Evan Longoria (left) and Reid Brignac
Syracuse 2, Durham 1. What a night for Rays minor league pitchers… Jason Hammel couldn’t have been much better in his 2007 debut. He pitched 5 hitless innings allowing only 2 base runners on fielding errors. He struck out 5. Tim Corcoran followed with 2 more hitless innings before Chad Orvella and Jeff Ridgway blew the lead in the 8th and 9th. Jorge Cantu tripled and struck out twice, going 1-4 as the Bulls DH. Durham only registered 3 hits.

Montgomery 4, West Tenn 0. Keeping with the theme of opening night on the Farm, Chris Seddon allowed only 1 hit and 1 walk over 7 innings. He struck out 5. Dale Thayer, whom the Rays acquired via trade in the off-season, struck out 2 in the 9th. Thayer holds the Southern League record for most saves in a season. Reid Brignac and Evan Longoria picked up right where they left off in 2006. Both went 2-4 with an RBI and scored 3 runs between them.

St. Lucie 2, Vero Beach 0. The Vero Beach Devil Rays made their debut as the Rays new high-A affiliate with a top prospect on the mound. Jake McGee only lasted three innings despite not allowing a run. He gave up 2 hits and 4 walks. He did strike out 4.

Columbus 6, Kannapolis 1. Another team making their Devil Rays organizational debut is the Columbus Catfish. 2005 first-round pick Wade Townsend returned to live action for the first time since the 2005 Arizona Fall League. He missed all of 2006 after having Tommy John surgery. He gave up 2 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6 in 5 shutout innings.

  • Townsend is ready to prove that he is every bit the prospect that former Rice teammates Jeff Niemann and Phillip Humber are.
  • We chuckle at THIS title. We are sure that Evan Longoria would like for Montgomery to win a second straight Southern League title, but there is no way he wants to lead them to it. We are pretty sure that Longoria is expecting to at least be at Durham by the end of the year. He hit 6 home runs this spring, to pick up right where he left off last season.
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