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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 7:01 a.m., Monday, April 2, 2007

Braves-Phillies opener on TBS has Hawai'i flavor

Advertiser Staff

Early risers can tune in to the Atlanta Braves season-opener at 7 a.m. today against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia and see two of the three players in Major League Baseball with Hawai'i ties.

Phillies' starting right fielder Shane Victorino is a 1999 graduate of Maui's St. Anthony School, and Braves' middle reliever Tyler Yates is a 1995 Kaua'i and UH-Hilo alum who lists Lihu'e, Kaua'i as his home.

Braves' games can be seen on the TBS, which is owned by Braves' owner Ted Turner, but the chance Victorino and the Phillies will only happen if: A) You have satellite TV or a baseball package; B) the Phillies are playing the Braves; or C) It's a nationally televised game.

So tune in for the season-opening series if you want to catch a glimpse of Victorino — and Yates, who is out of options but had a good enough spring to earn a roster spot on a team that's banking on its improved bullpen to put make a NL East contender.

Last year, in 50 innings pitched, Yates allowed 22 earned runs on 42 hits, gave up six home runs, struck out 46 batters and walked 31, had a 2-5 won-loss record with one save, blew five saves and carried a 3.96 earned-run average.

Victorino had a strong spring training, batting.324 with three doubles, two home runs, 14 runs and four steals. This will be his third season with the Phillies. Last year, he hit .287 with six home runs and 46 RBIs.

The only other player with Hawai'i ties in the Majors is Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jerome Williams, a 1999 Waipahu graduate.

The Nationals open the season today against the Florida Marlins. Williams is not scheduled to pitch and the game is not on TV.