- Associated Press - Thursday, March 27, 2014

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) - Nelson Cruz had a scary end to spring training.

Baltimore’s designated hitter, signed to an $8 million, one-year contract last month, was hit in the helmet by a curveball from Rays starter Alex Cobb in the fourth inning Thursday night

Cruz’s helmet cracked, but he walked off the field and had a precautionary CT scan. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he had few worries about Cruz.

“We’ll take a look and see how he feels (Friday), but he feels pretty good,” Showalter said.

Evan Longoria homered and Cobb pitched four innings in his final spring training tuneup, leading Tampa Bay to a 4-3 victory.

Scheduled to start the second game of the season, Cobb allowed a run and three hits. He felt bad about plunking Cruz.

“I don’t want to make excuses, but it slipped a little bit. It was a curveball and just got away from me,” Cobb said. “I don’t think any pitcher wants to hit a guy in the head. … It still stinks to see a guy go down like that. I’ve heard he’s OK, so that’s good.”

Cobb was sidelined for an extended stretch last season after getting hit in the head by a line drive.

Longoria doubled and hit his third home run of the spring for the Rays, who improved the best record in the Grapefruit League to 16-6-4.

Ubaldo Jimenez yielded three runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings for the Orioles. He walked two and struck out four.

David Lough had three hits for Baltimore.


Rays: Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon has set his rotation: David Price, Cobb, Matt Moore, Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi.

“I like the rotation. I couldn’t be happier,” Cobb said. “One through five, really happy.”

Orioles: Jimenez, who is Baltimore’s No. 2 starter, is eager to get out of Florida.

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