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Braves Vs. Rays Recap: Tampa Opens Interleague With 5-3 Loss To Atlanta

The Tampa Bay Rays dropped their first game of interleague play on Friday night, losing 5-3 to the Braves at Tropicana Field. Atlanta starter Tommy Hanson was solid against the Tampa lineup, scattering six hits and giving up just two runs over seven innings. James Shields struck out eight Braves, but gave up four runs on seven hits and dropped his second game of the season.

The Tampa lineup could not muster a rally against Hanson, scoring one run in both the second and third innings. In the second, it was Elliot Johnson who bunted home Luke Scott to cut the Braves lead in half. One inning later, Scott brought home B.J. Upton on a sacrifice fly that evened things up. But Hanson would settle in from there, and the Braves would come through with a two-run fifth inning to clinch the win.

Alex Cobb will try to even the series on Saturday in his first start of the 2012 season. Cobb, who's taking the place of Jeff Niemann, had a 3.42 ERA in nine games last year. The Brave will put youngster Randall Delgado on the mound.

Stick with this StoryStream throughout the weekend for updates and news on the Rays and Braves series. For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Rays, visit DRaysBay. For more the opponent's perspective, visit Talking Chop, SB Nation's Braves blog.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.