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Rays News & Notes for Tuesday, May 16th

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RAYS 10, Chicago 7

3 Up
SP Scott Kazmir, W (6-2): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R (ER), 2 BB, 8 K
LF Carl Crawford: 2-4, RS, 3 RBI, SF
DH Jonny Gomes: 2-4, 3 RBI, BB, 2B

3 Down
RP Ruddy Lugo: 0+ IP, 3 H, 3 R (ER), BB
RP Travis Harper: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 HR
1B Travis Lee: 0-3, 2 K, 4 LOB

Extra, Extra, Read All About It

That Kazmir kid is good...... [The Tampa Tribune]
Tribune Notes Column [The Tampa Tribune]
Sad Day for the Devil Rays Organization [DevilRays.com]
Chastain Notes Column [DevilRays.com]

Down on the Farm

AAA Durham-L, 5-6 (12):
SS B.J. Upton: 1-5, RS, BB, E (14, throwing)
RF Elijah Dukes: 1-5, 2B (9), BB, 2 K
3B Sean Burroughs: 2-5, solo HR (1), RBI (2)
SP Jamie Shields: 7 IP, 7 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 10 K, WP, balk

AA Montgomery-W, 9-7:
2B Elliot Johnson: 2-5, 2 RS, 2B (10), solo HR (8), 2 RBI (22,23), 2 K
RF Jeremy Owens: 2-4, 2 RS, 3B (1), 2 run HR (4), 5 RBI (12,13,14,15,16), 2 K

A+ Visalia-W, 15-8:
CF Fernando Perez: 3-6, 2 RS, 3 K, SB (11)
SS Reid Brignac: 3-6, 4 RS, 2B (9), 3B (2), solo HR (7), 5 RBI (28,29,30,31,32), SB (5)
DH John Jaso: 1-5, 2 run HR (3), 2 RBI (14,15), K
1B Chris Nowak: 2-3, RS, 2B (9), 2 BB
SP Jon Barratt: 3 IP, 6 H, 3 R (ER), 2BB, 1 K, HR
RP Jino Gonzalez, W (1-3): 3 IP, 2 H, 3 R (ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HR

A- Southwest Michigan-W, 1-0:
DH Andrew Lopez: 2-3, 2B (4), RBI (6), BB
SP Wade Davis: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K

RAYS 10, Chicago 7
Scott Kazmir struck out eight while allowing five hits over seven innings of Tampa Bay's 10-to-7 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Kazmir is 6-and-2 after holding the White Sox to four singles and a double. He left the game with a 10-to-1 lead and didn't allow a run after Jermaine Dye's R-B-I single in the first inning.

Ty Wigginton and Toby Hall hit back-to-back homers to help Kazmir win his fourth consecutive decision. Jonny Gomes (gohmz) added a three-run double and Carl Crawford had three RBI's.

Jim Thome  hit a two-run homer to ignited the White Sox's six-run eighth. But Tyler Walker ended the rally before working the ninth for his sixth save.

Brandon McCarthy was tagged for three runs and five hits in four-plus innings. He's 2-and-2.


[Associated Press via WTSP Ch .10]

-The Rays broke out of their offensive skid to score their most runs in a ballgame this season, laying eight in a three inning run en route to ten on the day. However, it being the Rays, they promptly gave up six runs in the eighth inning before Tyler Walker came on and quelled the fire to end the eighth by getting the tying run at the plate, Jim Thome, who had homered earlier in the inning, to retire to the bench.  Scott Kazmir had another wonderful outing, giving up just one earned run over seven innings in lowering his ERA to 2.73, he has not surrendered more than one earned run in a start since last April 25th against New York, and has surrendered more than three earned just once this season, in his disastrous opening day start against Baltimore.

Still, the dynamic duo of Travis Harper and Ruddly Lugo nearly blew the game by allowing the Sox to score six runs, including three on back to back home runs allowed by Harper, to make this one a nail biter. However Harper wasn't the only pitcher to surrender back to back jacks on the day. White Sox starter and top prospect Brandon McCarthy surrendered home runs to Ty Wigginton and Toby Hall in the back to back fashion in the second inning to give the Rays a 2-1 lead that they would (barely) not relinquish. Carl Crawford and Jonny Gomes each contributed two hits and three RBI to the effort, while Damon Hollins, Joey Gathright, and Julio Lugo each scored two runs apiece. On the Chicago side of things, Juan Uribe and A.J Pierzynski each picked up three hits while McCarthy took the loss in giving up three earned in four innings, even though Boone Logan relieved him and promptly gave up five runs, four earned, in 1.2 innings of work. The announced crowd at the Trop was a decent 11,566.

Rays Reads

Before Tuesday's game, it was easier to count the number of Rays hitters who weren't taking early batting practice.

Seven of the nine hitters in Tampa Bay's lineup suited up and headed for the field more than an hour and a half before the Rays' usual 5 p.m. batting practice.

Add reserves Tomas Perez, Josh Paul and Greg Norton, and you have what basically amounted to an early team meeting, sans pitchers. C Toby Hall (hitting .288 entering the game, which was tied with Jonny Gomes for the team lead) and SS Julio Lugo (getting treatment on his left abdominal muscle) were among the few who did not attend.


[The Tampa Tribune]

-Extra batting practice, what a novel idea for a team that had been hitting below .200 over their last 20-some games. Do they teach how the hell not to swing on the second pitch in this extra BP? Well, somehow the trait was acquired for Tuesday night's game, and you saw the result. It is a pretty simple concept. You swing at bad pitches, you get bad results, you swing at good pitches, you get good results. You randomly swing at arbitrary counts, and you get random, arbitrary results. Let's compare for a moment. Being unaggressive, the Rays scored 10 runs on Tuesday night. When they were aggressive and did swing at pitches, resulting in a total pitch count for the opposing pitcher of 178 on Saturday ans Sunday, they scored four runs. The tale of the tape speaks for itself. Patience=good.

No, as for our unexcused absences. Gomes, you can understand. He has hit .295/.427/.651 this season for a 1.078 OPS, and that doesn't require too much sharpening and adjusting. However Julio Lugo, now he raises some doubts. I am not one to get all self-righteous and ranty in a situation like this, I prefer to look at the facts before going off on some diatribe, and the fact is, I don't know why he wasn't there. He could have skipped it for no plausible reason, in which case, shame on him. But he could have had a good reason to miss it, I'm not going to speculate on what that may be, but there are a variety of acceptable excuses. However a .668 OPS doesn't exactly scream 'Silver Slugger' to me, and it doesn't look real good when nearly all of the offense attends a voluntary BP session and a struggling hitter does not. That doesn't look good, so I can only hope Julio had a damn good reason for missing BP.

OF Rocco Baldelli's extended spring game was rained out Tuesday and has been rescheduled for today. Maddon reaffirmed that if Baldelli shows no ill effects from his strained left hamstring, he will do a minor-league rehab assignment next week, most likely at Double-A Montgomery.

"When he does do that, he'll more than likely stay a full two to three weeks," Maddon said, "just to make sure and get his at-bats in."

Maddon added 2B Jorge Cantu, also on the disabled list with a fractured left foot, is feeling better and may be available after the Rays' next road trip, which ends June 1.


[The Tampa Tribune]

-Ah the never ending saga of Rocco Baldelli's injuries. At least he didn't go playing out in the rain today at the Stu Sternberg complex, because I hear the drainage system isn't too good. Anyways, I will affirm my stance on him, I'll believe it when I see it, though maybe I'll catch Rocco at an extended spring game, and if not there, then through Jim Tocco and the Biscuits Radio Network. As for Cantu, good to see an actual timetable now instead of a parade of vague remarks from people familiar with his case, but hopefully my early June we have him back and our team at full strength.

TIME OFF: Maddon said he will miss Friday's and Saturday's games against the Florida Marlins in order to attend his girlfriend's graduation from law school. Bench coach Bill Evers will handle managerial duties.

Jaye Sousoures is receiving her degree from Western State University in Fullerton, Calif. Maddon said she plans on working in corporate law or patent law.

OBITUARY: Skip Bundy, a former Rays scout, and Edgar Ramirez, an instructor with the organization, both died Tuesday.

Bundy, 61, spent 22 years as a major-league scout with four different teams, including the New York Yankees. He was with the Rays as an area scout from 1995-2005. He passed away from congestive heart failure in his hometown of Birmingham, Ala.

Ramirez, 28, was one of Tampa Bay's original minor-league players and the son of former Braves SS Rafael Ramirez. He was killed in an automobile accident in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.


[The Tampa Tribune]

-First off, congratulations to Joe and his girlfriend, I only hope that her new field brings her joy and success, and for Joe, it gives him an opportunity to sedate himself heavily before returning, so it is a win-win. If nothing else, Bill Evers gets a chance to manage, so that is a good thing. He deserves it after so many years in the minor leagues, as this is his first year on a major league coaching staff. Good for him. And perhaps Joe's girl can get in touch with my fellow Rays colleague Dan McAvoy, who also specializes in corporate and patent law. Watch out Joe, you may have competition! Ha Ha.

As for the two scouts, may they rest in peace. While I was unfamilir with their work, this sounds like a tragedy, especially Ramirez, because his death came at such a young age and his future in the front office looked bright, and even Bundy was just 61. Truly sad to hear of their deaths, though Martinez's death follows a strange pattern of car crash deaths of baseball officials, lead off by the death of the New York Yankees' Gulf Coast League team manager last month.

3B Aubrey Huff's fourth-inning single snapped a 0-for-19 streak at the plate...Bucs WR Joey Galloway plans to take batting practice before tonight's game.

[The Tampa Tribune]

-Yeah, but unfortunatly Huff's hit was his only one of the day on a 1 for 5 night, and that is borderline Mendoza territory just for the evening. Talk to me when every other at bat doesn't result in a groundout to second for Huff. And on Galloway, if he does well enough, perhaps we can make him a Deion Sanders-type. He's got the speed to patrol center, and his hitting may be good, hell, with some fine tuning he may actually make a decent baseball player, or at least as good as Joey Gathright.

Short Hop-The Tribune's Marty Fennelley jumps on the packed Scott Kazmir bandwagon with this piece in Wednesday's edition.

Down on the Farm

AAA Durham-L, 5-6 (12):
SS B.J. Upton: 1-5, RS, BB, E (14, throwing)
2B Nick Green: 2-6, 2 K
RF Elijah Dukes: 1-5, 2B (9), BB, 2 K
1B Kevin Witt: 3-4, RS, 2B (5), RBI (22), K
3B Sean Burroughs: 2-5, solo HR (1), RBI (2)
DH Brent Butler: 1-3, 2B (8), RBI (12), K, SB (2), CS (1), HBP
SP Jamie Shields: 7 IP, 7 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 10 K, WP, balk
RP Jon Switzer: 0+ IP, 2 H, 0 R
RP Jason Childers: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, HB
RP Bart Miadich, L (0-4): 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (ER), 1 BB, HB

-Durham manager John Tamargo and late game substitution Fernando Cortez were both ejected by the home plate umpire, Tamargo in the 12th inning, and Cortez in the 10th.

Bulls Up Next-at Louisville, 12:15 (Seddon)

AA Montgomery-W, 9-7:
2B Elliot Johnson: 2-5, 2 RS, 2B (10), solo HR (8), 2 RBI (22,23), 2 K
LF Michael Coleman: 1-4, 2B (14), RBI (17), K, SB (1)
1B Gaby Martinez: 1-4, K
DH Ryan Christianson: 1-3, 2 RS, BB, ejected in 8th inning by HP Umpire
SS Matt Maniscalco: 1-2, E (9, fielding)
PH-3B Aneudi Cuevas: 2-2, RS, 2B (4)
CF Jason Pridie: 1-3, 2 RS, RBI (10), BB, K
RF Jeremy Owens: 2-4, 2 RS, 3B (1), 2 run HR (4), 5 RBI (12,13,14,15,16), 2 K
SP Mike Prochaska: 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, HR
RP Marcos Carvajal: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (ER), 0 BB, 3 K, HR
RP Jean Machi, W (3-0): 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
RP Juan Salas, SV (10): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Biscuits Up Next-at Birmingham, 12:05 (Sonnanstine)

A+ Visalia-W, 15-8:
CF Fernando Perez: 3-6, 2 RS, 3 K, SB (11)
SS Reid Brignac: 3-6, 4 RS, 2B (9), 3B (2), solo HR (7), 5 RBI (28,29,30,31,32), SB (5)
RF Shaun Cumberland: 1-5, RBI (30), K, CS (3), PO
C Josh Arhart: 2-5, 2 RS, 2B (2), 2 RBI (10,11)
DH John Jaso: 1-5, 2 run HR (3), 2 RBI (14,15), K
1B Chris Nowak: 2-3, RS, 2B (9), 2 BB
LF Patrick Breen: 1-3, RS, 2 BB, K, CS (3)
3B Patrick Cottrell: 2-3, 3 RS, 2B (4), solo HR (4), 2 RBI (9,10), SAC, SF
SP Jon Barratt: 3 IP, 6 H, 3 R (ER), 2BB, 1 K, HR
RP Jino Gonzalez, W (1-3): 3 IP, 2 H, 3 R (ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HR

Oaks Up Next-vs Modesto, 9:35 (Mann)

A- Southwest Michigan-W, 1-0:
CF John Matulia: 0-4, RS, K
LF J.T. Hall: 1-4, 2 K
RF Garrett Groce: 1-3, IBB
DH Andrew Lopez: 2-3, 2B (4), RBI (6), BB
C Matt Spring: 0-4, 3 K
SP Wade Davis: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K

M-Rays Up Next-vs South Bend, 11:05 (Reinhard)