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Tampa Bay’s errors helps lose lead to Pirates in Spring game

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The Tampa Bay Rays started their eighth inning Friday with gifts. After that, it was Gift.

Gift Ngoepe singled home the tie-breaking run in the eight, his heroics coming after two throwing errors in a three-run inning by the Pirates. Tampa Bay fell to 4-6 on the spring.

Taylor Motter had a home run and a double for the Rays, giving the team a 3-1 lead going into the eighth.

Jake Odorizzi held the Pirates to three hits and two walks while striking out three over 3 1/3 innings.

Getting up and down four times was really good considering I only did it twice last time,” Odorizzi said. “I’m just trying to experiment with off-speed pitches with two-strike counts, and I think that’s kind of driving my pitch count up a little bit. But at the same time, I’d rather work on it now, where nothing matters besides getting my pitches in, so I’m happy with the progression I made from the last start to this one.”

For the Rays, Desmond Jennings had two more hits to raise his spring average to .538.

Matt Moore throws for the second time this spring today when he faces the Yankees in Port Charlotte.

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

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