Mariners 2, RAYS 1 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Matt Moore. He struggled early. Of the first 12 batters he faced, he gave up 5 hits and 11 total bases (including the 3 stolen bases). But then he settled down and retired the last 17 batters he faced. Interestingly, he dominated those last 17, but only 4 went down on strikes…Matt Joyce. Joyce is the one bat we can feel good about right now and he nearly tied the game with 2 outs in the 9th when he hit a line drive off the wall in right field. If he gets any elevation at all on that ball, they are probably heading to extra innings.
THE BAD: Hideki Matsui. It was just one at bat, but when the Rays have the tying and winning runs on base with 2 outs in the 9th, Rays fans let out a sigh of disgust when they saw Matsui walking to the plate. And after popping up to end the game, Matsui is now 0 for his last 16…EJ and BJ. After Desmond Jennings reached on an error to lead-off the 8th, and he moved to second on a ground ball, the Rays had 2 shots to get the speedster home to tie the game. Elliot Johnson then grounded out on a 3-1 hitters count, and BJ Upton popped-up on another 2-1 hitters count.
THE TELLING: Brandon Gomes was optioned back to triple-A after the game. No corresponding move yet…Jeff Niemann had a bullpen session prior to Sunday’s game and Alex Cobb says there is swelling in his leg, but should make his next start…The Rays are now 49-47, 2.5 games behind the A’s for the second Wild Card spot. According to CoolStandings.com, the Rays now have a 16.6% shot at making the playoffs.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Nick Cafardo on the Pirates: “They may also be interested in BJ Upton.” [Boston.com]
- Jon Heyman says the Angels and Tigers “have interest” in trading for James Shields (They were two of the 7 teams in attendance on Friday night). [CBSSports]
- Joe Maddon says he will keep using Hideki Matsui in key situations. [TampaBay.com]
- The Rays’ navy blue is common (3 other teams use exact same blue), but it is not nearly as common as the Yankees’ blue (8 teams). [TheScore]
- The Cubs are the latest team to go with a themed road trip. [Larry Brown Sports]
- The Bucs are no longer using iPads? [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
Rochester 5, DURHAM 1 (gm 1). With a depleted bullpen thanks to the Rays needs, Jim Paduch delivered a complete game (7 innings) despite giving up 5 runs (4 earned) in 7 innings. He struck out 5 and walked 1…C Stephen Vogt was 2-3 with a double and a home run, his 9th.
DURHAM 4, Rochester 3 (gm 2). 1B Henry Wrigley was 2-4 including the game-winning walk-off single in the bottom of the 7th. He is hitting .341…Chris Archer worked just 2.2 innings with a strict pitch limit. He struck out 1 and gave up 4 hits and 1 run…LF Leslie Anderson was 1-3 with his 10th home run, a 3-run shot.
MONTGOMERY 5, Birmingham 4 (10). Nick Barnese gave up 3 runs in 5 innings, striking out 3 and walking 3…SS Hak-Ju Lee went 0-4 with a walk…DH Kyeong Kang hit his 12th home run and walked twice.
Clearwater @ CHARLOTTE. postponed
Clinton 10, BOWLING GREEN 9. RF Drew Vettleson hit his 9th home run and went 3-4, driving in 4. He also stole 16 bases…DH Cameron Seitzer was 3-5 with a double and a triple.
HUDSON VALLEY 8, Aberdeen 2. SS Ryan Dunn hit his first home run of the year, a 3-run shot.
PRINCETON 13, Johnson City 3. Andrew Toles went 3-4 with his first home run of the year, a grand slam.