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Matt Garza threw a gem against the Boston Red Sox to clinch the series victory Wednesday afternoon.  Garza threw a very strong 7 complete innings to earn his first W.  The only inning Garza ever faced any trouble was the 6th in which he gave up a lead off 2B which would score 2 hitters later on a 3B before recording the final 2 outs of the inning.  His control was excellent aside from the 2 pitches he left up in the zone in the 6th.  His line was 7 innings, 5 K’s, 3 BB and 1 ER.  I have to admit knowing how intense and pumped up Matt can get I was expecting a shaky first inning before he’d settle down.  Garza never showed any negativity on the mound.  His mound presence was intense but controlled.  He was very impressive today!

The Rays offense also had a nice showing chasing Dice-K after only 5 1/3 innings.  The Rays were banging the ball all over Fenway!  Offensively we knocked out 10 total hits 7 of which were for extra bases!  Matt Joyce began the scoring in the 2nd inning with his first blast of the season.  Evan Longoria followed with a 2 run shot in the 3rd.  Shawn Riggans added to the scoring by sending out a beautiful opposite field blast in the 4th. 

Shawn Riggans got the call behind the dish today and called an excellent game!  

The bullpen had a bit of a hiccup giving up 2 runs in only 2 innings pitched.  Brian Shouse gave up one manufactured run but, in my opinion, the big blow came in the 9th when Troy Percival entered the game.  Percy came on and gave up a blast to Varitek on the 2nd pitch he threw.  He then enticed 2 outs but allowed a free pass to Ortiz bringing the game winning run to the plate in the form of Youkilis, something I’m sure many Ray fans were not too comfortable with.  He eventually ended the game when Youkilis flew out to deep CF but it was not pretty.

First series victory in the books and a HUGE start to the season.  Now off to Baltimore where the Orioles are playing some tight baseball.  Should be a very exciting series!

See you in Camden Yards!

Post info: By Rays6 on April 10th, 2009
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The Tampa Bay Rays cruised to a road series victory against the Seattle Mariners Sunday 11-3. Edwin Jackson pitched deep and was very effective against a hard hitting lineup. Jackson pitched 7 only allowing 1 ER. E-Jax pitched with a lot of focus and he pitched to the zone. He gave his defense opportunities to make plays which they did.

With Carl Crawford on the 15 day DL (maybe longer pending his doctor appointment today), Evan Longoria and Jason Bartlett still out it was a different look line up. But Rocco’s back!!! A clean shaven Rocco Baldelli returned to the Rays Sunday and went 1 for 4 with an RBI and a nice diving catch in RF! Welcome Back Rocco!!

The big bat of the game came from Willy Aybar. Willy cracked a pair of HRs collecting 4 RBI’s and 2 runs scored! Shawn Riggans added a 3-Run blast to put the game far out of reach for the Mariners. The hit parade was robbed of a Carlos Pena HR that hit the top of the wall above the yellow line (which by rule is a HR) but was called in play by the umpires. Carlos ended up on 3rd and scored a few plays later.

This was a GREAT team win! Four of our regulars were out of the game and still the Rays were relentless in their attack. They did not skip a beat. I am not insinuating that CC being out isn’t hurting the Rays. It will at some point. I have a lot of faith in our outfielders BUT let’s be realistic…..Hinske or Gross are not going to track down the balls CC can due to his speed. But, that being said was a great win and should give the Rays a ton of confidence heading to Oakland.

Post info: By Rays6 on August 11th, 2008
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OK, you’ve all heard the saying the good pitching beats good hitting….let me assure you however that bad pitching makes the game interesting! WOW! I am still emotionally spent from that game yesterday, it was amazing!! The Trop was packed and most stayed to see the walk off win!

This game really didn’t get “started” until the bottom of the 8th inning. Armando Gallaraga had the Rays shut down for 7 innings allowing only 4 hits and 1 ER. James Shields did not pitch his best, allowing 9 hits and 2 ER in 6.1 innings. Shields left the game behind 2-1. Grant Balfour followed Shields and gave up a monster blast to Tampa native Gary Sheffield to run the score to 3-1.

The Tigers then brought in newly acquired Kyle Farnsworth in the bottom of the 8th and this is when the game got interesting. Eric Hinske led off the 8th facing the 98 mph fireballer Farnsworth. Hinske promptly deposited a Farnsworth fastball over the right centerfield wall to move the Rays to within 1 run, 3-2. Bartlett was over matched by Farnsworth for the first out of the inning. Akinori Iwamura sauntered to the plate and drove a firm single to centerfield. BJ Upton walked to the plate with the tying run standing on 1st and only 1 out. BJ launched a 3-1 fast ball to over the centerfield fence to put the Rays up 4-3 in the bottom of the 9th!

The Rays bring in Troy Percival to collect his 25th save – NOT!! Curtis Granderson deposited the first Perci pitch he saw into the RCF seats to tie the game in the top of the 9th at 4-4. Uggggg………… The Tigers and Rays then went down quietly into the top of the 10th inning. Once again we run Perci out to toe the rubber and try to keep the Tiger bats quiet. Perci faces Miguel Cabrera with a bad outcome – you guessed it – another home run! Now the Tigers are up 5-4 in the top of the 10th. Finally Perci had thrown his last pitch. Trever Miller came in to close the door.

Now I have been watching baseball for many years and cannot remember a time when I’ve seen such dramatics in the potential last at bat of a game. Willy Aybar, PH for Gross, walked to start the bottom of the 10th. Jason Bartlett squared to bunt and took a pitch right on the tip of his finger splitting open the nail and causing a lot of bleeding. This and I’m sure the intense pain he was feeling, sent him to the showers with a 0-1 count. Off the bench to PH for him was our last remaining position player — Shawn Riggans. Fernando Rodney throws as hard as anyone, mid to high 90’s. Riggans turned to swing and was hit directly in the middle of his sternum by a 93 mph Rodney fastball running in on him – the crowd went silent as Riggans hit the dirt! All 33,000 + stood and watched with anticipation for Riggans to get up under his own power. I think we all stopped breathing for a few seconds or so! After a few minutes of clear agony Riggo regained his breathe and walked ever so slowly to first base.

Next Ray to go against Rodney was Aki. Aki laid down a beautiful sac bunt to advance the runners to 2nd and 3rd with only 1 out. Carl Crawford came to the plate and deposited a single past the drawn in infield to score Aybar with the tying run! The crowd went mad!!!! With runners on 3rd and 1st Upton walked to load the bases. Longo stepped to the plate to become a hero once again. But, it was not to be this time as Rodney clearly overpowered our beloved rookie and struck him out.

So, here we go fans!!! Bases loaded, bottom of the 10th, tie score, 2 outs …. Up steps Carlos Pena. Carlos hung tough fouling off several pitches and bringing his count to 3-2. Now, isn’t this every young boys dream??!! Bases loaded, bottom of the 10th inning, 3-2 count, 2 out??!! WOW – the stage is set for tonight’s hero. Pena takes ball 4 and, appropriately, it is Riggans who jogs in from 3rd with the winning run!

WOW – I’m worn out just by reliving the excitement! What a game and what a series!! The Rays appear to have found that intensity they had lost for a bit. They looked great this weekend. Even when the chips were down they picked each other up and played hard as a team! Great to see!

Get some rest fans! We owe the Indians a sweep! Go Rays!!!

Post info: By Rays6 on August 4th, 2008
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Andy Sonnanstine pitched a nice 6 innings and was backed by his offense to notch his team leading 11th victory.  Sonny scattered 7 hits, 1 BB, 2 ER and 6 K’s in a complete 6 innings of work.  Al Reyes and Jason Hammel finished the game for him and, be it for a blip by Reyes allowing 1 ER, pitched effective and kept the powerful Tiger bats quiet.

The big story of this game was the offensive explosion from the Rays!  They looked like the Rays we came to know and love from the first half of the season.  The offense banged out 11 hits – 5 of which were for extra bases.  Evan Longoria was the offense spark plug going 3 for 4 including his 2nd HR in as many days, a 2B, 3 RBI, 1 run and a stolen base.  The other Rays to add the 2B hit parade were BJ Upton, Jason Bartlett, Shawn Riggans and Akinori Iwamura.   

The impressive thing about the offense was watching them work.  The intensity was higher than I’ve seen it in, oh, about a month.  They worked the counts for walks (7) and really looked like they were energized.  It made the lethargic and less than stellar month of July vanish into past.  It made the future for the Rays look like October was again a reality! 

Go out today and support the team as they go for the sweep of the Detroit Tigers!  See you there!!  

Post info: By Rays6 on August 3rd, 2008
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And this why….

• The depth of their bench. They are solid and experienced. Hitters like Eric Hinske, Willy Aybar and Cliff Floyd have the experience. Gabe Gross and Shawn Riggans have shown a propensity for getting the big hit when we need it. Riggans has amazingly maintained a healthy bat only playing once a week or less – he’s been outstanding this season. The entire bench does not hit for average but when they do is take pitchers deep into counts and get a pitch they can do something with.
• The depth of their pitching staff. From the starters to the bullpen they have proven if one is struggling the others will have their back. If one goes down another from AAA is there to step right in without a hint of inability.
• The defense has been above average. The Rays do commit errors occasionally but they move past the error onto the next play.
• They play as a complete TEAM. Every night there is a new hero for this team. Who would have thought Andy Sonnanstine would lead our SP staff with 9 wins? Who would have thought we’d have as many walk off wins as we’ve had this season? Who really thought Troy Percival was going to come in here and close the door like he has?
• They are hungry! They have hit a few bumps in the road but have picked themselves up the next night. They want this – it’s in their eyes!

The next test comes at The Trop with division nemesis Boston red Sox. This will be a 3 game series that could see one team or the other fall far below the top in the AL East standings. Or we could just see another brawl! Here are your pitching Matchups:

June 30James Shields (5-5, 3.76) vs. Justin Masterson (4-1, 3.43) TV – ION Radio – 1250 WHNZ, 680 WGES (sp)
July 1Matt Garza (6-4, 3.76) vs. Tim Wakefield (5-5, 3.88) TV – FSN Radio – 1250 WHNZ, 680 WGES (sp)
July 2Scott Kazmir (7-3, 2.88) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (9-1, 3.21) TV – ION Radio – 1250 WHNZ, 680 WGES (sp)

The Tampa Bay Rays are true contenders in the AL East. This series will end with the Rays still atop the AL East and a series victory 2-1.

Go Rays!!

Post info: By Rays6 on June 30th, 2008
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The Tampa Bay Rays overcame an error by BJ Upton, a brain cramp from Shawn Riggans, 10 K’s and 11 left on base to BEAT, yes, folks that’s right, BEAT the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 and win the series.  Andy Sonnanstine notched his 9th victory of the season (9-3, 4.60) with a strong 7 inning showing.  Sonnanstine scattered 5 hits, allowed 1 ER, walked 1 and struck out 4 Bucs.  Dan Wheeler and Troy Percival pitch the 8th and 9th innings respectively allowing 2 hits, 1 ER and 1 walk. 

The offense was sparked once again by the long ball.  Willy Aybar and Shawn Riggans blasted solo shots.  Riggans was the offensive hero of the game going 3 for 4 with 1 run scored and 2 RBIs. 

This win combined with a Red Sox loss in Houston leaves the Tampa Bay Rays sitting alone atop the AL East halfway through this season!  The Rays come back to The Trop to face their archrival Red Sox in a 3 game set – could be a prelude to the playoffs!  Go Rays!! 

Post info: By Rays6 on June 30th, 2008
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Matt Garza tossed a complete game one hitter as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Florida Marlins by the score of 6-1.  The only hit for the Marlins came in the seventh inning when Hanley Ramirez hit a solo home run off of Garza.  With the win, the Rays were able to sweep their in-state rivals in the three game series.

Garza was dominate all day long as he had ten strick outs to go along with only the one hit he gave up.  He improved to 5-5 with the victory and should have a lot of momentum heading into his next start.

Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist both hit solo home runs for the Rays at the plate.  Shawn Riggans led the Rays at the plate with three rbi however.  Riggans had a sac fly in the second inning and then a two run double in the fifth inning.  Riggans also scored in the fourth inning on a infield single by Akinori Iwamura.

Great series sweep for the Rays and now they will start up a weekend series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday.  Rays Blog

Post info: By TBRays01 on June 26th, 2008
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The Tampa Bay Rays take the series from the Chicago White Sox on a walk off home run by Gabe Gross in the 10th.  The Rays win 3 out of 4 from the AL Central leading White Sox.  Andy Sonnanstine started the game a bit shaky but calmed down to ring up some key strikeouts with runners in scoring position.  The bullpen was flawless once again with no walks being issued all afternoon to go along with 8 total strikeouts.  JP Howell walks away the victor bringing his record to 4-0.

The story of this night was 3 players who spend most of their time as cheerleaders.  Gabe Gross, Jonny Gomes and Shawn Riggans all came off the bench to be productive and eventually the heroes of the game.  Gabe Gross drove in 3 runs including hitting a 2-run scoring triple and hitting the game winning walk off homerun in the bottom of the 10th.   Gomes and Riggans set the table for Gross by hitting a single and double respectively in front of Gross’ triple.

The Rays ended the afternoon having collected 8 hits and 2 walks.  A diving catch by Gomes and another by Crawford (late inning replacement) highlighted the defense. 

The Trop was packed with 24,720 screaming Ray’s fans.  A small contingent of Sox supporters attempted on several occasions to being some sort of chat but were quickly drowned out by the scores of Boos from the Rays faithful.  Great atmosphere today at The Trop!  Keep it coming Tampa Bay fans – prove to the baseball community that we do have a fan base here!

My home run of the game definately goes to: Gabe Gross.  Fantastic performance!

My strike out of the game goes to:  the top of our lineup who could not score a runner from 3rd base with no one out.  Are you kidding me??!!

Rays are off Monday heading to a huge match up with the Boston Red Sox.  Check your local listings for game information Tuesday evening.

Post info: By Rays6 on June 1st, 2008
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The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the New York Yankees once again and sent them into last place in the division.  The Rays beat the Yankees by the score of 5-2 on Thursday as they won the series 3-1.

Scott Kazmir pitched six innings and allowed three hits and no runs as he picked up his second win of the season.  Kazmir is now 2-1 on the season as he continues to come back from his arm injury.

Gary Glover was the pitcher that allowed both Yankees runs.  He pitched 2/3 innings and gave up three hits and two runs.  Both runs came on singles in the seventh inning.  Troy Percival worked the ninth inning to get his tenth save of the season.

Akinori Iwamura got the Rays scoring started in the first inning as he took Ian Kennedy deep for a solo home run.  Carl Crawford then had a sac fly in the third innning to put the Rays up 2-0.  In the fourth inning Shawn Riggans hot a two run home run.    And then in the fifth inning, B.J. Upton had a sac fly that put the Rays up 5-0.

Good four game series for the Rays as they took three games from the Yankees.  It will be fun to see if they can carry the momentum into their next series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

You can now be a game recap writer right here at Rays Homeplate!  We are looking for a Rays fan that would like to write game recaps on the site. If you are interested, please click the contact us link at the top of the page and email us.  Rays Blog

Post info: By TBRays01 on May 15th, 2008
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The Tampa Bay Rays had a hard time getting on base or hitting the ball for that matter on Sunday against the White Sox.  With only four hits in the game the Rays lost 6-0 to the White Sox putting Tampa Bay at 8-11 so far this year. 

Tampa Bay started out the day with Edwin Jackson pitching and let him do his thing on the mound for only 4.1 innings.  Jackson gave up all six earned runs in the game.  The Rays brought in four more pitchers trying to hold the White Sox to their lead including Gary Glover, Trever Miller, Dan Wheeler, and Troy Percival to finish the game.

The Rays didn’t have much for hitting and even managed to pick up a few errors during the game.  Shawn Riggans and Elliot Johnson each got the dreaded E for errors added to their stats after today’s loss.

With the battle against the White Sox over losing the series 2-1, the Rays will take on the Blue Jays starting Tuesday night.

Rays Blog

Post info: By TBRays01 on April 21st, 2008
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