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Rays win much-hyped game against the Cuban Nationals, 4-1

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Capitalism 4, Communism 0.

The most significant preseason baseball game in Tampa Bay Rays history ended up in an easy victory of the Rays Tuesday, as Tampa Bay beat the Cuban National team, 4-1.

Matt Moore threw six shutout innings, and James Loney drove in three runs on a single and a home run to beat the Cubans in a game that often seemed more impressive by the dignitaries who attended. Besides U.S. President Barrack Obama, those in attendance included Cuban President Raoul Castro, commissioner Rob Manuel, Derek Jeter, Dave Winfield and Joe Torre.

The Cubans seemed clearly outmanned, perhaps because so many of its stars have already defected to the United States. Jose Abreu of the White Sox, Jose Iglecias of the Tigers, Yoenis Cespedes of the Mets, Yasiel Pueg of the Dodgers and Aroldis Chapman of the Reds are among them.

The Rays’ players seemed to embrace the afternoon, giving flowers to first lady Michelle Obama, giving teammate Dayron Varona a standing ovation and swapping jerseys with the Cuban players the end.

Cuba did score a run in the bottom of the ninth when Rudy Reyes homered.



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

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