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Spring training

Rays: Price, Astro shoot MLB commercial

Lights, camera, water break …

LHP David Price and his famous dog Astro — who got some VIP treatment of his own — on Monday shot what will be a national commercial for Major League Baseball.

Hosts with the mosts

The Red Sox had two batboys working the Rays dugout Monday, an improvement over last week's visit when they didn't provide any for the first two innings. But manager Joe Maddon was curious about the postings of the pitch speed readings on the scoreboard. "A delayed gun, what's the deal?" he wondered aloud. "Somebody asleep at the switch? Or is it intentionally done? Is it a Red Sox ploy of some kind?"

North of Fenway South

JetBlue Park, known as Fenway South, is said to be of "similar" dimensions to the real thing, with a 37-or-so-foot-high leftfield wall. It looked that way Monday when Rays 3B Evan Longoria launched a ball over the fans sitting on top. "This place feels a lot bigger; it just may be because it's not as closed in as Fenway Park," he said. "But if you hit it high enough you've got a good chance."

Who is this Ray?

Third stint in organization. Began pro career in 1999 but has played in only 218 big-league games. Made debut for Reds in 2003.

The dish

Rays vs. Twins

When/where: 1:05 today; Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte. Radio: mlb.com

Tickets: Reserved seats $19-29, berm/boardwalk $10. Available through raysbaseball.com and Ticketmaster, at Tropicana Field and Charlotte Sports Park box offices, Tampa team store.

Gates open: 11 a.m.

Directions: Driving time from the bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: I-75 south to Exit 179 (Toledo Blade Road), go west 6½ miles (crossing U.S. 41) to El Jobean Road (SR 776), go right 2 miles, complex is on the left.

Parking: $10, lots open at 10.

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

Pitchers: Rays — LH David Price, Grant Balfour, Joel Peralta, Jake McGee; Twins — RH Ricky Nolasco, Scott Diamond, Matt Guerrier, Ryan Pressly

Heads-up

Balfour felt flat in Saturday's outing, attributing it to the "dead arm" period of spring.

Exhibition schedule

All games 1:05 unless noted

March

12 at Blue Jays

13 Pirates

14 at Braves

15 (ss) Blue Jays; at Pirates

16 Red Sox

17 OFF

18 at Twins, 7:05

19 at Orioles

20 Twins, 7:05

21 Blue 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 Ray Olmedo

Spring in photos

Going to a spring training game in Florida? We want to see your photos. Post them on our Facebook wall at Tampa Bay Times Sports or tag them #springtrainingFL on Twitter and/or Instagram and we'll add them to our online gallery.

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

Rays: Price, Astro shoot MLB commercial 03/10/14 [Last modified: Monday, March 10, 2014 10:46pm]

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