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Across MLB, teams, fans stand with Boston

When Terry Collins heard chants of "U-S-A! U-S-A!" fill Citi Field on Friday -- with Mets third baseman and World Baseball Classic Team USA star David Wright not at the plate -- the manager knew something significant had happened.

Major League Baseball's teams and fans expressed relief in ballparks across the country Friday night, when it was learned the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings had been captured.

Law enforcement caught 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and he was taken to a local hospital after exchanging gunfire for about an hour in Watertown, Mass. He was in serious condition.

"Obviously it's not just a big night for us. There are bigger things going on in the world," Collins said after the Mets' win 7-1 win over the Nationals. "We were all pretty excited in the dugout that we knew that they finally caught that guy. It was great."

Fan reaction and messages on videoboards is how many players found out about the news.

In Tampa Bay, the Rays put up a message informing the Tropicana Field crowd of 15,115 fans of Tsarnaev's capture. The crowd immediately responded with a loud cheer and a standing ovation, and some of the players and coaches in both dugouts applauded as well.

During the eighth inning of the Reds' game against the Marlins, the Great American Ball Park videoboard posted, "The suspect is alive and in custody," as cheers immediately erupted from 26,112 fans in attendance. A camera then panned to the American flag.

The Astros also briefly showed video of a news channel's coverage on the their big screen as the crowd cheered.

Several Pirates, including Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones, said they became aware of the happenings while they were on the bench and heard people in the stands breaking into impromptu shouts of "U-S-A! U-S-A!"

Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay said after Friday's 8-2 win in seven innings over the Cardinals that this week's events brought perspective.

"We all realize how lucky we are to not only live in this country, but to have the freedoms that we have and do the things that we get to do, and when things like that happen, it's disappointing and it's heartbreaking," Halladay said. "But to see how we overcome things is very gratifying. We always seem to become stronger from things like this. I'm glad to be a part of a country that takes things like this and takes bad moments and can turn them into good moments and things that will make our country stronger."

Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, 26 -- who was killed earlier Friday while attempting to escape police -- are the two suspects in the bombings, which killed three people and injured more than 180.

Prior to learning of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's capture, Indians third-base coach Brad Mills -- a former Red Sox coach -- said Boston was in everyone's heart.

"You almost feel like you're right there," Mills said. "Spending six years there, they start talking about street names, that brings everything home. Our hearts are definitely with those people now."

Current Indians and former Red Sox skipper Terry Francona agreed.

"It doesn't matter if you're familiar [with Boston] or not. It kind of gets personal," Francona said. "It makes you sad. I'm not smart enough to know how things like that work. I hope there are people smart enough to figure it out, so things like that don't happen again."

Word spread once Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured, and those spending Friday night watching MLB expressed relief.

"We've been following it all night, me and my wife," said Rockies hitting coach Dante Bichette, who finished his playing career with the Red Sox in 2001. "Our hearts go out to the people in Boston, that is a town with a lot of passion, we know they are hurting, but our prayers go out for them."

The Rangers played "Sweet Caroline," in the fourth inning of their game against the Mariners, while the Angels joined in on the West Coast, playing the song during the seventh-inning stretch of their game against the Tigers. The Pirates announced they will play the song during Saturday night's game.

"I think it's a nice gesture for all of baseball," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Even though this game goes on, they are dealing with a tragedy there in Boston, as our whole country is. We are all in this together."

Cash Kruth is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth.
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