RAYS 7, Jays 1 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Another Day Another Great Pitching Performance. 6 innings, 2 hits, 2 walks, 1 run, 6 Ks. That was Matt Moore’s line. And at one point, he retired 14 in a row. Moore now has 5 straight starts having allowed 2 runs or less. And in his last 4 starts, he has thrown 25.2 innings, and allowed just 3 runs on 17 hits and 7 walks with 25 strikeouts…JP Howell. On June 13, Dude had an ERA of 6.16. Since then, he has made 17 appearances (21 ip) and allowed no runs, lowering his ERA to 2.92. He also has 19 strikeouts and 7 walks during that stretch…Jose Lobaton. Since his big 3-3 night with a HR in Baltimore on July 25, Lobatron was just 4-22 (.182). But yesterday he had 2 hits including a big 2-run single in the 2nd and another RBI-single in the 5th that seemed to seal the door on the sweep.
THE BAD: Did Carlos Pena Get Matt Joyce Plunked? In the bottom of the 7th, with the Rays up 6-1, Pena led off and tried to bunt his way on base. This was cited by the Blue Jays TV crew as one possible reason that Matt Joyce was later hit with a purpose pitch in the 8th inning (the Rays also hit Rajai Davis earlier in the 8th inning). Considering the score and the point in the game Pena probably shouldn’t have been bunting. But more worrisome for me is that it shows just how messed up in the head Pena is at the plate right now. Sure the Blue Jays were shifting. But here he is, leading off an inning late in the game with a big lead. This is the perfect time to go up there and just relax and work on getting a good swing. Instead, he either a) has zero confidence in his swing; or b) is more concerned about his batting average. And neither is good.
THE TELLING: Ben Zobrist made his first start at SS since 2009. Joe Maddon said it was a way to get him in the lineup with both Ryan Roberts and Jeff Keppinger and that Zorilla had been working on it “covertly”…Brooks Conrad cleared waivers and has accepted his assignment to triple-A Durham…Luke Scott will play in rehab games this weekend for single-A Charlotte…The Rays are now 18-8 overall and 11-1 in the last 12 games with Evan Longoria in the lineup…The Rays are now 59-52, o.5 games behind the Tigers and Orioles and tied in the loss column for the 2nd Wild Card spot. According to CoolStandings.com, the Rays now have a 39.9% chance of making the playoffs. The Orioles are just 15.1%.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Is the newly proposed Pinellas County stadium the same secret plan that Mayor Bill Foster earlier this year? One St. Pete official thinks so, and she sounds pissed. [TampaBay.com]
- JP Peterson writes about Evan Longoria’s return and wonders if it will be enough? [TampaBaySportsCentral]
- David Schoenfield of ESPN.com says other teams better watch out for the suddenly surging Rays. [ESPN]
- Peter King grades the Bucs’ cafeteria food. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM 12, Columbus 2. Matt Torra allowed 2 runs in 7 innings…SS Tim Beckham went 2-5 with 2 RBI…RF Chris Gimenez hit 2 home runs, his 6th and 7th, and drove in 5. He’s hitting .332…1B Brooks Conrad hit a home run in his first game since being demoted…DH Henry Wrigley was 1-4 with his 11th home run. His average is now .319.
MONTGOMERY 6, Jackson 4. Kyle Lobstein gave up 3 runs in 6 innings. He struck out 6 and walked 5…RF Mikie Mahtook had 3 hits in 4 at bats including 2 doubles. He’s now hitting .308 since his promotion…SS Hak-Ju Lee did not start, but was a late-inning defensive replacement.
CHARLOTTE 3, Brandenton 0 (6). Enny Romero struck out 9 and walked just 1 in 6 shutout innings. He gave up just 1 hit, lowering his ERA to 3.77…3B Riccio Torrez went 2-2 with a double and a home run, his 9th.
BOWLING GREEN 10, South Bend 2. DH Ryan Brett was 3-5, raising his average to .289…RF Drew Vettleson was 1-4 with a triple and 2 RBI.
HUDSON VALLEY 5, Vermont 4. 2011 1st round pick Jeff Ames threw 4.2 shutout innings, striking out 4. He now has a 1.68 ERA…DH Justin O’Connor went 2-5 with a double…3B Richie Shaffer was 0-2 with a walk.
Bluefield 3, PRINCETON 0. Alex Keudell worked 6 innings, giving up 3 runs, striking out 9 and walking 1…SS Brandon Martin went 2-4.