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News » Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2008-06-30


Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2008-06-30


Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2008-06-30
The Rays moved back into first place in the AL East with Sunday's win and, at 49-32, have the best record in the American League.

Now they'll spend the next three days trying to prove it.

The Rays host the second-place Red Sox for what might be the biggest series ever at Tropicana Field, as the teams meet with first place on the line and for the first time since the ugly June 5 brawl that resulted in eight suspensions.

"Its going to be an interesting moment for us," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It's going to be interesting because of all the things that just did happen, all the suspensions that have been served and are still being served. From our perspective, it's over. It was over the moment we left that city, we made our point based on what had happened. Now it's just time to play baseball."

The Rays would seem to have the pitching matchups in their favor, as right-hander James Shields, who hit Coco Crisp to start the June 5 brawl in Boston, will face righty Justin Masterson in the opener; right-hander Matt Garza, coming off his one-hitter, draws knuckleballing right-hander Tim Wakefield; and southpaw Scott Kazmir goes against right-handed Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Players on both sides downplayed the hostilities and said the focus will be on baseball. That remains to be seen.

RAYS 4, PIRATES 3: RHP Andy Sonnanstine improved to a team-best 9-3 with seven strong innings and Shawn Riggans and Willy Aybar hit solo homers as the Rays finished the first half of their season with a 49-32 record that is best in the American League.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: June 30, 2008

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