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Short Shifts

Miller, Girardi, Domingue mash dingers while taking batting practice

Lightning players showed powerful swings before Rays-Indians game Monday

by Corey Long / Correspondent

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- J.T. Miller made his case for becoming a two-sport star Monday.

The Tampa Bay Lightning forward showed some power while taking batting practice with his Lightning teammates before the Tampa Bay Rays vs. Cleveland Indians game at Tropicana Field on Monday.

Tweet from @RaysBaseball: No skates, no problem.#GoBolts | #RaysUp

Miller hit three home runs over the 370-foot sign in left-center field, topping teammates, and fellow batting-practice takers, defensemen Dan Girardi and Braydon Coburn and goalie Louis Domingue.

"It's all in good fun, but it gets competitive real fast," Miller said. "I'm glad we had a chance to come out here and catch up with some of the Rays. They are a bunch of great guys and very supportive of us."

Girardi hit two home runs during his session, including one high off the left-field foul pole.

"I hit the post," Girardi said. "Luckily those count in this sport."

Tweet from @TBLightning: Rip ���em, G! ������#GoBolts | #RaysUp

Girardi said he takes batting practice with some friends during the summer. For him, the mechanics of a baseball swing aren't that different from a slap shot.

"They both use a lot of the core muscles, you have to be strong your legs and your core," Girardi said. "Obviously our point of contact is further down in hockey but otherwise it's pretty similar."

Domingue also hit two home runs, while Coburn, the lone lefty in the group, came up empty. After batting practice, Miller and Domingue took ground balls in the infield, and joined Girardi shagging fly balls in the outfield too.

The Lightning will report for medical tests Thursday at Amalie Arena and start training camp Friday in Brandon, Florida.

"It's been a nice off season to rest up and spend time with the wife and the baby," Miller said. "I feel great going into the season, excited to be with this group of guys again and looking forward to playing with them."

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