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Seay still shines, despite rainout

The circumstances of Bobby Seay's second professional exhibition start were significantly different than his first, but the results were nearly as impressive.

Pitching against his own teammates with Devil Rays coaches handling the umpiring because rain washed away the scheduled game, Seay pitched two sharp innings of an 11-inning intra- squad game Friday.

The left-hander, who signed for a $3-million bonus, allowed one run on two hits and struck out three. He retired the side in order in the first, then faced five batters in the second.

"I'm happy with my performance. I thought I had a nice curveball today and I kept the hitters off balance. I made a mistake on a couple of pitches."

Seay, who didn't allow a ball out of the infield in his first start, is scheduled to pitch Tuesday at home against the Yankees' minor-leaguers.

RAINY DAY BLUES: The weather was an inconvenience but not an insurmountable hurdle for the Rays. The team sent a number of players to the old Cardinals' indoor facility in northeast St. Petersburg to hit and discuss defensive strategy in the morning. By afternoon, the Huggins-Stengel ground crew, led by Pete Samsoe, had the field in playable condition.

ON THE FIELD: OF Tom McKinnon was the offensive standout with two triples and a double. Jason Berry pitched his third hitless inning of relief. Former major-leaguer Rick White allowed one run on two hits in one inning.

YOUR DEAL: Rays officials thought it was tough to accommodate 90 players for workouts with only 1{ fields to use at Huggins-Stengel. It might have been tougher to keep them all in the cramped clubhouse during the morning rain. Most gathered around the TVs to watch ESPN. Some played cards while others put on headphones and listened to music. A few actually tried to sleep. "If we had some guys who could play dominoes I'd teach them a thing or two," coach Billy Hatcher said.

UPCOMING: Tampa's John Kaufman is scheduled to pitch for the St. Petersburg team today against Phillies minor-leaguers in Clearwater. Cedrick Bowers will start for Charleston against the Blue Jays in Dunedin. Matt White is scheduled to pitch again Monday for Charleston at the Phillies.

Did you know?

If Scott Romano ends up playing third base for the Florida State League team under manager Bill Evers, it will be like old times. Romano played for Evers in 1993 at Greensboro when both were in the Yankees organization. Romano, a product of Tampa's Hillsborough High, hit .282 that season with 33 doubles and 62 RBI. "I enjoyed playing for him," Romano said. "I did well for him before so hopefully I'll do even better this time. It's good to know what he expects." Something else about Romano _ his cousin, Jason, is a star third baseman at Hillsborough High and could end up a high draft pick.

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