03/03/08 5:40 PM ET
Offense has big day against Tigers
Garza shaky, but Gomes and Cannizaro homer in win
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
at Lakeland, Fla.
Monday, March 3 Rays at the plate: Willy Aybar's two-run double helped the Rays tie the game in the top of the fourth. Carl Crawford added an RBI double in the fifth before Jonny Gomes went deep in the sixth for his first home run of the year. Andy Cannizaro's two-run homer put the Rays ahead briefly in the seventh. Former Tiger Carlos Pena added two hits and an RBI, raising his average to .500 this spring.
Tigers at the plate: Miguel Cabrera opened Detroit's scoring in the opening inning when he singled in Gary Sheffield, capping a run of three straight Tigers reaching base safely. Curtis Granderson doubled home Edgar Renteria an inning later. Marcus Thames' three-run homer paced a four-run fourth inning, and Wilkin Ramirez slugged another three-run homer in the seventh to tie the game.
Rays on the mound: Matt Garza needed 35 pitches to get through the first inning, and it didn't get any easier from there. Granderson's double knocked Garza from the game after he gave up one run on five hits allowed over 1 2/3 innings. Grant Balfour came to the rescue with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief before Thames homered off Chad Orvella.
Tigers on the mound: Jeremy Bonderman tossed three scoreless innings in his second start of the spring, allowing two hits and striking out a pair. Four of Tampa Bay's runs came off Virgil Vasquez, who allowed six hits in two innings of work.
Grapefruit League records: Rays 4-0, Tigers 3-2-1
Up next: The Tigers visit the Astros on Tuesday for a 1:05 p.m. ET contest at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee. Nate Robertson will make his second start of the spring, followed by Macay McBride, Francis Beltran, Todd Jones, Tim Byrdak and Preston Larrison. Roy Oswalt is scheduled to start for Houston, while former Tiger Dave Borkowski is also slated to pitch.
The Rays return to St. Petersburg for a stretch of five home games over the next nine days, starting with Tuesday's 1:05 p.m. ET matchup with the Twins. Edwin Jackson is slated to make the start opposite Boof Bonser. Andy Sonnanstine, Al Reyes, Trever Miller, Dan Wheeler, Gary Glover and Scott Dohmann are also expected to appear.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.