The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
THE GOOD: Kelly Shoppach. This might be the first time all season that Shoppach made an appearance in “The Good.” He came into the game with as many home runs this season as Dioner Navarro (1). And exited the game with 3, including a huge go-ahead grand slam in the 5-run 4th inning…Evan Longoria has had a rough second-half, hitting just .235 with 2 home runs since the break. But yesterday he started the 5-run 4th inning with a double and led off the 5th inning with another double. He would eventually score the Rays 6th run.
THE BAD: Andy Sonnanstine. James Shields may lead the AL in home runs allowed (28), but Sonny gives them up just as often, about once every 24 batters. Yesterday it was a big 3-run blast that put the Rays down early…Baserunning. We love the aggressive baserunning style of Joe Maddon, but it has to be smart and it can’t be reckless. In the 3rd inning, on a 1-out single with runners on first and second, Gabe Kapler screwed up by thinking the ball would be caught and BJ Upton screwed up by not seeing where Kapler was and both runners ended up at third base. The Rays failed to score.
THE TELLING: Carlos Pena will DH today for Charlotte and is expected to rejoin the Rays tomorrow…In 5.2 triple-A innings as a reliever, Jake McGee has struck out 11 of the 19 batters he has faced, walked none and allowed just 2 hits.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 70-46, 2 games behind the Yankees and 4 games in front of the Red Sox (5 in the loss column). After 116 games in 2008, the Rays were 70-46.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Kelly Shoppach talks about his first big game with the Rays (Video). [The Heater]
- Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann are expected to return to the rotation as early as the upcoming series against the Angels a week from tomorrow. [St. Pete Times]
- Jeremy Hellickson will move to the bullpen once Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann return from the DL. There is still a chance that he will make an occasional spot-start down the stretch. [Tampa Tribune]
- A fan was removed from the game on a stretcher after being hit by a bat. [USA Today]
- Derek Shelton doesn’t mind the criticism and says the Rays struggles are just typical slumps every team goes through. [Tampa Tribune]
- A lower-level Rays minor leaguer has been suspended 50 games for testing positive for a banned substance. [Baseball America]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: In the first game Brian Shouse making his first appearance with Durham worked 2 innings and gave up 4 runs on 6 hits and a walk…Jake McGee (2004-5) pitched 2 innings in the nightcap striking out 4 and allowing just 1 hit…Desmond Jennings (2006-10) went 4-9 with his 32 steal in the double-header.
- MONTGOMERY: Alex Torres gave up 4 runs in 4.2 innings with 6 walks…Matt Spring (2004-4) went 2-4 and hit his first home run.
- CHARLOTTE: Joe Cruz (2007-30) picked up his 11th win with 5 shutout, 1-hit innings. He struck out 4 and walked 1 and lowered his ERA to 3.12…Tim Beckham (2008-1) was 0-5 with a strikeout. He is hitting .249…Stephen Vogt (2007-12) went 3-5 with a double, raising his league-leading average to .342…Mike Sheridan (2008-5) hit his 3rd home run.
- BOWLING GREEN: Wilking Rodriguez gave up just 1 run in 4.1 innings. He struck out 5 and walked 1. It was his first start in over a month…Tyler Bortnick (2009-16) was 2-6 with his 8th home run. He is hitting .307.
- HUDSON VALLEY: Miguel Sierra started but worked just 2 innings, giving up 2 runs…Phillip Wunderlich (2010-12) was 3-4 with 2 doubles raising his average to .333.
- PRINCETON: Victor Mateo made his 2nd start and gave up 6 runs in 4.2 innings including a 2-run home run…Scott Lawson (2010-29) hit his 4th home run and Ruben Contreras added his 4th.