Monthly Archives: April 2011
Game Two of Doubleheader:
Rays at Twins – 8 – Target Field – TV: Sun Sports – Radio: 970 WFLA
Starting Pitchers: Jeff Niemann (0-3, 7.08) vs. Anthony Swarzak (0-0, 0.00)
E. Johnson ss
Game One of Doubleheader:
Rays at Twins – 1 – Target Field – TV: Sun Sports – Radio: 620 WDAE
Starting Pitchers: Jeremy Hellickson (1-2, 4.32) vs. Nick Blackburn (1-3, 4.01)
The first five Tampa Bay batters reached on Wednesday night as the Rays jumped in front early and buried the Minnesota Twins at a wet and snowy Target Field. Four runs scored in the first and three in the fourth – allowing the Rays to cruise to an 8-2 rout in front of an announced 36,000-plus.
Sam Fuld led off the game with a double, Johnny Damon singled, B.J. Upton doubled, and then Ben Zobrist tripled in that order as Twins starter Francisco Liriano struggled through a 38-pitch first inning. After a visit to the mound by pitching coach Rick Anderson, Liriano gave up another single to Sean Rodriguez before finally striking out Felipe Lopez and Kelly Shoppach back-to-back. Dan Johnson walked with two outs, but Reid Brignac grounded out to end the inning.
After Johnson singled in the top of the fourth, Liriano finished his night by loading the bases on back-to-back walks. His replacement, Eric Hacker, stumbled through the bases-loaded jam – walking in two runs and then allowing a RBI sac-fly to Zobrist.
Minnesota picked up their first run in bottom of the third on an RBI single by Jason Kubel and their seventh inning run came as a result of a sac-fly from Alexi Casilla that scored Luke Hughes. The Rays logged their final run in the seventh when Rodriguez doubled and then scored on a Felipe Lopez single.
Tossing 107 pitches, Wade Davis worked 6 2/3 and allowed both Minnesota runs on seven hits but kept the Twins’ lineup in check on the way to picking up his third win of the year. Liriano lasted just three innings for the Twins on 83 pitches (seven runs, six hits). Overall, Minnesota pitching surrendered nine walks to the Rays.
Andy Sonnanstine made his first appearance out of the bullpen since April 10 and picked up the final three outs in the ninth for Tampa Bay.
On a side note: Johnny Damon (1-for-4, two RBI’s, and a run scored) extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
The 2011 All-Star ballots are out and Super Sam Fuld will be looking for his first trip to the Midsummer Classic.
Sam Fuld is hands down the early season surprise for the Rays. After coming to the team in the trade that sent Matt Garza to the Cubs, he has been a regular contributor to the nightly highlight reel. It is hard to believe that a player such as Fuld was an after thought and was reported to be a throw-in player in the Garza deal. But it turns out (at least so far) he has been the steal of the deal.
Longo is likely to be voted to his 4th All Star Team. Evan made the American League All-Star squad each of his first three seasons in the Major Leagues — the last two as a starter. This year the competition is very strong and he has missed most of the first month of the season on the disabled list, so he is going to need some help this year in the voting Vote early and often.
Also on the ballot are B.J. Upton and Matt Joyce in the outfield, Johnny Damon at DH, Ben Zobrist at second base, Reid Brignac at shortstop, John Jaso at catcher, and Dan Johnson at first base.
Rays fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at:
or at MLB.com until June 30 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Beginning April 29th Fans will be able to vote for the Rays at Tropicana Field when they host the Angels. The final day for voting at Tropicana Field will be June 19.