Rays face off against Orioles in a divisional match-up

By Danielle Dubois, WEBN Correspondent

Fort Meyers, FL – Spring Training is when players, coaches, and fans get a sneak peek into the regular season ahead. For the Tampa Bay Rays, it meant facing off against their main competitor in the American League East before the season’s first pitch. Last year, the Baltimore Orioles won the AL East over the Rays by two games. With the Orioles having their first successful season since 2014, the Rays have some competition this year. The Orioles are looking to repeat as division champions, and the Rays will fight to dethrone them. Watching the Rays take on the Orioles in Port Charlotte gave a good preview as to what fans could expect from the season. 

The Rays started hot with an RBI by Jonathan Aranda in the first inning. With a sold-out crowd at Charlotte Sports Park, fans were ecstatic to continue the scoring. Unfortunately for them, the Rays gave up an RBI to Ryan McKenna in the fourth inning, which tied the game 1-1. The game broke open in the seventh inning after C.J. Hinojosa doubled and later scored on an RBI. The inning continued with five other Rays players scoring, bringing the game to 5-1. The Rays were able to prevail over a main competitor for their season as they won 7 to 2. 

What started as a mainly defensive match-up quickly became an offensive showdown for Tampa. While good pitching is necessary to succeed, being able to bring in runs late in a game is also crucial. Today, the Rays team proved that their pitching can sustain a top-tier AL team while also generating offense.