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Old faces come home to lead Pirates to big victory over the Rays

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Familiar faces came home to haunt the Tampa Bay Rays Thursday afternoon.

Former teammates Matt Joyce and Sean Rodriguez homered, and the Pittsburgh Pirates won 13-8. The Pirates took a 10-0 lead in the first two innings, scoring eight times off of starter Jake Odorizzi.

“I just didn’t have any stuff, plain and simple,” said Odorizzi, who makes his regular-season debut on Tuesday against the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field. “Fastball wasn’t good. Curve same way. Split, same way. So not too worried about it, really. It’s not like I had my good stuff and got hit around.”

The Rays did come back to close within 10-7, but couldn’t draw closer. Tim Beckham had two hits, including a homer, and Kevin Kiermaier and Mayo Acosta had two hits.

The Rays will finish up their spring today. The Rays finish out their Grapefruit League schedule with 1:05 p.m. ET games in Lakeland against the Tigers and Lake Buena Vista against the Braves. Left-hander Matt Moore will start against the Tigers and Adam Will will start against the Braves.

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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