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Tampa Bay Rays acquire outfielder Ben Francisco in trade with Astros

Rays acquire Astros outfielder Francisco

TORONTO — The Rays made a small deal Friday night to add a right-handed hitter to their bench, acquiring outfielder Ben Francisco from Houston for a player to be named.

Francisco, 30, has played six seasons in the majors, with a .258 career average and .328 on-base percentage. He gives the Rays another option against left-handed pitchers.

"Put him in the right spots, he can be very productive," manager Joe Maddon said. "Really balances us out even better, whereas if we see a good left-handed pitcher we can have three righties in the outfield now, so that's a nice thing."

Francisco is most known to the Rays for his uncanny success against pitcher Andy Sonnanstine: 8-for-9 with five home runs.

Francisco will be eligible for the postseason roster since he was acquired before the midnight deadline. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Rays designated for assignment pitcher Albert Suarez, who was 5-9 with a 4.08 ERA at Class A Charlotte.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Tampa Bay Rays acquire outfielder Ben Francisco in trade with Astros 08/31/12 [Last modified: Friday, August 31, 2012 11:02pm]
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