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Rays Defeat Blue Jays, Netherlands In Extra Innings

The Rays played in two spring training games this afternoon, using split squads to host the Blue Jays and take on the Netherlands. Today also marked the 16th anniversary of the Major League franchise being awarded to the Tampa Bay area. 

Rays over Blue Jays: 4-3

Port Charlotte

Once again, the bluebirds were one out away from victory. Jays minor league pitcher Sean Henn was set to close the game in three pitches when short stop prospect Omar Luna laced a single into right field with two outs. Catcher John Jaso followed suit and hit the first pitch he saw into deep right. Luna came home to tie the game at 3 and Jaso made it to third on a botched throw. AAA secondary catcher Jose Lobaton was unable to bring in the run, and the game went into extras. 

Projected starting AAA catcher Robinson Chirinos led the 11th with a double into left. Two outs later Omar Luna proved his worth yet again with a clutch single into left, giving the Rays the walkoff win. Alex Cobb would be credited the win for his hitless work in the same inning.

Notes:

  • Defensive play of the day: Matt Joyce made a running backhanded catch at the wall in right field to rob power hitter Jose Bautista of extra bases and end the Jays' rally in the fifth.
  • Utility man Ben Zobrist returned to play, recovering from a sore right ankle. He would turn a 6-4-3 double play in the third vs the Netherlands defending second base. He also recovered a bad throw to first base and threw out the runner at second in the third inning. 
  • Evan Longoria's 1967 Camaro RS was one of four cars stolen from a garage in Arizona yesterday where it was undergoing repairs. The car was valued at $75K and carried a Corvette LS 3 crate motor engine. He still managed to double on a ground ball to left field. 
  • B.J. Upton went 3-for-3 with two doubles off Jays starter Brett Cecil. He has four extra-base hits this spring. 
  • Rays potential bench warmer Joe Inglett stole 2nd and 3rd after a lead off single in the eighth.
  • Starter Jeff Niemann went four innings with 4 Hits, 1 BB, 2 K - a strong outing. Contrary, bullpen hopeful Dane De La Rosa received a Blown Save after giving up all three earned runs in the 5th.
Rays over Netherlands: 4-3

St. Petersburg

The Rays were the visiting team in this exhibition match at Al Lang Field. The Rays saw most of their production from two projected AA second baseman. Cole Figueroa had 2 RBI's while Daniel Mayora went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a Run. 

Notes:

  • Rays bullpen dark horse Dirk Hayhurst was given the win after two hitless innings pitched with 3 K's and no walks. Follow him on twitter @TheGarfoose. Thank us later. 
  • Richard De Los Santos was given the save. 
  • Minor league middle infielder J. J. Furmaniak had a homerun, a sign of improvement from a prospect that has hit for less power recently. 
  • Today was the first Rays game at Al Lang Field since March 28, 2008.

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