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Rays conclude spring training, ready for Sunday’s opener

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The regular season can’t get here quickly enough for the Tampa Bay Rays. Not after the way that Spring Training concluded.

The Rays didn’t win either half of a split squad doubleheader Friday, falling 9-4 (in a game they led 3-0) to Detroit and tying Atlanta 2-2.

Tampa Bay finished the spring 12-13. It has Saturday off before opening against Toronto on Sunday afternoon.

In its defeat on Friday, the Rays got three innings out of Matt Moore, who left with the score tied. But Jhan Marinez gave up five runs in the fourth inning to take the loss.

Tim Beckham had a two-run homer for the Rays.

In the tie game, Atlanta had a 2-0 lead before the Rays tied it. Adam Wilk started for the Rays and went four innings.

The Rays announced their starting lineup for Sunday’s game. They will lead off with second baseman Logan Forsythe, then come with first baseman Adam Morrison, third baseman Evan Longoria, DH Corey Dickerson, left-fielder Desmond Jennings, shortstop Brad Miller, right fielder Steven Souza, centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier and catcher Hank Conger. Chris Archer will pitch.

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Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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