O's Ray quickly wins over foes with high-90s fastball

April 25, 2006|By JEFF ZREBIEC | JEFF ZREBIEC,SUN REPORTER

NEW YORK -- The theories as to why Chris Ray has been such a rousing success in his first month as a major league closer flew all around both clubhouses at Yankee Stadium this past weekend.

That will happen when a not-yet-well-known 24-year-old reliever goes into one of the toughest environments in sports and challenges reigning American League Most Valuable Player Alex Rodriguez with four straight fastballs with a one-run lead and two men on in the ninth inning. That will happen when a closer armed with a fastball in the high 90s eschews conventional baseball wisdom and strikes out Hideki Matsui by throwing a full-count, two-out slider with the bases loaded and the game hanging in the balance.

Orioles@Blue Jays Tonight, 7:07, CN8, 1090 AM Starters: Orioles' Rodrigo Lopez (1-1, 7.20) vs. Blue Jays' Gustavo Chacin (3-0, 5.60)

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