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Rays Finish Off Grapefruit League Shutting Out Tigers

Rays pitcher Michael Wacha

Michael Wacha threw three shutout innings, and Brett Sullivan and Joseph Odom each drove in a pair as the Tampa Bay Rays finished the 2021 Grapefruit League with a 5-0 whitewashing of the Detroit Tigers Tuesday at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland.

Rays pitchers held the Tigers to just four hits in the seven-inning contest.  Cody Reed started the game with a 1-2-3 first.  Wacha allowed three hits and struck out two in his final tuneup for the regular season.

Tampa Bay got on the board in the fifth, as Manuel Margot led off the inning with a double against Casey MizeXavier Edwards singled pinch-runner Miles Mastrobuoni to third, and after Odom struck out and Tristan Gray grounded out, Detroit brought in Michael Fulmer to face Sullivan, who greeted the right-hander with a double to score both runners.  Moises Gomez then drove in Sullivan with a base hit to make it 3-0.

The Rays added on against Matt Manning an inning later, as Blake Hunt and Wander Franco started the frame by each drawing a walk.  Mastrobuoni and Edwards each grounded out, but Odom picked up his teammates with a double to set the score at 5-0.

After Wacha’s final appearance, Tampa Bay also got scoreless innings of relief out of Collin McHugh, Hunter Strickland, and Phoenix Sanders to end the game.

Tampa Bay finishes the Grapefruit League with a record of 13-15.  They’ll begin the 2021 regular season Thursday in Miami when they take on the Marlins.  Tyler Glasnow (5-1, 4.08 ERA in 2020) will get the start, taking on Sandy Alcantara (3-2, 3.00 ERA in 2020).  First pitch is scheduled for 4:10.

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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