Rays to open season in front of home fans
Club slated to host Padres, D-backs in Interleague Play
Finally, Rays fans will once again get to experience the regal feeling of Opening Day.
Major League Baseball announced schedules for the 2010 season on Tuesday, which revealed the Rays will host the Orioles in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, April 6. The Rays have not opened the season at home since 2005.
After the three-game series with the Orioles, the Rays will host the Yankees with the likes of Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia for three games from April 9-11. The Yankees also will play series at Tropicana Field on July 30-Aug. 1 and Sept. 13-15.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox, the Rays' other major American League East rival, first come to town for a three-game series from May 24-26. Boston will also make visits to Tropicana Field on July 5-7 and Aug. 27-29.
Interleague Play will see the Rays host their traditional in-state rival, the Marlins, along with the Padres and D-backs from June 11-27, while the first Interleague game they play will be on the road against Houston on May 21-23. Other Interleague road series will include three games against the Braves in Atlanta from June 15-17 and at Florida from June 18-20.
Fourteen of the Rays' first 24 games will be played at Tropicana Field, which could help the team avoid the pitfalls of a slow start like the one it experienced at the beginning of the 2009 season, when it went 9-14 in April, which seemed to handicap the team for the entire season. But 16 of the team's final 28 games will be played on the road.
In addition, the Rays will play 13 games against the Yankees, Red Sox and Angels in their final 25 games. However, they close the season on the road against the Royals, whom they went 8-1 against in 2009.
All of the summer holidays will see the Rays play road games. The Rays will spend Memorial Day (May 31) in Toronto, on July 4 they will be in Minnesota and Labor Day (Sept. 6) in Baltimore.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.