Golfer of the day
RHP Joe Nelson's team won the best-ball Rays Charity Golf Tournament on Wednesday at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota Members Only course in Bradenton. Nelson's group shot 54, with RF Gabe Gross' team second (56) and a team with RHP James Shields and president Matt Silverman third (57). The Rays expect the event raised more than $100,000 for local charities.
Taking the fifth
An occasional look at the competition for the No. 5 starter's spot:
LHP Carlos Hernandez, making a strong case, is scheduled to start Friday.
List of the day
Rays utilityman Ben Zobrist has been all over the field in the spring, spending innings at six positions:
Rays vs Phillies
When/where: 1:05; Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte
Tickets: Limited quantity of reserved seats ($16-$23), limited number of $9 boardwalk and berm tickets available. Buy through raysbaseball.com and Ticketmaster, at Tropicana Field and Charlotte Sports Park box offices and Tampa team store.
Gates open: 11 a.m.
Directions: Driving time from the Tampa Bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: Take Interstate 75 south to Exit 179 (North Port/Port Charlotte), turn right (west) on Toledo Blade Road, go about 6½ miles (crossing U.S. 41) to El Jobean Road (SR 776), turn right, go about 2 miles; stadium on left.
Parking: $7, lots open at 10
For information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)
Pitchers: Rays — RH James Shields, RH Joe Nelson, RH Troy Percival, RH Dan Wheeler, LH Randy Choate, RH Lance Cormier. Phillies — LH Jamie Moyer, LH J.A. Happ, RH Clay Condrey
Friday: Blue Jays, at Dunedin, 1:05. Rays — Carlos Hernandez; Jays — LH Brett Cecil, LH David Purcey
Saturday: Reds, at Sarasota, 1:05. Rays — Scott Kazmir; Reds — RH Bronson Arroyo
Sunday: Pirates, at Charlotte Sports Park, 1:05. Rays — Matt Garza; Pirates — LH Tom Gorzelanny
Monday: Pirates, at Bradenton, 7:05. Rays — TBA; Pirates — LH Paul Maholm
Rays exhibition schedule
Home games at Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte
Games at 1:05 unless noted
Fri: at Jays
Sat: at Reds
Mon: at Pirates, 7:05
20: at Jays
21: at Orioles
23: at Pirates
25: Pirates, 7:05
26: at Tigers
27: at Twins
29: at Reds
30: at Twins
31: at Red Sox
Joe Smith, Times staff writer
Number of the day
10 RBIs for OF Jon Weber, right, a team-high.
Father-son note of the day
Ben Zobrist said his 1-month old son, Zion, has attended many of the Rays' spring training home games so far. Not that Zion has seen much, because he mostly naps. So much so, Zobrist joked he should make a tape of "sounds of baseball" to keep Zion asleep most nights.
In the swing
The Rays held their annual golf tournament Wednesday, and RHP Jason Hammel said interest in the sport has grown quite a bit in the clubhouse. Though Hammel said that RHP Chad Orvella, LHP David Price and 3B Evan Longoria are among the team's top golfers, "There's not a bad swing in here."