© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
08/06/08 6:10 PM ET
Cabrera, Garko exit game early
One infielder hurt, another benched for not running out play
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
ST. PETERSBURG -- Manager Eric Wedge didn't think the left ankle sprain suffered by second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera in Wednesday's 10-7 loss to the Rays was serious. But Wedge was seriously disappointed in Ryan Garko. Garko didn't run out a grounder to first in his lone at-bat in the second inning and was immediately pulled from his designated-hitter duties as a result. He was replaced by Andy Marte, who had been on the bench. Because he opted to teach Garko a lesson, Wedge had to get creative with his lineup later in the game, when Cabrera left after spraining his ankle while running to his position in the sixth inning. As Cabrera, who is listed as day-to-day, hobbled off the field, Wedge decided to move third baseman Jamey Carroll to second. Had Wedge put Marte at third, he would have lost the DH slot. Instead, he had first baseman Andy Gonzalez move to third, had veteran catcher Sal Fasano make his first appearance at first base in exactly three years and had Kelly Shoppach come off the bench to replace Fasano behind the plate. "Our options there were limited," Wedge said. It remains to be seen how much the ankle sprain limits Cabrera's movement, but head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff told Wedge the injury did not appear to be a major one. Wedge was much more concerned with Garko's mistake. "It's hard to get that off my mind," Wedge said. Garko hit a grounder that started off fair, rolled foul, then came back into fair territory. All the while, Garko just stood in the batter's box. "I really believed it was going foul," a contrite Garko said. "I made a pretty bad mistake, one that won't happen again. [Wedge and I] talked. I'll keep that between us. But I respect any decision the manager makes." And Wedge had to make plenty in this bizarre ballgame.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.