Royals 5, RAYS 4 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Ben Zobrist. Three more hits from Zorilla including the huge 2-run triple to tie the game in the 8th. Sure felt like there was no way the Rays could lose at that point, especially considering they still had Zo on third base and just 1 out. But Zobrist was thrown out at home on a groundball and 2 batters later, Hideki Matsui struck out to end the threat. Zobrist has now raised his batting average nearly 50 points in just 3 weeks, hitting .369 (24-65) during that stretch.
THE BAD: Joel Peralta. This might have been the first game in which Peralta’s suspension cost the Rays a chance to win a game. Moore started the 8th inning to face the lefty Mike Moustakas. But without Peralta, Maddon went to Burke Badenhop who promptly hit the go-ahead home run.
THE TELLING: As Expected, Chris Archer was optioned back to Durham where the defense is probably better. Look for Luke Scott to be activated today…Durham Bulls reliever Dane de la Rosa has been named to the triple-A International League All-Star team…The Rays are now 6.5 games behind the Yankees and tied with the Red Sox, 1.5 games behind the Orioles. All 5 teams in the East are above .500.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Jeremy Hellickson is ready to go Saturday. And Matt Joyce is hoping to be activated on July 5. [TampaBay.com]
- Joe Maddon says he dropped Desmond Jennings in the lineup because he was swinging at too many pitches outside of the strikezone. Also, the Rays say Hideki Matsui’s role will be reduced once Luke Scott returns. [TBO.com]
- Former Rays catcher Dioner Navarro has been named to the AAA IL All-Star team. Congrats? He will be joined by former Rays Russ Canzler and Dan Johnson.
- Joel Guzman, whom the Rays traded Julio Lugo for once upon a time, and who played 16 games for the Rays in 2007, has been released from the Reds’ double-A club.
- If you are looking for and Rays 1979 throwback gear, there is a bunch now available in the MLB Shop. [MLB Shop]
- The guys at Bullpen Banter, recently went and watched rays 2011 top pick Taylor Guerrieri make a start for Hudson Valley. Here’s the video. [YouTube]
- Interestingly, Luke Scott is endorsing a product that helps shape baseball gloves. [MyPerfectGlove] You can see him talking about it here (thanks Gus). [YouTube]
- Gus also leads us to this glove, called “Da Big Sexy,” which is a project that involves Gabe Kapler (of course) and Chris Novak. [Novak]
- Toby David interviewed Tommy John. [TobyDavid.com]
- The Bucs are pushing hard for an opening day sellout. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM 4, Syracuse 3. Alex Torres returned to Durham and started, but only worked 1 inning, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 2…Kyle Farnsworth pitched a scoreless 3rd inning, striking out 2 and gave up 1 hit…2B Tim Beckham went 2-4…RF Rich Thompson had 3 hits and a walk. He also stole 2 bases…SS Reid Brignac was 1-4 and is hitting .217.
Jacksonville 5, MONTGOMERY 2. Kyle Lobstein allowed just 2 runs on 2 hits in 5 innings, but walked 4 batters. He struck out 6…SS Hak-Ju Lee went 3-5 to raise his average to .258.
CHARLOTTE 5, Brevard Co. 3 (gm 1). The Stone Crabs first completed a suspended game from Tuesday with Enny Romero giving up 3 runs in 4 innings on 3 hits and 5 walks…Mikie Mahtook went 2-4 with a triple.
Brevard Co. 8, CHARLOTTE 1 (gm 2). Albert Suarez went 4 innings, giving up 6 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 4. His ERA is now 3.93…CF Mikie Mahtook went 1-3 and drove in the only run…SS Derek Dietrich was 1-2.
Brevard Co. 8, CHARLOTTE 5 (gm 3). Eli Suero gave up 6 runs in just 3 innings, raising his ERA to 7.86…SS Derek Dietrich hit his 7th home run…RF Mikie Mahtook was 1-4 with 2 strikeouts.
West Michigan 7, BOWLING GREEN 0. Ryan Carpenter gave up 3 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk in 5 innings. He struck out 3…RF Drew Vettleson went 0-4 and LF Josh Sale was 1-4.
Brooklyn 4, HUDSON VALLEY. DH Justin O’Connor had 2 hits including a double.
PRINCETON 6, Greeneville 3. SS Brandon Martin had a double, triple, and a walk.