Bucs' late rally ends in tie with Rays
Four-run ninth inning is keyed by Alvarez's three-run homer
RAYS 7, PIRATES 7 (11 innings)
at Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 15, 2009
Pirates at the plate: Jose Tabata had a single and a double off Matt Garza in his first two at-bats. Tabata added a sacrifice fly after Andrew McCutchen tripled to start the sixth. The Bucs added two runs in the seventh inning including a solo homer from Andy LaRoche. Pedro Alvarez's three-run homer followed by Garrett Jones' solo shot in the top of the ninth helped the Pirates erase a 7-3 lead and send the game to extra innings.
Rays at the plate: Sean Riggans, Adam Kennedy, and Justin Ruggiano set the table for a two-run third inning. Carl Crawford grounded out to drive in one of the runs and Gable Kapler singled home other. Shortstop Reid Brignac hit a solo home run in the seventh inning that tied the game at 3. Elliot Johnson, Willy Aybar and Tim Beckham all added RBI hits that totaled four runs for the Rays in the eighth inning.Pirates on the mound: Tom Gorzelanny made his fourth start of the spring and the left-hander allowed two runs on five hits and a strikeout in three innings worked. Jeff Karstens followed with three scoreless innings, allowing two hits while striking out one. Gorzelanny and Karstens are competing for spots in the rotation. Tyler Yates gave up a home run in the seventh. Rays on the mound: Matt Garza made his second start, and appearance, of the spring and pitched three scoreless innings, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out two. Garza is penciled in as the Rays No. 3 to start the season. ... Troy Percival made his second appearance of the spring and had another successful outing, striking out one and retiring the other two hitters he faced on popouts. ... Jason Isringhausen made his first appearance as a Rays player and allowed one run on one hit and one strikeout in one inning. Dan Wheeler gave up two runs, including a homer, in the seventh inning. Grapefruit League records: Pirates 10-6; Rays 9-7 Up next: The Rays and Pirates will meet again Monday night at McKechnie Field in Bradenton in a 7:05 p.m. ET contest, which will be only the second Pirates exhibition game at McKechnie Field to be played under the lights since the lights were installed last year. Paul Maholm will start for the Pirates and will be followed by Denny Bautista, Sean Burnett, Craig Hansen, Donnie Veal, and Chris Bootcheck.
Andy Sonnanstine will start for the Rays and will be followed by Mitch Talbot and David Price. ... The Weather Channel will be broadcasting live from the game Monday night; meteorologist Stephanie Abrams will be doing live remotes during the "Evening Edition" from 7-10 p.m.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.