Opening Day/ Weekend Notes

 

OPENING SERIES PROBABLE PITCHERS

Fri, 4/6              NYY     3:10 p.m.          RH James Shields (16-12, 2.82)           vs. LH CC Sabathia (19-8, 3.00)                

Sat, 4/7             NYY     7:10 p.m.          LH David Price (12-13, 3.49)                vs. RH Hiroki Kuroda (13-16, 3.07)            

Sun, 4/8            NYY     1:40 p.m.          RH Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.95)     vs. RH Phil Hughes (5-5, 5.79)

All 3 games carried by Sun Sports and WDAE 620 AM and in Spanish on Genesis 680 AM 

Sunday’s game will be carried nationally by TBS (blacked out in the Tampa Bay area)

OPENING DAY SCHEDULE

Parking Lots Open..................................... 10:00 a.m.

Gates Open............................................... 12:10 a.m.

Rays Batting Practice........................ 12:25 - 1:25 p.m.

Yankees Batting Practice..................... 1:25 - 2:05 p.m.

Rays Infield........................................ 2:05 - 2:15 p.m.

Yankees Infield................................... 2:15 - 2:25 p.m.

Ceremonial First Pitch.................................. 2:44 p.m.

Starting Lineups Announced........................ 2:47 p.m.

National Anthem.......................................... 2:59 p.m.

Banner Raising............................................ 3:01 p.m.

Rays Take the Field..................................... 3:08 p.m.

First Pitch................................................... 3:10 p.m.

OPENING DAY?The 2011 American League Wild Card Tampa Bay Rays open their 15th season on Friday, April 6 against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field…Tampa Bay is 7-7 in season openers…it is the 3rd time the Rays have opened the season vs. the Yankees…Rays are 1-1 winning in 2004 in Tokyo and losing at Yankee Stadium in 2007…it is the 8th time the Rays will open the season at home…they are 4-3 in those games…it is the third time the Rays have hosted the Yankees in their home opener…Rays won the two previous games: 2004 (9-4) and 2009 (15-5)…Rays lost their season-opening game last year, 4-1, at home to the Baltimore Orioles…Rays are 2-4 in season openers under Joe Maddon.

 

Rays Season Openers           Site               Result                                            Winner/Loser                   Attendance

Tue, March 31, 1998              Home              Detroit 11, Tampa Bay 6                  Thompson/Alvarez                   45,369

Mon, April 5, 1999                 Away              Baltimore 10, Tampa Bay 7              Mussina/Alvarez                       46,671

Mon, April 3, 2000                 Away              Tampa Bay 7, Minnesota 0              Trachsel/Radke                        43,830

Tue, April 3, 2001                  Home              Tampa Bay 8, Toronto 1                  Lopez/Parris                            41,546

Tue, April 2, 2002                  Home              Tampa Bay 9, Detroit 5                   Zambrano/Acevedo                 38,142

Mon, March 31, 2003             Home              Tampa Bay 6, Boston 4                   McClung/Fox                           34,391

Tue, March 30, 2004              Japan              Tampa Bay 8, New York 3               Zambrano/Mussina                  55,000

Mon, April 4, 2005                 Home              Toronto 5, Tampa Bay 2                  Halladay/Brazelton                   26,018

Mon, April 3, 2006                 Away              Baltimore 9, Tampa Bay 6               Lopez/Kazmir                          46,986

Mon, April 2, 2007                 Away              New York 9, Tampa Bay 5               Vizcaino/Stokes                       55,031

Mon, March 31, 2008             Away              Tampa Bay 6, Baltimore 2               Shields/Guthrie                        46,807

Tue, April 7, 2009                  Away              Boston 5, Tampa Bay 3                   Beckett/Shields                       37,057

Tue, April 6, 2010                  Home              Tampa Bay 4, Baltimore 3               Soriano/Gonzalez                     36,973

Fri, April 1, 2011                    Home              Baltimore 4, Tampa Bay 1               Guthrie/Price                            34,078

EASTER SUNDAY?The Rays are 7-2 overall and 4-1 at home on Easter Sunday.

TROP SECOND TOUGHEST ON VISITING TEAMS?Over the past four seasons, the Rays are 205-119 (.633) at home, 2nd-best home record in the majors over that span…over the last 4 seasons, the Rays are 40-15 when playing in front of crowds of 30,000 or more during the regular season.

RAISING THEIR 4th BANNER?Prior to the home opener, the Rays will raise the 2011 AL Wild Card banner to the left field catwalk where it will reside along with the Rays 2008 AL East and AL Championship flags and the 2010 AL East Championship banner…in the last 4 years, the Rays have been to the postseason 3 times…only the Phillies (4) and Yankees (3) have been to the postseason as often during that span.

 

SCHEDULE FOR WEDNESDAY (April 4)?The Rays will play the Future Rays at Tropicana Field on Wednesday, April 4…parking lots will open at 10:10 a.m. and gates at 12:10 p.m. …the press gate will open at 9:40 a.m. and the Rays clubhouse at 10:10 a.m…Rays BP will be 11:10 a.m. ? 12:10 p.m. and the Future Rays will hit from 12:10  ? 12:50 p.m.…at 12:10 p.m. Rays Manager Joe Maddon will assist in cutting the ribbon to unveil the new Hancock Bank Club at Tropicana Field…Maddon will join leaders from Hancock Bank, formerly Whitney Bank in the Tampa-St. Petersburg market…  Whitney Bank, the former club naming sponsor, became Hancock Bank on March 16…The bank retained its sponsorship with the Rays and remains a major partner with the team and the Tampa Bay community. 

SCHEDULE FOR THURSDAY (April 5)?The Rays will host an optional workout at 9:30 a.m. …the Rays clubhouse will be open at the conclusion of their workout and stay open until 11:30 a.m. …the Yankees will work out at 1 p.m. …the Yankees clubhouse will open at noon… the press gate will open at 9:30 a.m.

OPENING DAY SOLD OUT?The home opener is sold out for the seventh consecutive season….Friday’s opener sold out on February 29…in only two other seasons has Rays Opening Day sold out faster: 1998 (December 6) and 2009 (February 26)…tickets are available for the remaining two games of the  season-opening 3-game series against the Yankees at all regular Rays outlets including raysbaseball.com and raysbeisbol.com, the Tropicana Field Box Office, the Rays Tampa Office located at 400 N. Tampa Street, all Ticketmaster outlets and via Ticketmaster phone charge at (727) 898-RAYS and (813) 282-RAYS, or by calling 1-888-FAN-RAYS.

 

CEREMONIAL FIRST PITCH?Jim Dundee, son of the late boxing legend Angelo Dundee, will deliver the ceremonial first pitch for the season opener…an avid Rays fan and Clearwater resident, Angelo Dundee passed away on Feb 1 at the age of 90…he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992 after a career that spanned six decades, training 15 world champions, including Muhammad Ali, Sugar Leonard, George Foreman and his first, Carmen Basilio who was crowned in 1955…his son, Jim, is an optician with a practice in Clearwater.

 

Previous first pitches at Rays home openers:

1998     Hall of Famers Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Monte Irvin and Al Lopez

1999     Larry Doby

2000     Wade Boggs

2001     St. Petersburg Mayor David J. Fischer

2002     United States Army General Tommy Franks

2003     Jon Gruden and Rich McKay, Tampa Bay Bucs

2004     Winky Wright, World Junior Middleweight Champion

2005     Racing legend Michael Andretti

2006     Al Lopez, Jr., Al Lopez III and Al Lopez IV

2007     Florida Governor Charlie Crist

2008     Florida Governor Charlie Crist and Bucs’ great Mike Alstott

2009     Florida Governor Charlie Crist

2010     Admiral Eric Thor Olson, Commander, US Special Ops

2011     Florida Governor Rick Scott

NATIONAL ANTHEM GAME 1?Tampa Bay area saxophonist B.K. Jackson will perform the national anthem…a third-year Jazz/Music Industry major at Florida A&M University, 20-year-old Jackson has performed the anthem at the Rays home openers in 2009 and 2011, at Game 1 of the 2008 American League Division Series, all four games of the 2008 American League Championship Series and before Game 3 of the 2011 American League Division Series.

NATIONAL ANTHEM GAME 2?Prior to the Rays-Yankees game on Saturday, April 7, American Idol finalist Shannon Magrane will sing the national anthem…the 16-year-old Magrane is the daughter of former major league pitcher and Rays broadcaster Joe Magrane…Currently a sophomore at Tampa’s Howard W. Blake High School, Shannon finished in 11th place in this year’s American Idol competition.

THE COLORS?Will be presented by the St. Petersburg Police Department Honor Guard at Friday’s home opener.

FIRST PITCH GAME 2?Brad Snyder, a 2002 graduate of Northeast High School and the U.S. Naval Academy will throw out the first pitch on Saturday, April 7…exactly 7 months earlier, on Sep 7, 2011, the 28-year-old Navy lieutenant was working with an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit in Afghanistan when he stepped on a homemade land mine that would cost him his vision…three weeks after the accident, Snyder was well enough to be transferred to the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Tampa…he noted it was just in time for him to follow his beloved Rays on their run to the playoffs…an accomplished swimmer at Northeast and at the Naval Academy, Snyder has returned to swimming and quickly regained his old form…Snyder will travel to Bismarck, N.D., in June, hoping to secure a spot on the U.S. Paralympic Team…his time for the 50 freestyle (27.66) is less than two seconds off the Paralympic world record.

GAME 162?When the first pitch is delivered on Opening Day, it will be 190 days, 15 hours and five minutes since Evan Longoria’s walk-off home run off the NYY Scott Proctor in the 12th inning on Sep 29 at 12:05 a.m. clinched the Rays first-ever American League Wild Card berth.

162 LANDING?The Rays are unveiling a new seating area to commemorate the team’s dramatic clinching of the 2011 American League Wild Card on Sep 28 (29), the final day(s) the regular season…162 Landing is located off Left Field Street at the point where Evan Longoria’s 12th-inning walk-off home run landed clinching the Rays third postseason berth…the entrance to the area is open to the public and includes a timeline chronicling the events at Tropicana Field and Oriole Park at Camden Yards from that historic evening…162 Landing also features a screen with video highlights and interviews, as well as unique photos and displays, all surrounding Game 162…fans can also reserve 162 Landing as an exclusive seating area holding between 75-136 people. 

STREAKS

  •  The Rays have used a starting pitcher under the age of 30 for the past 764 games, a major league record…that streak will come to an end on Opening Day when James Shields takes the mound…Shields turned 30 last Dec 20…the streak started May 25, 2007 when Shields started at Chicago received a no decision in the Rays 5-4 loss...the previous day, Jae Seo started on his 30th birthday and got the win, a 13-12 win at home over Seattle…the last time the Rays started a pitcher over the age of 30 was June 25, 2006 when 32-year-old Mark Hendrickson lost to Atlanta, 4-1, in Joe Maddon’s 76th game as manager of the Rays…that streak stands at 896 games…Mark is the only Rays pitcher to start a game over the age of 30 since Maddon became manager in 2006.
  •  The Rays last 165 games have been started by pitchers who were drafted by the Rays…since the draft began in 1965, no team has had a longer streak of games started by their own draft picks.
  •  The Rays have won 4 straight games over New York…they have never won 5 in a row from the Yankees
  • The Rays enter the 2012 season having gone 100 home games since they scored 10 runs in a game…it is the longest streak since the 1980-82 Toronto Blue Jays went 165 games…the last time the Rays scored 10 or more runs in a home game was Aug 17, 2010 vs. TEX in a 10-1 win.
  •  The Rays bring a 5-game win streak into the 2012 season…the Rangers enter the 2012 season with the majors’ longest win streak left over from 2011 at six games…in addition, the Rays have won 30 consecutive games when scoring 5 or more runs, the longest streak in the AL since the Rays club-record 32-game streak from May 28-Aug 23, 2008.
  •  Rays Opening Day starter James Shields has a 6-game home win streak over his last 7 starts while the Rays have won all 7…included are two wins over the Yankees…he hasn’t lost at home since last July 16 vs. BOS.

PHOTO OP?Immediately following the Yankees 1 p.m. workout on Thursday, April 5, the Rays grounds crew will begin painting the Opening Day logo on the field.

PARKING?For the seventh consecutive year, the Rays will continue to provide carpoolers access to free parking in team-controlled lots…vehicles with 4 or more people park for free on all Sunday games in Lots 2, 6, 7, 8 and 9…for all other games, the first 100 cars with four or more will park for free up to an hour before game time, with Tropicana Field parking rates ranging from $15 to $30 per vehicle…all parking is subject to availability.

FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE?For all three games of the season-opening Yankees Series, a free Baseball Shuttle will pick up passengers on Second Street mid-block between Central Avenue and 1st Avenue South (under the Bank of America Tower's pedestrian bridge) and drop passengers off on 16th Street South near Gate 4 at Tropicana Field…the Baseball Shuttle operates from 90 minutes before game time, throughout the game, until one hour after the game is over. Please visit loopertrolley.com for up-to-date information.

BRING YOUR OWN?Of the nine major sports teams in Florida, the Rays continue to be the only team to allow fans to bring food and select beverages to games.

GATES OPEN?At the home opener, Tropicana Field gates will open at 12:10 p.m. and parking lots at 10 a.m. for those wishing to start their tailgating early…during the remainder of the season, gates will open two hours before game time on Friday, Saturday and Sunday home games and 1½ hours prior Monday through Thursday at all gates except Gate 1 which will open two hours before first pitch.

PLAYERS AT GATES?Keeping with a Tropicana Field tradition, Rays players will greet fans for the first few minutes when the gates open at 12:10 p.m. on April 6.

TV/RADIO?On the TV side, the Rays opener will be carried on Sun Sports…Dewayne Staats has been in the booth for every season opener for the Rays since the inaugural season in 1998…he will be joined by Brian Anderson who will call his second Opening Day game…Todd Kalas, the Rays pre-, post- and in-game reporter, has also not missed a Rays opener…in the WDAE 620 AM radio booth, Dave Wills and Andy Freed are calling their eighth openers and pre- and postgame host Neil Solondz will be attending his first Rays opener…on the Spanish-language side, Enrique Oliu kicks off his 14th season of broadcasting Rays on the radio and Ricardo Taveras his 10th…they can be heard on Genesis 680 AM.

TBS PICKS RAYS FOR FIRST SUNDAY TELECAST—TBS will televise Sunday’s Rays-Yankees game, one of 12 Rays games currently scheduled to air nationally and the first of 3 Rays games on TBS in the season’s first two months (also April 15 and May 27, both at Boston)…the game will be blacked out locally…Ernie Johnson and John Smoltz will call the action.

FREE STUFF DURING THE SEASON-OPENING SERIES

DATE                     ITEM                                       PRESENTED BY                 RECEIVED BY

Fri, 4/6                    Schedule Magnet                RE/MAX                                 All fans in attendance

Sun, 4/8                 Raymond Cowbell              Chick-fil-A                             First 10,000 kids 14 & under

EARLY GOING?Nineteen of the Rays first 22 games in 2012 are against teams that were .500 or better in 2011…their first 16 road games and 24 of their first 27 overall are against teams that were .500 or better last season…9 of the Rays first 10 games are day games.

ROSTER DEADLINE—The Opening Day 25-man rosters are required to be set by Wednesday, April 4 at 5 p.m.

PRICE PITCHING ON SATURDAY; BOWLING ON WEDNESDAY?Fans of Rays pitcher David Price will be honored at a special VIP party for raising more than $22,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters…during the month-long campaign, fans collected donations for the David Price Bowl For Kids’ Sake fundraiser…every dollar raised will stay in the community and help the agency provide caring adult mentors to children facing adversity…Price recruited fans to participate and encouraged their hard work, using his Twitter feed @DavidPrice14…fans who raised $1,000 or more will be invited to David Price’s VIP Party, Wednesday, April 4, from 6 ? 8 p.m. at Pin Chasers Midtown, 4847 N. Armenia in Tampa…Price will be on hand to take pictures, sign autographs and talk about the upcoming season.

OPENING DAY STARTER JAMES SHIELDS

  • Rays RHP James Shields will make his 4th opening day start, extending his own club record…Wilson Alvarez (1998-99) and Scott Kazmir (2006-07) are the only other Rays pitchers to start more than one Opening Day.
  • Is 1-1 in his 3 Opening Day starts while the Rays are 2-1…has pitched to a 4.91 ERA (18.1-IP, 10-ER).
  • Has pitched 7 or more innings in his last 11 starts, a club record and the longest active streak in the majors.
  • In 2011, he had 5 starts of 7 or more innings against the Yankees…in the last 33 years, only one other pitcher has had that many starts of 7 or more innings in one season against the Yankees: Roy Halladay also had 5 such starts in 2008.
  • In his last 5 home starts against the Yankees he is 3-1 with a 1.46 ERA (IP-37.0, ER-6) and the Rays are 4-1.

Shields Opening Day starts:

DATE            DEC               SCORE         OPPONENT      IP       H       R     ER     BB    SO     HR

4/6/10             ND                 W, 4-3          vs. Baltimore    6.0       9       3       3       2       6       3

4/7/09              L                   L, 5-3             at Boston      5.1       9       5       5       3       2       2

3/31/08            W                  W, 6-2           at Baltimore     7.0       5       2       2       3       2       0                                                           

FOLEY THE RAYS ALL-TIME LEADER?Rays 3B coach Tom Foley will be in a Rays uniform for his 11th Opening Day, most in club history…STL Jose Oquendo (12th year) is the only other major league 3B coach who has been at his current post longer.

ZIM’S 53RD OPENING DAY?The 2012 season opener will kick off Rays Senior Advisor Don Zimmer’s 64th year in professional baseball…this will be his 53rd major league opening day…during his playing career, Zim hit two Opening Day home runs, both coming off future Hall of Famers: 1957 for the Dodgers off PHI Robin Roberts and 1960 for the Cubs off LAD Don Drysdale.

VS. NEW YORK?The two teams were 9-9 last year after the Rays won the final four games of the season…they have never beaten the Yankees five straight times…Rays swept the final three games of 2012 at Tropicana Field to clinch the 2011 AL Wild Card…Tampa Bay out-homered New York 27-17 in 2011…Rays were 10-8 in 2010 and are 21-18 vs. NYY since Oct 2, 2009…prior to that, the Rays were 67-132 (.337)…Rays are 88-150 (.370) all-time…Rays have won the season series at Tropicana Field in each of the last two years going 5-4 in 2010 and 6-3 in 2011.

 

OPENING DAY LINEUPS

1998

Quinton McCracken, cf

Miguel Cairo, 2b

Wade Boggs, 3b

Fred McGriff, 1b

Mike Kelly, lf

Paul Sorrento, dh

John Flaherty, c

Dave Martinez, rf

Kevin Stocker, ss

Wilson Alvarez, p

1999

Randy Winn, cf

Dave Martinez, rf

Jose Canseco, dh

Fred McGriff, 1b

John Flaherty, c

Wade Boggs, 3b

Paul Sorrento, lf

Miguel Cairo, 2b

Kevin Stocker, ss

Wilson Alvarez, p

2000

Gerald Williams, cf

Dave Martinez, rf

Jose Canseco, dh

Fred McGriff, 1b

Greg Vaughn, lf

Herbert Perry, 3b

John Flaherty, c

Kevin Stocker, ss

Miguel Cairo, 2b

Steve Trachsel, p

2001

Gerald Williams, cf

Steve Cox, dh

Greg Vaughn, lf

Fred McGriff, 1b

Ben Grieve, rf

Vinny Castilla, 3b

Bobby Smith, 2b

John Flaherty, c

Felix Martinez, ss

Albie Lopez, p

2002

Jason Tyner, if

Randy Winn, cf

Steve Cox, 1b

Greg Vaughn, dh

Toby Hall, c

Ben Grieve, rf

Bobby Smith, 3b

Brent Abernathy, 2b

Chris Gomez, ss

Tanyon Sturtze, p

2003

Carl Crawford, lf

Rocco Baldelli, cf

Aubrey Huff, 3b

Travis Lee, 1b

Al Martin, dh

Ben Grieve, rf

Toby Hall, c

Brent Abernathy, 2b

Rey Ordonez, ss

Joe Kennedy, p

2004

Carl Crawford, lf

Damian Rolls, 3b

Rocco Baldelli, cf

Aubrey Huff, dh

Jose Cruz, rf

Tino Martinez, 1b

Julio Lugo, ss

Toby Hall, c

Rey Sanchez, 2b

Victor Zambrano, p

2005

Carl Crawford, lf

Julio Lugo, ss

Aubrey Huff, rf

Travis Lee, 1b

Josh Phelps, dh

Jorge Cantu, 2b

Chris Singleton, cf

Toby Hall, c

Alex Gonzalez, 3b

Dewon Brazelton, p                                                                                                                                                                                                           

2006

Julio Lugo, ss

Carl Crawford, lf

Jorge Cantu, 2b

Aubrey Huff, 3b

Jonny Gomes, dh

Travis Lee, 1b

Toby Hall, c

Damon Hollins, rf

Joey Gathright, cf

Scott Kazmir, p

2007

Carl Crawford, lf

Ben Zobrist, ss

Rocco Baldelli, dh

Ty Wigginton, 1b

Delmon Young, rf

Akinori Iwamura, 3b

Dioner Navarro, c

Elijah Dukes, cf

B.J. Upton, 2b

Scott Kazmir, p

2008

Aki Iwamura, 2b

Carl Crawford, lf

Carlos Peña, 1b

B.J. Upton, cf

Cliff Floyd, dh

Willy Aybar, 3b

Eric Hinske, rf

Dioner Navarro, c

Jason Bartlett, ss

James Shields, p

2009

Aki Iwamura, 2b

Carl Crawford, lf

Evan Longoria, 3b

Carlos Peña, 1b

Pat Burrell, dh

Matt Joyce, cf

Dioner Navarro, c

Gabe Gross, rf

Jason Bartlett, ss

James Shields, p

2010

Jason Bartlett, ss

Carl Crawford, lf

Ben Zobrist, rf

Evan Longoria, rf

Carlos Peña, 1b

B.J. Upton, cf

Pat Burrell, dh

Sean Rodriguez, 2b

Dioner Navarro, c

James Shields, p

2011

Ben Zobrist, 2b

Johnny Damon, lf

Evan Longoria, 3b

Manny Ramirez, dh

Dan Johnson, 1b

B.J. Upton, cf

Matt Joyce, rf

Reid Brignac, ss

John Jaso, c

David Price, p

 

RAYS CAREER BATTING AVERAGES ON OPENING DAY

PLAYER         AVG       G     AB       R       H     HR    RBI      NOTES

Brignac             .000       1       2       0       0       0       0     

Joyce               .000       2       7       0       0       0       0      Started in CF in place of injured B.J. Upton in ’09

Keppinger         .000       2       5       0       0       0       0

Longoria           .167       3      12       1       2       1       3      HR came in 2010 off BAL Kevin Millwood

Molina              .571       2       7       3       4       1       1      All 4 hits have come vs. Jamie Moyer (2004,’06)

Pena                .241       8      29       2       7       1       3      HR off TOR Roy Halladay in 2004

Scott                .211       6      19       2       4       2       4      HR off TB James Shields in 2010

Upton               .333       4      15       1       5       0       3

Zobrist             .333       3      12       1       4       1       1      HR in 2012 off BAL Jim Johnson

RAYS OPENING DAY HOME RUNS (17)

Gerald Williams............................ 2 (2000 and 2001)

Wade Boggs.............................................. 1 (1998)

Jose Canseco............................................ 1 (1999)

John Flaherty............................................. 1 (1999)

Fred McGriff............................................. 1* (2000)

Randy Winn................................................ 1 (2001)

Carl Crawford............................................. 1 (2003)

Terry Shumpert........................................... 1 (2003)

Jose Cruz Jr............................................... 1 (2004)

Tino Martinez.............................................. 1 (2004)

Travis Lee.................................................. 1 (2006)

Jonny Gomes............................................. 1 (2006)

Elijah Dukes............................................... 1 (2007)

Eric Hinske................................................. 1 (2008)

Evan Longoria............................................ 1 (2010)

Ben Zobrist................................................ 1 (2011)

 

*Grand Slam


 

RAYS ALL-TIME OPENING DAY STARTERS

Catcher                     Toby Hall (5), John Flaherty (4). Dioner Navarro (4), John Jaso (1).

First Base                  Fred McGriff (4), Travis Lee (3), Carlos Peña (3), Steve Cox (1), Dan Johnson (1), Tino Martinez (1), Ty Wigginton (1).

Second Base             Miguel Cairo (3), Akinori Iwamura (2), Brent Abernathy (2), Jorge Cantu (2), Bobby Smith (1), Rey Sanchez (1), B.J. Upton (1), Sean Rodriguez (1), Ben Zobrist (1).

Third Base                Evan Longoria (3), Wade Boggs (2), Aubrey Huff (2), Herbert Perry (1), Alex Gonzalez (1), Vinny Castilla (1), Bobby Smith (1), Damian Rolls (1), Akinori Iwamura (1), Willy Aybar (1).

Shortstop                  Kevin Stocker (3), Julio Lugo (3), Jason Bartlett (3), Reid Brignac (1), Felix Martinez (1), Chris Gomez (1), Rey Ordonez (1), Ben Zobrist (1).

Left Field                   Carl Crawford (8), Greg Vaughn (2), Johnny Damon (1), Paul Sorrento (1), Mike Kelly (1), Jason Tyner (1).

Center Field              B.J. Upton (3), Rocco Baldelli (2), Gerald Williams (2), Randy Winn (2), Elijah Dukes (1), Joey Gathright (1), Matt Joyce (1), Quinton McCracken (1), Chris Singleton (1),

Right Field                Dave Martinez (3), Ben Grieve (3), Ben Zobrist (1), Jose Cruz Jr. (1), Gabe Gross (1), Eric Hinske (1), Damon Hollins (1), Aubrey Huff (1), Matt Joyce (1), Delmon Young (1),

Designated Hitter       Jose Canseco (2), Pat Burrell (2), Rocco Baldelli (1), Steve Cox (1), Cliff Floyd (1), Jonny Gomes (1), Aubrey Huff (1), Al Martin (1), Josh Phelps (1), Manny Ramirez (1), Paul Sorrento (1), Greg Vaughn (1).

Pitcher                      James Shields (3), Wilson Alvarez (2), Scott Kazmir (2), Dewon Brazelton (1), Joe Kennedy (1),), Albie Lopez (1), David Price (1), Tanyon Sturtze (1), Steve Trachsel (1), Victor Zambrano (1).

 

RAYS OPENING DAY RECAPS

March 31, 1998 at Tropicana Field: Detroit 11, Tampa Bay 6. Wilson Alvarez threw the first pitch in Rays history (a ball to DET Brian Hunter) and retired the side in order in the first inning. However, 9 of the next 13 Tigers batters reached base safely and the Rays fell behind 11-0 by the fifth inning before Wade Boggs hit a 2-run homer off Justin Thompson in the 6th to account for the first two runs in Rays history. Tampa Bay rallied for four runs in the 9th inning but ended the game with the bases loaded.

April 5, 1999 at Baltimore: Baltimore 10, Tampa Bay 7. The Rays got home runs from Jose Canseco and John Flaherty and three hits from Fred McGriff, but left 12 men on base and fell to the Orioles, 10-7, at Camden Yards. Albert Belle and Brady Anderson hit 3rd-inning home runs off Rays starter and loser Wilson Alvarez. Wade Boggs had two hits in his last Opening Day game.

April 3, 2000 at Minnesota: Tampa Bay 7, Minnesota 0. Gerald Williams hit the first pitch of the season for a home run off Brad Radke as the Rays recorded their first-ever Opening Day win at the Metrodome. Steve Trachsel (7.0-IP, 5-H, 0-BB, 7-SO) got his first AL win and Fred McGriff hit a grand slam, the Rays first on Opening Day.

April 3, 2001 at Tropicana Field: Tampa Bay 8, Toronto 1. Albie Lopez worked 8 strong innings (7-H, 1-ER, 3-BB, 6-SO) in the longest outing ever by a Rays starter on Opening Day as Tampa Bay defeated Toronto, 8-1. Every Ray who came to bat got a hit including Randy Winn who hit a pinch-hit home run in the 8th inning of Kelvim Escobar, the Rays first on Opening Day. Steve Cox had 3 hits, Vinny Castilla a pair of doubles and Gerald Williams added a home run.

April 2, 2002 at Tropicana Field: Tampa Bay 9, Detroit 5. The Rays trailed 5-3 in the 6th before Steve Cox’s bases-loaded single tied it and Greg Vaughn’s RBI single in the 8th put the Rays ahead to stay. Bobby Smith added a key bases-loaded double later in the Rays 4-run inning. Chris Gomez had three hits for the Rays. Victor Zambrano earned the first of his two Opening Day wins, this one with only 0.2 innings of relief.

March 31, 2003 at Tropicana Field: Tampa Bay 6, Boston 4. Carl Crawford’s two-out, two-strike, three-run walk-off home run off Chad Fox in the 9th inning gave the Rays a 6-4 win. It was just the 8th walk-off home run on Opening Day in AL history. Seth McClung got the win in his major league debut. The Rays trailed 4-0 entering the 7th and 4-1 into the 9th. Terry Shumpert became the 3rd Ray to homer in his first at-bat, a two-run pinch-hit home run in the 9th that brought the Rays to within 4-3.

March 30, 2004 at Tokyo Dome: Tampa Bay 8, New York 3. In a game that started at 5 a.m. in the U.S., the Rays opened the major league season in Tokyo, Japan, and defeated the Yankees 8-3. Tino Martinez singled, doubled and homered for the Rays and Jose Cruz homered. The Rays went ahead for good in the 6th inning on back-to-back doubles by Martinez and Julio Lugo. Victor Zambrano allowed a two-run homer to Jason Giambi in the first, but Zambrano, Lance Carter and Danys Baez held the Yankees to four hits and one run over the final eight innings before a crowd of 55,000.

April 4, 2005 at Tropicana Field: Toronto 5, Tampa Bay 2. The Rays Opening Day win streak was stopped at five as the Rays fell to Toronto, 5-2. Rays starter Dewon Brazelton allowed only three hits in seven innings, but they came consecutively in the 4th inning including a double by Frank Catalanotto and home runs by Orlando Hudson and Vernon Wells. The Rays out-hit the Jays 10-7, but Toronto had 5 extra base hits, the Rays none. 

April 3, 2006 at Baltimore: Baltimore 9, Tampa Bay 6. 22-year-old Scott Kazmir became the youngest Opening Day starting pitcher since Dwight Gooden in 1986, but in four innings of work he allowed home runs to Luis Matos, Miguel Tejada, and Melvin Mora and took the loss. The Rays used three shortstops in the game as Julio Lugo (abdominal muscle) and Luis Ordaz (knee) were both injured. The Rays led 4-3 in the 5th before Matos and Mora hit back-to-back home runs to lead off the inning. Jonny Gomes hit a 439-foot home run off Rodrigo Lopez, the Rays longest HR of the season.

April 2, 2007 at New York: New York 9, Tampa Bay 5. With an average age of 24.79, the Rays started the youngest Opening Day lineup since the 1983 Twins. Elijah Dukes became the 99th player in major league history to homer in his first official ML at-bat when he connected off Carl Pavano in the fifth inning. The Rays led 5-3 in the sixth inning, but the Yankees scored two runs in their half of the inning and added three more in the eighth.

March 31, 2008 at Baltimore: Tampa Bay 6, Baltimore 2. James Shields allowed a 2-run double to Kevin Millar in the first inning, then shut out the Orioles over the next six innings. B.J. Upton’s two-run single in the third inning put the Rays ahead to stay. Dioner Navarro had three hits to lead the Rays 10-hit attack.

April 7, 2009 at Boston: Boston 5, Tampa Bay 3. After getting rained out a day earlier, the Rays and Red Sox finally opened the season, 169 days after the Rays beat the Sox in Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS. Dustin Pedroia and Jason Varitek had solo home runs off James Shields, the latter knocking the Rays starter out in the 6th inning. The Rays had only one hit thru 5. Carl Crawford’s double put runners on 2nd and 3rd with no one out in the 6th inning, but the Rays couldn’t score. Josh Beckett fanned 10 Rays and allowed only 2 hits in 7 innings.

April 6, 2010 at Tropicana Field: Tampa Bay 4, Baltimore 3. Carl Crawford’s one-out, 2-run double in the 9th inning off Mike Gonzalez gave the Rays their second walk-off win on Opening Day. Sean Rodriguez singled with one out in the 9th and Kelly Shoppach doubled in his first plate appearance as a Ray. Bartlett then received his only intentional walk of the season setting up Crawford’s heroics. Evan Longoria blasted a 473-foot home run to left off Kevin Millwood to bring the Rays to within 3-2.

April 1, 2011 at Tropicana Field…Baltimore 4, Tampa Bay 1. The two teams combined for only 9 hits. Orioles righthander Jeremy Guthrie allowed only 3 hits and one walk through 8 innings. Ben Zobrist led off the 9th inning with a home run off Jim Johnson for the Rays only run of the game. Zobrist had two of the Rays four hit