Sonnanstine Helps Himself to Victory Over the Cards

 

Rays 3, Cardinals 1

 

Because of a rainout at Fenway, the Rays are now 2 games up on Boston for the night. I was watching the Rays and the Cards and was really wanting to be at Busch stadium tonight. It looked like a great night, and the Cowbell Kidd was there. Damn it, he loves to steal thunder.  I  was all but packed to go, then my IRS Stimulus check did not get put in my account by Friday like their voucher said it would.  Federal Gov’t coverup to keep me in Florida, just kidding Secret Service guys.

 

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Trivia Fact of the Night:

Guy Hecker of the 1886 American Association is the only pitcher to win a batting title, playing the field when he was not pitching. He won 26 games as a starter, and hit .341 for Louisville.

 

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I have decided to let the “Good,The Bad,andThe Ugly” segment rest while we are on our Inter-league schedule. It will be back in force on Monday when we visit the Oakland A’s in “O-town”.

            

Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine ( 6-1) went  8 innings tonight and gave up 1 run on 8 hits. More impressive still is the fact he also did it at the plate tonight.  Sonnanstine went 2-3 tonight with a run scored and posted a .667 average for the Rays pitchers to shoot for this series. Andy was in command on the field and in the batter’s box hitting two really professional hits to show he can hit the ball. Before tonight, Andy was 2-4 lifetime as a hitter with a RBI and a run scored.

 

 

This was the Rays first visit ever to new Busch Stadium. Before tonight, the Rays had never beaten the Cardinals in a game. Tonight, only the Cincinatti Reds stand as the only team the Rays have not beaten once in the regular season. The only other ballparks that the Rays have never played in are: Dodger Stadium( LA) and Miller Park (Milwaukee).

        

Akinora Iwamura is continuing to improve at the plate. He just finished a 11-game hitting streak and is already laoding for another run at his personal best streak. Aki went 3-5 tonight, with a double and an RBI. He also scored a run in the top of the third after Carlos Pena singled to center.

Aki now has 6 multi-hit games in his last 7 starts. He is hitting .367 since May 2, 2008. He has also not grounded into a double play this season in 166 at-bats, and was the hardest to double-up last year in the AL.

                                

Some times Eric Hinske looks so relaxed and at ease in Rightfield that you know he will be okay out there. The he goes and misses a easy out like this and the Cardinals Troy Glaus geta a triple on the play. Hinske was not playing the hitter correctly and did not get a great jump to catch this ball.

 I thought he had adjusted right, but then we see the ball on the turf and Glaus motoring for third base.  Thank goodness the Rays got Gabe Gross as a late inning defensive replacement. I could see Hinske cost us a game with an “iffy” hit to right in the 9th.

 

Rays first baseman Carlos Pena has been hitting better the last few games, and his offensive average is starting to go upwards finally. Pena still had a strike out tonight and left  two men in scoring position.  Carlos is now hitting .212, which is alot better than the .200 with no RBI’s and homers of a week ago.

He has been hitting the ball with power and  has gotten better elevation on his hits. It is a matter of time until he connects again for the fences( maybe tomorrow’s early game).

 

On the other side of the ball, Eric Hinske and Dioner Navarro were the only two Rays to not get a hit tonight both went a combined 0-7 tonight.

The Rays did get three doubles tonight one each from Aki, Evan Longoria, and B J Upton.  Carl Crawford got his 25th RBI of the year, and Andy Sonnanstine also had a sacrifice.

The Rays also had another double play tonight going 4-6-3 in the bottom of the third inning. Andy Sonnanstine’s omly run came on a homer by Cardinal Chris Duncan in the bottom of the 8th inning. Andy is tied for 5th in winning percentage this season (857) in the majors.

 

 

Tomorrow is an early contest, starting at 1:10 P.M. EST. The game will feature  Matt Garza (2-1) versus Adam Wainwright (3-2).

 

 

 

                       Hamilton should be grinning after going 5 for 5 with two homers and five RBI.  (AP)

 

Just want to give a shout out to a former Rays who had a “killer” day game today. The Texas Ranger’s Josh Hamilton went 5-5, with 4 runs scored and 5 RBI’s. That raises his MLB leading RBI total to an impressive 49 RBIs.

Hamilton had a triple and two homers in the game. His second homer was a two-run shot of the facade off the second deck of seats in rightfield.

 

 

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