Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Peña hits grand slam in first at-bat of the year
Posted Apr 6, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Apr 6, 2012 at 04:12 PM
ST. PETERSBURG Rays fans inside the Trop welcomed Carlos Peña back today with the loudest ovation during the pregame introductions.
It didn’t take long for Peña to say thank you.
Peña hit a grand slam in his first at-bat to give the Rays a 4-0 lead.
Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia walked Sean Rodriguez intentionally with first base open and two outs in the first inning to get to Pena. A bit of over-managing by Yankees skipper Joe Girardi, perhaps, but Peña was 4-for-35 with two home runs lifetime against Sabathia.
Peña worked the count full then drove the baseball into the right-center field seats, a drive estimated at 428 feet.
It was the second Opening Day grand slam in team history and the first at home. Fred McGriff hit one at Minnesota in 2000.
It was also the eighth grand slam of Peña’s career, his fifth as a Ray. That ties him with Ben Zobrist for the most in franchise history.
It was also just the second grand slam allowed by CC Sabathia.