03/24/08 3:52 PM ET
Jackson, Rays too much for Bucs
Righty pitches seven innings; offense pounds out 17 hits
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
at St. Petersburg
Monday, March 24
Rays at the plate: Akinori Iwamura had a leadoff single and scored on B.J. Upton's left-field single. In the second, Eric Hinske homered over the center-field fence to tie the game at 2. Carlos Pena had his second homer in two days, driving in Iwamura and Carl Crawford in the bottom of the fifth to put the Rays up, 5-2. Jason Bartlett was 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Iwamura was 2-for-3 with three runs scored. Crawford tripled to tack on two more runs in the sixth. Reid Brignac had a two-run homer over the right-field fence in the seventh.
Pirates at the plate: The Pirates got on Rays starter Edwin Jackson early, scoring two runs in the first inning. Jack Wilson had an RBI triple and scored the inning's second run. Doug Mientkiewicz was 1-for-2 with a walk and was hit by a pitch. Nyjer Morgan was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. The Bucs offense stalled after the opening inning, with scattered singles from Ryan Doumit, Xavier Nady and Luis Rivas, before a two-run eighth. Chris Gomez's left-field single scored both runs in that frame.
Rays on the mound: Coming off his best outing this spring, Jackson got his first start since being named to the Rays' starting rotation. The right-hander will pitch one of the first two games in New York against the Yankees. Jackson held Pittsburgh to two runs on seven hits, with two walks and two strikeouts in a seven-inning outing. Right-hander Scott Dohmann, who is competing with Grant Balfour for the final spot in the bullpen, gave up three hits and two runs in the eighth.
Pirates on the mound: Right-hander Matt Morris, who was recently named the Bucs' No. 4 starter, got the ball first for Pittsburgh. Morris couldn't contain the Rays, and was charged with 10 hits and eight runs in 5 2/3 innings. John Grabow retired the final batter in the sixth inning. Right-hander Franquelis Osoria gave up five hits and five runs in two-thirds of an inning.
Grapefruit League records: Pirates 9-16; Rays 16-5-2Up next for the Pirates: Right-hander Ian Snell will make his final tuneup before he takes the mound next Monday for the Pirates' season opener in Atlanta. Snell and the Pirates will host the Twins at 1:05 p.m. ET at McKechnie Field on Tuesday in what will be the first of three matchups between the two clubs in this final week of Spring Training. Minnesota is slated to start right-hander Kevin Slowey.
Up next for the Rays: Jason Hammel will open up the first of three straight road games for the Rays, as the club travels to Knology Park in Dunedin, Fla., for a 1:05 ET game against the Blue Jays. Right-hander Roy Halladay will start for Toronto in the final Spring Training game between the two clubs.
Brittany Ghiroli is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.