In the first interleague game of the season, Rays’ starter Andy Sonnanstine kept the Cardinal offense in check, keeping St. Louis off the scoreboard through seven. Tampa held their lead, and won it 3-1. Here’s the box score.
It wasn’t a pretty performance from Braden Looper, but he kept his team in the game. He couldn’t keep the ball down and was getting hit hard. He labored through six innings on 117 pitches, but allowed just 3 runs on 10 hits and a pair of walks, earning him another quality start.
Chris Perez made his Major League debut, pitching a scoreless seventh. He brought the heat, and recorded his first strikeout getting Evan Longoria to swing through a high fastball.
Mike Parisi was also impressive, striking out three in the eighth, and pitching around a lead off double in the ninth. His curveball was solid.
The offense was not. They scattered eight hits (two from Looper) but didn’t get on the board until Chris Duncan’s solo homer in the bottom of the eighth. Skip Schumaker, Rick Ankiel, Albert Pujols, and Adam Kennedy went a combined 0 for 16. Pujols’ streak of reaching base in every game of the season is finally over. Sonnanstine wasn’t afraid to pitch to him, and kept most of the Cardinal hitters off balance.
Don’t look now, but a couple of Redbirds have quietly increased their batting averages. Troy Glaus is now hitting .271, and Molina is up to .300.
After the loss, the Cards are now just four games over .500, and have won only two of their last ten. They’re now three games behind the first place Cubs, and a half game behind the Astros. Adam Wainwright will try to be the stopper tomorrow. Matt Garza will get take the mound for Tampa Bay.