Faria Has Strong Outing As Rays Start Weekend With Win

FORT MYERS (620 WDAE) -- After a spring that has seen him struggle, Jake Faria seemed to turn things around Friday at Hammond Stadium.  

Faria allowed just a single unearned run in four innings, while the Tampa Bay Rays hitters jumped on Jose Berrios and his relievers for an 11-1 win over the Minnesota Twins.

"Good to see him bounce back," manager Kevin Cash said after the game.  "I've got to think he felt really good after that outing."

Faria also struck out his first batter of the spring, Ryan LaMarre, then struck out two others in his start, admitting afterward that he was aware he was the last pitcher in camp to have a strikeout.

"Yeah I did [know]," Faria said.  "But I wasn't worried about it.  My biggest thing was getting in the strike zone, getting all my pitches working and once that happened, stuff was going to come."

Faria was followed by three innings of one-hit relief by Ryan Yarbrough and perfect innings each from Daniel Hudson and Jose Alvarado.

Tampa Bay took the lead in the second inning as Micah Johnson reached on a fielding error by Chris Heisey and scored on a base hit from Johnny Field, his first of four RBI on the day.

After Minnesota got their only run on an error by Faria, the Rays tallied twice in the fourth on a Johnson single that drove in Brandon Snyder and a Denard Span double that scored Field.

Tampa Bay busted the game open in the sixth, with three more runs coming on a two-run triple by Span and an RBI fielder's choice from Thomas Millone.

Field made it 9-1 in the seventh with a three-run homer, and the Rays added two more runs in the ninth on a base hit by Jason Coats and an RBI double from Andrew Velazquez.

Tampa Bay heads back to Fort Myers Saturday to take on the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park.  Austin Pruitt will get the start, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05, and coverage on WDAE starting at 12:30 with Countdown to Opening Day.

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