A stellar starting pitching performance from Jeremy Hellickson, coupled with back-to-back-to-back home runs, led the Rays to a 4-1 victory to begin their six-game homestand, and bring the Blue Jays 11-game win streak to a halt.
Though Jeremy Hellickson's streak of consecutive innings without issuing a walk came to an end last night at 26, tying James Shields (2007) for the Rays record, Helly pitched seven scoreless innings on 96 pitches - 59 for strikes, only allowing one hit, while walking and striking out four.
The second inning treat of back-to-back-to-back home runs from James Loney, Wil Myers and Sam Fuld, a first at Tropicana Field; followed by an additional run in the third, provided all the offensive support needed for Hellickson and the bullpen relief of Alex Torres and Fernando Rodney.
Watch Roberto Hernandez's reaction in the dugout after Fuld's homer - priceless.
Myers' home run, in his first at-bat at the Trop, was a 1-2 pitch slammed 422 feet, and he became the third Rays player to homer in his first plate appearance at the Trop. Myers is also the first player in franchise history with seven RBIs in his first eight career games.
He obliged fans and provided a curtain call after his impressive homer, and wowed his manager as well,
"That's right up there. To see a young man come in like that and do that on his first at-bat, I thought it was outstanding," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "The crowd reaction was really wonderful also, and Wil responded. Like I said, he's not really impressed with this whole thing yet."
Though fan-favorite Fuld received some love for his unexpected homer, he seemed to be in awe of Myers as well, complimenting his home-run-hitting skills,
"Mine's more like a thud," Fuld said. "His is like, 'Whack.' It's true." ... "I guess, in some respects, hitting a grand slam [at Yankee Stadium] and then hitting a ball 1,000 feet to center field, it's pretty impressive."
If Myers' first week in the majors, along with, oh, his entire minor league career, are any indication, this kid is going to be really, really fun to watch.
For all the details on last night's victory, head on over to Ian's postgame recap.
Alex Cobb held a press conference with the media yesterday afternoon to provide updates on his recovery from being hit in the head with a line drive on June 15th.
There is currently no timetable as to when Cobb will return to the mound, as there is still fluid in his right ear that will need to be gone completely, and concussion symptoms that will have to entirely subside, before he is cleared to resume physical activity.
Despite the lack of any idea as to when he'll be pitching again, Cobb ensured that ruling him out for the rest of the year isn't plausible,
"I've read some reports that I won't be back pitching this season and nothing could be further from the truth."
Price back next week?
On Wednesday David Price will make another rehab start for Class-A Port Charlotte, and he hopes it will be his last before returning to the Rays. Price was encouraged by how he felt after his rehab start last Friday, saying,
"I felt really good in my live bullpen, and then the two days after, I was extremely sore and stiff," he said. "And I didn't have any of that after my game in Bradenton, the playing catch the next day and throwing the bullpen (Sunday), everything felt great. Back to normal."
Price indicated that if he felt good on Thursday things could hopefully move in the right direction, though Joe Maddon stressed that nothing would be decided until Price was re-evaluated after this start.
- Fangraphs took a look at the history of winning streaks, and how those streaks don't necessarily correlate that a team is "good."
- Winning 11-in-a-row gave some life to a dismal Blue Jays season. Can any other expected-to-be-better-than-they-are teams do what Toronto did?
- According to early predictions from SportsonEarth, the Rays will be neither buyers nor sellers at the trade deadline.