Drew Rasmussen starts for the Rays in a spring training game against the Tigers on March 13, 2023. Photo by Ellie Shreve.

Rays Defend The Trop, Take Down Tigers 9-5


The Tampa Bay Rays defended Tropicana Field with a 9-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers. Monday’s spring training matchup spotlighted Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe and the return of Tampa Bay corner infielder Yandy Díaz

The Lowes Launch It

At the bottom of the second, B. Lowe got things going for the Rays with a homer to right field. The three-run shot would mark the first big play of the night for the second baseman. The fly ball was launched 97.7 mph off the bat, on an 81.8 mph slider from Detroit left-handed pitcher Tyler Holton. Tampa Bay got out to a 3-1 advantage over the Tigers. 

It was certainly a game for both of Tampa Bay’s Lowes. Rays outfielder Josh Lowe singled to center, sending Rays right fielder Luke Raley home and Rays outfielder Jose Siri to third. The Rays would gain a 4-1 advantage in the bottom of the third.

Rays Stay Hot

However, Tampa Bay was just getting started. The third frame would showcase a continued dominance at the plate. A Daniel Robertson single would allow the Rays to gain two more runs from Siri and J. Lowe. 

Immediately following, B. Lowe, better known as “Bamm-Bamm”, proved he wasn’t done just yet. He smacked a sac fly to left field, bringing Robertson home.

Brandon Lowe at bat for the Rays during a spring training game against the Tigers on March 13, 2023. Photo by Ellie Shreve.

Tampa Bay would cap off the third inning with Raley singling to right and Díaz and outfielder Jordan Qsar both scoring runs. The Rays would come out of the third frame with a 9-3 advantage over Detroit. 

While B. Lowe shined for the Rays, J. Lowe and Raley posted impressive numbers as well. Against the Tigers, J. Lowe would go 1-for-3 with an RBI single and a stolen base while Raley went 1-for-3 with a two-run single and a walk in the third inning. 

Meanwhile, atop the mound, Rays right-handed pitcher Drew Rasmussen struck out three over three innings pitched, giving up one unearned run, one hit and one walk. 

Tigers Strike First 

Detroit came out hot to start the game. In the first inning, first baseman Spencer Torkelson doubled to left, allowing second baseman César Hernández to score. The Tigers picked up an early 1-0 lead over the Rays. The Tampa Bay defense came out shaky to start the first inning. Díaz had a throwing error at third base, catcher René Pinto failed to block a wild pitch and Qsar misplayed a tough liner into second base.

The Tigers would not score again until the top of the fifth when Tigers outfielder Austin Meadows doubled to left, knocking in shortstop Zack Short and centerfielder Jonathan Davis. The Tigers now trailed 9-3.

Austin Meadows greets fans before a spring training game against the Rays on March 13, 2023. Photo by Ellie Shreve.

Detroit would score two more runs in the top of the eighth on singles off the bats of Davis and catcher Donny Sands.

However, Detroit couldn’t keep up with a strong offensive effort from the Rays. Tampa Bay would hold on for a 9-5 win at the Trop. 

Díaz Returns to the Lineup 

Monday’s contest saw the return of Díaz, who has sat out the past nine games after suffering a hip flexor injury. After making his return on Friday, Díaz was forced to leave the game after being hit by a pitch on his left hand. In his spring training return against the Tigers, Díaz batted leadoff, going 1-for-1 with two walks and four innings played at third base. 

Additionally, prior injuries were not an issue for B. Lowe on Monday night. The 28-year-old suffered from back issues during the 2022 campaign, which largely held him back at the plate. However, Monday’s standout performance showed nothing of the sort. 

Up Next 

The Tampa Bay Rays will return to the Trop to host the Minnesota Twins. Meanwhile, the Detroit Tigers will host the Boston Red Sox at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Both games will take place Tuesday with the first pitch slated for 1:05 p.m.

About Ellie Shreve

Check Also

Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable: Ben Acker’s week with the Grapefruit Gators

To say my family and I were excited that I got accepted into the Spring …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *