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Giants, Dodgers to visit Tampa Bay next season

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If this season proves to be too much for the Tampa Bay Rays, well, wait til next year.

Two of baseball’s most known franchises will visit St. Petersburg next season as the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers come to town.

Those are two of the highlights that make up the team’s schedule, which was announced by Major League Baseball on Wednesday. The Rays will open their season on April 4 against Toronto, which is currently leading the American League East.

Tampa Bay will play 20 interleague games for the fourth straight season. The Rays will face all five teams from National League West Division including a home-and-home series with the Dodgers. The Rays will also continue their annual home-and-home series with the Miami Marlins. The Dodgers will make their first visit to Tropicana Field since 2007, May 3-4, and on July 26-27, the Rays will make only their second ever trip to Dodger Stadium.

The Rays will host the Giants for the only the second time in the last 12 years. The interleague schedule also includes a home series with the San Diego Padres and road sets with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.

The schedule includes 76 games versus the American League East Division, 34 against the AL Central and 32 versus the AL West. The breakdown includes 19 games each against the Yankees (9 home, 10 away), Orioles (9 home, 10 away), Red Sox (10 home, 9 away) and Toronto Blue Jays (10 home, 9 away).

The Rays will also play seven games against the Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Oakland Athletics. The Rays will have six games apiece against the Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners.

The Rays close out the 2016 home schedule with a six-game homestand against the Yankees and Red Sox, September 20-25.

This will be the seventh consecutive season the Rays will open the season at home. The Rays have sold out their last 10 home openers.

2016 RAYS SCHEDULE

April

4-7 Toronto; 8-10 at Baltimore; 12-14 Cleveland; 15-17 Chicago White Sox; 19-21 at Boston; 22-24 at N.Y. Yankees; 25-27 Baltimore; 29-30 Toronto

May

1 Toronto; 3-4 L.A. Dodgers; 6-8 at L.A. Angels; 9-11 at Seattle; 13-15 Oakland; 16-18 Toronto; 20-22 at Detroit; 23-24 at Miami; 25-26 Miami; 27-29 N.Y. Yankees; 30-31 at Kansas City

June

1 at Kansas City; 2-5 at Minnesota; 6-8 at Arizona; 10-12 Houston; 14-16 Seattle; 17-19 San Francisco; 20-22 at Cleveland; 24-26 at Baltimore; 27-29 Boston; 30 Detroit

July

1-3 Detroit; 4-7 L.A. Angels; 8-10 at Boston; 12 All Star Game at San Diego; 15-17 Baltimore; 18-20 at Colorado; 21-24 at Oakland; 26-27 at L.A. Dodgers; 29-31 N.Y. Yankees

August

1-4 Kansas City; 5-7 Minnesota; 8-10 at Toronto; 12-14 at N.Y. Yankees; 15-17 San Diego; 19-21 Texas; 22-25 Boston; 26-28 at Houston; 29-31 at Boston

September

2-4 Toronto; 5-7 Baltimore; 8-11 at N.Y. Yankees; 12-14 at Toronto; 15-18 at Baltimore; 20-22 N.Y. Yankees; 23-25 Boston; 26-29 at Chicago White Sox; 30 at Texas

October

1-2 at Texas

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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