ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — For the first time since October 25, 2019, the Tampa Bay Rays played a regular-season game in front of fans at Tropicana Field.
The Rays gave the hometown crowd plenty to cheer about in their 2021 home opener, defeating the New York Yankees 10-5.
“The fans in the stands was big,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. “Even from Miami to Boston, it felt like we had a lot of people in here; they were loud, they were supportive, they were excited to come watch two good teams play, they were excited to support what maybe they missed out on last year. That really energized us.”
In their pregame ceremony, the fans were also treated to the unveiling of their two championship banners in the rafters from 2020– their American League East title and the AL pennant.
“It was fun,” said Rays infielder Joey Wendle. “We haven’t had fans there in a long time so to have the crowd there and getting into the game there like they were– especially toward the end– was just fun. Combine that with the banners and stuff like that at the beginning– just a special game and fun– overall one I think we’ll remember.”
The Rays continue their three-game series with the Yankees Saturday afternoon, when Chris Archer is expected to get his first start for Tampa Bay this season.