FORT MYERS (WDAE) -- Trevor Richards, Jalen Beeks, and Pete Fairbanks each threw scoreless innings in the 2020 Grapefruit League opener, though the Rays fell 4-3 to the Boston Red Sox Saturday at a blustery JetBlue Park.
Richards allowed a leadoff base hit to Andrew Benintendi, but struck out a pair in the first. Beeks worked a 1-2-3 second inning, and Fairbanks loaded the bases, but escaped keeping the game scoreless.
Boston got their first run in the bottom of the fifth inning off minor-leaguer Joe Ryan, as a base hit by Brett Netzler on a pop fly that landed on the edge of the infield dirt at shortstop scored Brett Ockimey.
Sam McWilliams allowed three more runs in the eighth to give Boston a 4-0 lead heading into the ninth, but Ronaldo Hernandez drove in Randy Arozarena, who nearly homered himself, to make it 4-1. Mike Brosseau scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-2, and Ryan LaMarre's RBI single cut the deficit back to a single run.
Vidal Brujan nearly got Tampa Bay at least back even, but Michael Esplin's circus catch in right field on a fly ball knocked down by the wind ended the game and gave Boston the victory.
Both Hunter Renfroe and Jose Martinez had hits in their spring debut with the Rays. Manuel Margot finished the day 0 for 3 with a pair of strikeouts, and Kevan Smith grounded into a pair of double plays in their debuts. Aaron Slegers, Tyler Zombro, and Ryan Thompson all had scoreless innings of relief.
But for manager Kevin Cash the game was about players getting their work in and avoiding injury.
"It was good," Cash said afterward. "The wind stunk, but other than that, [today was] fine."