St. Petersburg Times
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
The Trop
The Trop
Getting to the Trop
Best routes
Rays forum
The art of pitching
Devil Rays' official home site
Talk baseball in our Devil Rays forum

printer version

Angels win, but fans are show

Chants and debris fill stadium in last game before today's strike deadline, a 6-1 Rays loss.

By KEVIN KELLY, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 30, 2002

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Angels were playing for the wild card.

The Rays just looked like a team for which the strike deadline couldn't come soon enough Thursday at Edison Field.

In what had the potential to be remembered as the final game before a ninth work stoppage in major-league history, but will be remembered anyway for the passionate appeals by fans, Anaheim didn't waste the chance to regain the lead in the American League wild-card standings.

Rays starter Tanyon Sturtze allowed four runs in the first inning as the Angels cruised to a 6-1 win before 18,820. Tampa Bay remains on pace to lose 108 games and become the first team since the 1977-79 Blue Jays to lose 100 in consecutive seasons.

But that's only if the full season is played.

If players go on strike today and the rest of the season is canceled, the Rays would be the worst strike season team ever with a 44-89 record and .331 winning percentage.

To top it off, the Rays have gone 17 consecutive series without winning one. The 1997 Phillies, who went 23 straight without a series win, were the last to experience such a drought.

Because of its status as last call of the major leagues, Thursday's game was accompanied by a buzz not normally experienced when the Rays are in town.

Agent Scott Boras was spotted in the seats directly behind home plate chatting on a cellular phone. Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda milled about on the field during batting practice. Actor David Lander (Squiggy from Laverne & Shirley) kept score in the press box.

And while negotiators for the union and owners met into the morning in New York, the Angels had Sturtze figured from the beginning.

Six weeks earlier, the right-hander held Anaheim to one run over nine yet got a no-decision. This time Sturtze didn't make it out of the first without allowing a run, and the Angels had a 5-0 lead on nine hits through five.

"I don't think they were more aggressive, but they definitely came out attacking," Sturtze said.

The Rays offense, which had 26 hits combined in the first two games of the series, managed little against right-hander Kevin Appier. He held Tampa Bay to two hits through six and retired 12 straight until first baseman Aubrey Huff singled to rightfield with one out in the seventh.

"We didn't pick him up, we didn't get very good at-bats and we didn't generate anything offensively," Rays manager Hal McRae said.

Two pitches before the hit, some fans in the rightfield bleachers threw beach balls and debris onto the outfield grass and chanted for players not to strike.

Two batters later, designated hitter Steve Cox fouled off a pitch behind home plate. A fan grabbed the ball, threw it back onto the field and was immediately ejected.

Then during the seventh-inning stretch, fans booed during Take Me Out to the Ballgame before resuming their chant before the first pitch of the bottom half.

"They were angry; that's understandable," McRae said. "It reminded me a lot of playing New York in the playoffs."

Rays rightfielder Ben Grieve hit his fifth homer of the road trip to lead off the eighth and make it 5-1. It snapped Appier's consecutive scoreless innings streak at 18. Appier came out after allowing a single to shortstop Chris Gomez.

Sturtze was relieved before the bottom of the eighth. He allowed five runs on 11 hits, striking out three and walking one.

The game was delayed about five minutes in the ninth as fans threw more debris onto the field while Rays rookie leftfielder Carl Crawford batted.

Back to the Rays
Today's lineup

  • Angels win, but fans are show
  • Grieve starting to find power stroke

  • Bucs
  • King may get shot as backup QB
  • 'Skins-Bucs game earns highest preseason rating
  • Houston is a home game for McCardell

  • Other sports

  • MLB players poised to strike today
  • Whys and whats of a strike
  • Sites mobilize baseball fans, threaten walkout
  • Jays rock Clemens, Yanks
  • Cardinals get pitcher Wright for ailing staff
  • Cub makes switch-hit history
  • Game 1 in N.Y. belongs to L.A.

  • College football
  • Bulls strike often
  • Punt block keys Bulls 1st TD of the season
  • A stingy defense offers plenty to smile about
  • FIU wins inaugural game
  • Rix mirrors other Chris
  • Washington to play more for Seminoles
  • Secondary has some concerns

  • U.S. Open Tennis
  • Title IX question leaves Capriati without answer
  • Rain ends, routs are on for top players

  • NFL
  • Pats end Redskins' run; Spurrier taps Matthews
  • Around the NFC
  • Around the AFC

  • Et cetera
  • Sports briefs

  • Sports/TV
  • 'Skins-Bucs game earns highest preseason rating

  • Motorsports
  • Harvick's hot, and cool
  • France breaks hip, then has bypass
  • Minority team, Guard ready to race

  • Golf
  • Frost comes early for Canadian PGA event

  • Preps
  • Middleton set to play Wharton's JV squad
  • Pressure's on to start right
  • Money, competition spur teams
  • One half can prove a whole lot
  • Wildcats, Knights beat rain
  • Gators blank Leopards before lightning ends it
  • Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111

     Devil Rays Forums
    From The Wire
  • Players, teams start rush to settle in arbitration
  • AP source: Yankees sign free agent RHP Kuroda
  • AP source: Pineda, Montero in Yanks-Mariners swap
  • Resop, Pirates agree to a one-year deal
  • Zambrano says he's happy with trade to Marlins
  • Report: UK police officer loses Olympics documents
  • Jayhawks send Baylor to first loss of season
  • No. 1 Syracuse at 20-0 after 71-63 win over Pitt
  • Fisher's late 3 pushes Lakers past Mavericks 73-70
  • Westbrook's 3s lead Thunder past Celtics 97-88
  • Djokovic, Williams into Australian Open 2nd round
  • Tebow has earned starting status in 2012
  • Filly Havre de Grace wins Horse of the Year
  • Crosby to meet with specialist as symptoms linger
  • AP Top 25: Syracuse stays on top for 6th week