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Visit to Disney a kind of homecoming for two Rays

Happiest place homecoming

Monday's game was a bit of a homecoming for Rays INFs Brad Miller and Nick Franklin, who grew up in the Orlando area and had family and friends in the stands. Plus, both played in youth league travel ball tournaments at the Disney Wide World of Sports complex fields and championship games at the stadium. Details were a bit fuzzy, but Miller remembered homering (and playing against Rays minor-league RHP Ryan Garton) and Franklin said he pitched, throwing a knuckleball. "It was always a big deal to get to play here," Miller said.

Hey, I know you …

Among familiar faces at the game were ex-Rays INF Reid Brignac and LHP Alex Torres, who are in camp with the Braves, and INF Kelly Johnson. Also, occasionally controversial former Braves and Rays LHP John Rocker, who was making an appearance on behalf of a radio station. And Tampa Bay Times columnist Ernest Hooper, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and bounced it.

The dish Rays vs. Phillies

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

Radio: raysbaseball.com (signup required)

Tickets: See below

Gates open: 11 a.m.

Directions: Driving time from the bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: Interstate 75 South to Toledo Blade Road. Go west 6½ miles to El Jobean Road (SR 776). Go right 2 miles. Stadium complex is on left.

Parking: $10, lots open at 10

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

Pitchers: Rays — Drew Smyly, David Carpenter, Ryan Webb, Xavier Cedeno, Alex Colome; Phillies — Aaron Nola, Dalier Hinojosa, Andrew Bailey, Yoervis Medina, James Russell

Heads-up

No. 2 starter LHP Drew Smyly makes his third spring start, having been extremely sharp thus far, allowing two hits (and no walks) in facing 17 batters in 51/3 innings.

On deck

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: at Phillies (Clearwater), 1:05. Rays — Matt Moore; Phillies — TBA

Friday: vs. Red Sox, 1:05. Rays — TBA, Red Sox — TBA

Exhibition schedule

Rays tickets: Range from $10-24, available at raysbaseball.com, by calling toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS), and at CSP or Tropicana Field box offices, team Tampa Store (400 N Tampa St.).

All games 1:05 p.m. unless noted.

March

19 vs. Orioles

20 at Orioles

22 at Cuban national team (Havana)

23 at Twins

24 at Yanks, 6:35

25 vs. Twins

26 at Pirates, 6:05

27 vs. Jays

29 at Jays

30 vs. Red Sox

31 vs. Pirates

April

1 at Braves, at Tigers

Visit to Disney a kind of homecoming for two Rays

03/14/16 [Last modified: Monday, March 14, 2016 9:44pm]
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© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

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