An error on the Tampa Bay Rays’ official lineup card forced starting pitcher Andy Sonnanstine to bat in Sunday’s game against Cleveland in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Rays listed Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria as the third baseman on the card given to the umpires before the start of the game. Longoria was supposed to be the designated hitter.
“Designated hitter has to be designated on the lineup card and he wasn’t,” umpire crew chief Tim McClelland said. “That was just a mis-write, so to speak. That’s how we interpreted it.”
Rays manager Joe Maddon, after Tampa Bay beat Cleveland 7-5, said he didn’t notice the error when he signed the card and took the blame.
After going hitless in his first two at-bats, Sonnanstine had an RBI double to left during a five-run fourth that put Tampa Bay ahead 7-3.
“All the starting pitchers are trying to pay us off to make that mistake,” Maddon said with a smile.
The Rays lost their DH position due to the error, meaning Sonnanstine replaced Longoria in the third spot of the lineup.
Sonnanstine became the first pitcher in the starting lineup of an A.L. home game since Ken Brett of the Chicago White Sox batted eighth on Sept. 23, 1976.
Lackey might start
Angels starter John Lackey could return to the mound tonight following an early exit from his season debut, when he was ejected after throwing two pitches at Rangers leadoff man Ian Kinsler.
On Saturday, Lackey’s first pitch sailed behind Kinsler’s head. The next offering hit Kinsler in the ribs, and plate umpire Bob Davidson immediately ejected the right-hander.
Manager Mike Scioscia said he was open to the possibility of Lackey starting the opener of a four-game series against the Mariners in Seattle.
Clearing the bases
Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton left Sunday’s game after crashing into the padded wall in right-center on a leaping catch in the seventh. … Chris Carpenter passed a final test with a short bullpen session and the Cardinals ace is due to come off the 15-day disabled list Wednesday. Carpenter has been on the DL since April 15 with a strained left rib cage muscle. … Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano struggled in a rehab start for Class-A Daytona, but did not appear bothered by his strained left hamstring. … White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin returned to Chicago for treatment on his left foot. … Rickie Weeks of the Brewers will meet with a hand specialist in Phoenix after leaving Sunday’s game with soreness in his left wrist. … Mets shortstop Jose Reyes was held out of the lineup for a fourth straight game because of stiffness in his right calf. … Nationals center fielder Elijah Dukes left Sunday’s game after aggravating a hamstring injury.
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