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Faria identifies fixes after scuffling in ST debut

Right-hander says he was 'flying open' to Red Sox's lefty hitters
Special to MLB.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Saturday proved an inauspicious start to the Grapefruit League season for Jake Faria. The right-hander lasted two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs in the Rays' eventual 4-3 loss to the Red Sox. He faced seven batters, throwing 29 pitches, 18 for strikes.

"Kind of a long game, didn't start off so well," said manager Kevin Cash. "I think Jake was just missing arm side, couldn't correct himself. But that's the way it goes, first Spring Training outing."

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Saturday proved an inauspicious start to the Grapefruit League season for Jake Faria. The right-hander lasted two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs in the Rays' eventual 4-3 loss to the Red Sox. He faced seven batters, throwing 29 pitches, 18 for strikes.

"Kind of a long game, didn't start off so well," said manager Kevin Cash. "I think Jake was just missing arm side, couldn't correct himself. But that's the way it goes, first Spring Training outing."

Four of Boston's first five batters posted hits against Faria. Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi opened with consecutive singles, followed by a double to left by Rafael Devers, scoring Bradley. Brock Holt followed Mitch Moreland's RBI groundout with a double to left that scored Devers to put Faria and the Rays in a quick 3-0 hole.

A walk and a sharp Sam Travis lineout later, Faria's day was done, as Cash brought in left-hander Ryan Yarbrough.

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Boston's lineup was top-heavy with lefties against Faria, including the first five batters and switch-hitter Sandy Leon, before Travis, the only right-hander Faria faced.

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"Just getting out of the gate," Faria said of his outing. "In the bullpen I felt great, but I think that was the big thing, I went from walking to the dugout, sitting for a little bit then getting back up. So first time I would do that this year, and [I] couldn't really find a groove until I got that righty in there and was able to force me to stay closed. So just flying open to all the six first hitters."

Faria knows it's early, and he's not concerned about his line. Those kinds of results at this point in spring are not necessarily unexpected.

"No, the first game of spring your main goal is always to just to get into the strike zone, and that was a problem, and it was an easy evaluation," Faria said. "I talked to [Rays pitching coach] Kyle [Snyder], and a lot of it was just flying open to lefties and not really using my lower half. So it's just two quick fixes and go with it from there."

Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com.

Tampa Bay Rays, Jake Faria