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Baltimore avoids sweep on homer by former Rays minor league Joey Rickard

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Who says that big hitters don’t make their way through the Tampa Bay Rays’ farm system.

It’s just that when they do, too many times they end up elsewhere.

For instance, consider the case of Baltimore’s Joey Rickard, who was claimed by the Orioles in December’s Rule 5 draft. It was Rickard who took Matt Moore deep for a three-run homer in the fifth inning, enabling the Orioles to win a 3-1 game.

“Last year when I got to play with him for a month, you could see the professionalism in his preparation for the game and how he works his at-bats,” Moore said. “He doesn’t take anything off.”

Rickard’s blast ruined a terrific outing by Moore in which he allowed only three hits in seven innings.

The Rays scored only one run in the ninth inning when Steve Pearce drove in Brandon Guyer.

The loss kept the Rays from sweeping their first series of the year. It also kept them from moving above .500 for the first time this season.

The Rays play against Toronto Friday. Drew Smyly pitches against Aaron Sanchez.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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