Durham 7, Rochester 5. Mitch Talbot gave up 5 runs (4 earned) in 7 innings. He struck out 4 and walked 1. His ERA is now 4.57. Ben Zobrist had 3 hits including a 3-run double in the 8th that gave the Bulls the lead for good. Justin Ruggiano added 2 hits in 4 at bats and hit a 3-run home run, his 11th in the 5th inning. Chad Orvella pitched another perfect 9th inning, with 2 strike outs for his 9th save.
Montgomery 9, Mississippi 5. Wade Davis picked up the win in his second AA start. He struck out 7 and gave up 2 runs in 5.1 innings. He allowed 5 hits and 2 walks, including a solo home run. Juan Salas gave up 3 runs in one-third of an inning in his first appearance since being suspended for steroids. Salas is allowed to pitch in the minors prior to returning from his 50-game suspension on July 3rd. Reid Brignac was 1-4 with a 2-run double in the Biscuits 5-run 4th inning. He also committed his 17th error. Evan Longoria was 2-4 with 2 strike outs. He is hitting .295. Fernando Perez and John Jaso each added 3 hits. Jaso is hitting .324.
Sarasota 9, Vero Beach 1. Josh Butler was roughed up in his second AA start. He allowed 9 runs (8 earned) in 4 innings. He surrendered 8 hits and 4 walks. Garrett Groce and Hunter Vick had 2 hits apiece. Rhyne Hughes was 0-3.
Columbus 10, Rome 1. Wade Townsend had his strongest outing as a professional. He allowed only 1 hit and 2 walks in 7 innings. He struck out 8 to pick up his 5th win. His ERA is now 3.95 on the season. Townsend faced the minimum through 5.2 innings before allowing his only hit. Ryan Royster hit his 12th home run and Matt Fields hit his 13th. Desmond Jennings added 2 hits, including his 13th double and his 33rd stolen base.
Staten Island 8, Hudson Valley 5.
Elizabethton 14, Princeton 3.
NOTES FROM DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Evan Longoria was named the Southern League hitter-of-the-week. We’ve lost count, but we are fairly certain that this is the 74th time he has been named player of the week. Next week they may just name him pitcher-of-the-week so that somebody else has an opportunity to be named hitter-of-the-week. It is fairly clear that The Dirt Bag is no longer a AA player. He would most likely be in Durham now or in the next two weeks if Joel Guzman was not clogging the path. We are not suggesting that Guzman is more deserving of the position at AAA. Rather, Guzman is just good enough that he can’t be moved. His defense is gold glove caliber and while his batting average is nothing to brag about (.253), it is not terrible and he is starting to show some pop (12 doubles, 11 home runs). Still, Guzman is not close to being major league-ready. He has a .283 OBP and a 73 to 11 strike out to walk ratio. If Guzman is not being moved from third base at Durham, what can the Rays do? We see two options. The first option is to promote Longoria and institute either a platoon situation with the off-player filling in at DH, or just make Guzman the temporary DH for month until Longoria has shown sufficient skill to warrant a promotion to the show. The other option is to keep Longoria in AA and skip AAA all-together. This option may seem like the less likely option, but The Dirt Bag may have shown enough that he will hit at the major league level with or without a stint at AAA. Either way, we now think there is a very good chance we see Longoria in a Devil Rays uniform before the end of the season.
- Ryan Royster was .254 hitter in his first 3 seasons in the Rays organization. This year he is hitting .309 with 12 home runs and 46 RBI. The improvement is attributed to medication to treat a previously undetected case of ADHD.