Rays Spring Training March 6

Sounding more and more like Evan Longoria will be penciled into the No. 4 spot in the lineup this season. Kevin Cash has said he would like to strive to have more of an every-day lineup this season. Longo in the cleanup spot would be a start.

Grant Balfour remains in Australia with his father, David, who has been battling pancreatic cancer for several years. Cash allowed that the Rays are dealing with a sensitive situation and expressed that Balfour was where he should be.

Cal Ripken Jr. will deliver the ceremonial first pitch for Sunday’s game against the Phillies at Charlotte Sports Park. During the game the Hall of Famer will sign his latest book, Out at Home, the fifth in his All-Stars kids series.

Friday’s contest against the Twins marked the 500th spring game in team history.  Six-year-old Josh Fisher threw the ceremonial first pitch to Longoria prior to the game. Fisher, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011, celebrated his “Of Chemo Party” in August; his cancer is now in remission. Longoria wears a wristband that Fisher gave him.

After the Rays’ 2-1 win, Cash complimented Mike Montgomery for his 1-2-3 ninth.

–Bill Chastain

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