03/21/08 10:05 PM ET
Rays pitchers strong on this night
Sonnanstine hurls five shutout innings against Yankees
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
at Tampa, Fla.
Friday, March 21
Rays at the plate: Rays hits were few and far between on Friday night. Elliot Johnson had a leadoff single in the first inning, Jason Bartlett beat out a base hit in the following frame and Josh Paul had a two-out single in the fifth. Evan Longoria delivered the Rays' lone run with an RBI double in the ninth inning.
Yankees at the plate: The Yankees broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the eighth on a fielder's choice from Greg Porter, and they also added to their lead with an RBI single from Bernie Castro. Bobby Abreu doubled, sending a shot that bounced over the center-field fence in the top of the first. Abreu went 1-for-1 with two walks, and Melky Cabrera had a single and two walks.
Rays on the mound: Andy Sonnanstine made his second start and sixth overall appearance this spring. The righty is still in contention for one of the final two rotation spots. Sonnanstine threw 43 of his 68 pitches for strikes, scattering three hits and two walks over five scoreless innings. He also had a pair of strikeouts. Grant Balfour pitched two scoreless innings, allowing no hits and walking one.
Yankees on the mound: Righty Darrell Rasner got his first start, and he was stretched out for four scoreless innings. Rasner allowed two hits, fanning four and walking one. Mariano Rivera tossed one inning, allowing one hit and recording one strikeout. Edwar Ramirez pitched the sixth inning, retiring all three batters he faced.
Grapefruit League records: Rays 14-5-2, Yankees 12-7-2.Up next for the Yankees: The Yankees are back at home on Saturday, entertaining the Blue Jays in a 1:15 p.m. ET exhibition game at Legends Field. Kei Igawa, vying for a bullpen job, will make the start for New York, while probable No. 2 starter Andy Pettitte will pitch in a Minor League game across the street. Toronto will counter with John Parrish in a matchup of left-handers. Up next for the Rays: Down to the final three home games at Al Lang Field, the Rays will host the Pirates in St. Petersburg at 1:05 p.m. ET on Saturday. Lefty J.P. Howell will get the start, with relievers Gary Glover, Troy Percival, Al Reyes and Dan Wheeler also scheduled to throw. Southpaw Zach Duke will start for the Pirates, with former Ray Casey Fossum also slated to pitch for Pittsburgh.
Brittany Ghiroli is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.