The Rays final Grapefruit League ended without a bang today, stopping after 9 innings of 1-1 baseball. Rays manager Joe Maddon and Red Sox manager Terry Francona reached a quick consensus, hollering to each other from opposite bullpens after the bottom of the ninth.
With both teams traveling later that day — and their charter buses literally warming up outside the stadium — both teams agreed to call it a tie and wrap the game.
With the first pitch of the 2011 regular season mere days away, both clubs were content to trot out a number of minor leaguers in place of their stars today. Most Red Sox starters saw only two at bats, while half the Rays starters saw none, instead the likes of J.J. Furmaniak and Dustin Biell took there swings.
The game also featured somewhat of a late Spring Training malaise as neither team exhibited dominate pitcher nor powerful hitting. The day’s top performer was likely Clay Buchholz who went 4 innings, striking out 3 and walking 2. Despite allowing only 1 hit, he also allowed 1 run — on a single, no less.
The days only extra base hits came from J.D. Drew’s double and Adrian Gonzalez’s game-tying solo home run. Despite the lack of power, the pitchers seemed to be working out of jams all afternoon, fortunate enough to keep batters on both sides 1 for 9 with hitters in scoring position.
Despite the end of Grapefruit League play, the Rays will be in action tomorrow at 4:10 p.m. ET, taking on the Toronto Blue Jays in an exhibition game at Tropicana Field.