Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays 5, Blue Jays 4

Hinske haunts old team, Sonnanstine wins fourth straight for Rays

TORONTO — The Rays needed something Tuesday, and they got plenty.

Another home run from Eric Hinske, the ex-Jay who was booed lustily. A pair of run-scoring hits from suddenly surging Akinori Iwamura. Six good-enough innings from Andy Sonnanstine. More dazzling defense. Splendid relief from Dan Wheeler and Troy Percival.

And a win they badly needed, 5-4 over Toronto, putting the lost weekend in Boston behind them and moving them back to two games over .500 at 17-15, the fourth-best record in the AL.

"It was tough in Boston for us," Hinske said. "Losing three in a row, you don't want to get to that fourth game and lose it. First game of the series, it's a big win for us, a huge win for us."

Sonnanstine had to work hard to earn another piece of team history, battling through six innings to pick up his fifth win, quicker in a season (game 32) than any previous Ray (Scott Kazmir in game 35 in 2006).

Sonnanstine, 5-1, 4.63 overall, has won four straight and 10 since Aug. 15, more than all but two other major-leaguers (Arizona's Brandon Webb, the Yankees' Chien-Ming Wang).

He allowed a career-high-matching 10 hits but limited the damage to four runs with some impressive escape acts, none more so than in the sixth.

The Jays crept to within 5-4 on Lyle Overbay's RBI double, which hit the top of the wall but, in a rare break for the Rays, came back into play. A flyout and a single put the tying run at third, but Sonnanstine got Marco Scutaro, Toronto's third shortstop after injuries to David Eckstein (hip) and John MacDonald (ankle), to ground into a double play.

"You just try to keep it under control as much as possible," Sonnanstine said. "A couple innings I threw a couple key pitches in key situations. … That was the biggest one for me."

"He totally battled," manager Joe Maddon said. "That's typical Sonnanstine right there. A little bit of a bending but there was no breaking."

Hinske isn't sure what he did to draw such ire from the Toronto fans except never quite match his 2002 AL Rookie of the Year performance during his next four seasons in Toronto. He was traded to Boston in August 2006, hasn't said anything bad about anybody but has been hated since.

"The only thing that makes them keep quiet is if you get a hit, so I keep trying to get hits," he said, with a 7-for-15 showing and two homers in four games against Toronto.

Just scoring runs against the Jays was something, given a Toronto staff that had compiled a stunning 1.02 ERA over its previous nine games, allowing only 12 runs, matching the fewest by any team in the past five years.

Jays starter A.J. Burnett struck out five of the first six, but the Rays got three off him in the third, matching the most Toronto had allowed in any game during their streak, then two more.

Wheeler breezed through the seventh and eighth, and Percival had another 1-2-3 ninth (his ninth) to log his seventh save (331st overall, 10th all time) and extend his scoreless streak to 11 innings.

"We played well,'' Maddon said, "and that's why we won."

Marc Topkin can be reached at

Hinske haunts old team, Sonnanstine wins fourth straight for Rays 05/06/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 7, 2008 5:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays set to activate Tommy Hunter from DL


    The Rays plan to activate RHP Tommy Hunter from the DL for Thursday's series finale against the Angels.

  2. Steven Souza Jr. snaps out of slump as Rays defeat Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — After Tuesday's shutout loss to the Angels, Steven Souza Jr. stood in front of his locker and talked about his need to contribute to the offense.

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jesus Sucre (45) hugs right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) in the dugout after his two run home run in the second inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, May 24, 2017.
  3. Tom Jones: Rays made right move sending Blake Snell to minors

    The Heater

    tom jones' two cents


    Blake Snell’s struggles on the mound were only one of the reasons the Rays sent him to the minors; some other red flags existed. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    Rookie RHP Ryne Stanek has had his early struggles, but Wednesday he showed his high-octane potential, working around a one-out walk to strike out the mighty Mike Trout (on a 98.4 mph fastball) and legendary Albert Pujols (98.7), both swinging.

  5. Rays journal: More bullpen changes as Diego Moreno heads to DL

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays bullpen has another new look.

    Rays reliever Diego Moreno, pitching Sunday against the Yankees, heads the DL with shoulder bursitis.