Tampa Bay Rays
Guyer's magic night helps Rays past Orioles
BALTIMORE - Lindsay Guyer almost made it to Camden Yards on Friday night in time to see her husband's first major league at-bat. She almost saw her husband turn on a fastball from the Orioles' Zach Britton and drive it into the left field seats. Instead, Guyer's mad dash from Washington D.C., where she works as a sports anchor for Fox 5 and was live for the 6:20 sports report, to Baltimore's Inner Harbor, brought her oh so close to the finish line. That would be the stadium's parking lot, where Guyer listened on the radio as her husband, Brandon, homered during the second inning of the Rays' 6-2 victory Friday night. "I screamed. I rolled my window down and yelled to the people walking by," Lindsay Guyer said after making it to her seat, where she joined the gang of her husband's family and friends that included Brandon's dad, Ray.Guyer, recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Durham to replace Jeff Niemann on the roster, started in left field in place of the slumping Sam Fuld and became the first player in team history to homer in his very first plate appearance during his major-league debut. Pitcher Esteban Yan homered during his first major league plate appearance in 2000 but had appeared in many games on the mound. Elijah Dukes homered in his first official at-bat April 2, 2007, but the former Devil Ray walked in his first trip to the plate that afternoon at Yankee Stadium. "I was so ecstatic," Guyer said. "I was just hoping I wouldn't trip. It was the last thing I thought would happen. I was just trying to put the ball in play, and for me to get a home run was pretty cool." James Shields had another impressive outing, allowing just a run (a sixth inning homer to Derrek Lee) in 7 1/3 innings on what turned into a rainy, chilly night. It was the fourth straight start where Shields allowed no more than one run. Ben Zobrist extended his hitting streak to 12. Johnny Damon hit a two-run homer in the ninth. Casey Kotchman had two more hits to raise his average to .345. But the story of the day was Guyer, who grew up a little more than an hour from Baltimore and came to the Rays in January from the Cubs in the Matt Garza trade. "From the timing of me getting called up, coming to Baltimore for my debut and what happened, I couldn't have scripted it any better," he said. Well, he might have stepped out of the box once or twice to give Lindsay more time. "I wish she could have seen it, but at the same time she had a job to do," Guyer said. "Maybe (today) she can put me on the highlight reel and talk about me on air." Lindsay Guyer is known professionally as Lindsay Murphy. You might remember her as the sports anchor who last summer was able to complete the first half of the conditioning test failed by Washington Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. She met Brandon when he played baseball at the University of Virginia. She interviewed him after his 26-game hitting streak was snapped. Teammates dared Brandon to ask her out. He did and, well, long story short, Lindsay sat in the rain as Brandon made his big-league debut. "Nothing can rain on this parade," she said, "even if we are in the rain." Lindsay just got back from Tampa, where she covered the Tampa Bay Lightning-Washington Capitals playoff hockey series. She learned Thursday night that Brandon was headed to the big leagues, but was able to only get out of the 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts. Her lead story Friday was the retirement of Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams, but she said she managed to end her report with a note on her husband. Lindsay will be able to catch the Rays game this afternoon, then it's back to Washington D.C., where she's scheduled to be on the air tonight. "Part of me hopes we have highlights of him (tonight) and Sunday, as well," she said. Guyer, who said he swung at ball four, received the time honored silent treatment when he reached the dugout. Then he was mobbed by his teammates. After the game, he was the recipient of another time-honored tradition: a beer bath. "That's awesome; just kind of shows the way this organization has been. We made moves in the offseason for some guys and acquired young players like him and he's able to come up here and make an impact right away, which is cool," Evan Longoria said. "What an experience for him. What an awesome day."