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10/06/08 8:54 PM ET

A postgame interview with Andy Sonnanstine

Rays pitcher talks about the keys to beating the White Sox

Andy, you've had three really incredible outings here in the last month. Twice against Boston and this one here. Can you talk about how you have been able to ratchet it up and really keep your focus?

ANDY SONNANSTINE: To be honest with you, I just try to stay within myself and not build the game up in my mind. You know, it's -- I knew this was a big game coming in. And I just tried to keep everything the same. And try not to, you know, make it up big every than I could handle. So I just tried to keep an even keel and work to my strengths.

How important was fastball command for you tonight and how much -- how important was movement? It looked like early on your pitches had some pretty good movement there?

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ANDY SONNANSTINE: It's really key for me especially early in the count. I felt like I used my fastball to get ahead of a lot of hitters. And that kind of puts them in a little bit of a defense mode. So I think the fastball really helped me out and helped me have success today.

Andy, I know the wins haven't been there down the stretch for you but Joe said you've pitched the best you have all season. Do you feel that way and what do you attribute that to?

ANDY SONNANSTINE: That's a tough one. I felt good coming in today. And there was a couple things like I lost myself on earlier today so I felt a little irritated about that.

I don't know if that helped or not. Just going out there and having guys like B.J. and everybody else on the squad step up the defense, you know, was huge for me today.

This will be a two parter. One, how important was getting the early lead? Then what did you think of the celebration afterwards? I mean, was that something this franchise has been waiting a long time for and sort of evidenced itself in how it took place there.

ANDY SONNANSTINE:I'll answer the second one first. I feel like we're getting use to celebrating. Which is a really good thing for this franchise, I believe. You know, it's awesome any time you can run on the field and just jump together as a cohesiveness unit. It's awesome. It does wonders for comradery. That's something we've had all year.

And getting the runs early is huge for the confidence. I'm going out there, you know, trying to beat them with my fastball and get ahead and that makes the solo home runs not hurt as much. It gives me more leeway. And I think it makes me more effective?

Andy, you had two big strikeouts or two particular big strikeouts in the game. One to Thome in the opening inning after that walk then then other to Griffey after the Konerko homer. Can you tell us what pitches those were on?

ANDY SONNANSTINE: Thome was a curveball. And Griffey was a slider. And they're two great hitters. And my mentality on those situations were to be honest with you just keep them in the yard. And they swung and missed at both of those pitches. So it really worked out. And I executed them how I wanted to.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.

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