The Tampa Rays answered Baltimore’s home run barrage with a mini splurge of their own in Tuesday’s spring training home opener for the Orioles, though none got a bigger yell from the crowd than Manny Ramirez blasting his first homer of the spring over the left center field wall.
B.J. Upton followed Ramirez a long ball shot with one of his own, also his first round-tripper of the season. Catcher Kelly Shoppach got the Rays first homer of the game in the fourth inning with another solo blast. Ramirez and Upton hit their homers in the sixth.
It was evident that the announced crowd of 7,497 had more Rays fans though it was a big day for baseball in Sarasota and the Orioles, who emerged a 12-6 winner.
The Rays also had to feel good about the one inning three strikeout performance by righthander Chris Archer. The 6-3, 185 pounder was the major piece for Tampa in the Matt Garza deal and manager Joe Maddon said after the game it won’t be long before he is in the big leagues.