RAYS 8, Yankees 6 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: David Price. OK, it wasn’t his best outing ever. He gave up 5 hits and 4 walks in less than 7 innings. But when staked to an early lead, he didn’t blow it *cough* James Shields *cough*…Matt Joyce. After going 0-4 with 4Ks in the opener, Joe Maddon moved Joyce to the cleanup spot, and Joyce delivered, with his first home run of the season, a no-doubt-about-it shot and also added a 2-run single in the 7th that put the game out of reach…Luke Scott. In his first start for the Rays, he delivered 3 hits, including a 2-run single in the first…Shifting. Nobody shifts more than Joe Maddon. And in the 8th inning, after the Yankees put men on 2nd and 3rd with no outs, the Rays ended the inning when Mark Teixeira lined out to Sean Rodriguez in shallow right field, who then doubled-up the runner at second to end the rally.
THE BAD: Josh Lueke. One day after Joe Maddon used everybody else in the bullpen, the Rays needed Lueke to pitch two quiet innings in an 8-2 ballgame. But after a decent first inning, things fell apart in the 9th. The Yankees scored 4 more runs, and eventually had the tying run at the plate in the form of Alex Rodriguez. In all, Maddon needed 4 relievers to get the final 3 outs…No Home Run. Evan Longoria nearly had his second home run of the season, but a fan appeared to reach over and grab the ball. The call was later changed to a double. What’s worse is seeing that the fan that interfered was wearing a Rays cap, and a Yankees jersey.
THE TELLING: Both the Yankees and Red Sox are 0-2, so all is right in the world. Of course, the Blue Jays and Orioles are both 2-0, so maybe this is bizarro season…Luke Scott says his teammates won’t let him shave his Wolverine beard…James Shields will move up in the rotation in the next series to stay on normal rest…BJ Upton will begin a rehab assignment this week and is not expected to join the team on the road trip.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- If you want to see some of the highlights from last night, including Stuart Sternberg calling Matt Joyce’s home run, check out our video page. [RI Videos]
- James Shields says the incident in the dugout with Jose Molina was not an argument. Rather, it was just Shields venting over a non-strike call. [TampaBay.com]
- Here’s baseball’s newest slugger. [BI Sports]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM 6, Gwinnett 5 –Bryan Augenstein struck out 8 in 6 innings. He allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits and no walks…Tim Beckham went 0-2 but walked twice…CF Brandon Guyer was 1-4 with a home run…1B Leslie Anderson went 3-4 with 2 doubles.
Pensacola 5, MONTGOMERY 4 – Kyle Lobstein struck out 3 in 6 innings, giving up 1 run on 3 hits and 3 walks…2B Tyler Bortnick tripled twice in 4 at bats.
CHARLOTTE 4. Fort Myers 3 (10) – Albert Suarez gave up just 1 run in 5 innings…CF Mikie Mahtook went 2-5.
South Bend 6, BOWLING GREEN 4 (13) – Parker Markel struck out 5 and walked just 1 in 4 innings, allowed 3 runs…Reliever Austin Hubbard allowed a tying run in his 2 innings of work, but did strikeout 5 of the 10 batters he faced…CF Kes Carter went 3-6.
4/7/12 Game 2 vs New York Yankees
No manager uses the shift more than Joe Maddon and this one killed a Yankees rally…