Seen in Dunedin

Nathan Karns started for the Rays and did nothing to diminish his chances to earn the fifth spot in the rotation. He looked composed, put zeroes on the scoreboard, and even pitched out of a little trouble.

Back in a Minor League game at Port Charlotte, Alex Cobb allowed one earned run on three hits while striking out four; Grant Balfour pitched 2/3 of an inning, allowed a hit and struck out one — nine of his 15 pitches were strikes; and Joel Peralta allowed one hit — a home run — while striking out one in an inning of work.

Jeremy Moore continues to hit for power. Wednesday he hit a tumultuous blast that cleared the batter’s eye screen in center field. Karns noted of the blast: “He hit that one to Toronto.” That’s three home runs for Moore this spring. Jerry Sands, like Moore, has been ripping the baseball and his ninth-inning home run — his third of the spring — gave the Rays a 5-4 win. Maddon complimented both Moore and Sands for what they’ve shown this spring.

Mark Lowe continues to look sharp. He allowed no earned runs on two hits and he struck out three in 1 2/3 innings.  The right-hander has the look of the veteran reliever who has a good chance of making the team. Maddon spoke lovingly of his slider after the game.

–Bill Chastain

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