Rays host three American League East opponents over nine-game homestand

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-The Tampa Bay Rays return to Tropicana Field on Friday to begin a nine-game homestand against American League East opponents. The Rays first take on the New York Yankees (April 17-19) in a three-game set before facing the Boston Red Sox (April 21-23) and Toronto Blue Jays (April 24-26) for three games apiece.

The Rays and Yankees open their series on Friday, April 17 at 7:10 p.m. When gates open at 5:10 p.m., all women will receive a Rays Crossbody Bag, while supplies last.

Prior to Friday night's game, Northeast High School senior Leshawn Williams is scheduled to throw out the first pitch. On October 24, 2014, Leshawn and his Northeast High football team were on their way to defeating Clearwater High School when Leshawn suffered a knee injury that later resulted in the amputation of his right leg. While Leshawn was still hospitalized, former Rays pitcher Doug Waechter, also a Northeast High graduate, visited Leshawn and presented he and his family with a check from the Rays for $5,000 to help cover medical costs. Waechter also invited Leshawn to throw out Friday night's ceremonial first pitch.

The Rays and Yankees meet again on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. When gates open, all fans will receive an Alex Cobb Gumby, while supplies last. The Rays will also honor barrier-breaker and baseball hero Jackie Robinson before and during Saturday's contest.  

The series concludes on Sunday-Family Fun Day-with a 1:10 p.m. contest. When gates open at 11:10 a.m., all kids 14 and under will receive an Evan Longoria Rubber Duck, while supplies last. Fans are also encouraged to bring new and used softball and baseball equipment to Gates 1 and 5 as part of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund Equipment Drive. Donated equipment will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast, Northside Chapter. In conjunction with the drive, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund has awarded a $5,000 grant to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast to be used for the purchase of additional equipment.

Prior to Sunday's game, the Rays will "retire" the official radio call sign of Tarpon Springs Police Officer Charles Kondek, who was killed in the line of duty on December 21, 2014. Kondek's call sign "285" will be emblazoned high above the outfield wall in left-center field and will join three others, all St. Petersburg police officers killed in the line of duty in 2011: Sergeant Thomas Baitinger, Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz and Officer David Crawford.

On Tuesday, April 21, the Rays and Red Sox open their three-game series with a 7:10 p.m. game. The teams finish the series with 7:10 p.m. games on both Wednesday and Thursday. Before Thursday night's game, Tampa Bay Buccaneers All-Pro linebacker Lavonte David is scheduled to throw out the night's ceremonial first pitch.

The Blue Jays come to Tropicana Field on Friday, April 24 at 7:10 p.m. to begin a three-game set against the Rays. When gates open for Saturday's 6:10 p.m. game, all fans will receive a Chris Archer Bobblehead presented by DEX Imaging, while supplies last.

The homestand wraps up with another Family Fun Day on Sunday, April 26 with a 1:10 p.m. game. When gates open at 11:10 a.m., kids 14 and under will receive a pair of Desmond Jennings Batting Gloves presented by Match-Up Promotions while supplies last. Additionally, the Rays Wives will host a "Spring Cleaning Drive" benefitting Pet Pal Animal Shelter on to collect donations in Lot 7, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.. These items will go the Pet Pal Thrift Store. Fans are encouraged to bring clothes, housewares and accessories as well as Science Diet dog and cat food. Following Sunday's game, the Rays will host a "touch-a-truck" event on the outfield. Fans will have the opportunity to explore St. Petersburg fire trucks, police cruisers, police motorcycles and more.

FAMILY FUN DAY-Every Rays Sunday home game features free parking for cars with four or more passengers and a variety of free activities for kids on the concourse. Postgame also features Kids Run the Bases and a DJ Kitty Kids Party.

TICKETS-Tickets for Rays 2015 regular season home games are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, the Rays Tampa Store (400 N. Tampa St.) and the Gate 1 Tropicana Field Box Office, as well as over the phone at 888-FAN-RAYS and 1-800-745-3000, or online at raysbaseball.com.

Key Dates

Time

Promotion

Sponsor

Quantity

Friday, April 17 vs. NYY

7:10 p.m.

  • Rays Crossbody Bag

-

All women, while supplies last

Saturday, April 18 vs. NYY

7:10 p.m.

  • Alex Cobb Gumby

-

All fans, while supplies last

Sunday, April 19 vs. NYY

1:10 p.m.

  • Evan Longoria Rubber Duck

-

Kids 14 & under, while supplies last

Saturday, April 25 vs. TOR

6:10 p.m.

  • Chris Archer Bobblehead

DEX Imaging

All fans, while supplies last

Sunday, April 26 vs. TOR

1:10 p.m.

  • Desmond Jennings Batting Gloves

Match-Up Promotions

Kids 14 & under, while supplies last

GATES OPEN-Tuesday through Thursday, one-and-a-half hours prior to game time; Friday through Sunday, two hours prior to game time.