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Spring training

Rays: Advantage, Price; Joe Maddon calls rain audible

Check out those Prices

Among the minor-leaguers facing ace David Price in Thursday's simulated game was INF Robby Price (son of University of Kansas baseball coach Ritch Price). They matched up in a similar exercise last year, David saying Robby prevailed with two doubles. On Thursday, David dominated — as the hitters weren't allowed to swing.

Quote of the day

"We went 'Omaha' early."

Manager Joe Maddon, on calling a Peyton Manning-inspired audible in the morning to have the Rays' scheduled pitchers throw in a simulated game in Port Charlotte rather than wait for a decision on Thursday's game.

Number of the day

12-1 Odds on the Rays winning the World Series from the online Bovada site, behind the Dodgers (13-2), Cardinals (8-1) and Tigers (9-1), same as the Red Sox and Nats.

Practice replay

Today is the first of six Rays spring games in which instant replay will be available, although more so to work through the on-field process than the actual reviews, which will be done in an on-site TV truck rather than in New York.

The chosen games:

• Today at Jays (Dunedin)

• Monday at Red Sox (Fort Myers)

• March 16 vs. Red Sox

• March 18 at Twins (Fort Myers)

• March 23 at Red Sox (Fort Myers)

• March 24 at Twins (Fort Myers)

Hair today

For the third straight year, Rays players and staff will shave their heads to raise money and awareness for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation through the Cut for a Cure program. For more info or to donate, see pcfcutforacure.org.

Family affair

Manager Joe Maddon had a sense of familiarity watching RHP Brad Boxberger, a reliever acquired last month from the Padres. Maddon early in his career played on a team with Boxberger's father, Rod.

Who is this Ray?

Was once ranked Braves' No. 1 prospect. Has played in majors for seven teams. Has been traded four times.

The dish

Rays at Blue Jays

When/where: 1:05 today; Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin

TV: MLB Network (no radio)

Tickets: $16-31, available through bluejays.com, 1-888-525-5297

Pitchers: Rays — RH Alex Cobb, Brandon Gomes, Brad Boxberger, Matt Andriese, Nathan Karns; Jays — RH Drew Hutchison, Todd Redmond, Esmil Rogers.

Rays information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)

Heads-up

AL rookie of the year Wil Myers, Matt Joyce and Desmond Jennings head the Rays travel squad while the starting infielders stay back in Port Charlotte.

On deck

Saturday: Pirates, 1:05. Rays — LH Matt Moore; Pirates — LH Francisco Liriano

Sunday: at Yankees, 1:05. Rays — RH Chris Archer; Yankees — TBA

Monday: at Red Sox, 1:05. Rays — TBA; Red Sox — LH Jon Lester

Exhibition schedule

All games 1:05 unless noted

March

11 Twins

12 at Jays

13 Pirates

14 at Braves

15 (ss) Jays; at Pirates

16 Red Sox

17 Off

18 at Twins, 7:05

19 at Orioles

20 Twins, 7:05

21 Jays

22 Orioles

23 at Red Sox

24 at Twins

25 Red Sox

26 Orioles 7:05

27 at Orioles, 7:05

28 at Tigers

29 at AA Montgomery (Ala.), 3:05

Who is this Ray: INF Wilson Betemit

Follow our coverage all spring on The Heater blog (tampabay.com/blogs/rays) and on Twitter @TBTimes_Rays.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Family affair

Manager Joe Maddon had a sense of familiarity watching RHP Brad Boxberger, a reliever acquired last month from the Padres. Maddon early in his career played on a team with Boxberger's father, Rod. So how does son compare with father? "A different arm," Maddon said. "I know his dad threw a really good knuckle curve. (Brad) has a nice breaking ball, too."

Rays: Advantage, Price; Joe Maddon calls rain audible 03/06/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 6, 2014 9:36pm]
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