Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Longoria Homers, Shields Strong as Rays beat Twins 7-1

The Rays without Carl Crawford beat the Twins with Delmon Young. CC didn't make the trip, but Evan Longoria decided to bring the big stick with him to Fort Myers. Longoria homered off of Juan Rincon when he came in the game as a pinch hitter. Overall, Longoria was 1-2, raising his average to .389. Other 3B candidate Willy Aybar was 2-2 with 2 RBI. Joel Guzman was 0-4 playing LF and 3B.

The "Rocco Roster Spot Race" candidates also played today. Eric Hinske was 1-3 with an RBI playing 1B. Justin Ruggiano played RF going 0-4 . John Rodriguez continued his awful spring at the plate going 0-3. Rodriguez played CF and is batting 0.45 this spring. Dioner Navarro and Elliot "Tonka Truck" Johnson also added 2-Run homers of their own.

On the mound Co-Ace James Shields was strong with five shutout innings. Shields escaped a few jams, but only gave up four hits over five. Kurt Birkins and Scott Munter pitched in with scoreless innings. J.K. Ryu gave up a run on three hits in his inning of work. #1 overall pick David Price remained perfect, pitching a flawless ninth inning.

Tomorrow marks the most anticipated match up of the Spring as the Yankees come down to Al Lang Field. The Yankees are expected to keep Derek Jeter and A-Rod in Tampa. Elliot Johnson is not expected to play for the Rays. Andy Sonnanstine will make his first start for the Rays followed by: Brian Anderson, Gary Glover, Troy Percival and Dan Wheeler.