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Technical difficulties - Rays without DH


UPDATE, 3:55: The lineup mixup led to a double-switch as well, as Evan Longoria went into third base, and Ben Zobrist went to rightfield in place of Gabe Kapler, when Grant Balfour came on in the sixth.

UPDATE, 3:22: Sonnanstine came through with a big hit, doubling over the head of LF Ryan Garko to score a run in the Rays' five-run fourth.

UPDATE, 3:06: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Sonnanstine is the first starting pitcher to hit in an American League game since July 6, 2007, when, of all people, teammate Matt Garza did so for Minnesota.
It was an injury related situation as regular C Joe Mauer was the DH but backup C Mike Redmond was injured in the first inning, struck in the head by Jim Thome's bat, and Mauer had to go behind the plate. Garza went 0-for-2. According to the AP account of that game, Garza was the first to hit in an AL game since Boston's Hipolito Pichardo at Seattle on July 31, 2000.

The last time a pitcher was in the initial batting order in an AL game was Sept. 23, 1976 when the White Sox had Ken Brett hit eighth in a game against the Twins.

UPDATE, 1:58: Because the Rays listed both Zobrist and Longoria at third base on the lineup card, they will have to play without the DH, meaning pitcher Andy Sonnanstine is hitting third. Evan Longoria is not in the game and can be used as a substitute.

The lineup is manager Joe Maddon's responsibility, but he has a quality assurance coach, Todd Greene, and a bench coach Dave Martinez, who are involved in the process as well.
The delay lasted 13 minutes.

The Rays are in the process of trying to find out when the last time an AL team played at home without the DH, and when a pitcher last hit third, which may go back to the days of Babe Ruth.

A quick look through, found a 1976 game when Ken Brett batted eighth and pitched for the White Sox. 

Actually, it may have happened more recently - the Indians had a July 1999 game when they listed two rightfielders and pitcher Charles Nagy had to hit.

At least Sonnanstine is a career .400 hitter, and has been taking swings as the Rays are preparing for interleague games next weekend in Miami.

UPDATE, 1:55: The umps are back together huddling and the Rays are waiting to see what is happening. It may have to do with Evan Longoria being the DH instead of at third. Now we're hearing unofficially that the Rays lineup card had both Longoria and Zobrist listed at third base.

- - -

The bottom of the first is being held up by some type of problem with the lineup card. The umps have been conferring with Indians manager Eric Wedge, and he has been hot about something.

Since the Indians batted, it would seem to either have something to do with rookie pitcher David Huff, or something to do with the Rays lineup.

Now the umpires have waved the Indians off the field. It appears one umpire went to call league officials, and the other three are now conferring with Rays manager Joe Maddon.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:46am]


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