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Price allows three runs in final spring start

Left-hander strikes out five over four innings; Longoria drives in two runs

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Opening Day starters David Price and Chris Tillman made their final spring appearances on Wednesday night, as the Rays and Orioles played to a 4-4 tie at Charlotte Sports Park.

Price had an abbreviated stint in advance of his Opening Day start on Monday against the Blue Jays, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk while striking out five in four innings of work. He threw 73 pitches, 49 for strikes.

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"I felt good with everything, but like I said a couple of weeks ago, whenever you have two outs with nobody on base, you have to shut those innings down, not go double, double, single for two runs," Price said. "That will hurt you, it will definitely hurt you in that game. It takes innings away from you."

With the scored tied at 3-3, each team scored once in the ninth, before both teams agreed to end the game in a 4-4 tie. Baltimore's Brett Wallace hit a sacrifice fly that scored Trent Mummey to give the Orioles a 4-3 lead. In the bottom half, Ray Olemdo reached on a fielder's choice, scoring Spencer Edwards with the tying run.

Matt Joyce got the Rays started in the first with a bunt single to the left side against a shifted infield. One out later, James Loney singled to right off Tillman. Evan Longoria's sacrifice fly to right scored Joyce for a 1-0 Rays lead.

Nelson Cruz singled off Price to start the Orioles' second. Matt Wieters followed with a double to left. Delmon Young then grounded out to first to score Cruz and tie the game at 1-1.

Price struck out Cruz and Wieters to start the fourth before Young and Steve Pearce and hit back-to-back doubles to give the Orioles the lead. Steve Lombardozzi added a single to score Pearce and put the Orioles up 3-1.

Evan Longoria singled home a run against Tillman in the bottom of the fifth to cut the Orioles' lead to 3-2. Zach Britton then took over to strike out David DeJesus swinging to end the inning.

Tillman made five spring starts, missing one due to illness, and finished his Grapefruit League campaign with 4 2/3 innings against the Rays on Wednesday night. Tillman said he hasn't been focusing on his upcoming Opening Day start so much as preparing for the grind of a 162-game season.

"I've been focusing on getting myself ready," he said. "I think that's the most important thing. I'm happy coming out of this healthy and I'm ready to go."

Up next: Right-hander Alex Cobb will make his final start of the spring on Thursday night in a 7:05 p.m. ET game, as the Rays travel to Sarasota to play the Orioles. Cobb pitched seven innings against the Orioles on Saturday and allowed three runs on six hits while striking out 12. He will likely be the Rays No. 2 starter in the rotation.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for

Tampa Bay Rays, Alex Cobb, James Loney, Evan Longoria, Ray Olmedo, David Price