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Sports

Tampa Bay Rays Beat Cuban National Team in Havana

Presidents Obama, Castro watched the game together

Cuba hosts the MLB's Rays., Photo: AP/Ramon Espinosa
2 years ago
Espectadores animan durante un partido de béisbol entre la selección de Cuba y los Rays de Tampa Bay el martes, 22 de marzo de 2016, en La Habana. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban spectators cheered emphatically in Havana. Photo: AP/Ramon Espinosa

HAVANA – In a landmark game attended by presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro, the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Cuban national team 4-1 Tuesday in the first visit by a major league team to the communist island since 1999.

James Loney homered and drove in three runs, and Matt Moore and the Tampa Bay pitchers shut out the Cubans until the ninth inning.

But the game will be remembered less for the final score than for the two men sitting in the front row at Estadio Latinoamericano.

Obama signaled safe when Kevin Kiermaier safely slid home early, then shook hands with Castro.

U.S. President Barack Obama and his family react along with Cuban President Raul Castro to an exhibition baseball game between the Cuban National team and the MLB Tampa Bay Rays at Estadio Latinoamericano in Havana March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

U.S. President Barack Obama and his family react along with Cuban President Raul Castro to an exhibition baseball game in Havana March 22, 2016. Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

The near-capacity crowd included former All-Stars Derek Jeter and Dave Winfield, along with Jackie Robinson’s widow, Rachel.

The Baltimore Orioles were the last big league team to play in Cuba, in 1999 during spring training.

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