THE GOOD: Benjamin Thomas Zobrist. Ben had a hell of a month yesterday. First he set the Rays team record with 8 RBI in game 1 of the double-header. Then he added another double and home run in the nightcap. He finished 7-10, 3 doubles, 2 home runs and 10 RBI…Jeff Niemann. The Giraffe had given up at least 5 runs in 3 of his first 4 outings this year. But last night he was able to get everything rocking in sync. He allowed only a walk in the first six innings, not giving up a hit until the leadoff batter in the 7th. He left after the 7th after allowing just 1 run on 2 hits.
THE BAD: Jeff Niemann’s Last Pitch. It sure looked like Niemann pulled something covering first base to end the 7th inning. Here is a clip. We haven’t heard any report of an injury, but Niemann was pulled with just 84 pitches at the time…More Injuries. Sean Rodriguez dislocated his pinky trying to breakup a double-play…Reid Brignac. Briggy Baseball now has 57 at bats without an extra-base hit. Only one other player (Will Rhymes of Detroit has 56) has more than 40 at bats.
THE TELLING: The Rays have now won 5 in a row and 13 of 16…This was just the second time in team history that the Rays won two games in one day…Don’t look now, but with 21 runs on the day, the Rays jumped from 11th in the AL in scoring to 5th…Jake Thompson, the Rays 2nd round pick last year, tore his ACL and could miss the rest of the season…The Rays and Red Sox will make up their rainout as part of a double-header on August 16.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Here is something we haven’t seen in a while: Evan Longoria swinging a baseball bat (Video). [Montgomery Advertiser]
- Sean Rodriguez tore a ligament in his pinky, but he plans to keep playing. [TBO.com]
- Here is how the lineup might look once Evan Longoria returns from the DL. [TBO.com]
- Matt Snyder of CBSSports.com writes about what Johnny Damon means for the Rays. [CBS Sports]
- How can you be a national baseball columnist and still refer to the team as the “Devil Rays”? [Fox Sports]
- Rays are no. 13 in the latest Power Rankings from Fox Sports. [Fox Sports]
- Adrian Clayborn from THE University of Iowa, was the Bucs pick in the first round of the NFL Draft. You will love this guy. [Joe Bucs Fan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Louisville 3, Durham 2 (game 1): Brian Baker gave up 3 runs on 5 hits (2 home runs) in 3 innings…Cory Wade and Rob Delaney combined for 3 shutout innings of relief with 3 Ks and no walks…CF Desmond Jennings and RF Brandon Guyer each had a single and a walk.
- Louisville 11, DURHAM 5 (game 2): Jeremy Hall, called up to replace Dirk Hayhurst, gave up 8 runs (7 earned) in 3.2 innings…CF Desmond Jennings went 0-4 with 3 Ks…LF Brandon Guyer doubled and homered, his 5th. He also walked in 4 plate appearances. He is hitting .372 in 21 games…DH Robinson Chirinos was 1-4 with a double. He average is at .190.
- MONTGOMERY 4, Jacksonville 3: Evan Longoria made his first rehab start, and he homered in his second at bat. He finished 1-4…Nick Barnese lasted just 3 innings, striking out 4 and giving up 1 run on 2 hits and 2 walks…LF Stephen Vogt had a pair of doubles.
- Jupiter 4, CHARLOTTE 3: JP Howell started the game as his first rehab appearance, striking out 1 in a perfect inning…Kyle Lobstein made his first appearance of the year, giving up 3 runs in 3.2 innnings…SS Hak-Ju Lee had another multi-hit game, going 2-3 with a walk.
- Great Lakes 12, BOWLING GREEN 5: George Jensen gave up 6 runs in 4 innings on 10 hits including 4 home runs…SS Derek Dietrich went 1-5…3B Robi Estrada was 3-4 with a double and his first home run.
Ben Zobrist has a little Sam Fuld-envy
Ben Zobrist after the game (via TampaBay.com)