No running allowed
As a whole, Rays pitchers do a poor job holding runners at first base, so it certainly drew everyone’s attention in the first inning Friday when former Ray B.J. Upton was thrown out trying to steal second. RHP Chris Archer kept Upton close at first, C Jose Molina made a strong throw and SS Ray Olmedo made a quick tag. “It was a really well executed play,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Molina swipes a bag
Molina had an interesting stolen base in the third inning. He started for second base when he thought the pitch to 2B Cole Figueroa was ball four and continued when he realized the pitch was called a strike. Braves C Gerald Laird also thought it was a ball, so he hesitated before making the throw to second. The ball arrived too late to make a play on Molina. So, to recap: Upton is caught stealing second, and Molina steals without having to slide. “Is that ironic? What is that? It’s Disney,” Maddon said.
Remember when ...
Friday’s game at Champion Stadium was the Rays’ first trip to Walt Disney World since April 2008, when they swept the Blue Jays in a three-game series with Troy Percival getting the save in all three games. After winning the finale, RHP Andy Sonnanstine suggested the Rays play their playoff games that October at Disney. The Rays reached the postseason for the first time that year, but Sonnanstine’s idea was rejected.
Roger Mooney Spring schedule
15: BLUE JAYS, 1:05
15: at Pirates (Bradenton), 1:05
16: RED SOX, 1:05
18: at Twins (Fort Myers), 7:05
19: at Orioles (Sarasota), 1:05
20: TWINS, 7:05
21: BLUE JAYS, 1:05
22: ORIOLES, 1:05
23: at Red Sox (Fort Myers), 1:05
24: at Twins (Fort Myers), 1:05
25: RED SOX, 1:05
26: ORIOLES, 7:05
27: at Orioles (Sarasota), 7:05
28: at Tigers (Lakeland), 1:05
29: Montgomery (AA affiliate), 3:05
(Home games in CAPS)