Birds bullpen picks up slack in comeback tie
O's use eight pitchers in relief of Beal; Hardy finishes 2-for-3 with a double
SARASOTA -- Rays ace David Price cruised through his final Grapefruit League tuneup, leading the Tampa Bay Rays in a 4-4 tie against the Baltimore Orioles Thursday night at Ed Smith Stadium.
Price, who will start Opening Day against Baltimore on Tuesday, went four scoreless innings and allowed one hit and a walk with three strikeouts. Coming off an American League Cy Young-winning season, Price pitched to a 2.12 spring ERA this spring and will be opposed by righty Jason Hammel on Opening Day.
The Orioles sent Minor League pitcher Jesse Beal to face Price on Thursday night, as Steve Johnson was scratched with an injury. Beal allowed three runs over one inning of work and was followed by lefty Troy Patton, who pitched a scoreless second. Right-hander Luis Ayala tossed two scoreless frames following that.
The O's lone hit off Price came from shortstop J.J. Hardy in the second inning, and Matt Wieters drew a fourth-inning walk. Baltimore scored two runs in the sixth with a pair of doubles from Manny Machado and Adam Jones.
Outfielder Kyle Hudson hit an infield single single to drive home Taylor Teagarden for the tying run in the ninth. Teagarden had walked to lead off the inning.
Evan Longoria went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, including a solo homer off Tim Bascom in the sixth inning, while Yunel Escobar singled in a run in the first. Ben Zobrist walked and scored in that frame as well.
Desmond Jennings went 4-for-5 batting leadoff and filling the designated hitter role for the Rays.
Up Next for the Orioles: Chris Tillman, who will start the season on the disabled list, will make an unofficial spring start on Friday afternoon against the State College of Florida. Nick Markakis will serve at designated hitter for the visiting club in order to get more at-bats. The 2 p.m. ET game is free and open to the public.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.