THE GOOD: Ben Zobrist. Johnny Damon’s walk-off single will get top-billing in most circles, but it was Zorilla’s home run that just squeaked past the foul pole that saved the night, turning a 1-run deficit into a tie game in the 9th…Johnny Terrific. How happy are the Rays that the Yankees wouldn’t guarantee Damon X amount of playing time? That was the only reason Damon turned down the Bombers and signed with the Rays. And in 14 games he already has 2 walk-off hits…John Jaso. It’s been a slot start to the season for Jaso. But twice he singled Casey Kotchman to third base with less than 2 outs. The first time Kotchman would eventually score the Rays’ first run…Jeff Niemann. After failing to finish the third inning last time out, Niemann responded with 7 solid innings, giving up 3 runs, striking out 6 and walking just 1.
THE BAD: Getting The Man In. The Rays probably shouldn’t have been in the position to need Zobrist’s and Damon’s heroics. With runners in scoring position with less than 2 outs, the Rays were 1-10 with 4 strikeouts and a sac fly. The only hit didn’t come until Matt Joyce’s single in the 8th.
THE TELLING: Evan Longoria was awarded his 2010 Gold Glove prior to the game.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Interesting to see members of the Lightning at The Trop in Twins gear. [The Heater]
- Several players talk about Johnny Damon’s impact on the Rays. JOhn Ramano calls Damon the Rays first “rock star.” [TampaBay.com]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- DURHAM 1, Gwinnett 0: Alex Torres is making a strong case for the Rays 2012 rotation. In 5.1 scoreless innings, he struck out 8 and walked 1, giving up 3 hits. In two starts, the lefty has 17 Ks and just 2 walks in 10.1 innings…Dane de la Rosa and Brandon Gomes combined for 3.2 scoreless innings with 5 Ks and 2 walks…C Robinson Chirinos was 1-2 with a walk…CF Desmond Jennings went 0-3 with 2 Ks and a walk.
- Tennessee 11, MONTGOMERY 7 (gm 1): Joe Cruz was pounded for 9 runs in 4 innings, walking 2 and striking out none…SS Tim Beckham went 2-4 with his first home run…LF Stephen Vogt was 2-4 with 2 RBI.
- Tennessee 3, MONTGOMERY 1 (gm 2): In game 2 Jeremy Hall allowed 1 run on a solo home run in 4 innings. He struck out 3…In a 1-1 game, Matt Bush, came on in the 8th and gave up 2 runs on 3 hits…SS Tim Beckham was 0-3 in the nightcap. He is 10-34 in 9 games…The Biscuits had just 4 hits. John Shelby was 2-2 with a triple.
- St. Lucie 5, CHARLOTTE 4: Alex Koronis struck out 8 and walked 1, giving up 1 run on 4 hits in 6 innings. He now has 15 Ks and 2 walks i 11 innings…2B Tyler Bortnick was 0-3 with 2 walks…RF Brett Nommensen was 1-2 and is now 16-36 in 10 games. However, he was pulled from the game in the 5th after grounding out to the pitcher.
- Lake County 10, BOWLING GREEN 7: James Patterson gave up 3 runs in 3 innings…SS Derek Dietrich went 0-3 with 2 Ks.
Sam Fuld announces contest winner
Johnny Damon on his walk-off (via TampaBay.com)
JP Howell talks about his bullpen session (via TampaBay.com)