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News » Tampa Bay Rays Notes, Quotes 2009-05-08

Tampa Bay Rays Notes, Quotes 2009-05-08

Tampa Bay Rays Notes, Quotes 2009-05-08
--RHP Jeff Niemann didn't allow a run in the first three innings Thursday, but he was pulled in the fourth as manager Joe Maddon was not happy with his lack of command. "If I had thought Jeff was more sharp with his command, I probably would have acted differently," Maddon said.

--LHP Brian Shouse threw only four pitches and got the first two outs of the ninth inning, but he was awarded the victory under Major League Baseball rule 10.17 (c). The idea is that a reliever who is "ineffective in a brief appearance" (as Dan Wheeler was) can't be awarded the victory "when at least one succeeding relief pitcher pitches effectively in helping his team maintain the lead" (as Shouse did).

--RHP Andy Sonnanstine had his best outing of the season Wednesday, turning it what manager Joe Maddon called a fabulous performance. Sonnastine took a shutout into the eighth inning, and he wound up charged with two runs in 7 1/3 innings. "Just the simple fact of being aggressive," he said.

--3B Evan Longoria became the first Ray in 12 seasons to win an American League Player of the Month award after hitting .369 with six home runs and 24 RBIs in 21 April games. It wasn't that much a surprise since he'd already won two of the first four Player of the Week awards, but Longoria, who gets a 52-inch high-definition TV and a trophy, said it was very special to be honored.

--RHP Matt Garza was "getting too cute" in the early innings Tuesday, so the Rays told him to be more aggressive with his four-seam fastball, and the results were impressive. He worked into the ninth, allowing only four hits. "I like when he's physical," manager Joe Maddon said.

BY THE NUMBERS: 6 -- Stolen bases by Carl Crawford in Sunday's game, tying the modern-day major league record.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I wish I had known during the game. I probably would have broken it. At least I would have tried." -- Carl Crawford, on finding out after the game he had tied the modern-day major league record with six steals.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 8, 2009

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