doubles by Brandon Guyer, Nick Franklin, and Kyle Roller. Johnny Field would add a single and Richie Shaffer would walk. The lone run was scored by Nick Franklin on an RBI double by Roller.
Boston 5, Tampa Bay 13
Erasmo Ramirez was able to bounce back from his rough outing against the Tigers on Tuesday by allowing one run on five hits, striking out three, and walking just one batter over four innings of work. Erasmo was able to work out of a bases loaded with no outs situation in the second inning by striking out Blake Swihart and Sam Travis, and inducing a ground out from the bat of 'phenom' Yoan Moncada.
In the second inning the Rays offense would come to life after putting two quick outs on the board. Steven Souza and Tim Beckham would start the two out rally with back-to-back singles. Souza would come around to score the first run of the game for the Rays on a wild pitch. Later in the at bat, Hank Conger would drive a double to the gap that would score Beckham. Jaff Decker would follow that up, with another double to score Conger. Logan Forsythe would follow with an infield single. Kevin Kiermaier would double in the right field corner. Evan Longoria continued the inning with a two-run single to right field to put the Rays up 6-0.
In the third inning Conger would add a two-run home run to right field. All starters would end up with at least one hit during their limited playing time. In the sixth inning Patrick Leonard would hit a three-run home run off of Roenis Elias.
Being a split squad game the Rays had many guys called up for the day from minor league camp including Casey Gillaspie, Willy Adames, Jake Bauers, and Keon Wong. Gillaspie scorched a line drive off the dead center field wall leading to a double. Adames would get his first two hits in his second appearance of the spring with a single and a double.
- Mikie Mahtook and Richie Shaffer have spent years working their respective ways up the organization ladder to finally reach the majors in 2015. They both seemed ticketed to return there to start off 2016, however, off-season acquisitions now have them blocked.
- Dana Eveland didn't want to pitch for the Rays this season, but he is now sold on the idea.
- A couple of months ago, Jenrry Mejia made the wrong kind of history as he became the first player in MLB history to be banned from the game for failing his PED testing. However, he is now fighting back against his banishment.
- The Mets are reportedly in search of a back-up catcher, a position in which the Rays find they'll have an odd man out.
- Neil Solondz continues his 'Getting to Know' series with the most jacked player in the Rays clubhouse, Johnny Field.