Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sonnanstine pitches three-hit shutout as Rays beat White Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — To say Andy Sonnanstine made quick work of the White Sox on Saturday night would be the understatement of the year.

The heady right-hander, coming off a rocky last outing, delivered a gem, his first big-league complete game in a 5-0 Rays win that happened to be the shortest game (2 hours, 2 minutes) in Tropicana Field history.

Fittingly, the typically quick-paced Sonnanstine sprinted to the mound before the ninth, and the 17,613 in attendance stood on their feet as he recorded the final out, throwing his 77th strike of his 106 pitches.

"Incredible," manager Joe Maddon said. "That's even beyond expectations tonight. That was a really clean game that he pitched."

The 25-year-old said he was motivated by his last start, when he gave up seven runs and three homers in just more than three innings against New York, an off outing he attributed to straying from his game plan.

On Saturday, however, Sonnanstine was in complete control, working off his fastball and attacking the inside corner while throwing all four pitches for strikes.

Said catcher Shawn Riggans: "You couldn't have written it better than that."

What impressed Maddon more than just the win, the second for the Rays (8-10) in their past six games, was how they did it, a "clean game" with many bright spots.

There was the return of Carlos Pena, who served as DH after missing a game with hamstring tightness. Pena, who went 2-for-3, took it easy on the basepaths but showed no ill effects.

There was the hot bat of B.J. Upton, who tied a season high with three hits and is batting .457 in the past nine games.

There was the defense, which has struggled with mental mistakes of late, playing crisply behind Sonnanstine, ending two innings with double plays.

But the game's second star — other than Sonnanstine — was Jonny Gomes. The rightfielder used his hustle and his muscle to spark the scoring and deliver the "turning point," as Riggans called it.

That key play came with two outs in the second, a rally sparked in a weird way. Gomes, who was hit by a pitch, nearly became the second runner picked off by White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle. Caught in a rundown, Gomes didn't give up, sneaking back to second for a stolen base. Eric Hinske then started a string of four singles, including an RBI single by shortstop Jason Bartlett.

"That's incredibly large," Maddon said of Gomes' play. "A lot of guys would have given up under those circumstances, get tagged out and come back to the dugout."

Gomes then jump-started the fourth, ripping a triple to deep centerfield. Two batters later, Riggans picked up his second RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly, making it 4-0.

Sonnanstine joked that Gomes sparked his strong start by giving him a "good-luck charm," (a limited edition Gomes figurine) before the game. It came as no surprise, then, that Gomes capped the outing by smothering a towel with shaving cream all over Sonnanstine's face during a postgame interview.

"I had no idea; everything was kind of a whirlwind, and I was just so happy about the way things turned it, (he) caught me off guard," Sonnanstine said. "It was very fitting that he was the one that got me."

Joe Smith can be reached at
joesmith@sptimes.com.

Rays 5

White Sox 0

Sonnanstine pitches three-hit shutout as Rays beat White Sox 04/19/08 [Last modified: Monday, April 21, 2008 11:16am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cue the Scott Frost to Nebraska speculation

    Blogs

    Nebraska shook up the college sports world Thursday afternoon when it fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst.

    And that should scare UCF fans.

  2. USF defense feeds on Temple offense to take NCAA interceptions lead

    College

    TAMPA — Backed up in his end zone, Temple quarterback Logan Marchi scrambled, trying to elude a USF defensive end coming straight for him. Until then, Marchi hadn't had much luck hitting his receivers.

    South Florida Bulls safety Devin Abraham (20) sacks Temple Owls quarterback Logan Marchi (12) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
  3. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated

    College

    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  4. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person

    College

    TAMPA

    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  5. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.