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Tampa Bay Rays own several dubious distinctions after perfect game

By MARC TOPKIN

Times Staff Writer

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Rays insisted there would be no lingering effects from Sunday's perfect game by Dallas Braden, and they seemed to be right.

"He did a great job," Rays manager Joe Maddon said before Monday's game, "and it's just time to move on."

But there was plenty of history to go around.

Outfielder Gabe Kapler might have earned the most unusual distinction, as research by the Rays showed he was the first player in history to bat in the ninth inning twice when his team was facing a perfect game.

Kapler made the 25th out in the July 23 perfecto by Chicago's Mark Buehrle (on the spectacular catch by DeWayne Wise) and the final out Sunday. Kapler pointed out he broke up a potential perfect game by Chris Young with a two-out homer in the eighth inning Sept. 7, 2008.

"You find your place in history, somehow, some way," Kapler said.

For Rays coaches Tom Foley and Dave Martinez and Maddon, it was the third perfect game they were involved in. Foley and Martinez played for the Expos when Dennis Martinez threw his; Maddon was a coach with the Angels when Texas' Kenny Rogers threw his.

"I'm on the bad side of history once again," Maddon said. "It's kind of amazing, but it happened."

The Rays had the highest winning percentage, .733, of any team to be perfect-gamed. The 1988 Dodgers (by Cincinnati's Tom Browning) and 1991 Dodgers (Martinez) were both .583.

The Rays became the third team to have two thrown against them, and the second to have consecutive ones (also the Dodgers), but the first to have it happen in consecutive seasons and by far in the shortest span, just 97 games.

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@sptimes.com.

Tampa Bay Rays own several dubious distinctions after perfect game 05/11/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 7:41am]
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