Rays Withstand Wild Ninth To Walk Off Against Jays

PORT CHARLOTTE (620 WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays survived a wild ninth inning in Port Charlotte, as the Toronto Blue Jays erased a 4-0 deficit to rake a 5-4 lead, only for the Rays to rally with a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth to take a 6-5 decision.  However, Tampa Bay could only manage a split of Friday's games, dropping a 6-1 decision. to the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota.

At home, Tampa Bay took a 4-0 lead into the top of the ninth -inning, but Adam Kolarek could not hold it, giving up a two-run doubkle to D.J. Davis, then a three-run blast to Christian Williams to make it a 5-4 Toronto lead.

But in the bottom of the ninth, Matt Duffy reached on a one-out walk by Conor Fisk.  Kevin Kiermaier than singled Duffy to third base and C.J. Cron lifted a fly ball to center that Davis lost in the sun, letting it drop for a single that scored both runners.

Joey Wendle got Tampa Bay on the board first in the home fifth, blast a two-run homer to right, his first of the spring.  Denard Span's RBI single an inning later made it 3-0, and an RBI single by Kiermaier in the seventh pushed the lead to four runs.

Matt Andriese needed just 35 pitches to throw three no-hit innings Friday.  He allowed just a single base runner on a fielding error by Wendle and struck out three.  The Rays also got two scoreless innings of relief from Dan Jennings, a perfect frame by Alex Colome, and two zeroes from minor-leaguer Mike Franco.

In Sarasota, Tampa Bay got four shutout innings from Ryan Weber to start the game, and had a 1-0 lead thanks to an infield single by Kean Wong that plated Mallex Smith.  But Baltimore scored four times in the fifth off reliever Colton Murray with a two-run single by Caleb Joseph followed by a two-run homer by Chris Davis, with Trey Mancini following up an inning later with a two-run blast of his own off R.J. Alaniz.

The Rays will recombine the squads Saturday in Bradenton with a matchup against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Blake Snell will make his final spring start for Tampa Bay.  First pitch from LECOM Park is scheduled for 1:05, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 12:30 with Countdown to Opening Day.

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