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Rays spring info

Play of the day

The Twins made quite a play on Elliot Johnson's third-inning bunt. Unable to field the ball, RHP Livan Hernandez, who played soccer growing up in Cuba, instead kicked it to first and 1B Justin Morneau, who played hockey growing up in Canada, made a glove save for the out, with the Rays applauding and tipping their caps.

"Even though it happened to me, it was pretty exciting to watch," Johnson said.

Rays SS Jason Bartlett, a former Twin, was among those impressed. "To kick it and to hit it in the air right at Morneau's glove, it's impossible, but he did it," Bartlett said. "Any other first baseman it probably would have hit off their knee or something, but Morneau, that hockey instinct, kick save and he got it."

Said Morneau: "I was covering up the five-hole. It's too bad it wasn't a regular-season game or you'd be seeing that all night."

Hernandez said he was just doing what he could to get the out. "It was a good play, and I see everybody was going crazy," he said.

Said Rays RHP James Shields: "When our team is giving the opposing pitcher a standing ovation in the dugout, I think that's a pretty good play."

of the day

The Rays have big plans for Friday's last spring training game in St. Petersburg, but today they will be involved in the last game in Winter Haven, with the Indians moving to Arizona next year.

Number of the day

80 wins for the Rays, as projected by Sports Illustrated, with a fourth-place finish.

The dish &

Rays at Indians

When/where: 1:05; Chain of Lakes Park, 500 Cypress Gardens Blvd., Winter Haven

Tickets: $7-$23, available at stadium box office, by phone at (866) 488-7423 or online at

Pitchers: Rays — RHP Andy Sonnanstine; Indians — LHP Cliff Lee

Rays info: 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)

Weather: High 70s, sunny

Watch for: The bullpen battle between Scott Dohmann and Grant Balfour is coming down to the wire.

On deck

Friday: Reds, 1:05, Progress Energy Park, St. Petersburg. Rays — Matt Garza; Reds — TBA

Saturday: at Reds, 1:05, Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota. Rays — Edwin Jackson; Reds — TBA


Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Play of the day's quotes of the day


Rays INF Elliot Johnson, who bunted the ball
"It's one of those plays, you probably won't ever see that again, but you never know."

Twins 1B Justin Morneau, who made the catch on the kicked ball
"Not a bad play as long as we kick it to the first baseman."

Twins manager Ron
Gardenhire, who watched


Rays updates

Times staff writers will be blogging live from Rays' spring games. Follow the action at

Rays spring info 03/26/08 [Last modified: Thursday, March 27, 2008 2:48pm]
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