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Archive for Friday, November 7, 2008

Pena claims Gold Glove

Rays first baseman first-time winner

November 7, 2008

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— Carlos Pena grabbed attention for all those balls he hit. Now the Tampa Bay first baseman is getting noticed for the ones he caught. The Rays standout raised his profile Thursday when he won the Gold Glove, one of four newcomers on the AL team.

Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia, Texas shortstop Michael Young and Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer also were first-time winners for fielding excellence.

The outfield was a repeat from last season: Los Angeles' Torii Hunter and Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki each won for the eighth straight year, and Cleveland's Grady Sizemore earned his second award.

New York Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina, coming off his first 20-win season, added to his accolades with his seventh Gold Glove. Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre won for the second straight year.

Pena bounced around the majors for several seasons before joining Tampa Bay in 2007 and quickly got a regular spot by hitting 46 home runs.

Pena starred with the bat this year, too, with 31 homers and 102 RBIs in helping lead the surprising Rays to their first playoff spot. He also sparkled with the glove, making only two errors as Tampa Bay reached the World Series, where it lost to Philadelphia.

The 30-year-old Pena has shown improvement in the field, cutting down from 13 errors with Detroit in 2003. He made eight last year with the Rays.

Rawlings has presented Gold Gloves since 1957. Managers and coaches pick players in their own leagues near the end of the regular season and can't vote for someone on their team.

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