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Orioles beat Rays, 3-2, for first Grapefruit League win

One day after Orioles reserves orchestrated a late-inning rally that fell just short, they again came back late and this time beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-2, for the club's first Grapefruit League win of the spring on Thursday afternoon at Charlotte Sports Park.

Third baseman Michael Almanzar blasted a solo homer in the top of the ninth inning off left-hander Robert Zarate, a blast that came after the Orioles took advantage of an eighth-inning throwing error to score the tying run. Minor league outfielder Mike Yastrzemski's sacrifice fly the ninth proved to be the game winning.

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The Orioles (1-2) rallied from a 5-0 deficit on Wednesday, leaving the tying run on base in the ninth in their home opener against the Tigers.

"Hopefully that shows some of the depth and some of the things we did in the offseason," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "There's a reason you call them shock troops. They're hungry and they want to make an impression."

The Orioles outhit the Rays 8-7 and drew five walks but ran themselves out of several scoring opportunities early.

Leadoff hitter Everth Cabrera drew a one-out walk in the first inning, but was doubled up off first base on a popup to third, ending the inning. Jimmy Paredes was thrown out trying to steal second base on a leadoff single in the second and Chris Parmelee was thrown out to open the third inning trying to extend a leadoff double into a triple. Cabrera was also caught too far past second base in the fourth inning after advancing from first on Steve Clevenger's single.

"I'd like for them to happen now so we can use them teaching tool," Showalter said. "Oh yeah, you'll see those again (in meetings). … We'll correct those. We see it as an opportunity to correct them."

Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen allowed one hit in two scoreless innings in his first spring start. Chen took a comebacker off the inside of his right spike in the second inning, but was fine and remained in the game.

Right-handers Tyler Wilson and Jason Garcia each threw two scoreless frame in their first Grapefruit League appearances. Both pitchers struck out two Tampa Bay batters. Minor league right-hander Zach Davies added a scoreless inning of relief.

"I was really happy with the pitching," Showalter said.

The game was scoreless heading into the bottom of the seventh, when the Rays plated a run off left-hander Mark Hendrickson, who yielding a leadoff triple down the right-field line to Corey Brown followed by a double off the left-field wall by outfielder Joey Butler.

The Orioles evened the score in the top of the eighth. David Lough reached on a one-out throwing error by Rays shortstop Hak-Ju Lee. Lough moved to second when Matt Tuiasosopo drew a walk, and scored on Rey Navarro's RBI single to right field.

Almanzar, the former Orioles Rule 5 pick who is back in camp this spring as a non-roster invitee, crushed Zarate's 0-2 delivery into the berm beyond the left-field fence.

Despite allowing a solo homer to Butler with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, minor league left-hander Daniel Rodriguez earned the save.

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