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  1. Rays

Peter Bourjos debuts with a bang for Rays

Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Peter Bourjos (18) welcomed into the dugout after his two run home run in the sixth inning of the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla. on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.
Published Mar. 30, 2017

PORT CHARLOTTE — On his first day as a Ray, OF Peter Bourjos made a leaping catch at the centerfield wall, had three hits — including a two-run homer — and three RBIs.

"You always want to make a good first impression," Bourjos said.

"A pretty good first impression," manager Kevin Cash said.

Bourjos, acquired Tuesday from the White Sox, is on a minor-league deal. He has a chance to make the team as the right-handed-hitting outfielder the Rays have coveted and as a veteran backup for CF Kevin Kiermaier.

"Kind of the profile that we were looking for," Cash said.

It was a match the two sides tried to make in the offseason but fell through when the Rays traded LHP Drew Smyly to the Mariners for OF Mallex Smith. Instead, Bourjos took the deal with the White Sox, where he hit .300 in 19 games.

"It was probably the best spring I ever had," he said. "It's funny, I was hitting the ball hard so it was kind of ironic that it wasn't enough to make the team over there."

The tip that he was having a good spring came from his wife, Ashley.

"She's like, 'You look a lot different than you normally do. You're hitting the ball hard,' " Bourjos said. "When she said that, I knew I was probably in a good spot."

Quote of the day

"I've been waiting for this for several days now, and these last three days I couldn't even sleep. I'm very excited about it to hear the news finally."

C Jesus Sucre on being told Wednesday that he made the club

Tolleson to DL

RHP Steve Tolleson, who appeared in five games this spring but hasn't pitched since March 23, likely will start the season on the disabled list with a back issue. It could potentially be a lengthy stay.

"Tolleson is probably outside looking in," manager Kevin Cash said. "Potentially could start on the DL, so I think that will probably be the direction we're going in right now."

Tolleson will be the second reliever to open the year on the DL, joining RHP Brad Boxberger (lat strain).

More moves

The Rays optioned RHP Ryan Garton to minor-league camp Wednesday morning and reassigned C Michael McKenry, OF Shane Peterson, LHP Justin Marks and RHP Diego Moreno to minor-league camp.

Game stuff: Rays 15, Orioles 6

The Rays scored 12 in the sixth inning thanks to a two-run homer by Peter Bourjos and three-run shots by Shane Peterson and Nick Franklin. Michael McKenry doubled twice in the inning. … Corey Dickerson, Steven Souza Jr. and Tim Beckham had two hits each during the game. … LHP Xavier Cedeno, RHP Tommy Hunter, RHP Erasmo Ramirez and RHP Jumbo Diaz each pitched a scoreless inning. RHP Alex Colome allowed a pair of solo home runs.

Spring things

. RHP Tommy Hunter and RHP Erasmo Ramirez are scheduled to make the second of back-to-back outings this afternoon.

. C Derek Norris has impressed manager Kevin Cash with his at-bats during his first two games with the Rays. He is scheduled to catch today against the Phillies.

. The win snapped an 0-7-1 streak.

. RHP Chris Archer, the Rays and Good Sports donated more than $10,000 worth of athletic and fitness equipment on Wednesday to the Imagine School at North Port.

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