Rays Finish Up Fort Myers Treks With Loss To Red Sox

FORT MYERS (620 WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays got three innings of two-hit shutout baseball from Austin Pruitt, and Kean Wong drove in a pair, but the Rays finished their final trip to Fort Myers with a 4-3 defeat to the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park.

"Pruitt came out and really threw the ball well," manager Kevin Cash said after the game.  "I didn't see his last performance [in a] sim game, but Kyle [Snyder] talked about how impressive it was.  It looked like it carried over."

The right-hander struck out a pair and did not walk a batter in a 35-pitch performance that saw him throw 25 strikes.

Tampa Bay got on the board in the fourth, loading the bases with nobody out before Wong delievered a two-out base hit that scored both Micah Johnson and Jason Coats, who had each singled.

The Rays made it 3-0 an inning later thanks to doubles by both Brad Miller -- his second of the day -- and Coats, who had three hits on the afternoon.

Mitch Moreland got Boston on the board in the home half of the fifth, spoiling Andrew Kittredge's 28th birthday with a solo home run, and in the sixth, Ryne Stanek gave away the rest of the lead with a walk to Eduardo Nunez and a double to Jackie Bradley Jr. before Sam Travis unloaded with a three-run homer over the wall in left that gave the Red Sox the lead for good.

"People are going to dwell on the home run," Cash said of Stanek's poor performance.  "It's going 3-0 [against Nunez] to lead off the inning.  And those are the innings that we're eventually rely on him to pitch in.  3-1 ballgame, we're up.  We've got to trust the power to come in there and get it done, but he's got to get ahead of those hitters."

Tampa Bay did get scoreless innings of relief from Jonny Venters and Kyle Bird Saturday.

The Rays return to Port Charlotte Sunday to take on the Detroit Tigers, with Chris Archer making the start.  First pitch is scheduled for 1:05, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 12:30 with Countdown to Opening Day.

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