Finally: Rays Rally For First Win Of Spring

SARASOTA (WDAE) -- Kevin Kiermaier doubled and had an outfield assist in his first game since Friday's Grapefruit League opener, but it was a ten-run top of the eighth inning that proved to be the difference as Tampa Bay Rays finally got their first win of the spring, an 11-5 rain-shortened win over the Baltimore Orioles Tuesday at Ed Smith Stadium.

Six different players drove in runs in the eighth, with Jesus Sanchez's three-run blast off Jay Flaa being the important hit, turning a 4-2 deficit into a 5-4 victory. Chris Arroyo homered off Flaa on the next pitch, and Nate Lowe and Andrew Velazquez each had a pair of RBI in the inning, with Velazquez driving in the first and the last run of the frame.

After Kiermaier prevented the Orioles from taking the lead in the bottom of the first, throwing out Yusniel Diaz at third base before Jonathan Villar could cross the plate to end the inning, Baltimore would score twice in the second, as a wild pitch by Emilio Pagan brought across a run, and a sacrifice fly by Stevie Wilkerson made it 2-0.

Brandon Lowe cut the deficit in half in the fifth with an RBI double, but Chris Davis blasted a two-run homer off Austin Pruitt in the bottom of the inning stretch the Orioles lead to 4-1.

After Pagan worked the first two innings, the Rays got a perfect third inning from Ryan Merrit , and after two innings from Pruitt, Diego Castillo and Jalen Beeks each worked scoreless frames. Adam Kolarek allowed a run on an RBI single to Anthony Santander in the bottom of the eighth when the rains came and forced the game to a stop.

Tampa Bay (1-4) next welcomes a split-squad of the Boston Red Sox (2-1) to Charlotte Sports Park Wednesday, with Josh Smith taking on Ricardo Pinto. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05.

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