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Tampa Bay Rays news: Recovered keepsake used in first pitch; Carlos Peña hits team's second opening day grand slam

Recovered keepsake

Friday's first pitch, thrown by Jim Dundee in honor of father, Angelo, was even more ceremonial than usual: The ball was the one Evan Longoria hit for his Game 162-ending homer. The Rays worked out a deal to get the ball from the former concessions worker who had it, and they plan to display it in the new 162 Landing Area. Longoria caught the pitch.

Ceremonially speaking

American Idol 11th-place finisher Shannon Magrane, 16-year-old daughter of former Rays TV analyst Joe Magrane, will sing the national anthem before tonight's game. … Brad Snyder, a Northeast High grad injured while stationed in Afghanistan for the Navy, will throw out the first pitch.

Something grand

Carlos Peña's first-inning grand slam was only the second in Rays' opening day history (Fred McGriff, 2000) and first at Tropicana Field. It was the first time since the Marlins' Juan Encarnacion (April 5, 2005) that a player hit a grand slam in the first inning on opening day and the first opening day slam in the American League since the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez (April 3, 2006).

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Rays vs. Yankees

When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Tickets: Sold out tonight

Probable pitchers

Rays

LHP David Price (12-13, 3.49 in 2011)

Yankees

RHP Hiroki Kuroda (13-16, 3.07 in 2011)

Watch for:

Price check: Price, who was winless in his last six starts last season, is 4-2 with a 4.05 ERA in 13 career appearances vs. the Yanks.

New guy: Kuroda is coming off a career season with the Dodgers. He has never faced the Rays.

Key matchups:

Rays vs. Kuroda

Jeff Keppinger 4-for-15

Carlos Peña 1-for-3

Yankees vs. Price

Nick Swisher 10-for-22, 1 HR

Robinson Cano 7-for-31

Granderson 6-for-31, 2 HRs

Tampa Bay Rays news: Recovered keepsake used in first pitch; Carlos Peña hits team's second opening day grand slam 04/06/12 [Last modified: Friday, April 6, 2012 11:14pm]
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