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Rays host Royals and Red Sox during seven-game homestand

Highlights include Wade Boggs bobblehead and ceremonial first pitch on Saturday

The Tampa Bay Rays return to Tropicana Field on Monday for a seven-game homestand against the Kansas City Royals (Aug 20-23) and Boston Red Sox (Aug 24-26). The 2018 Rays season is presented by Tampa General Hospital.

The homestand begins Monday, with the first of four consecutive 7:10 p.m. starts against the Royals.

The Tampa Bay Rays return to Tropicana Field on Monday for a seven-game homestand against the Kansas City Royals (Aug 20-23) and Boston Red Sox (Aug 24-26). The 2018 Rays season is presented by Tampa General Hospital.

The homestand begins Monday, with the first of four consecutive 7:10 p.m. starts against the Royals.

For the second consecutive year, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association will hold Players' Weekend from August 24-26 when the Rays host the Red Sox. Players' Weekend will showcase the personalities and interests of Major League players by allowing them to select a nickname for the back of their jersey as well as wear and use uniquely colored and designed equipment including bats, spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves and catcher's equipment. Each player will have the opportunity to recognize someone who was instrumental in his personal development, or a baseball player who inspired him to achieve, on a jersey patch on his right sleeve. In addition, each player will have the option to wear a T-shirt highlighting a cause or charity of his choice during pregame workouts and postgame interviews.

The Rays take on the Red Sox beginning on Friday, August 24, with first pitch set for 7:10 p.m. When gates open prior to Saturday's 6:10 p.m. game, all fans in attendance will receive a Wade Boggs Bobblehead, presented by Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, while supplies last. The Tampa native and Hall of Famer will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Saturday's game. The homestand concludes on Sunday afternoon with a 1:10 p.m. start. Prior to Sunday's game, all kids 14 years and under will receive DJ Kitty Slippers, presented by Crown Automotive Group, while supplies last.

Sundays are Family Fun Days, courtesy of Tampa General Hospital. Every Sunday home game will feature free parking for cars with four or more passengers and a variety of postgame activities for kids, including Kids Run the Bases and a DJ Kitty Dance Party. For the fifth consecutive season, concourse activities will be complimentary for kids 14 years and under. Activities include Power Alley Batting Cage, Speed Pitch, Virtual Reality Home Run Derby, Raymond's Treehouse, Topps Make Your Own Baseball Card and the Grand Slam Alley, courtesy of GameTime. In addition, every Sunday home game, two Rays players will sign autographs for kids 14 years and under along the right field line from 12:00-12:30 p.m.

The Rays are also offering weekday specials throughout the season including:

• Monday -- Salute to Service Monday presented by Suncoast Credit Union: Military, Teachers and First Responders can receive two (2) complimentary tickets to select Monday home games, additional bonus dates and special ticket offers throughout the season. Some exclusions apply. Military, Teachers and First Responders are encouraged to visit raysbaseball.com/specials to sign up. Affiliation will be verified by ID.me, a third-party MLB-approved verification service. Tickets will be made available one week prior to each scheduled game date.

• Tuesday -- $2 Kids Tuesdays presented by Morgan Auto Group: For all Tuesday home games, tickets for kids 14 years and under are $2 with the purchase of a full-price adult ticket. $2 Hot Dogs, presented by Kayem Franks, will be available for all fans for all Tuesday home dates.

• Wednesday -- Senior Special Wednesdays presented by Duke Energy: For all Wednesday home games, Press Level tickets for fans 60 years and older are only $15.

• Thursday -- $19.98 Ticket Combo presented by Coca-Cola: For all Thursday home games, fans can purchase Press Level tickets that include chips and a 20-ounce bottled Coca-Cola beverage for $19.98.

• Friday -- $7.11 Tickets presented by 7-Eleven: For all Friday home games, fans may purchase Upper Level tickets for only $7.11. To take advantage of this special price, fans should visit a participating local 7-Eleven store and pick up the Rays Friday night discount coupon. The coupon code will be redeemable online at raysbaseball.com/specials or at the BayCare Box Office at Tropicana Field. Each coupon will be good for up to four (4) tickets. Fans will be able to upgrade to the lower level for an additional $7. Budweiser and Bud Lights will be available to purchase for fans 21 years and older for $5 at the Budweiser Porch in Center Field. Please drink responsibly.

     • 7Rewards members can show their app at Gate 3 Guest Services on Friday home games and receive one benefit, one time during the season, in addition to a free small slurpee coupon. Items available include one (1) voucher for a 20-ounce bottled soft drink or bottled water at Tropicana Field concession stands, free parking for a future Rays home game, 'Buy One, Get One' ticket offer or a Rays promotional item. All items are subject to availability.

     • Rays Season Ticket Holders can receive a one-time bonus of 711 Free Rays Rewards points by showing the 7Rewards app at Membership Services at Tropicana Field. All Season Ticket Holders who receive points also will receive a free small slurpee coupon.

PLAYERS' WEEKEND MERCHANDISE -- Rays Players' Weekend merchandise will be available for purchase throughout the homestand from the Rays Republic Team Store. In addition, authentic blank Players' Weekend jerseys and an original Blake Snell "Snellzilla" T-shirt will be available for sale.

SALUTE TO SERVICE $20 TICKETS -- The Rays have extended their Salute to Service promotion, presented by Suncoast Credit Union, to include $20 tickets for the game on Saturday, August 25. This special offer is available online only through raysbaseball.com/specials and expires the night before the game at midnight. Affiliation will be verified by ID.me, a third-party MLB approved verification service.

USF DAY-- USF Day returns to Tropicana Field on Sunday, August 26 with a $38 ticket package that includes a seat in the lower level and an exclusive Rays/USF co-branded hat. USF head football coach Charlie Strong will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game. To purchase the USF ticket special, visit raysbaseball.com/specialevents. The deadline to purchase tickets is Thursday, August 23 at 11:59 p.m.

PLEDGE PACKS -- With a $150 donation to the Rays Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization and the official charity of the Rays, fans can receive a Pledge Pack, valued at $250. Pledge Packs contain the Rays 20th anniversary coffee table book, a mystery autographed baseball grab bag, one (1) ticket voucher valid for four (4) Lower Corner tickets, a Fred McGriff and Tino Martinez Double Bobblehead and a Kevin Kiermaier STAR WARS® Pop Vinyl. All proceeds benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation. For more information or to purchase a pledge pack, visit raysbaseball.com/pledgepacks.

GATES OPEN -- Sunday-Thursday, 1 1/2 hours prior to first pitch; Friday-Saturday, two hours prior to first pitch.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays acquire Shane Baz to complete trade with Pirates

The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired minor league right-handed pitcher Shane Baz (pronounced BOZ) as the player to be named to complete the July 31 trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Baz, 19, will join Rookie-level Princeton. He went 4-3 with a 3.97 ERA (45.1-IP, 20-ER) and 54 strikeouts in 10 starts this season with Rookie-level Bristol, and ranks among Appalachian League leaders in ERA (seventh), strikeouts (third), innings pitched (fifth) and opponents' batting avg. (.250, fourth). Over his last four starts, he was 2-1 with a 2.04 ERA (17.2-IP, 4-ER) and 25 strikeouts. He was named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Week for August 6-12, his first career weekly honor, making a pair of scoreless starts spanning 9.2 innings.

The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired minor league right-handed pitcher Shane Baz (pronounced BOZ) as the player to be named to complete the July 31 trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Baz, 19, will join Rookie-level Princeton. He went 4-3 with a 3.97 ERA (45.1-IP, 20-ER) and 54 strikeouts in 10 starts this season with Rookie-level Bristol, and ranks among Appalachian League leaders in ERA (seventh), strikeouts (third), innings pitched (fifth) and opponents' batting avg. (.250, fourth). Over his last four starts, he was 2-1 with a 2.04 ERA (17.2-IP, 4-ER) and 25 strikeouts. He was named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Week for August 6-12, his first career weekly honor, making a pair of scoreless starts spanning 9.2 innings.

Baz was selected by the Pirates in the first round (12th overall) of the 2017 June Draft out of Concordia Lutheran (Texas) High School and is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 95 overall prospect in the minor leagues. He was ranked by both Baseball America and MLB.com as the No. 4 prospect in the Pirates organization. In his first professional season, he went 0-3 with a 3.80 ERA (23.2-IP, 10-ER) in 10 starts for the GCL Pirates. Following the season, he was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 3 prospect in the Gulf Coast League. He committed to Texas Christian University before signing with the Pirates. 

On July 31, the Rays traded right-handed pitcher Chris Archer to the Pirates in exchange for right-handed pitcher Tyler Glasnow, outfielder Austin Meadows and a player to be named. Glasnow has pitched to a 2.25 ERA (12-IP, 3-ER) in three starts with the Rays, and leads the majors with a 15.00 strikeouts per nine innings ratio in August (min. 10 IP). Meadows is batting .333/.372/.718 (13-for-39) with six doubles, three home runs and eight RBI in 11 games for Triple-A Durham.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays trade Adeiny Hechavarria to Pirates

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-- The Tampa Bay Rays have traded shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Matt Seelinger, who will join Class-A Bowling Green.

Hechavarria, 29, was designated for assignment on August 1. He appeared in 61 games and made 57 starts, all at shortstop, for the Rays this season, batting .258/.289/.332 (56-for-217) with seven doubles, three home runs and 26 RBI. Among shortstops with at least 200 innings, his .990 fielding pct. is fourth in the majors and second in the AL. On June 30 against the Houston Astros, he snapped errorless streaks spanning two seasons at 94 games and 319 total chances-both the longest streaks in franchise history for a shortstop. He was acquired from the Miami Marlins on June 26, 2017, and hit .257/.289/.376 (124-for-482) over parts of two seasons with the Rays. He hit 10 home runs in 482 at-bats with the Rays, compared to 13 home runs in 2,122 at-bats over five seasons (2013-17) with the Marlins. He debuted with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-- The Tampa Bay Rays have traded shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Matt Seelinger, who will join Class-A Bowling Green.

Hechavarria, 29, was designated for assignment on August 1. He appeared in 61 games and made 57 starts, all at shortstop, for the Rays this season, batting .258/.289/.332 (56-for-217) with seven doubles, three home runs and 26 RBI. Among shortstops with at least 200 innings, his .990 fielding pct. is fourth in the majors and second in the AL. On June 30 against the Houston Astros, he snapped errorless streaks spanning two seasons at 94 games and 319 total chances-both the longest streaks in franchise history for a shortstop. He was acquired from the Miami Marlins on June 26, 2017, and hit .257/.289/.376 (124-for-482) over parts of two seasons with the Rays. He hit 10 home runs in 482 at-bats with the Rays, compared to 13 home runs in 2,122 at-bats over five seasons (2013-17) with the Marlins. He debuted with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012.

Seelinger, 23, is 1-3 with a 3.03 ERA (32.2-IP, 11-ER) and 52 strikeouts in 28 appearances this season for Class-A West Virginia. He has converted all seven of his save opportunities this season and leads the South Atlantic League with 25 games finished, while his 14.33 strikeouts per nine innings ratio would rank second among the league's relievers if he pitched enough innings to qualify. He was selected by the Pirates in the 28th round of the 2017 June Draft out of Farmingdale State College, and was the sixth of 12 Division III players drafted that year. He was the first Farmingdale State player to ever be drafted. Over his collegiate career, he was named All-Conference and All-Region twice, and was the Skyline Pitcher of the Year in 2016. He began his professional career with Short-A West Virginia in the New York-Penn League in 2017, pitching to a 1.80 ERA (30-IP, 6-ER) in 20 appearances. Over parts of two minor league seasons, he is 1-4 with a 2.44 ERA (62.2-IP, 17-ER) and 12.78 strikeouts per nine innings ratio, with 11 saves in 12 opportunities.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays acquire Tommy Pham from Cardinals

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired outfielder Tommy Pham and international slot money from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Justin Williams, minor league left-handed pitcher Genesis Cabrera and minor league right-handed pitcher Roel Ramirez. A corresponding move to the 25-man roster will be made later.

 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired outfielder Tommy Pham and international slot money from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Justin Williams, minor league left-handed pitcher Genesis Cabrera and minor league right-handed pitcher Roel Ramirez. A corresponding move to the 25-man roster will be made later.

 

Pham, 30, is batting .248/.311/.399 (87-for-396) with 14 home runs, 41 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 98 games (90 starts) this season with the Cardinals. He is tied for 6th in the National League with 67 runs scored, and is one of nine NL players with double-digit homers and steals so far this season. Last season, Pham finished 11th in overall balloting for the NL Most Valuable Player Award, batting .306/.411/.520 (136-for-444) with 23 home runs, 73 RBI and 25 stolen bases in 128 games (116 starts). He became the first Cardinals player with at least 20 homers and 20 steals in a single season since Reggie Sanders in 2004, and is the only player in franchise history to do that with a .300 avg. or better. Last season, he ranked among NL leaders in batting avg. (11th), on-base pct. (third), runs (95, tied for 10th) and stolen bases (fourth).

 

Pham was selected by the Cardinals in the 16th round of the 2006 June Draft out of Durango High School in Las Vegas, Nev. He spent parts of nine seasons in the minor leagues before making his major league debut on September 9, 2014. Over parts of five seasons in the majors, he is batting .271/.365/.463 (300-for-1,109) with 51 home runs and 149 RBI.

 

Williams, 22, has spent the entire season with Triple-A Durham aside from a one-day stint with the Rays, making his major league debut as a pinch-hitter on July 21 against the Miami Marlins. He is batting .258/.313/.376 (92-for-356) with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 94 games for the Bulls and was named to the International League midseason All-Star Team. Last season, he was named by the Rays Baseball Operations department as the Most Valuable Player for Montgomery, batting .301/.364/.489 (110-for-366) with 21 doubles, 14 home runs and 72 RBI in 96 games. Williams was originally acquired by the Rays from the Arizona Diamondbacks in November 2014 and is batting .299/.342/.433 (608-for-2,033) with 44 home runs and 308 RBI over six minor league seasons. He is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 14 prospect in the organization.

 

Cabrera, is 7-6 with a 4.12 ERA (113.2-IP, 52-ER) and 124 strikeouts in 21 appearances (20 starts) for Double-A Montgomery and was named to the Southern League midseason All-Star Team. He ranks among Southern League leaders in strikeouts (second), innings (fourth) and opponents' batting avg. (fifth), and leads Rays minor leaguers in strikeouts. He was signed by the Rays as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic on November 1, 2013 and is 29-21 with a 3.60 ERA (410.1-IP, 164-ER) in 88 apps (69 starts) over five minor league seasons. He is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 25 prospect in the organization.

 

Ramirez, is 3-1 with a 2.53 ERA (53.1-IP, 15-ER) in 34 apps (1 start) between Class-A Charlotte and Montgomery. He did not allow a run in eight apps spanning 12.2 IP with the Stone Crabs, and was promoted to the Double-A level on May 2. He was selected by the Rays in the eighth round of the 2013 June Draft out of United South High School in Laredo, Texas. Over six minor league seasons, he is 26-21 with a 3.85 ERA (376.1-IP, 161-ER) in 124 apps (45 starts).

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays trade Chris Archer to Pirates

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-The Tampa Bay Rays have traded right-handed pitcher Chris Archer to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for right-handed pitcher Tyler Glasnow, outfielder Austin Meadows and a player to be named.

Archer, 29, departs the Rays after seven seasons, going 54-68 with a 3.69 ERA (1,063-IP, 436-ER) in 179 appearances (177 starts). He was the first pitcher in Rays history to make four consecutive Opening Day starts (2015-18), and tied James Shields (2008-10, 2012) for the most Opening Day starts in club history. Archer ranks second in club history with 1,146 strikeouts, behind Shields (1,250), and ranks second in starts, third in innings pitched and fourth in wins.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-The Tampa Bay Rays have traded right-handed pitcher Chris Archer to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for right-handed pitcher Tyler Glasnow, outfielder Austin Meadows and a player to be named.

Archer, 29, departs the Rays after seven seasons, going 54-68 with a 3.69 ERA (1,063-IP, 436-ER) in 179 appearances (177 starts). He was the first pitcher in Rays history to make four consecutive Opening Day starts (2015-18), and tied James Shields (2008-10, 2012) for the most Opening Day starts in club history. Archer ranks second in club history with 1,146 strikeouts, behind Shields (1,250), and ranks second in starts, third in innings pitched and fourth in wins.

Archer has made at least 30 starts in four straight seasons (2014-17), joining Shields (2007-12) as the only two Rays pitchers ever to do so. He is one of five major league pitchers to throw at least 200 innings in each of the previous three seasons. Since June 1, 2013-the date he was recalled to the majors for good-his 173 starts rank second in the majors, just one start shy of Max Scherzer (174). His 1,110 strikeouts over that span rank fifth in the majors, trailing Scherzer (1,429), Chris Sale (1,395), Corey Kluber (1,235) and Clayton Kershaw (1,155). He struck out a club-record 252 batters in 2015.

He is a two-time American League All-Star (2015, 2017) and pitched for Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He was honored twice as the Rays nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award (2015, 2016) and by the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America as the Paul C. Smith Champion Award (2015), given to the player who best exemplifies the spirit of true professionalism on and off the field.

This season, Archer is 3-5 with a 4.31 ERA (96-IP, 46-ER) in 17 starts and spent 32 games on the disabled list with a left abdominal strain-the first DL stint of his career. He turns 30 on September 26.
Glasnow, 24, is 1-2 with a 4.34 ERA (56-IP, 27-ER) and 72 strikeouts in 34 appearances, all in relief, for the Pirates this season. He ranks third among National League relievers in strikeouts, behind Milwaukee's Josh Hader (99) and Colorado's Adam Ottavino (77). He has made 19 relief apps of 2 IP or more, most in the majors. He has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen this season after making 22 apps (17 starts) with the Pirates over the 2016-17 seasons.

Glasnow was ranked by Baseball America as a Top 50 prospect in the minors for four consecutive seasons (2014-17), including No. 16 entering the 2015 season and No. 14 entering the 2016 season. Over parts of six minor league seasons, he is 45-21 with a 2.02 ERA (593.1-IP, 133-ER) and 785 strikeouts in 118 apps (117 starts). He recorded 140 strikeouts in 93.1 innings with Triple-A Indianapolis in 2017, third in the International League behind Triple-A Durham's Ryan Yarbrough (159) and Brent Honeywell (152). He was selected by the Pirates in the fifth round of the 2011 June Draft out of William S. Hart High School in Santa Clarita, Calif.-the same school that produced former Rays right-handed pitcher James Shields.

Meadows, 23, has appeared in 49 games (35 starts) over two stints with the Pirates this season, his first career major league action. He is batting .292/.327/.468 (45-for-154) with eight doubles, two triples, five home runs, 13 RBI and four stolen bases. Among National League rookies with at least 100 at-bats, he ranks third in batting avg. and slugging pct. He produced seven multi-hit games within his first 10 starts, batting .439 (18-for-41) with four home runs over that span. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the fifth player to debut in the expansion era (since 1961) to hit .400 with at least four home runs within his first 40 at-bats, joining Albert Pujols, Jeff Francoeur, Brian Giles and Yasiel Puig.

Meadows was ranked by Baseball America as a Top 50 prospect in the minors for five consecutive seasons (2014-18), including No. 6 entering the 2017 season. He entered this season ranked by the publication as the Best Athlete and Best Strike-Zone Judgment in the Pirates organization. Over parts of six minor league seasons, he is batting .291/.355/.453 (484-for-1,665) with 110 doubles, 26 triples, 36 home runs, 207 RBI and 65 stolen bases. He was selected by the Pirates in the first round (ninth overall) of the 2013 June Draft out of Grayson High School in Loganville, Ga.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays trade Wilson Ramos to Phillies

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-The Tampa Bay Rays have traded catcher Wilson Ramos to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for a player to be named or cash considerations.

Ramos, 30, has spent the last 10 games on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain, sustained on July 14 in Minnesota. He was elected to the American League All-Star Team but was unable to play due to the injury. It was the second selection of his career and first fan election, and he joined Dioner Navarro in 2008 as the only Rays catchers to ever make the AL All-Star Team. He is batting .297/.346/.488 (87-for-293) with 14 doubles, 14 home runs and 53 RBI in 78 games (74 starts) and leads AL catchers with 87 hits despite his stint on the disabled list. He is tied for 2nd among AL catchers in home runs, tied for 1st in RBI and tied for 3rd with 28 extra-base hits. His 14 HR this season matched John Flaherty (14) in 1999 for the franchise's single-season record among catchers.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-The Tampa Bay Rays have traded catcher Wilson Ramos to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for a player to be named or cash considerations.

Ramos, 30, has spent the last 10 games on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain, sustained on July 14 in Minnesota. He was elected to the American League All-Star Team but was unable to play due to the injury. It was the second selection of his career and first fan election, and he joined Dioner Navarro in 2008 as the only Rays catchers to ever make the AL All-Star Team. He is batting .297/.346/.488 (87-for-293) with 14 doubles, 14 home runs and 53 RBI in 78 games (74 starts) and leads AL catchers with 87 hits despite his stint on the disabled list. He is tied for 2nd among AL catchers in home runs, tied for 1st in RBI and tied for 3rd with 28 extra-base hits. His 14 HR this season matched John Flaherty (14) in 1999 for the franchise's single-season record among catchers.

Ramos compiled an 18-game hitting streak from April 14-May 12, which tied for the second-longest in franchise history and remains the second-longest in the majors this season. He hit cleanup as the starting catcher in 42 games this season. Prior to this year, the Rays started a catcher at cleanup only 16 times in franchise history.

Ramos was signed by the Rays to a two-year contract on December 12, 2016. He made his Rays debut on June 24, 2017, returning from a torn right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Over parts of nine seasons in the majors, he is batting .271/.315/.438 (715-for-2,637) with 108 home runs and 409 RBI. In 2016, he was a National League All-Star, won the NL's Silver Slugger Award among catchers and tied for 17th in the overall balloting for the NL Most Valuable Player Award.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays to host 10-year celebration of 2008 American League championship club

More than 20 alumni of 2008 Rays to take part in weekend festivities

During this weekend's series against the Chicago White Sox, the Tampa Bay Rays will hold a 10-year celebration of the 2008 American League Championship club, which gained notoriety as one of the most thrilling worst-to-first stories in the history of sports. More than 20 alumni are confirmed to attend. 

At 2:00 p.m. on Friday, the Rays will hold a press conference at the 20th Anniversary Exhibit, adjacent to the Ted Williams Museum. (Media should enter through Gate 4, which will open at 1:00 p.m.) The press conference will include alumni players Jason Bartlett (voted team MVP), Aki Iwamura (traveling from Japan), Scott Kazmir (2008 All-Star), James Shields (visiting as a member of the White Sox) and B.J. Upton (hit seven home runs in the 2008 Postseason). Media seeking one-on-one interviews with any 2008 Rays alumni on Friday or Saturday should make their request via email at media@raysbaseball.com. Meanwhile, other Rays alumni will visit patients Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital and Tampa General Hospital.

During this weekend's series against the Chicago White Sox, the Tampa Bay Rays will hold a 10-year celebration of the 2008 American League Championship club, which gained notoriety as one of the most thrilling worst-to-first stories in the history of sports. More than 20 alumni are confirmed to attend. 

At 2:00 p.m. on Friday, the Rays will hold a press conference at the 20th Anniversary Exhibit, adjacent to the Ted Williams Museum. (Media should enter through Gate 4, which will open at 1:00 p.m.) The press conference will include alumni players Jason Bartlett (voted team MVP), Aki Iwamura (traveling from Japan), Scott Kazmir (2008 All-Star), James Shields (visiting as a member of the White Sox) and B.J. Upton (hit seven home runs in the 2008 Postseason). Media seeking one-on-one interviews with any 2008 Rays alumni on Friday or Saturday should make their request via email at media@raysbaseball.com. Meanwhile, other Rays alumni will visit patients Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital and Tampa General Hospital.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early. When Gate 1 opens on Friday (5:10 p.m.) and Saturday (4:10 p.m.), fans will be greeted by 2008 Rays alumni. Also both nights, 2008 Rays alumni will sign autographs in the 20th Anniversary Exhibit. Season Ticket Holders can take photos and listen to a Q&A with alumni, moderated by former in-game host Rusty Kath. Upon entering Saturday, fans will receive an Akinori Iwamura Bobblehead, presented by Fanatics (while supplies last), depicting the final out of the 2008 ALCS with Rays Radio audio of the call.

Pregame ceremonies honoring the 2008 Rays will begin at 5:45 p.m. and will be emceed by radio broadcasters Andy Freed and Dave Wills. Iwamura will deliver a ceremonial first pitch, to be caught by Bartlett. Les Sabler and Marshall Gillam will perform the national anthem, as they did several times during the 2008 season.

Tickets are available online at raysbaseball.com, at the BayCare Box Office at Tropicana Field or by calling 888-FAN-RAYS.

Confirmed alumni players attending (20): Rocco Baldelli, Grant Balfour, Jason Bartlett, Kurt Birkins, Chad Bradford, Reid Brignac, Mike DiFelice, Scott Dohmann, Gary Glover, Gabe Gross, Aki Iwamura, Elliot Johnson, Scott Kazmir, Trever Miller, Fernando Perez, Shawn Riggans, Justin Ruggiano, James Shields, B.J. Upton, Dan Wheeler.

Confirmed alumni coaches attending (3): Brian Anderson, Tom Foley, Steve Henderson.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays open three-team, nine-game homestand tomorrow

Rays to celebrate 10th Anniversary of the 2008 American League Championship Team

The Tampa Bay Rays return to Tropicana Field tomorrow for a ninegame homestand against the Los Angeles Angels (July 31-Aug 2), Chicago White Sox (Aug 3-5) and Baltimore Orioles (Aug 7-9). The 2018 Rays season is presented by Tampa General Hospital.

The homestand begins tomorrow, July 31, with the first of two consecutive 7:10 p.m. starts against the Angels. The final game of the series on Thursday, August 2 is slated for a 1:10 p.m. first pitch.

The Tampa Bay Rays return to Tropicana Field tomorrow for a ninegame homestand against the Los Angeles Angels (July 31-Aug 2), Chicago White Sox (Aug 3-5) and Baltimore Orioles (Aug 7-9). The 2018 Rays season is presented by Tampa General Hospital.

The homestand begins tomorrow, July 31, with the first of two consecutive 7:10 p.m. starts against the Angels. The final game of the series on Thursday, August 2 is slated for a 1:10 p.m. first pitch.

During the Rays-White Sox weekend series, the Rays will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the 2008 American League Championship Club (see separate press release). More than 20 alumni are confirmed to attend, including Jason Bartlett, Aki Iwamura, Scott Kazmir, James Shields and B.J. Upton. The series begins on Friday, August 3 at 7:10 p.m. and continues on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. When gates open prior to Saturday's game, all fans will receive an Akinori Iwamura Bobblehead, presented by Fanatics, while supplies last. 2008 Rays alumni will be present throughout the ballpark, greeting fans, signing autographs and posing for photos. Fans are encouraged to arrive and be in their seats early on Saturday, as the 2008 Rays alumni will be honored in a special pregame ceremony beginning at 5:45 p.m., capped off by a ceremonial first pitch from Iwamura. The series concludes on Sunday afternoon with a 1:10 p.m. start and all kids 14 years and under will receive a Kevin Kiermaier Lunch Box, presented by 7-Eleven, while supplies last.

Following an off-day on Monday, August 6, the Rays host the Orioles for a three-game set, with all games slated for a 7:10 p.m. first pitch. 

Sundays are Family Fun Days, courtesy of Tampa General Hospital. Every Sunday home game will feature free parking for cars with four or more passengers and a variety of postgame activities for kids, including Kids Run the Bases and a DJ Kitty Dance Party. For the fifth consecutive season, concourse activities will be complimentary for kids 14 years and under. Activities include Power Alley Batting Cage, Speed Pitch, Virtual Reality Home Run Derby, Raymond's Treehouse, Topps Make Your Own Baseball Card and the Grand Slam Alley, courtesy of GameTime. In addition, every Sunday home game, two Rays players will sign autographs for kids 14 years and under along the right field line from 12:00-12:30 p.m.

The Rays are also offering weekday specials throughout the season including: 

• Monday -- Salute to Service Monday presented by Suncoast Credit Union: Military, Teachers and First Responders can receive two (2) complimentary tickets to select Monday home games, additional bonus dates and special ticket offers throughout the season. Some exclusions apply. Military, Teachers and First Responders are encouraged to visit raysbaseball.com/specials to sign up. Affiliation will be verified by ID.me, a third-party MLB-approved verification service. Tickets will be made available one week prior to each scheduled game date.

• Tuesday -- $2 Kids Tuesdays presented by Morgan Auto Group: For all Tuesday home games, tickets for kids 14 years and under are $2 with the purchase of a full-price adult ticket. $2 Hot Dogs, presented by Kayem Franks, will be available for all fans for all Tuesday home dates.

• Wednesday -- Senior Special Wednesdays presented by Duke Energy: For all Wednesday home games, Press Level tickets for fans 60 years and older are only $15.

• Thursday -- $19.98 Ticket Combo presented by Coca-Cola: For all Thursday home games, fans can purchase Press Level tickets that include chips and a 20-ounce bottled Coca-Cola beverage for $19.98.

• Friday -- $7.11 Tickets presented by 7-Eleven: For all Friday home games, fans may purchase Upper Level tickets for only $7.11. To take advantage of this special price, fans should visit a participating local 7-Eleven store and pick up the Rays Friday night discount coupon. The coupon code will be redeemable online at raysbaseball.com/specials or at the BayCare Box Office at Tropicana Field. Each coupon will be good for up to four (4) tickets. Fans will be able to upgrade to the lower level for an additional $7. Budweiser and Bud Lights will be available to purchase for fans 21 years and older for $5 at the Budweiser Porch in Center Field. Please drink responsibly.

• 7Rewards members can show their app at Gate 3 Guest Services on Friday night home games and receive one benefit, one time during the season, in addition to a free small slurpee coupon. Items available include one (1) voucher for a 20-ounce bottled soft drink or bottled water at Tropicana Field concession stands, free parking for a future Rays home game, 'Buy One, Get One' ticket offer or a Rays promotional item. All items are subject to availability.

• Rays Season Ticket Holders can receive a one-time bonus of 711 Free Rays Rewards points by showing the 7Rewards app at Membership Services at Tropicana Field. All Season Ticket Holders who receive points also will receive a free small slurpee coupon.

SALUTE TO SERVICE BONUS DATES & $15 TICKETS -- The Rays have extended their Salute to Service promotion, presented by Suncoast Credit Union, to include the games on Tuesday, July 31 and Tuesday, August 7. Military, Teachers and First Responders can receive two (2) complimentary tickets for these games. In addition, the Rays have extended their Salute to Service promotion to include $15 tickets for the game on Saturday, August 4. Military, First Responders and Teachers can purchase up to four (4) tickets to that game for $15 each. These special offers are available online only through raysbaseball. com/specials and expire the night before each game at midnight. Affiliation will be verified by ID.me, a third-party MLB approved verification service.

VITA VEA TO THROW CEREMONIAL FIRST PITCH -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2018 first-round draft pick (No. 12 overall) and defensive tackle Vita Vea will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game on Friday, August 3. 

WOMEN'S BASEBALL WORLD CUP -- The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup 2018 Trophy Tour will be stopping at Tropicana Field prior to the game on Friday, August 3. Fans can take pictures with the trophy and receive autographs from players from the USA Baseball Women's National Team at the Budweiser Porch in center field.  
BATS N' BREWS -- The Rays and iHeartMedia Tampa Bay's "Bats N' Brews" radio show, presented by Budweiser, airs live Friday, August 3 from the Budweiser Porch in center field. This week's show features Ryan Gorman and Aaron Jacobsen from 970 WFLA.

RAYS ON THE RUNWAY -- The 12th annual Rays on the Runway returns on Sunday, August 5, at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront. Rays players, coaches and special "Dream Children" from the Children's Dream Fund will walk the fashion runway to make dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses. Event doors open at 6:30 p.m., with player meet-and-greet opportunities before the fashion show begins. Proceeds from the event benefit the Children's Dream Fund, a local nonprofit organization that makes dreams come true for seriously-ill children living on the West Coast of Florida. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit childrensdreamfund.org.

HEART & HUSTLE PRESENTATION -- Rays infielder Joey Wendle will be recognized as the Rays recipient of the 2018 Heart and Hustle Award by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) in a pregame ceremony on Wednesday, August 8. The Heart and Hustle Award honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody its values, spirit and traditions.

HAILEY DAWSON TO THROW CEREMONIAL FIRST PITCH -- Eight-year-old Hailey Dawson will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game on Thursday, August 9. Born with Poland Syndrome, Hailey wears a 3-D printed prosthetic hand created by engineering students from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She is attempting to throw out the first pitch at all 30 Major League ballparks and Tropicana Field will be ballpark No. 26. 

PLEDGE PACKS -- With a $150 donation to the Rays Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization and the official charity of the Rays, fans can receive a Pledge Pack, valued at $250. Pledge Packs contain the Rays 20th anniversary coffee table book, a mystery autographed baseball grab bag, one (1) ticket voucher valid for four (4) lower corner tickets, a Fred McGriff and Tino Martinez Double Bobblehead and a Kevin Kiermaier Star Wars Pop Vinyl. All proceeds benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation, which supports youth and educational programming in Tampa Bay. For more information or to purchase a pledge pack, visit raysbaseball.com/pledgepacks.

GATES OPEN -- Sunday-Thursday, 1½ hours prior to first pitch; Friday-Saturday, 2 hours prior to first pitch.  

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays trade Jonny Venters to Braves

The Tampa Bay Rays have traded left-handed pitcher Jonny Venters to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for an international signing slot.

Venters, 33, went 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA (14-IP, 6-ER) in 22 appearances (one start) this season with the Rays. As a reliever, he pitched to a 0.66 ERA (13.2-IP, 1-ER) in his 21 apps. He was selected by the club to the major league roster on April 25 and made his Rays debut that night, his first appearance in the majors in 2,028 days-since the National League Wild Card Game on October 5, 2012 (with Atlanta). Incidentally, it was the last major league game of former teammate Chipper Jones, who will be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend. He became the second pitcher to ever return to the majors after three Tommy John surgeries, following Jason Isringhausen, according to FanGraphs.

Venters underwent Tommy John surgery in 2005, 2013 and 2014. He originally signed with the Rays as a minor league free agent on March 11, 2015, and returned from his third Tommy John surgery to make five appearances for Class-A Charlotte in 2016 before the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow was torn for a fourth time. He underwent an additional "half-Tommy John," performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, to reattach the ligament, and made 24 apps in the minors in 2017.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Venters was the first former All-Star to return to the majors after missing at least five years since Justin Thompson, who was an All-Star in 1997 and pitched for the Texas Rangers on August 18, 2005 in his first game since August 15, 1999. He became the third player to return and play for the Rays after being out of the majors for at least five years, both of them position players: Rich Thompson (May 16, 2012, first game since April 22, 2004; eight years, 24 days in between) and Chris Richard (September 7, 2009, first game since April 30, 2003; six years, 130 days in between).

On May 15 against the Kansas City Royals, Venters recorded his first win since August 17, 2012, going 2,096 days in between. Between victories, 1,058 other pitchers earned a win in the majors, with Max Scherzer leading the way over that span with 100 wins. On May 28 against the Oakland Athletics, he recorded his first save since August 22, 2011, going 2,470 days in between. During that stretch between saves, 469 other pitchers earned a save in the majors, with former Braves teammate Craig Kimbrel leading the way over that span with 267 saves. With his start on June 6 against the Washington Nationals, Venters became the only pitcher in major league history to start a game after three Tommy John surgeries.

Venters was selected by the Braves in the 30th round of the 2003 June Draft out of Indian River Community College in Fort Pierce, Fla. He spent parts of three seasons (2010-12) with the Braves, going 15-10 with a 2.23 ERA (229.2-IP, 57-ER) while forming a dangerous back end of the Braves bullpen with Craig Kimbrel and Eric O'Flaherty. During that span, he ranked among major league relief leaders in apps (230, tied for second), strikeouts (258, fourth), wins (15, tied for fourth) and ERA (eighth)…in 2011, he was a National League All-Star and led the majors with 85 apps.

The Tampa Bay Rays have traded left-handed pitcher Jonny Venters to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for an international signing slot.

Venters, 33, went 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA (14-IP, 6-ER) in 22 appearances (one start) this season with the Rays. As a reliever, he pitched to a 0.66 ERA (13.2-IP, 1-ER) in his 21 apps. He was selected by the club to the major league roster on April 25 and made his Rays debut that night, his first appearance in the majors in 2,028 days-since the National League Wild Card Game on October 5, 2012 (with Atlanta). Incidentally, it was the last major league game of former teammate Chipper Jones, who will be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend. He became the second pitcher to ever return to the majors after three Tommy John surgeries, following Jason Isringhausen, according to FanGraphs.

Venters underwent Tommy John surgery in 2005, 2013 and 2014. He originally signed with the Rays as a minor league free agent on March 11, 2015, and returned from his third Tommy John surgery to make five appearances for Class-A Charlotte in 2016 before the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow was torn for a fourth time. He underwent an additional "half-Tommy John," performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, to reattach the ligament, and made 24 apps in the minors in 2017.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Venters was the first former All-Star to return to the majors after missing at least five years since Justin Thompson, who was an All-Star in 1997 and pitched for the Texas Rangers on August 18, 2005 in his first game since August 15, 1999. He became the third player to return and play for the Rays after being out of the majors for at least five years, both of them position players: Rich Thompson (May 16, 2012, first game since April 22, 2004; eight years, 24 days in between) and Chris Richard (September 7, 2009, first game since April 30, 2003; six years, 130 days in between).

On May 15 against the Kansas City Royals, Venters recorded his first win since August 17, 2012, going 2,096 days in between. Between victories, 1,058 other pitchers earned a win in the majors, with Max Scherzer leading the way over that span with 100 wins. On May 28 against the Oakland Athletics, he recorded his first save since August 22, 2011, going 2,470 days in between. During that stretch between saves, 469 other pitchers earned a save in the majors, with former Braves teammate Craig Kimbrel leading the way over that span with 267 saves. With his start on June 6 against the Washington Nationals, Venters became the only pitcher in major league history to start a game after three Tommy John surgeries.

Venters was selected by the Braves in the 30th round of the 2003 June Draft out of Indian River Community College in Fort Pierce, Fla. He spent parts of three seasons (2010-12) with the Braves, going 15-10 with a 2.23 ERA (229.2-IP, 57-ER) while forming a dangerous back end of the Braves bullpen with Craig Kimbrel and Eric O'Flaherty. During that span, he ranked among major league relief leaders in apps (230, tied for second), strikeouts (258, fourth), wins (15, tied for fourth) and ERA (eighth)…in 2011, he was a National League All-Star and led the majors with 85 apps.

Tampa Bay Rays, Jonny Venters

Rays trade Nathan Eovaldi to Red Sox

The Tampa Bay Rays have traded right-handed pitcher Nathan Eovaldi to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for left-handed pitcher Jalen Beeks.

Eovaldi, 28, returned from August 2016 Tommy John surgery and March 30 arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow to make 10 starts for the Rays, going 3-4 with a 4.26 ERA (57-IP, 27-ER). Min. 50 IP, he ranked among American League leaders in strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.63, third), walks per nine innings ratio (1.26, second) and WHIP (0.98, eighth). With his season debut on May 30 at Oakland, he became the 12th pitcher at the time to start in the majors after multiple Tommy John surgeries. Of the pitchers who have done so, he is only the seventh to make at least five starts. Eovaldi was scheduled to start today's game against the New York Yankees. Over parts of seven seasons in the majors, he is 41-50 with a 4.22 ERA (796-IP, 373-ER) in 144 apps (137 starts). He is eligible to become a free agent following the season.

The Tampa Bay Rays have traded right-handed pitcher Nathan Eovaldi to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for left-handed pitcher Jalen Beeks.

Eovaldi, 28, returned from August 2016 Tommy John surgery and March 30 arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow to make 10 starts for the Rays, going 3-4 with a 4.26 ERA (57-IP, 27-ER). Min. 50 IP, he ranked among American League leaders in strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.63, third), walks per nine innings ratio (1.26, second) and WHIP (0.98, eighth). With his season debut on May 30 at Oakland, he became the 12th pitcher at the time to start in the majors after multiple Tommy John surgeries. Of the pitchers who have done so, he is only the seventh to make at least five starts. Eovaldi was scheduled to start today's game against the New York Yankees. Over parts of seven seasons in the majors, he is 41-50 with a 4.22 ERA (796-IP, 373-ER) in 144 apps (137 starts). He is eligible to become a free agent following the season.

Beeks, 25, is on the 40-man roster and his assignment is to be determined. He has totaled three days of major league service time over two stints with the Red Sox this season, and made his major league debut in a start on June 7 against the Detroit Tigers. In 16 starts with Triple-A Pawtucket, he is 5-5 with a 2.89 ERA (87.1-IP, 28-ER) and 117 SO for a 12.06 strikeouts per nine innings ratio. He ranks among International League leaders in ERA (fifth), strikeouts (tied for second), WHIP (1.09, second) and opponents' batting average (.215, third), and ranks among Red Sox minor leaguers in ERA (sixth) and strikeouts (first).

Over parts of five minor league seasons, Beeks is 34-28 with a 3.63 ERA (515.2-IP, 208-ER) in 96 apps (94 starts). In 2017, he was named the Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year, going 11-8 with a 3.29 ERA (145-IP, 53-ER) in 26 starts between Double-A Portland and Pawtucket. At Double-A, he recorded a scoreless streak of 25 innings from April 22-May 18, the second-longest in Portland franchise history. He was selected by the Red Sox in the 12th round of the 2014 June Draft out of the University of Arkansas, where he was a teammate of Ryne Stanek for one season (2013).

Beeks entered the season ranked by Baseball America as the No. 11 prospect in the Red Sox organization. In its midseason update, he was ranked by the publication as the No. 6 prospect in the system.

This is only the second time in franchise history the Rays have made a trade with the Red Sox. On July 21, 1999, the Rays traded right-handed pitcher Julio Santana to the Red Sox in exchange for a player to be named and cash considerations. On July 30, 1999, the Red Sox sent minor league left-handed pitcher Will Silverthorn to the Rays to complete the trade.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays host Marlins, Yankees in six-game homestand

Highlights Include DJ Kitty Mascot Head and Beach Tank Top

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays return to Tropicana Field tomorrow for a sixgame homestand against the Miami Marlins (July 20-22) and New York Yankees (July 23-25). The 2018 Rays season is presented by Tampa General Hospital.

The three-game interleague series against the Marlins begins tomorrow, July 20 with a 7:10 p.m. first pitch and continues on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. When gates open prior to Saturday's game, all fans will receive a DJ Kitty Mascot Head, presented by State Farm, while supplies last. The series concludes on Sunday afternoon with a 1:10 p.m. start. Prior to Sunday's game, all kids 14 years and under will receive a Beach Tank Top, presented by TradeWinds Island Resorts, while supplies last.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays return to Tropicana Field tomorrow for a sixgame homestand against the Miami Marlins (July 20-22) and New York Yankees (July 23-25). The 2018 Rays season is presented by Tampa General Hospital.

The three-game interleague series against the Marlins begins tomorrow, July 20 with a 7:10 p.m. first pitch and continues on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. When gates open prior to Saturday's game, all fans will receive a DJ Kitty Mascot Head, presented by State Farm, while supplies last. The series concludes on Sunday afternoon with a 1:10 p.m. start. Prior to Sunday's game, all kids 14 years and under will receive a Beach Tank Top, presented by TradeWinds Island Resorts, while supplies last.

The Rays take on the Yankees beginning on Monday, July 23, with the first of two consecutive 7:10 p.m. starts. The homestand concludes on Wednesday, July 25 with the final 12:10 p.m. start of the season. All kids 14 years and under will receive Cheer Sticks, presented by Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, while supplies last.

Sundays are Family Fun Days, courtesy of Tampa General Hospital. Every Sunday home game will feature free parking for cars with four or more passengers and a variety of postgame activities for kids, including Kids Run the Bases and a DJ Kitty Dance Party. For the fifth consecutive season, concourse activities will be complimentary for kids 14 years and under. Activities include Power Alley Batting Cage, Speed Pitch, Virtual Reality Home Run Derby, Raymond's Treehouse, Topps Make Your Own Baseball Card and the Grand Slam Alley, courtesy of GameTime. In addition, every Sunday home game, two Rays players will sign autographs for kids 14 years and under along the right field line from 12:00-12:30 p.m.

The Rays are also offering weekday specials throughout the season including:

• Monday - Salute to Service Monday presented by Suncoast Credit Union: Military, Teachers and First Responders can receive two (2) complimentary tickets to select Monday home games, additional bonus dates and special ticket offers throughout the season. Some exclusions apply. Military, Teachers and First Responders are encouraged to visit raysbaseball.com/specials to sign up. Affiliation will be verified by ID.me, a third-party MLB-approved verification service. Tickets will be made available one week prior to each scheduled game date.
• Tuesday - $2 Kids Tuesdays presented by Morgan Auto Group: For all Tuesday home games, tickets for kids 14 years and under are $2 with the purchase of a full-price adult ticket. $2 Hot Dogs, presented by Kayem Franks, will be available for all fans for all Tuesday home dates.
• Wednesday - Senior Special Wednesdays presented by Duke Energy: For all Wednesday home games, Press Level tickets for fans 60 years and older are only $15.
• Thursday - $19.98 Ticket Combo presented by Coca-Cola: For all Thursday home games, fans can purchase Press Level tickets that include chips and a 20-ounce bottled Coca-Cola beverage for $19.98.
• Friday - $7.11 Tickets presented by 7-Eleven: For all Friday home games, fans may purchase Upper Level tickets for only $7.11. To take advantage of this special price, fans should visit a participating local 7-Eleven store and pick up the Rays Friday night discount coupon. The coupon code will be redeemable online at raysbaseball.com/specials or at the BayCare Box Office at Tropicana Field. Each coupon will be good for up to four (4) tickets. Fans will be able to upgrade to the lower level for an additional $7. Budweiser and Bud Lights will be available to purchase for fans 21 years and older for $5 at the Budweiser Porch in Center Field. Please drink responsibly.
• 7Rewards members can show their app at Gate 3 Guest Services on Friday night home games and receive one benefit, one time during the season, in addition to a free small slurpee coupon. Items available include one (1) voucher for a 20-ounce bottled soft drink or bottled water at Tropicana Field concession stands, free parking for a future Rays home game, 'Buy One, Get One' ticket offer or a Rays promotional item. All items are subject to availability.
• Rays Season Ticket Holders can redeem 711 Free Rays Rewards points at Membership Services at Tropicana Field. All fans who redeem points will receive a free small slurpee coupon.

BATS N' BREWS - The Rays and iHeartMedia Tampa Bay's "Bats N' Brews" radio show, presented by Budweiser, airs live tomorrow, July 20 from the Budweiser Porch in center field. This week's show features SaryKarmen Rivera from Rumba 106.5.

MEET-AND-GREET WITH WWE NXT SUPERSTARS - Following the game on Sunday, July 22, fans can participate in a meet-and-greet with superstars from WWE NXT brand during the DJ Kitty Dance Party on the field. Superstars expected to attend include Johnny Gargano, Roderick Strong, Montez Ford and Bianca Belair, among others.

SENIOR SPECIAL WEDNESDAYS -Press Level tickets through the Senior Special for the game on Wednesday, July 25 vs. the Yankees are sold out. Through the Rays partnership with Duke Energy, this promotion for the game on July 25 has been extended to include Upper Level seating. Offer available for a limited time only.

RAYS-ING UP YOUR TICKET - When purchasing single game tickets, fans can now receive $12 to spend on food, beverage and merchandise at Tropicana Field for just $10. The value is valid only on the game date stated on the ticket. Groups of 20 or more can purchase Rays Up tickets by contacting Group Sales at 727-825-3406 or groupsales@raysbaseball.com.

GATES OPEN-Sunday - Thursday, 1 1/2 hours prior to first pitch; Friday-Saturday, 2 hours prior to first pitch.

Tampa Bay Rays

Statement regarding Papa John's

Today the Tampa Bay Rays issued the following statement:

We support the recent actions taken by Papa John's corporate headquarters to remove John Schnatter from the company. Racism has no place in society, and we condemn Mr. Schnatter's remarks. Papa John's corporate team has committed to taking significant action steps to move beyond this incident, including a third-party audit of processes, policies and systems related to diversity and inclusion, supplier engagement and Papa John's culture; as well as establishing transparent goals and a communication process to monitor them that will be applied across all stores.

Today the Tampa Bay Rays issued the following statement:

We support the recent actions taken by Papa John's corporate headquarters to remove John Schnatter from the company. Racism has no place in society, and we condemn Mr. Schnatter's remarks. Papa John's corporate team has committed to taking significant action steps to move beyond this incident, including a third-party audit of processes, policies and systems related to diversity and inclusion, supplier engagement and Papa John's culture; as well as establishing transparent goals and a communication process to monitor them that will be applied across all stores.

Since 2002, the Rays have had a positive, mutually beneficial partnership with local Papa John's owner-operators. We have worked collaboratively in our community and share a dedication to making a positive impact on our neighbors, including frequent donations of food to shared community partners, such as Feeding Tampa Bay, Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House and CASA. With the commitment from the corporate office to initiate change, and our history of positive collaboration in mind, we welcome the opportunity to continue to work with the local owner-operators in Tampa Bay to bring exciting and valuable promotions to our fans, and to expand our combined community efforts.

Tampa Bay Rays

Snell named to American League All-Star team

Today Major League Baseball added Tampa Bay Rays left-handed pitcher Blake Snell to the American League roster for the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, to be played on Tuesday, July 17 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. It is the first selection of his career. He replaces Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber on the roster. 

This is the ninth consecutive season the Rays have had a pitcher named an All-Star; only the New York Yankees (12) have a longer current streak in the AL.

Today Major League Baseball added Tampa Bay Rays left-handed pitcher Blake Snell to the American League roster for the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, to be played on Tuesday, July 17 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. It is the first selection of his career. He replaces Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber on the roster. 

This is the ninth consecutive season the Rays have had a pitcher named an All-Star; only the New York Yankees (12) have a longer current streak in the AL.

Despite yesterday's start of 3 IP, his shortest of the season, Snell ranks among AL leaders in starts (20, tied for 1st), wins (12, tied for 2nd), ERA (2.27, 3rd), strikeouts (134, 8th), strikeouts per nine innings (10.13, 7th), WHIP (1.07, 8th) and opponents' batting avg. (.189, 4th). He has yielded two runs or fewer in 16 of his 20 starts, tops in the majors.

Snell established club records among qualifiers before the All-Star break with a 2.27 ERA and .189 opponents' batting avg., surpassing James Shields (2.33, .210) in 2010. His 20 starts before the break tie the club record held by David Price (2014), and his 12 wins are tied with Price in 2010 for second in club history before the All-Star break, behind Matt Moore (13) in 2013. 

Snell will join teammate Wilson Ramos, who was voted by fans as the starting catcher, and Manager Kevin Cash, who was named to AL Manager A.J. Hinch's coaching staff, in Washington. Snell and Ramos have a chance to become the second Rays battery to appear together in the All-Star Game; in 2008 at Yankee Stadium, Scott Kazmir pitched to Dioner Navarro in the 15th inning of the AL's 4-3 victory, and Kazmir was credited with the win.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays unveil design proposal for next-generation, neighborhood ballpark

This afternoon the Tampa Bay Rays and architectural firm Populous unveiled their design proposal for a next-generation, neighborhood ballpark located in Ybor City. Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg, Team President Brian Auld, Team President Matt Silverman and Chief Development Officer Melanie Lenz introduced the renderings to local officials and media at the Italian Club of Tampa.
 
"I'm proud and incredibly excited to present our vision of a ballpark and one that is of, by and for the people of Tampa Bay," said Sternberg. "I speak for the whole Rays organization and the 20 years we've had here today that we expect to be here for generations to come. We believe that baseball can not only survive but thrive in Tampa, in Tampa Bay and the Tampa Bay region."
 
Innovative and fan-friendly, the ballpark would be fully enclosed by a translucent roof to ensure comfortable temperatures and game certainty. Dramatic sliding glass exterior walls beyond center field and behind home plate bring the outside in, offering stunning views of Tampa, Channelside and Ybor City, as well as cross breeze in pleasant weather.
 
The ballpark would be the most intimate in Major League Baseball, with 28,216 fixed seats and a total capacity of 30,842. A small upper level creates the closest vantage point of any modern ballpark, with a maximum distance of 204 feet from the field. Fans choose from 17 comfortable, unique seating areas, or 21 distinct viewing platforms and social gathering spaces. These areas are connected by a 360-degree concourse featuring complete views of the playing field.
 
The ballpark's light colors, water features and modern contours invoke the bright future of the Tampa Bay region, while blending in seamlessly to the historic, urban fabric of Ybor City. Its accessible design enables it to serve as a year-round community asset, with the potential for programming, events and creative partnerships.
 
The Ybor location is within a 30-minute drive of over 1.6 million people who call the Tampa Bay area home. The ballpark is projected to cost $809 million with additional infrastructure costs of $83 million and could be complete for Opening Day 2023. Fans can view the proposed ballpark at ballparkreimagined.com.

This afternoon the Tampa Bay Rays and architectural firm Populous unveiled their design proposal for a next-generation, neighborhood ballpark located in Ybor City. Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg, Team President Brian Auld, Team President Matt Silverman and Chief Development Officer Melanie Lenz introduced the renderings to local officials and media at the Italian Club of Tampa.
 
"I'm proud and incredibly excited to present our vision of a ballpark and one that is of, by and for the people of Tampa Bay," said Sternberg. "I speak for the whole Rays organization and the 20 years we've had here today that we expect to be here for generations to come. We believe that baseball can not only survive but thrive in Tampa, in Tampa Bay and the Tampa Bay region."
 
Innovative and fan-friendly, the ballpark would be fully enclosed by a translucent roof to ensure comfortable temperatures and game certainty. Dramatic sliding glass exterior walls beyond center field and behind home plate bring the outside in, offering stunning views of Tampa, Channelside and Ybor City, as well as cross breeze in pleasant weather.
 
The ballpark would be the most intimate in Major League Baseball, with 28,216 fixed seats and a total capacity of 30,842. A small upper level creates the closest vantage point of any modern ballpark, with a maximum distance of 204 feet from the field. Fans choose from 17 comfortable, unique seating areas, or 21 distinct viewing platforms and social gathering spaces. These areas are connected by a 360-degree concourse featuring complete views of the playing field.
 
The ballpark's light colors, water features and modern contours invoke the bright future of the Tampa Bay region, while blending in seamlessly to the historic, urban fabric of Ybor City. Its accessible design enables it to serve as a year-round community asset, with the potential for programming, events and creative partnerships.
 
The Ybor location is within a 30-minute drive of over 1.6 million people who call the Tampa Bay area home. The ballpark is projected to cost $809 million with additional infrastructure costs of $83 million and could be complete for Opening Day 2023. Fans can view the proposed ballpark at ballparkreimagined.com.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays sign first-round Draft pick Shane McClanahan

The Rays have signed left-handed pitcher Shane McClanahan, their first-round selection (No. 31 overall) in the 2018 June Draft out of the University of South Florida. 

"We are thrilled to welcome Shane into the Rays organization," said amateur scouting director Rob Metzler. "Shane has very lively and powerful stuff from the left side. This natural arm talent combined with great competitiveness yields the potential to grow into an impactful major league pitcher. We are excited to get Shane started on his professional journey."

The Rays have signed left-handed pitcher Shane McClanahan, their first-round selection (No. 31 overall) in the 2018 June Draft out of the University of South Florida. 

"We are thrilled to welcome Shane into the Rays organization," said amateur scouting director Rob Metzler. "Shane has very lively and powerful stuff from the left side. This natural arm talent combined with great competitiveness yields the potential to grow into an impactful major league pitcher. We are excited to get Shane started on his professional journey."

McClanahan, 21, will report to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Rays. He went 5-6 with a 3.42 ERA (76.1-IP, 29-ER) in 14 starts as a redshirt sophomore. His 120 strikeouts tied for the American Athletic Conference lead and ranked fourth in school history, and his 14.2 strikeouts per nine innings ranked second in the country. He became the second USF pitcher with at least 100 strikeouts in consecutive seasons, after recording 104 in 2017. 

The lefty was named to the Golden Spikes Award preseason and midseason watch lists. McClanahan did not allow a run in his first 31.2 innings pitched this season, the longest scoreless streak to start a season in program history. On March 16 vs. Army, he threw 6 hitless innings and recorded a career-high 15 strikeouts in a combined no-hitter with sophomore Carson Ragsdale, the program's first combined no-hitter. 

McClanahan was previously selected by the New York Mets in the 26th round of the 2015 June Draft out of Cape Coral (Fla.) High School. He was redshirted as a freshman at USF in 2016 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. He is the second player selected by the Rays from USF in the past two drafts, following right-handed pitcher Phoenix Sanders (10th round) in 2017.

In advance of tonight's official 5 p.m. deadline to sign 2018 June Draft, the Rays have signed 35 of their 43 draft picks, including each of their first 23 selections.

Tampa Bay Rays