Tampa Bay’s Drew Smyly sharp in victory over Pirates

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The Tampa Bay Rays had a easy time of it Thursday in spring training, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1.

Rays’ pitchers allowed only four hits and one eighth-inning run in the victory.

It increased the Rays’ record to 4-5 in the spring. Pittsburgh is 2-7.

Logan Forsyth had three hits and James Loney two for the Rays. Starting pitcher Drew Smily when three and one third inning, allowing two hits. He struck out three.

“I’m feeling great, my arm feels great right now,” Smyly said. “I’m just trying to get my work in, work on my pitches, just go out there and compete and have fun.”

Desmond Jennings hit a home run for the Rays, improving his spring average to .500. He played only 28 innings a year ago.

The Pirates play the Rays again today at McKetchnie Field in Bradenton.

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.