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)

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Andy Sonnanstine pleased with start against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Throughout his early season struggles, RHP Andy Sonnanstine was trying to match how good he felt physically with some better results.

Friday night, he did just that.

Sonnanstine battled through 52/3 innings against the Red Sox, hanging on just enough to pick up his first win of the season (and first in his past 12 regular-season starts).

Though Sonnanstine (1-3, 6.75) said, "We're still not where we need to be," he was encouraged with how he worked his way through control issues (four walks, one with the bases loaded) and made in-game mechanical adjustments, minimizing the damage (just two runs on eight hits).

As manager Joe Maddon said, "A much better performance."

Sonnanstine is 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA in his past four starts against Boston.

"I thought Sonnanstine pitched pretty well," Maddon said. "A nice comeback for him."

encore: Backup C Michel Hernandez's special night didn't end when the game did.

Hernandez, an 11-year minor-league veteran, said he was so excited after going 4-for-5, including his first big-league double, RBI and home run, in Thursday's 13-0 win over the Red Sox, he couldn't sleep.

So Hernandez, 30, stayed up and watched a replay of the game, with the biggest highlight his home run in the fourth off of Josh Beckett.

"I was excited," Hernandez said. "I was hitting, replay, replay, replay."

Hernandez plans to save the home run ball and put it next to the one from his first big-league hit (in 2003 with the Yankees).

MIXING IT UP: Since RHP Jeff Niemann gave up five runs in the first inning of his season debut, Maddon said he has had a much better ability to handle difficult moments.

Niemann said he has gotten more comfortable with each start but wants to improve on making in-game adjustments in tonight's start. And Maddon would like to see the hard thrower incorporate more breaking balls.

"He has an uncanny ability to throw it for a strike, slider and a curveball, which is unusual," Maddon said. "It's mostly pitchers have one or the other that he's good with. (Niemann has) two that he's good with and has command of both of them."

A-Rod Doubts: RF Gabe Kapler, who played with Alex Rodriguez from 2001-02 in Texas, didn't want to specifically address the allegations in the upcoming book A-Rod that Rodriguez tipped pitches to opposing players. But Kapler expressed doubt that any major-leaguer would do it.

"It's unfathomable," he said. "It's something I can't even comprehend. I don't even think it's something where guys even talk about it, ponder it, consider it. It's just one of those things that is so far-fetched."

too PUMPED UP: Bucs coach Raheem Morris has said he wanted to throw out a first pitch at a Rays game. Friday, he did just that.

Morris threw hard, a fastball in the dirt that was saved by a backhand scoop by Maddon, a former minor-league catcher.

"That was a heck of a catch by Joe Maddon," Morris said. "I'm glad he caught it. They messed me up with the national anthem. It got the chills going through me, and I had to throw right away. I needed a warmup after that."

big bullpen: The Rays bullpen has a 1.21 ERA (292/3 innings, four earned runs) over its past 11 games after compiling a 5.59 ERA (37 innings, 23 earned runs) in its first 13.

izzy update: Maddon said that RHP Jason Isringhausen, scratched from Thursday's appearance at Triple-A Durham with an abdominal strain, is fine and will continue his rehab assignment as scheduled.

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Andy Sonnanstine pleased with start against Red Sox 05/01/09 [Last modified: Saturday, May 2, 2009 12:18am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …