RAYS 3, Orioles 1 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Hellboy Cometh Back. After walking 4 batters in each of his previous two starts, Jeremy Hellickson only walked 1 last night and picked up his first win since May 16…The Bullpen, Again. Other than some control problems by Fernando Rodney in the 9th, it was 2.2 shutout innings from 3 relievers…Brooks Conrad. His 2-run home run was the difference, and all the pitching staff needed…The Lineup. I’ve been waiting for Joe Maddon to give us Desmond Jennings and BJ Upton at the top of the lineup, and it finally happened last night. Of course, it took a day off for Carlos Pena to make it happen. But apparently, Pena might get dropped in the order permanently.
THE BAD: Hideki Matsui. OK, he didn’t play, so this is probably just piling on at this point. But how far has Matsui fallen? One of his two home runs this season came off last night’s starting pitcher for the Orioles. And yet, there was no Matsui in the lineup. In fact, with Ryan Roberts set to join the Rays, Matsui may have played his last game in a Rays uniform.
THE TELLING: Strictly procedural, but Evan Longoria was moved to the 60-day DL to make room for Ryan Roberts on the 40-man roster…Carl Crawford was dropped back down to the 7-hole in the Red Sox lineup. Oh boy, this won’t end well…The Rays are 50-47, 1 game behind the Orioles, and 2.5 games behind both the A’s and the Angels in the Wild Card.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- If you missed it late last night, the Rays acquired an infielder from the Diamondbacks that plays third base. Hmmmm? [RaysIndex]
- And, well, he likes the ink. [Twitter]
- We already knew the Angels were interested, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they have talked about a deal with the Rays for James Shields. But now we know that the Angels end of a deal might be built around OF Peter Bourjos, C Hank Conger, and pitcher Ervin Santana. Santana is owed a lot of money, and that could be a hangup. [MLBTR]
- Every time we hear a negative report on Evan Longoria’s status, the team immediately tells us how good things are looking. This time it is “closer than you think” to a rehab assignment. We’ll believe it when we see it. [TampaBay.com]
- The Baltimore Sun goes with the headline “questionable balk.” There was nothing questionable about it. Even the Orioles TV crew said it was a balk. [Baltimore Sun]
- Luke Scott had much nicer things to say about Baltimore than Boston. [BaltimoreSun]
- Top prospect Hak-Ju Lee on his success in double-A: “I’ve realized I’m a slap hitter and not a gap hitter.” Too bad Reid Brignac never learned that less. [MiLB]
- Coolest Rays picture ever? Coolest Rays picture ever. [Instagram]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM 10, Gwinnett 8. Alex Torres‘ control problems reared their ugly heads again as he walked 6 in 2.1 innings. He did strike out 5, but gave up 5 runs…SS Tim Beckham went 3-4 with a double and his 3rd stolen base…2B Will Rhymes went 2-4 with a double, a walk, and 3 RBI…1B Leslie Anderson was 2-5 with an RBI and a walk.
MONTGOMERY 2, Jackson 0. Alex Colome tossed 7 shutout innings, striking out 6 and walking 3. His ERA is now 3.68…SS Hak-Ju Lee went 0-3 with a walk and 3 strikeouts…RF Brett Nommensen went 2-4 with his 3rd home run.
CHARLOTTE 6, Fort Myers 5 (11). SS Derek Dietrich went 1-4 with a double and an RBI…C Lucas Bailey had a pair of doubles.
BOWLING GREEN. no games scheduled
HUDSON VALLEY 4, Staten Island 3. DH Richie Shaffer had an RBI-single and a sac-fly in his second pro game.
Johnson City @ PRINCETON. postponed