PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) -Ty Wigginton had two hits and two RBIs, leading the Baltimore Orioles to a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.
Wigginton's RBI single gave the Orioles a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning and his sacrifice fly to right field broke a 3-all tie in the ninth.
Evan Longoria hit his fifth home run of the spring in the first, a two-run blast off Orioles starter Jake Arrieta.
Even with the loss, the Rays (19-8) finished the Grapefruit League with the best record for the second time in three years. In 2008, their successful spring was the start of an improbable run to the World Series.
``We accomplished a lot of what we wanted to do,' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ``I thought we played well this spring.'
Robert Andino tied the game in the fifth with a two-run drive off Rays reliever Carlos Hernandez.
Rays starter Mike Ekstrom gave up just one hit over three innings. He is currently competing with Joaquin Benoit for the final spot in the bullpen.
``Both players do a lot of good things,' Maddon said. ``One is a little better with righties and the other is a little better against lefties. But they have each gotten better with their command.'
NOTES: Rays RHP James Shields struck out eight batters in four innings of a minor league game. He will be the Rays opening-day starter against Baltimore. ``I just went out and pitched like a normal game,' he said. ``I thought I had nice combinations.' Rays catcher Dioner Navarro also took part in the game. ... Maddon remains undecided on the status of third baseman Hank Blalock. If Blalock does not make the 25-man roster he can opt out of his contract. Blalock is batting .175 for the spring. ... Matt Garza is scheduled to start against the Mets and will be kept to a pitch count of 45-50 pitches.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved