Beckham to lead off in Rays' Grapefruit opener

Asdrubal to bat third, Longoria cleanup against Orioles on Thursday

Beckham to lead off in Rays' Grapefruit opener

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Rays will get their Grapefruit League schedule underway Thursday at 1:05 p.m. ET, and they posted their first lineup Wednesday. Tim Beckham will lead off and play second base, and he'll be followed in the order by John Jaso, Asdrubal Cabrera and cleanup hitter Evan Longoria.

James Loney will play first base and bat fifth against an Orioles split squad on Thursday, followed by outfielders David DeJesus, Brandon Guyer and Kevin Kiermaier. Curt Casali will catch and hit ninth for Tampa Bay, and Nathan Karns will be the first starting pitcher out of the gate in Spring Training.

Rays manager Kevin Cash said his team is ready to start playing games.

"If they would've come a day or two early," Cash said, "we would've been fine with that also."

Cash said he expects each of his pitchers to throw one inning, but he said he'd be flexible if one of them had an especially short inning. The position players, meanwhile, will likely get two at-bats.

"[We're] getting them going," Cash said. "We'll see a bunch of different guys the next day."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.