Tampa Bay at Baltimore

Tampa Bay
W: A. Sonnanstine (4-1) L: M. Albers (2-1)
HR: TB - E. Hinske (6)   BAL - None

Rays 8, Orioles 1

CBSSports.com wire reports

BALTIMORE -- Andy Sonnanstine and the Tampa Bay Rays can only hope the remaining five months of the season are as memorable as the first one.

Sonnanstine pitched eight innings of six-hit ball, Erik Hinske homered and the Rays completed the first winning April in franchise history by beating the Baltimore Orioles 8-1 Wednesday night.

The victory was the seventh in eight games for the Rays, who went 14-12 in April (after going 1-0 in March). Now in its 11th year of existence, Tampa Bay has never been three games over .500 this late in the season.

"It's something we can build on," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Now let's have the best May in club history."

Sonnanstine (4-1) gave up one run, walked two and had a season-high five strikeouts in winning his third straight start. He became the first Tampa Bay pitcher to win four games in April and tied the team record for wins in any month.

The right-hander surrendered a third-inning RBI single to Brian Roberts, then retired 12 straight batters before Aubrey Huff singled with one out in the seventh.

"I felt pretty good. My location was spotty early," Sonnanstine said. "After the third inning, I was locked in."

The Rays have to make room for Scott Kazmir, who comes off the disabled list Sunday, and Sonnanstine (who entered with a 5.28 ERA) was one of three starters Maddon listed Tuesday as the potential odd-man out. At this point, however, it appears his job is safe.

"Unflappable is a word for him. He had one bad outing," Maddon said, referring to an April 14 game against New York in which Sonnanstine yielded seven runs in 3 1/3 innings. "Since then he has rebounded and pitched his game."

Hinske homered in the fourth inning after an infield hit by Evan Longoria to put the Rays up 3-1. He has six home runs, tied with Carlos Pena for the team lead.

Tampa Bay pulled away with a five-run seventh. After B.J. Upton chased Bob McCrory with an RBI single, Pena and Dioner Navarro hit two-run singles off Dennis Sarfate. Pena had gone 14 games without an RBI since April 12.

Sarfate and Pena exchanged words in the eighth, and for a moment it seemed that both dugouts might empty. But the situation quickly cooled, and Pena bounced into an inning-ending double play.

Baltimore starter Matt Albers (2-1) allowed three runs and four hits in six innings.

"I made a couple of bad pitches, the one to Hinske, obviously," Albers said. "Fastball in, and it came over the plate. It wasn't a real bad pitch, but he got to it."

The loss dropped the Orioles into a second-place tie with Tampa Bay in the AL East behind Boston, a 2-1 winner over Toronto.

The Rays got a second-inning run on a sacrifice fly by Gabe Gross. After Roberts' RBI single in the third, Sonnanstine avoided further damage by striking out Melvin Mora and Luke Scott with runners on the corners.

"The two strikeouts with men on, that was huge for us," Sonnanstine said. "We shut the door on them. That inning gave us momentum."

It had the opposite effect on the Orioles.

"Yeah, it would have been nice to get a hit there and score another run, and we didn't," manager Dave Trembley said. "(Sonnanstine) just pitched better. You've got to tip your cap to him."


Tampa Bay finished April with a 3.74 ERA, the best month in franchise history. ... Roberts went 2-for-3 with a walk in extending his hitting streak to 10 games. He's 13-for-37 (.351) in that span. ... Tampa Bay's previous best April was 12-12 in 1999. ... McCrory allowed four runs, two hits and two walks in his major league debut. His ERA is 108.00. ... Baltimore dipped to 10-5 at home.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

E. Hinske
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1
Tampa Bay

A. Sonnanstine
IP 8.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 2
K 5

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Tampa Bay Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 2B3100202 .210
Carl Crawford, LF4100101 .286
B.J. Upton, CF5121000 .293
Carlos Pena, 1B5112001 .200
Evan Longoria, 3B4210022 .273
Eric Hinske, DH2112300 .292
Dioner Navarro, C5022000 .400
Gabe Gross, RF3111112 .183
Jason Bartlett, SS3010015 .213
HR - Eric Hinske (6, Albers)
SF - Gabe Gross (2)
SH - Jason Bartlett (2)
RBI - B.J. Upton (21), Carlos Pena 2 (15), Eric Hinske 2 (15), Dioner Navarro 2 (6), Gabe Gross (3)
2-OUT RBI - Dioner Navarro 2 (3)
Team LOB - 9
Outfield Assists - B.J. Upton 1
DP - Iwamura-Bartlett-Pena
Tampa Bay Rays
Andy Sonnanstine (W,4-1) 8611250 4.42
Kurt Birkins 1100010 1.50
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Sonnanstine 102-66, Kurt Birkins 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Sonnanstine 4-12, Kurt Birkins 2-0
Batters Faced - Andy Sonnanstine 29, Kurt Birkins 4
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B3021100 .280
Melvin Mora, 3B4000013 .239
Luke Scott, LF4000022 .284
Kevin Millar, 1B4010020 .223
Aubrey Huff, DH4020000 .258
Jay Payton, RF4000002 .245
Adam Jones, CF2110100 .263
Ramon Hernandez, C3000003 .200
Luis Hernandez, SS3010010 .250
    Eider Torres, SS0000000 .333
RBI - Brian Roberts (13)
CS - Brian Roberts (3, 2nd base by Sonnanstine/Navarro)
Team LOB - 5
DP - B. Roberts-Hernandez-Millar
E - Brian Roberts (3, Misplayed grounder)
Baltimore Orioles
Matt Albers (L,2-1) 6433121 2.42
Rob McCrory 0.1244200108.00
Dennis Sarfate 1.2311320 4.61
Jim Johnson 1000100 0.00
HBP - Longoria (by Matt Albers)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Albers 94-57, Rob McCrory 22-9, Dennis Sarfate 49-26, Jim Johnson 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Albers 9-8, Rob McCrory 1-0, Dennis Sarfate 1-1, Jim Johnson 1-2
Batters Faced - Matt Albers 25, Rob McCrory 5, Dennis Sarfate 10, Jim Johnson 4
Game Information
Attendance - 11944
Game Time - 2:57
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - James Hoye, First Base - Marty Foster, Second Base - Derryl Cousins, Third Base - Angel Hernandez