Rays @ Nats: A first look at a new park

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Posted June 19, 2012 at 03:20 PM

The Rays make their first visit tonight to Nationals Park, which is a long fly ball from Capitol Hill and the Capitol Building, which can be seen over the left field foul pole.

The nifty park is the home of the Washington Nationals, one of the surprise teams this season in the National League. The Nats 38-26 record is tops in the National League East and the second-best mark in the NL.

The Rays get their first look at Bryce Harper, the Nationals rookie center field sensation who is batting .294 with seven homes and 19 RBIs in 44 games.

On Wednesday, they Rays will see Stephen Strasburg and his 100 mph fastball.

David Price (8-4, 3.01) starts tonight for the Rays, who begin the day in third place in the American League East, four back of the first-place Yankees and 1 1/5 back of the second-place Orioles.

Evan Longoria returns to the team today having cut short Monday’s rehab start at Triple A Durham after he experienced discomfort in his left hamstring. We should get an update on Longoria’s immediate future when the clubhouse opens.

Rich Thompson rejoins the team, having been recalled from Durham to give the Rays some more depth on the bench. Thompson replaces RHP Brandon Gomes, who was second back to Durham after Sunday’s game. Gomes had been recalled when Luke Scott went on the DL after Thursday’s game because of back spasms.

Lineups soon …

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