Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: Carlos Peña blocked from catching popup by former NBA player Matt Geiger; fan support at home up; homerless string

Block of the game

Retired NBA center Matt Geiger, a former Countryside High star, racked up more than 3,000 rebounds in his 10-year career. And the 7-footer boxed out 1B Carlos Peña in the eighth inning against the Twins, deflecting what could have been a pop out away from Peña's outstretched glove. Peña reached into the stands along the first-base line for a Josh Willingham popup. Geiger, seated near the front row, reached, too, and the ball bounced off him. The 42-year-old was booed heavily and relocated by security; he was allowed to return to his seat if he wished, the Rays said. The ball wasn't in play. Peña quipped, "He blocked me; one of many in his career."

On deck

Today: Off

Tuesday: vs. Angels, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (2-1, 4.20); Angels — Ervin Santana (0-3, 6.75)

Wednesday: vs. Angels, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (2-0, 3.26); Angels — C.J. Wilson (2-1, 2.37)

Crowd control

The Rays have drawn 175,613 through the first six home games, more than 66,000 more than they drew in the first six home games last year (108,701). It should be noted that this year's six fell on Friday through Sunday, and three of the six last year were Tuesday-Thursday. The Rays have felt the support. Manager Joe Maddon said it was "pro Ray." LHP David Price said on Twitter: "The atmosphere at the trop has been unreal this year!!!! Thank you fans keep it coming!! We feed off of all of you!!!"

Numbers of the day

.083 Batting average of opponents against Rays reliever Fernando Rodney this year (2-for-24).

43 Innings since Rays pitchers have given up a homer, dating to April 18 against Toronto, a stretch that is the team's longest since October 2010 (59⅓ innings).

Award of the day

The Rays honored C/OF Stephen Vogt with their Al Lopez Award, given to the team's top rookie in spring training. Vogt was optioned to Triple-A Durham on Friday, so Al Lopez III and Al Lopez IV presented the award to director of minor-league operations Mitch Lukevics on Vogt's behalf.

First pitch of the day

Twins great and 1964 AL rookie of the year Tony Oliva threw out the ceremonial first pitch Sunday. The eight-time All-Star was here for his induction into the Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Rays 6, Twins 2

Minnesota AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

Span cf 3 1 1 0 1 0 .328

J.Carroll ss 4 1 2 0 0 0 .246

Mauer c 4 0 0 0 0 1 .295

Willingham lf 2 0 0 0 1 0 .328

Morneau dh 4 0 0 0 0 1 .250

Parmelee 1b 2 0 0 0 0 1 .275

a-Doumit ph-1b 2 0 1 2 0 0 .222

Valencia 3b 4 0 0 0 0 2 .218

C.Thomas rf 4 0 1 0 0 3 .190

A.Casilla 2b 3 0 0 0 0 2 .227

Totals 32 2 5 2 2 10

Tampa Bay AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

Jennings lf 3 1 1 3 0 1 .262

Zobrist rf 3 0 0 1 0 2 .189

C.Pena 1b 2 1 0 0 2 1 .304

Longoria 3b 3 1 2 0 1 1 .339

Keppinger dh 4 0 0 0 0 0 .196

B.Upton cf 2 0 0 2 0 0 .250

S.Rodriguez ss 3 1 1 0 1 1 .214

Gimenez c 2 1 1 0 1 1 .385

E.Johnson 2b 2 1 0 0 0 1 .091

Totals 24 6 5 6 5 8

Minnesota 000 002 000— 2 5 0

Tampa Bay 002 120 01x— 6 5 1

a-singled for Parmelee in the 6th.

EC.Pena (1). LOBMin. 6, T.B. 4. 2BLongoria (6). HRJennings (2), off Liriano. RBIsDoumit 2 (8), Jennings 3 (7), Zobrist (7), B.Upton 2 (4). SBSpan (3), Longoria (1), E.Johnson (2). SFJennings, Zobrist, B.Upton 2. RISPMin. 4; T.B. 2. DPMin. 1; T.B. 1.

Minnesota IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA

Liriano L, 0-3 5 3 5 5 4 4 86 11.02

Swarzak 2 1 0 0 0 3 27 5.94

Perkins 1 1 1 1 1 1 20 8.53

Tampa Bay IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA

Niemnn W, 1-2 5L3 2 2 2 5 80 4.11

McGee H, 1L0 0 0 0 1 6 6.00

W.Davis H, 1 1L1 0 0 0 1 16 2.35

Jo.Peralta H, 3 1 1 0 0 0 1 14 11.12

Rodney 1 0 0 0 0 2 13 1.23

HBPby Liriano (E.Johnson), by Niemann (Willingham). PBMauer.T2:54. A26,507 (34,078).

How they scored

Rays third.

S.Rodriguez walked. Gimenez walked on four pitches, S.Rodriguez to second. E.Johnson was hit by a pitch, S.Rodriguez to third, Gimenez to second. Jennings hit a sacrifice fly to center fielder Span, S.Rodriguez scored, Gimenez to third. E.Johnson stole second. Zobrist hit a sacrifice fly to left fielder Willingham, Gimenez scored. C.Pena struck out. 2 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on. Rays 2, Twins 0.

Rays fourth. Longoria doubled to left. Keppinger fouled out to right fielder C.Thomas, Longoria to third. B.Upton hit a sacrifice fly to left fielder Willingham, Longoria scored. S.Rodriguez grounded out, shortstop J.Carroll to first baseman Parmelee. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 left on. Rays 3, Twins 0.

Rays fifth. Gimenez singled to left. E.Johnson grounded into fielder's choice, pitcher Liriano to shortstop J.Carroll, Gimenez out. Jennings homered to left on a 0-1 count, E.Johnson scored. Zobrist struck out. C.Pena walked. Longoria struck out. 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on. Rays 5, Twins 0.

Twins sixth. Span singled to right. J.Carroll singled to center, Span to third. Mauer popped out to third baseman Longoria. Willingham was hit by a pitch, J.Carroll to second. McGee pitching. Morneau struck out. Doumit pinch-hitting for Parmelee. W.Davis pitching. Doumit singled to center, Span scored, J.Carroll scored, Willingham to second. Valencia grounded into fielder's choice, shortstop S.Rodriguez to third baseman Longoria, Willingham out, Doumit to second. 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 left on. Rays 5, Twins 2.

Rays eighth. Perkins pitching. C.Pena walked. On Mauer's passed ball, C.Pena to second. Longoria singled to center, C.Pena to third. Keppinger flied out to center fielder Span. B.Upton hit a sacrifice fly to right fielder C.Thomas, C.Pena scored. Longoria stole second. S.Rodriguez struck out. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 left on. Rays 6, Twins 2.

Tampa Bay Rays: Carlos Peña blocked from catching popup by former NBA player Matt Geiger; fan support at home up; homerless string 04/22/12 [Last modified: Sunday, April 22, 2012 11:30pm]

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