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Rays to open 10-game homestand on Friday

ST. PETERSBURG, FL-The Tampa Bay Rays begin a 10-game homestand on Friday, June 7 with a weekend series against American League East opponent the Baltimore Orioles (June 7-9) followed by a three-game set with the division-leading Boston Red Sox (June 10-12). A four-game series against the Kansas City Royals (June 13-16) closes out the homestand.

Before Friday's 7:10 p.m. opener against the Orioles, Golf Channel personality Holly Sonders and the NCAA Division-II National Champion University of Tampa baseball team will both throw out ceremonial first pitches. 

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Following Saturday's 4:10 p.m. contest, country superstar Martina McBride will take the stage at Tropicana Field as part of the 2013 Rays Summer Concert Series.  

Since bursting onto the scene, Martina McBride has experienced tremendous success over the past two decades en route to becoming a country music icon. She has released 11 studio albums, selling over 18 million albums worldwide. Martina has won numerous awards during her illustrious career including being named the Female Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association on four separate occasions-tying her with Reba McEntire for the most ever. She has also won CMT's Female Video of the Year award twice, putting her alongside Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift as the only artists to accomplish that feat. In the last 20 years, McBride has seen a number of her singles climb the charts, including "This One's for the Girls," "Blessed," "I Love You" and "Independence Day." Her most recent album, Eleven, featured songs especially personal to her, "I'm Gonna Love You Through It" and "Teenage Daughters."

The postgame concert is free with the purchase of a ticket to that date's game. In addition, fans can watch McBride from the field by purchasing field access passes available at raysbaseball.com/concerts. The Rays Summer Concert Series is produced by Ruth Eckerd Hall on the Road and is in its sixth season.

When the Rays and Orioles conclude their series on Sunday, June 9 at 1:40 p.m., kids 14 and under will receive a special Rays Rope Necklace presented by Kayem Franks, while supplies last.

This spring, over 600,000 children participated in Major League Baseball's free Pitch, Hit and Run program. After the game on Sunday, June 9, the top 24 qualifiers from Northern and Central Florida will compete at Tropicana Field in hopes of advancing to the National Finals at the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in New York, N.Y. The 2013 National Finalists will be announced live on MLB Network on June 30.

On Monday at 7:10 p.m., the Rays and Red Sox kick off a three-game set (June 10-12) at Tropicana Field. The squads will also face off on Tuesday and Wednesday with both game times scheduled for 7:10 p.m.

The weekend series vs. Kansas City (June 13-16) begins on Thursday with a 7:10 p.m. matchup. Beginning Friday, the Kansas City series will feature the second Tampa Bay Times Ticket Tandem of the season. Ticket Tandems include a ticket to any of the three games plus a special edition Rays Jersey Apron, only available through this offer. For Ticket Tandem details, visit raysbaseball.com/tandems.

When gates open for the Rays-Royals game on Sunday at 1:40 p.m., kids 14 and under will receive a set of Jeremy Hellickson Headphones presented by MetroPCS, while supplies last.

Also during that game, the Rays will host the second Bark in the Park event of 2013. A special seating area is reserved for dog owners and their pets, and the tbt* Party Deck will turn into the "Dog Zone," with product samples and activities for both dogs and their owners.

During Bark in the Park, the Rays Wives will hold a pet food drive to benefit the Pet Pal Animal Shelter. The Rays Wives will be collecting both dog and cat food to assist the shelter's effort to give every pet a nutritious meal. Pet Pal Animal Shelter dogs and cats are fed Science Diet to maintain healthy and balanced digestion while they are in the shelter. 

Donations for the Rays Wives Pet Food Drive will be collected in the tbt* Party Deck from the time gates open at 11:40 a.m. through the conclusion of the second inning. The pet food drive will also return during the Rays final Bark in the Park game on Sunday, August 18. For ticket information and to purchase the special dog package, please log on to raysbaseball.com/specialevents.  

Following Sunday's game, the Imagination Movers will take the stage at Tropicana Field.

Four longtime friends (Rich Collins, Scott Durbin, Dave Poche and Scott "Smitty" Smith) came together in 2003 to form the Imagination Movers and have been living according to their motto, "Reach high, think big, work hard, have fun!" ever since. The Movers have entertained parents and children alike with their catchy musical style "that evokes the Beastie Boys or Red Hot Chili Peppers" featuring lyrics about healthy snacks, playing catch and conquering childhood fears of bedtime. The band has enjoyed incredible success filming three seasons of their hit TV show on Disney Junior, selling award winning CDs and DVDs worldwide and appearing on National Television shows including The ViewLive with Regis & Kelly and Good Morning America. Their 2011 "In a Big Warehouse" tour attracted 150,000 fans and was one of Pollstar Magazine's "Top 100 Tours of the Year." The Imagination Movers have even bigger plans for their 2013 tour, saying, "Our goal is to make many kids' first concert experience also one of their parents' most memorable experiences. We hope everyone leaves needing a nap!"

TAMPA BAY TIMES FAMILY FUN DAY-Every Rays Sunday home game will feature free parking for cars with four or more passengers and a variety of activities for kids on the concourse, all now free courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times. Following the game on June 9, don't miss Kids Run the Bases and Wiffle Ball Home Run Derby after the game (not available following the game on Sunday, June 16, due to postgame concert).

TICKETS-Tickets for Rays 2013 regular season home games are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, the Rays Tampa Store (400 N. Tampa St.) and the Gate 1 Tropicana Field Box Office, as well as over the phone at 888-FAN-RAYS and 1-800-745-3000, or online at raysbaseball.com.

GATES OPEN-Monday through Thursday 1½ hours prior to game time; Friday through Sunday two hours prior to game time. 

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