Durham 3, Indianapolis 2. Joel Guzman’s home run streak ended at 3 games. He went 1-4 with 2 strikeouts. Strikeouts were the theme of the game as 5 different Bulls struck out 2 times and the team fanned 13 times in total. Not to be completely outdone, Durham pitchers had 12 strikeouts of their own. J. P. Howell led the way with 8 strikeouts in 6.1 innings. He gave up 6 hits, 1 walk and 1 run. Howell was making his first start back at Durham after 2 appearances with the Devil Rays and showed once again the difference between pitching in AAA and the majors. Chad Orvella added 4 strikeouts in 2.1 innings. He now has 55 in 38.2 innings on the season.
Montgomery 4, Mobile 1. Justin Ruggiano was the “Player To Be Named Later” in the deal that sent Tobey Hall and Mark Hendrickson to the Dodgers for Dionar Navarro and Jae Seo. Ruggiano, a marginal prospect at best, was selected by the Dodgers in the 24th round of the 2004 draft out of Texas A. M.. At 24, he had a very productive 2005, which saw him hit .342 after a midseason promotion to AA, where he started the 2006 season. He was only hitting .260-9-45 in 89 games with the Jacksonville Sun when he was traded. Things have been better for Ruggiano in Montgomery. Last night he he hit his 3rd home run with the Biscuits. He is now hitting .298-3-9 in 17 games for Montgomery. Reid Brignac went 2-4 with 2 singles and 2 strikeouts. Evan Longoria was given the night off.
Modesto 3, Visalia 1. The Oaks were held hitless until a leadoff double by Fernando Perez in the 9th inning. Chris Nowak had the only other hit for Visalia when he doubled home Perez.
SW Michigan 5, Dayton 2. The “Big 3” pitchers for the D-Rays have recently looked like they were beginning to tire in the 2nd half of the season. Last night Wade Davis had a strong start, striking out 10 in 6 innings. He gave up 7 hits, 1 walk and 1 run. He now has 145 strikeouts on the season, which is 2nd in the Midwest League and 5th most in minor league baseball. Teammate Jacob McGee leads all minor league baseball with 157.
Lowell 4, Hudson Valley 3. Jeremy Hellickson continues to roll along. He struck out 8 in 5 innings with no walks. He allowed 4 hits and 2 runs, 1 on a solo home run. Hellickson’s ERA is now 2.25.
Princeton 4, Danville 3. Ryan Morse who was the Rays’ 14th round pick in 2005, improved to 4-3 with 6 shutout innings. He gave up only 2 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 6.