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 slugger Carlos Peña struggles in opener, striking out four times

Rays slugger Carlos Peña returns to the dugout after striking out in the sixth inning against Red Sox starter Josh Beckett.


Rays slugger Carlos Peña returns to the dugout after striking out in the sixth inning against Red Sox starter Josh Beckett.

BOSTON — Carlos Peña has had days like this before.

Six, actually, including two last season. "Believe me," he said. "It has happened to me before."

But striking out four times on opening day. Twice in clutch situations, as the tying run. Against the rival Red Sox. And in Boston, where he grew up nearby.

"That wasn't fun for me at all," Peña said. "Today seemed like if I took a pitch, it was right on the corner and it was a strike. And when I swing at one, it would have been a ball. So I was caught in between those two."

A four-strikeout day is called a Golden Sombrero, but it's not something the always fashionable Peña was happy about wearing.

"I just try to make it as insignificant as possible," he said.

Ring toss: DH Pat Burrell was playing coy but still planning on being in Philadelphia today to receive his Phillies World Series ring in a pregame celebration. "I hope to; I'll let you know (today)," he said — then returning by private plane to Boston in time for tonight's game.

"That's a once-in-a-lifetime event for him, and if he really wants to go, I'm not going to say you can't go," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "As long as we can fit it all in, I'm good."

Rockin' Rocco: Ex-Ray Rocco Baldelli says he's going to try to act as if it's any other game tonight when he is expected to make his Red Sox debut against his former mates.

But Scott Kazmir, who will be on the mound, said it's going to be anything but normal.

"I think it's going to be a little bit weird," he said. "Just by me being with the Rays since '04, seeing him with the uniform on, always a Ray, and the support and how popular he was in Tampa. It's going to be a little different with him on the other side and me facing him."

Maddon said the Rays will produce a standard scouting report on Baldelli but will mold their strategy based on "personal observation" and acknowledged the familiarity should be to their advantage.

Lining up: The Rays have tried to address their struggles against left-handed starters with a series of moves, and they'll get a test tonight against Jon Lester. There will be several changes to the lineup, with Jason Bartlett leading off (and Akinori Iwamura dropping to ninth), Dioner Navarro moving up to sixth, with Ben Zobrist seventh and Gabe Kapler, who hit just .150 this spring, eighth. And Maddon decided to have Kapler play center and Zobrist right.

Gabe of the day: Kapler, who played parts of four seasons with the Sox, including the 2004 championship campaign, received a loud ovation upon introduction. "The people here have been unbelievably kind to me over the years, and I'm humbled," he said.

Miscellany: The Rays are 6-6 in season openers. … Sen. Edward Kennedy threw a short ceremonial first pitch — actually two, after bouncing the first one. … Senior adviser Don Zimmer officially started his 61st season in baseball and said: "This is an important one, because I'm alive." … Principal owner Stuart Sternberg wasn't at the game but is expected at Monday's home opener.

Tampa Bay Rays slugger Carlos Peña struggles in opener, striking out four times 04/07/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 1:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger


    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  2. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season


    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  3. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium


    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

  4. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater


    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    Corey Dickerson is doing everything he can to garner All-Star votes heading into tonight's voting cutoff, going into play Wednesday leading the AL with 101 hits and rapping two more his first two times up, and scoring two more runs.