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Rays News & Notes for Thursday, May 18th

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RAYS 5, Chicago 4

Game Reports
The Tampa Tribune
DevilRays.com

3 Up
1B-2B Ty Wigginton: 2-4, RBI (32), 2B (6)
RP Tyler Walker, SV (7): 1.1 IP, 11 pitches, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
SS Julio Lugo: 2-4, 2 RS, 2 SB (4,5)

3 Down
3B Aubrey Huff: 0-4, K, 2 LOB
2B-3B Tomas Perez: 0-3, 2 LOB
RP Chad Orvella: 0+ IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K

Extra, Extra, Read All About It

Baseball Prospectus feature on Reid Brignac (subscribers only) [Baseball Prospectus]
Jackie Robinson's daughter to attend re-dedication of Oliver Field [MLB.com]
Notes Column [DevilRays.com]
Another Notes Column [The Tampa Tribune]
Steinbrenner moaning about revenue sharing again [USA Today]
Fans Finding Hope in Rays [Palm Beach Post]
Rats, No Lou on Saturday [The Tampa Tribune]

Down on the Farm

AAA Durham-L, 2-4:
SS B.J. Upton: 0-4, RBI (20), BB, K, E (15, fielding)
2B Nick Green: 2-5, solo HR (1), RBI (2), K
RF Elijah Dukes: 0-2, 2 BB, K, CS (3)
SP Jason Hammel, L (3-4): 1.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, WP

AA Montgomery-W, 10-5:
2B Elliot Johnson: 2-4, RS, RBI (24), 2 BB
LF Francisco Leandro: 2-5, 2 RS, 2B (3), K
CF Jason Pridie: 2-4, RS, BB
1B Gaby Martinez: 1-4, 2 RS, 2B (7), RBI (16), BB, K
RF Jeremy Ownens: 3-5, RS, 2 2B (4,5), 2 RBI (17,18), K
SP Tony Peguero, W (5-3): 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R (ER), 4 BB, 2 K

A+ Visalia-W, 6-1:
SS Reid Brignac: 0-3, BB, K
DH John Jaso: 3-4, 2 RS, 2B (8), RBI (18)
LF Patrick Breen: 2-4, 3 run HR (8), 4 RBI (24,25,26,27), K  
SP James Houser, W (2-4): 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K

A- Southwest Michigan-L, 4-12:
RF Garrett Groce: 2-4, 2 RS, BB, K
1B Rhyne Hughes: 3-5, 3B (1), RBI (13)

RAYS 5, Chicago 4
Damon Hollins hit a two-run homer in a three-run seventh inning Thursday night as Tampa Bay edged the Chicago White Sox, 5-4.

Julio Lugo had two runs and two hits; Ty Wigginton had two hits and knocked in one run; while Russell Branyan, who also homered, had two runs, one hit and one RBI for the Devil Rays (17-24), who have won four times in their last seven games.

In seven innings, winning pitcher Mark Hendrickson (3-3) gave up four runs and seven hits with four walks and three strikeouts.

Tyler Walker earned his seventh save.

Jermaine Dye homered and drove in two runs, Jim Thome had a run and two hits, and Paul Konerko had two hits and drove in a run for the White Sox (26-14), who have lost five of their last eight games.

Javier Vazquez (4-3) allowed five runs and eight hits in seven innings.


[United Press International via the Washington Times]

-Boy did this one feel good. I'll tell you, that I needed this one for me. The defending World Series champions. A strong crowd. A national TV audience. Yeah, this was a good one. You had your obligatory contingent of White Sox fans there, yes, but they aren't as obnoxious as the "other" Sox fans are, and they certainly drove up attendance today. Mark Hendrickson and the bullpen weren't spectacular by any means today, in fact, both units were rather shaky, but they ate up enough innings to give the offense ample scoring opportunities, and preserved the Rays' late lead in eeking out a 5-4 final.

Rays manager Joe Maddon got creative in his ways of trying to keep Travis Lee out of the lineup, moving Ty Wigginton to first base while sliding Tomas Perez to second. Now if only we could do the same thing to Huff, who again sucked wind in going 0 for 4. Jim Thome and Paul Konerko each had two hits for the White Sox, while Jermaine Dye added a home run (points for my fantasy team) along with Tadihito Iguchi off of Mark Hendrickson. Javier Vazquez had a mediocre outing, but did enough to keep the Sox in the game in taking the loss.

Meanwhile, the Rays were led by home runs from Damon Hollins and Russell Branyan, while Carl Crawford tripled and Ty Wigginton doubled in a slew of extra base hits in the game. Wigginton and Julio Lugo both had two hits, while Lugo added a stolen base, though he was charged with an error. Hendrickson, Shawn Camp, and Chad Orvella combined to allow a home run, a single, and a walk, respectively, in the eighth before Tyler Walker got Scott Podsednik, a pinch hitter, to pop out to end the frame with the lead intact. The Sox would not threaten again as Walker set them down 1-2-3 in the ninth. The game drew a stellar weekday night crowd of 22,665, eclipsing the two previous games in the series by over 11,000.

Game Reports
The Tampa Tribune
DevilRays.com

3 Up
1B-2B Ty Wigginton: 2-4, RBI (32), 2B (6)
RP Tyler Walker, SV (7): 1.1 IP, 11 pitches, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
SS Julio Lugo: 2-4, 2 RS, 2 SB (4,5)

3 Down
3B Aubrey Huff: 0-4, K, 2 LOB
2B-3B Tomas Perez: 0-3, 2 LOB
RP Chad Orvella: 0+ IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K

Rays Reads

It was announced yesterday that Jackie Robinson's daughter, Sharon Robinson, would attend the re-dedication of Oliver Field at Campbell Park on Saturday.

Sharon Robinson, daughter of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, will attend this Saturday's (May 20) re-dedication of historic Oliver Field at Campbell Park in St. Petersburg, it was announced today.

[MLB.com]

-The field, which has undergone a seven month renovation as part of the team's field renovation program, will be re-dedicated at 10am on Saturday. Barring scheduling conflicts (sleep), DRaysBay will have exclusive coverage of the event the day it happens. Robinson, who has had a busy week, sung during the 7th Inning Stretch at Wrigley Field on Thursday, and was to be in New York today, so she is very well-traveled. Oliver Field, in a predominantly black community in St. Pete, is part of Major League Baseball's RBI program for reviving baseball in the inner cities. Damon Hollins, Robinson, Andrew Friedman, and others are expected to be on hand for the event.

Short Hops-For those of you with Baseball Prospectus Premium accounts, be sure to check out their feature on Reid Brignac that graced the website today...The DevilRays.com Notes Column, ever inspiring that it is, had features today about the Rays pitchers preparing for interleague play, Ruddy Lugo's struggles, Rocco's possible move to right, the field dedication, and some small tidbits that are more important than anything else in the article, such as Jeff Niemann pitching two innings in a simulated game on his way to possibly making his way to Double A Montgomery in June...Another interesting tidbit from the article was the fact that Rays starters have thrown six or more innings in six consecutive games, especially good considering how they struggled to get out of their third inning of work in the season's first week...Joe Maddon apparently doesn't like interleague play, Toby Hall struck out in three straight games, an oddity, and tales from team photo day accompany the article...Also mentioned in the article was Rocco Baldelli going 0 for 4 in a simulated game, in anticipation of him beginning a rehab stint with Triple A Durham next Tuesday, the Rays said a timetable for his return, previously speculated to be on June 9th in Kansas City against the Royals, would be determined by how he does at the plate in Durham...USA Today has an interesting read on the economic issues that will be addressed in the next CBA negotiations, including revenue sharing, and you can't talk about revenue sharing without talking to George Steinbrenner, and inevitably, the Devil Rays will come up, and sure enough, they do as Steinbrenner bitches on again about writing checks to teams that are less fortunate...Meanwhile, the Palm Beach Post, in anticipation of this weekend's interleague matchup between the Marlins an Devil Rays, does their own story on the Rays' management change, and does it rather well, I may add...Lastly, it looks like the first MLB broadcast on Fox this season, Cubs-White Sox on Saturday, will not feature ex-Rays skipper Lou Piniella in the booth as he battles an eye infection. Rats, where will I get comedic amusement with apparent drunkenness and blatant inarticulate speaking from on Saturday?

Down on the Farm

AAA Durham-L, 2-4:
SS B.J. Upton: 0-4, RBI (20), BB, K, E (15, fielding)
2B Nick Green: 2-5, solo HR (1), RBI (2), K
RF Elijah Dukes: 0-2, 2 BB, K, CS (3)
1B Kevin Witt: 1-3, K, HBP
3B Sean Burroughs: 2-4, RS
C Kevin Cash: 2-3, HBP
SP Jason Hammel, L (3-4): 1.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, WP
RP Jon Switzer: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K
RP Jason Childers: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

Bulls Up Next-at Louisville, 7:15 (Stokes)

AA Montgomery-W, 10-5:
2B Elliot Johnson: 2-4, RS, RBI (24), 2 BB
LF Francisco Leandro: 2-5, 2 RS, 2B (3), K
CF Jason Pridie: 2-4, RS, BB
1B Gaby Martinez: 1-4, 2 RS, 2B (7), RBI (16), BB, K
C Charion Isenia: 1-4, 3 RBI (13,14,15), SF
3B Aneudi Cuevas: 1-4, RS, 2B (5), RBI (5), HBP
SS Matt Maniscalco: 2-5, RS, RBI (11)
RF Jeremy Ownens: 3-5, RS, 2 2B (4,5), 2 RBI (17,18), K
SP Tony Peguero, W (5-3): 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R (ER), 4 BB, 2 K
RP Jean Machi: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, WP

Biscuits Up Next-at Birmingham, 8:05 (Magrane)

A+ Visalia-W, 6-1:
CF Fernando Perez: 1-4, BB, K
SS Reid Brignac: 0-3, BB, K
RF Shaun Cumberland: 1-3, RS, BB
1B Chris Nowak: 1-4
DH John Jaso: 3-4, 2 RS, 2B (8), RBI (18)
C Casey Reiman: 1-3, 2 RS, 3B (1), RBI (11), BB, K
LF Patrick Breen: 2-4, 3 run HR (8), 4 RBI (24,25,26,27), K  
SP James Houser, W (2-4): 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K

Oaks Up Next-at Bakersfield, 10:15 (Mason)

A- Southwest Michigan-L, 4-12:
CF John Matulia: 0-4, RBI (8), BB, K, CS (5)
RF Garrett Groce: 2-4, 2 RS, BB, K
1B Rhyne Hughes: 3-5, 3B (1), RBI (13)
C Christian Lopez: 2-5, 2 RBI (7,8), K
LF Chris Cunningham: 1-4, 2B (2), K
SP Jeff Kamrath, L (0-2): 3 IP, 3 H, 6 R (ER), 5 BB, 1 K, HR
RP Eddie De La Cruz: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 3 K

M-Rays Up Next-vs South Bend, 7:05 (Wlodarczyk)