I think we’re all thinking the same thing; “Welcome back Carlos Pena”. The Rays started their first game of the 2012 season with a great 7-6 win on Friday afternoon in front of a sold out Tropicana Field crowd. It took a come back in the last inning off of Mariano Rivera to win, but the Rays got it done.

James Shields and C.C. Sabathia did not have the pitching duel they were projected to have. The Rays struck early with a first inning grand slam by returning Ray Carlos Pena. The Yankees bounced back with two runs in the second inning and four in the third. It included a three-run home run by the newly-acquired Raul Ibanez. Shields only went five innings letting up six runs on nine hits. Sabathia went only six innings with five runs on eight hits, while striking out seven. 

It was a 6-5 Yankee lead from the fourth inning until the ninth. Desmond Jennings reached based with a single to start the inning, followed by Ben Zobrist who drove him in with an RBI triple. The Yankees then intentionally walked two straight batters to load the bases. Pena capped of the comeback with a walkoff single to win it and give the Rays the first win of the season. 

Some standouts for the Rays were Evan Longoria (3-3 with a home run and two walks), Desmond Jennings (2-4), Jeff Keppinger (3-4) and of course Carlos Pena who went 3 for 5, with a grand slam and a whopping five RBI. It's great to see Pena making an impact on the offense already.

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Up next for the Rays will be a Saturday night match up at the Trop with the Yankees. Pitching in game 2 of this series will be Hiroki Kuroda and David Price. The game's already sold out, so the trop should be popping again Saturday night. The game starts with a first pitch at 7:10.