HOUSTON -- Texas A&M product Justin Ruggiano batted sixth for the Rays on Friday night in his first Major League game in his home state since 2008, when he played four games in Arlington.
Ruggiano, an Austin, Texas, native, has never played a regular-season game in Houston and said his parents and sister will be in attendance. He was hitless in four at-bats in a 5-1 win.
"It's fun getting a chance to see everyone," he said. "Usually during the season, you don't get to see the whole family."
Ruggiano finished the day hitting .316 this season and went 2-for-4 in the Rays' last series against Milwaukee, with a double, a run and an RBI.
"I've been having to do a lot of extra work to make sure I get my reps in, because I'm not getting the everyday at-bats," Ruggiano said. "But I've been playing a lot more than I have in the past, and it's been fun. I'm having a good time."
The left fielder said he was looking forward to being in the starting lineup in front of friends and family.
"Hopefully, I get to show out a little bit for the family," he said. "Regardless, tomorrow morning we'll go eat breakfast together, and it'll be the same family, just like it was Christmas and we were all together."