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Bourjos shows off bat, glove in debut

March 29, 2017

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Peter Bourjos arrived to Florida late Tuesday night, but the Rays' new outfielder was in the lineup Wednesday afternoon, playing center field and hitting leadoff in Tampa Bay's 15-6 win over the Orioles."I think there's three days left in spring -- just try to go out

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Peter Bourjos arrived to Florida late Tuesday night, but the Rays' new outfielder was in the lineup Wednesday afternoon, playing center field and hitting leadoff in Tampa Bay's 15-6 win over the Orioles.
"I think there's three days left in spring -- just try to go out and play as well as I can," said Bourjos, whom the Rays acquired from the White Sox on Tuesday. "Have good at-bats, play good defense. I'm excited about the opportunity, whatever presents itself. Hopefully, I can make the team and we'll go from there."
Bourjos told reporters he wasn't surprised by the trade.
"I think, if you would have told me a week ago that I wouldn't be there [with the White Sox], I would have told you you're crazy, based on how everything was going," Bourjos said. "But as we got closer to the deadline, it was yesterday, it was a roster bonus, I started feeling like I might get traded, the way things were shaping up."
Bourjos, who was a free agent in the offseason, noted he was "pretty close" to signing with the Rays.
"Obviously, there were a couple of deals," Bourjos said. "I think when they traded [Drew] Smyly to Seattle, that kind of put everything on hold. I wasn't really a fit at that point. But up until then, this is where I thought I was going to be."
Bourjos put his game on display in the second inning when he chased down Chris Dickerson's deep fly ball at the wall, making a difficult play look routine. On offense, he had a pair of singles and a two-run homer.
Worth noting
• Tommy Hunter, who signed a Minor League deal with an invite to Spring Training, smiled when asked about the news he'd made the team.
"The ball fell on the right side of the line this time," Hunter said. "So I'm just fortunate and looking forward to getting out there with these guys."
• "You know, for me, it seems like they really want to win," said Chris Archer, when asked about what recent front office moves indicate. "They've stayed within their usual means, but the talent that we've recently added, or we're going to add to the roster soon -- it is encouraging."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.