Rays Close Out Home Portion Of Spring Schedule With Win Over Pirates

PORT CHARLOTTE (WDAE) -- Avisail Garcia had three hits and drove in a pair, while Wilmer Font tossed nearly two innings of shutout baseball, as the Tampa Bay Rays finished the home portion of the 2019 Grapefruit League schedule with a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates Friday at Charlotte Sports Park.

Garcia reached in all three of his at-bats Friday, driving in Brandon Lowe twice with singles in the first off starter Brandon Waddell and in the third against Francisco Liriano, giving the Rays a 2-0 lead.

A fielder's choice grounder by Jake Cronenworth in the sixth scored Taylor Walls, who had pinch-run for Austin Meadows, with what turned out to be the game-winning run.

Pittsburgh ended the shutout in the seventh, with Steven Baron's RBI single off Chaz Roe, scoring Pablo Reyes, and got to within a run in the top of the ninth against Andrew Kittredge, when Reyes singled in Jerrick Suiter to make it 3-2. But Kittredge struck out Calvin Mitchell and Patrick Kivlehan, and got Arden Pabst to fly out to end the game.

Font got the first five outs of the game, allowing two hits but also striking out a pair. The Rays also got three shutout innings from Casey Sadler, along with scoreless outings from Diego Castillo, Jose Alvarado, and Adam Kolarek.

Tampa Bay will finish the Grapefruit League season with three games on the road, beginning Saturday with a trip to Lakeland and a matchup with the Detroit Tigers. Charlie Morton will get the start, taking on Jordan Zimmermann. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 12:30 with Countdown to Opening Day.

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