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Rays News & Notes for Thursday, May 4th

New York 10, RAYS 5

3 Up
3B-2B Ty Wigginton: 2-5, RS, 3 RBI, K, 2 LOB
DH Jonny Gomes: 3-4, RS, RBI, BB
RP Ruddy Lugo: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, K

3 Down
RP Dan Miceli: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 2 ER, BB
SP Doug Waechter: 4 IP, 4 H, 4 R (ER), BB, 2 K, HR
RP Chad Orvella: 0+ IP, 1 H, 1 R (ER), 2 BB

Extra, Extra, Read All About It

Fluff Article from Chastain (where have I heard that before)

Burroughs, Green Out; Huff, Lugo In

Down on the Farm

AAA Durham-L, 4-7

Elijah Dukes: DNP
SS B.J Upton: 0-2, 1 RS, 2 BB, K, SB (14), 3 E (11,12,13)

AA Montgomery-W, 7-4

2B Elliot Johnson: 3-3, RS, 3B (4), BB
1B Gaby Martinez: 3-4, 2 RS, 2 2B (5,6), K
C Ryan Christianson: 2-4, 2 RS, 2 2-run HRs (7,8), 4 RBI (14,15,16,17), K, PB (1)

A+ Visalia-L, 9-10
SS Reid Brignac: 2-4, RS, 2B (6), RBI (21), BB, K

3B Aubrey Huff: 2-5, RS, 2B, RBI, K
1st-RBI Single
2nd-Pop Out to SS
5th-Struck Out Swinging
6th-Ground Out, 4-3
8th-Double

DH John Jaso: 1-4, RS, RBI (9), 2 K

A- Southwest Michigan-L, 2-8
SP Jake McGee: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, L (2-4)

New York 10, RAYS 5:

Hideki Matsui went 3-for-5 with a homer and two runs scored and Johnny Damon hit a grand slam as the New York Yankees crushed the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 10-5, to sweep the two-game set at Tropicana Field. Bernie Williams had a pair of hits and knocked in two runs and Gary Sheffield scored two runs as he returned to the Yankees, who have won four of their last five games. Randy Johnson (5-2) threw 6 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks for the win. He became just the third pitcher in Major League history with 4,400 strikeouts after his whiff of Nick Green in the fourth inning. Jonny Gomes had three hits and an RBI and Ty Wigginton homered and drove in three runs for the Devil Rays, who have lost four straight games. Chad Orvella (1-2) gave up a run on a hit and two walks without retiring a batter for the loss.

[Sports Network via WSBTV]

-Well, the Rays lost their fourth straight, fifth of six, and have lost 12 of their last 16 games, thanks to clean-shaven Johnny Damon and his grand slam. The game overall sucked, too many people (read-Yankee fans) though they are still not as obnoxious as Boston fans.

More entertaining than the game was that several fans in the right field bleachers began throwing stuff onto the field after the Damon home run. Stupid as it was, it was entertaining. Well, one of the rent a cop security people came to take the obviously drunken fan and his friend out of the ballpark. The drunk had words with the rent a cop and resisted going, so a real cop, one who actually made the cut at a bureau, came to do the dirty work. He took the fan by the collar out of the ballpark to loud cheers from the fans. Well, his drunken buddy decides that now is the best time to shove the cop as he is going down the stairs. Braintrust. So the call went out over the radio and every rent a cop and St. Pete police officer from all around came to jump into the fracas, and the two were finally lead off, though if I were a streaker, I'd pick that time to go onto the field, because literally 3/4 of the security in the stadium was being dedicated to that incident. The rent a cops stayed in the area for the rest of the game, there were a good number of them, as alcohol consumption in that area was extremely high. Let's just say that I wouldn't want to hit the road after the game with some of the people sitting there.

In any case, more surprising was the fact that the fans ejected were Rays fans, and not Yankee fans, though I suspect that the Yankee fans in the area were culprits in some regard. It was the most entertaining thing that I saw at the game though, as the final score says enough without nine innings of it.

NOTE: The flash board signs along I-275 indicated that all dome lots were full and suggested parking in downtown lots. Please, don't do this, it is a half an hour walk from downtown, and you are paying a steady hour rate. Find a free, or closer place to park like I do. There were plenty of spaces available at Campbell Park across the interstate, and it was a decent, free place to go. Although be forewarned, if you do park there, for god's sake, DO NOT go back alone. Leave with the crowd, and that means if we are playing the Royals and spaces are available in team lots, please park there. It isn't really a horrible area, but there is not a lot of lighting in the area, and it is kind of shady. So please, if you are going to park there, go with someone, and leave with the crowd.

3 Up
3B-2B Ty Wigginton: 2-5, RS, 3 RBI, K, 2 LOB
DH Jonny Gomes: 3-4, RS, RBI, BB
RP Ruddy Lugo: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, K

3 Down
RP Dan Miceli: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 2 ER, BB
SP Doug Waechter: 4 IP, 4 H, 4 R (ER), BB, 2 K, HR
RP Chad Orvella: 0+ IP, 1 H, 1 R (ER), 2 BB

Rays Reads

Reliever Shinji Mori, who tore his right labrum during Spring Training, spoke to the media at Tropicana Field before Thursday's game. The gist of his translated comments was that he's still trying to put off having surgery to repair the problem by undergoing extensive rehab.

Mori first talked to a horde of Japanese reporters before addressing a smaller contingent of reporters who cover the Rays and don't speak Japanese.

Catcher Josh Paul stole the show when he sidled up to Mori and claimed to be a translator. The first question came about Mori's hair returning to its natural dark color rather than the rust shade he fashioned during Spring Training.

Paul, acting as though he could understand Mori's response, replied, "He says he loves [his hair] and he's beautiful. Any other questions?"

When told of Paul's antics, Maddon said, "He had a class at Vanderbilt in international languages, which basically is listening to whatever they say and then saying whatever you want in return. They offer that at Vanderbilt."


[DevilRays.com]

-An otherwise fluff piece from Chastain, but it did provide this one good snippet. Seems like Paul is well-natured and funny, besides being a Vanderbilt grad. And Maddon's quip was priceless. Being a huge Commodore fan, I am also a Paul fan. So this was worth nothing, but otherwise, it was amusing.

Third baseman Sean Burroughs was optioned to Triple-A Durham and utility infielder Nick Green was designated for assignment on Thursday night to clear room on the roster for the return of two starters from the disabled list.

Shortstop Julio Lugo (back) and third baseman Aubrey Huff (knee) will be reinstated on Friday and make the trip to Oakland, manager Joe Maddon announced after Thursday night's game.

Maddon also announced that reliever Dan Miceli is likely headed for the disabled list with soreness in his pitching shoulder, but no official move will be made until the extent of the problem is known.


[DevilRays.com]

-Wow, not only is Nick Green gone, but both Aubrey Huff AND Julio Lugo are coming back. How great is that? This move rivals Kazmir for Zambrano in terms of a one single transaction in Rays history that brought in so much and sent out so little. Huff was not great is hius rehab stint with Visalia, but we all know what he can do when healthy, and seeing Cantu, Branyan, and Crawford, and Gathright, among others, gave the leadoff a foul odor makes me long for Lugo even more. Let's just hope that these two weren't activated prematurely, like Lugo was.

Nick Green being sent down is not surprising, and is cause for celebration. He was hitting .077/.200/.077 in 39 ABs, he wasn't even hitting lefties. Now, because Green was DFA'd, the Rays have 10 days to trade, release, or ask waivers on him. I can't see him being traded, who would want him. The Rays could probably pass him through waivers, or just out and out release him. To me, it doesn't matter as long as he is not on the major league roster.

As for Burroughs, I don't really have a problem with him being sent down. Granted, he only has 21 at bats, but he isn't smooth with the stick, hitting .190/.320/.238. That said, he is a very good defensive option at the hot corner, and the way Russell Branyan, Tomas Perez, and Greg Norton have been hitting, I'd rather see one of them gone. But it is not an issue that I am passionate for one way or the other, and we'll just have to see how Burroughs does at Durham

Now, Miceli on the DL is not a surprise to me whatsoever. His throwing the pitch over Hall's head on the intentional walk reminded me of when Tony Saunders threw that pitch "Juuuuuuuusssstttttt a bit outside" and threw out his elbow. The trainer came out, and he was deemed fit to pitch, and promptly gave up a grand slam. However, he is DL'd today. And that part about no one being selected yet? Fuhgeddddda 'bout it. Harville had no record and an ERA of 3.00 with the Bulls, walking eight and k'ing nine. Granted, those aren't stellar peripherals, but he is probably our best alternative down on the farm, a guy with major league experience whose development won't be impeded by a call-up.

Down on the Farm

AAA Durham-L, 4-7:
Elijah Dukes: DNP
2B Fernando Cortez: 2-4, BB, SB (6), CS (2), PO 2 times, E (3)
SS B.J Upton: 0-2, 1 RS, 2 BB, K, SB (14), 3 E (11,12,13)
CF Darnell McDonald: 1-3, 2-run HR (4), 2 RBI (22,23), BB, K
C Shawn Riggans: 1-3, RS, 2B (2), BB, K
3B Brent Butler: 2-4, RS, 2B (7), 2-run HR (1), 2 RBI (6,7), E (4)
SP Edwin Jackson: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, K, L (1-2)
RP Tim Corcoran: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, K

AA Montgomery-W, 7-4:
2B Elliot Johnson: 3-3, RS, 3B (4), BB
SS Matt Maniscalo: 1-4, K
DH Charion Isenia: 2-4, RS, 2-run HR (2), 2 RBI (8,9), K
1B Gaby Martinez: 3-4, 2 RS, 2 2B (5,6), K
C Ryan Christianson: 2-4, 2 RS, 2 2-run HRs (7,8), 4 RBI (14,15,16,17), K
RF-LF Francisco Leandro: 1-4, RBI (3)
3B Aneudi Cuevas: 1-4, 2 K, PO
SP Jim Magrane: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R (ER), 4 BB, 4 K, w (4-2), balk
RP Brian Henderson: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R (ER), 1 BB, H (4)
RP Juan Salas: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, HB

A+ Visalia-L, 9-10:
CF Fernando Perez: 1-4, RS, BB, 2 K
SS Reid Brignac: 2-4, RS, 2B (6), RBI (21), BB, K
RF Shaun Cumberland: 2-4, 2 RS, 2 RBI (22,23), BB

3B Aubrey Huff: 2-5, RS, 2B, RBI, K
1st-RBI Single
2nd-Pop Out to SS
5th-Struck Out Swinging
6th-Ground Out, 4-3
8th-Double

1B Chris Nowak: 2-4, RBI (14), K
DH John Jaso: 1-4, RS, RBI (9), 2 K
SP Jino Gonzalez: 3 IP, 7 H, 6 R (ER), 2 BB, 3 K, HR
RP Jon Barratt: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, WP, HB

A- Southwest Michigan-L, 2-8:
CF John Matulia: 1-3, 2 RS, BB, K, 2 SB (1,2)
RF Garrett Groce: 1-3, BB, K
SP Jake McGee: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, L (2-4)