Posted at 10:08 PM on July 18, 2006
by Josh Lee
Francisco Liriano came thiiiiiis close to getting his first complete-game shutout tonight, but Terry Tiffee, thinking less about the game and more about how he's going to tell his new twins apart, dropped the ball, allowing Tomaz Perez to reach base. A couple of batters later, Rocco Baldelli hit Perez home to spoil Santaninho's bid. Liriano had to settle for a one-run, three-hit whooping of a cowed Tampa Bay team, but I think he'll deal.
That wasn't necessarily the big story of the night, though. Josh Rabe, the eleventieth outfielder to be called up from AAA in the last week, got his first major league hit against the Devil Rays' Scott Kazmir. The umpire promptly tossed the game ball to the wrong dugout. Luckily, the batboy on the visitors' side returned the ball to its rightful recipient, because as we all know by now, letting resentment over sentimental game balls linger is bad for everyone.
Even that wasn't necessarily the big story of the night, though. Rondell "Starting the Next Chapter" White got two hits in his first two at-bats tonight, reaching a .200 batting average for the first time all season. After each of his two hits, White ended up getting doubled off of first when caught liners took him by surprise, but you can forgive the guy for being a little rusty on the basepaths, seeing as he saw so little of them in the first half of the season. White finished the night 2-for-3 to slip back to .199, but it's looking increasingly like he's not going to go out like Batista or Sierra.