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Thursday Aug 17th, 2017  

 Big games, and an identity, for the Trop
posted 8 years ago

ST. PETERSBURG -- While much has been made of the mystique of Yankee Stadium and the aura of Fenway Park, the Rays' sudden upsurge has allowed Tropicana Field to host some of baseball's biggest games. "I don't know why people don't like playing here," Rays first baseman Carlos Pena said. "We love it." And rightfully so. The Rays posted a Major League-best 57-24 regular-season home record this season, with 54 of those home wins coming inside the cozy confines of the Trop (the other three were wins in home games at Disney), to become just the seventh team since 1980 to post .700 winning percentage or higher at home. With sellout crowds expected for the first two games of the ALCS, the Rays will find out firsthand how important that 10th man -- sitting in the stands -- can be. "We've got great fans, unbelievable fan support and energy in the stadium," right fielder Gabe Gross said, "and we expect that to continue, if not get a little bit better. We are excited about it."

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