Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lineup card error means no DH

The No. 3 hitter in the Rays lineup received a nice ovation when he came to bat in the first inning Sunday. More than a few Rays fans even stood.

A normal response when it is Evan Longoria, but this time it wasn't the 2008 American League Rookie of the Year, but pitcher Andy Sonnanstine.

Yes, Andy Sonnanstine.

Sonnanstine was forced to hit because of an error on the Rays lineup card that listed Longoria and Ben Zobrist as third basemen. Longo was supposed to be the DH.

The mistake was brought to the attention of the umpires in the middle of the first inning. After huddling amonst themselves then with Cleveland manager Eric Wedge, the umpires called the Indians off the field.

They met with Rays manager Joe Maddon for a few minutes.

Their decision was Longo was out of the game, but since he didn't bat or play the field, he was eligible to come off the bench.

After a 13-minute delay, play resumed with Sonnanstine the No. 3 batter in the lineup.

It was the first time a starting pitcher batted at Tropicana Field.

Ken Brett was the last starting pitcher to hit in an American League game. He did that for the White Sox on Sept. 23, 1976.

Rays pitcher Matt Garza was the last pitcher to hit in an American League game when he batted for the Twins in 2007.

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