Matt Joyce is a stud. You know it, I know it. Joyce on the other hand, had some butterflies this weekend.
The 24-year-old Tampa Bay Rays outfielder, a local boy who was recalled from the AAA Durham Bulls on Saturday, debuted at Tropicana Field Sunday in center field in front of a dozen friends and family—not to mention the 26,000 strangers. He may have been a little nervous, but the kid went 2-for-3, including a go-ahead solo shot in the fifth anyway.
Of his first hometown longball, Joyce recalled, "Running around the bases, you're on cloud nine. You don't even really feel your feet hit the ground."
Manager Joe Maddon would love to keep him up in the majors like recently-called-up lefty David Price, but said he's not sure what will happen "with the way the team is structured." Joyce was acquired in an offseason trade with the Detroit Tigers for right-hander Edwin Jackson, who enjoyed his own success on Sunday when he pretty much single-handedly destroyed the Baltimore Orioles.
Sooze is a Sports Jabber contributor. You can view more of her work at Babes Love Baseball
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