The Rays seem to have brushed off last nights loss to the Orioles with a big win in Camden Yards. Andy Sonnanstine brought his A game and may have solidified his spot in the rotation when Kazmir returns. We certianly cannont send him down after his last three starts which were all wins. He looked spectacular and not enough can be said for this 25 year old in his last three start with one complete game and only allowing four earned runs. He was pulled after eight innings allowing only six hits, one earned run, 2 walks, and he struckout five, all on 102 pitches 66 of them were strikes.
The Orioles’ Matt Albers started off strong with a one two three inning in the first but after hitting Evan Longoria with the seventh pitch of his at-bat, Gabe Gross hit a Sac Fly to right field to start the bleeding. But after the O’s manufactured a run in the bottom of the third off of an RBI single by Luis Hernandez, the Ray’s kept the gash open by putting two on the board by way of a home run by Eric Hinske to give the Rays the lead 3 to 1. Albers did fare well against the top of the lineup when they went a combined 0 for 12 against him. Overall, he had a good start but it got ugly once the Orioles bullpen took over.
Albers was pulled at the end of six yielding four hits, three earned runs, one walk and striking out two, after the Rays started to catch up to his fastball. Bob McCrory replaced Albers for his first Major Leauge appearence of the young season, but was pulled after allowing a hit to Gross (who went 1-3 with a BB and SO) getting Bartlett out on a Sac Bunt and then walking the bases loaded for Dennis Sarfate. Sarfate didn’t do any better by letting all three inherited runners score. When then inning was over and the dust had cleared the Rays had batted around, scored five runs, and led the game 8 to 1 winning by seven runs.
Wow what a game!! The win brought them into a tie for second in the AL East and only one game behind the Boston Red Sox. It also gave the Rays their first winning April in franchise history and with four wins for Sonny it makes him the first Rays pitcher to have four wins in April. It was a day for firsts and hopefully they keep on coming.
Tomorrow, Matt Garza will be fighting to stay in the Rays rotation as he gets his first start since coming off of the DL. I don’t think there is much that Garza can do to stop his inevitable trip to the Minors, at least for the time being. It would probably take a miracle of some sorts, like a 2-0 win where he pitches at least seven innings and allows few hits and walks less than two batters. Which is definitly within reach for the talented righty. We will just have to wait and see…