The Rays were winless and held a record of 0-5 going into today’s Spring Training contest against the Orioles. Everyone understands that Spring Training games don’t count towards a team’s record, but fans (and players) still want to see their team win ballgames. Winning can bring some necessary confidence and light a fire under a club. On this March 25th game, there was another boost of motivation in the home dugout. The Rays were honoring the late Jean Ramirez, a Rays bullpen catcher that committed suicide in January of this year. Every player wore his jersey and his personalized cleats during the game this afternoon. It definitely seemed that Ramirez was present on the field today.
The offense exploded today as Brandon Lowe started it off with a grand slam in the 2nd inning. It’s great to see B. Lowe continue where he left off from the 2021 regular season with his impressive power stroke. Brandon hit .247 with 39 homers last season and he looks to put up similar numbers this coming season. The scoring continued in the 4th as B. Lowe singled in another run, Franco recorded a sac-fly RBI, and Arozarena laced an RBI double into right center. Fans should expect to see those 3 names highlighted throughout the regular season. Franco and Arozarena have just scratched the surface of their incredible potential and it’s going to be very fun to see how far they can go in their careers. The Rays would tally 2 more runs in the game on Mejia and Proctor RBIs as they finish their rout of the Orioles with a 9-4 final.
The pitching also did their job today against the Baltimore squad. Fleming started the game and completed his 1 inning of work with 8 pitches, 1 strikeout, and 0 hits. Ryan Thompson threw the 2nd inning giving up a run on 1 hit. The 3rd inning and 4th innings belonged to Faucher and Knight respectively. They were lockdown as they combined for 4 strikeouts and 0 hits in those 2 innings. Adrian De Horta was another impressive reliever in this afternoon’s game. He finished his day with 1 1/3 innings, 0 hits, and 1 strikeout. The performances on the bump today were a great relief as the Rays have struggled on that side of the game in the spring thus far. Obviously, this was our first victory in the Grapefruit League and the pitching has been a major reason for that. The young minor league pitchers stepped up today and the MLB guys did their job. As a Rays fan, there’s no reason to stress out about the Spring Training results, but this win definitely feels good.