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Rays News & Notes for Friday, May 5th

RAYS 3, Oakland 1

3 Up
SP Scott Kazmir: 5.2 IP, 9 H, 1 R (ER), 2 BB, 4 K, W (4-2)
RP Tyler Walker: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Sv (2)
CF Joey Gathright: 1-3, RS, BB, 2B (3)

3 Down
1B Travis Lee: 1-4, K, 3 LOB
SS Julio Lugo: 1-5, 2 LOB
RF Damon Hollins: 1-4, 2 K

Extra, Extra, Read All About It

Useless Fluff Article

Down on the Farm

AAA Durham-W, 6-1:
OF Elijah Dukes: DNP
SS B.J. Upton: 1-4, solo HR (3), RBI (16)
C Shawn Riggans: 2-4, 3 run HR (3), 3 RBI (8,9,10), K
SP Jamie Shields: 8 IP, 7 H, 1 R (ER), 0 BB, 9 K, W (2-2)

AA Montgomery-L, 7-8 (13):
2B Elliot Johnson: 2-5, 2 RS, 3B (5), 2 run HR (6), 2 RBI (17,18), BB, K, SB (5), HBP
SP Chuck Tiffany: DL; Did Not Start

A+ Visalia-L, 9-13:
SS Reid Briganc: 3-4, 3 RS, 2 HRs (5,6) (solo, 2 run), BB, 3 RBI (22,23,24), PO
DH John Jaso: 3-4, 3 RS, 2B (6), BB
SP Brandon Mann: 5 IP, 7 H, 6 R (ER), 3 BB, 4 K, HR, L (1-2), E (1)

A- Southwest Michigan-W, 3-1:
SP Wade Davis: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R (ER), 6 BB, 3 K, E (1), HB

RAYS 3, Oakland 1:

Scott Kazmir (4-2) won for the third time in four starts, allowing one run and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings as the Devil Rays stopped an 11-game losing streak in Oakland.

Toby Hall and Ty Wigginton hit back-to-back RBI singles in the first that held up, and Jonny Gomes added a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Joe Blanton (3-3) gave up three runs and eight hits in seven innings.


[Associated Press via The St. Paul Pioneer Press]

-Ah, I love late night baseball. I love it when the Rays take west coast swings and head out to Oakland or Seattle or Anaheim. I just love staying up late an watching a baseball game. There is just something about 1am baseball that I love. And I tend to like it even more when the Rays come away with a victory as they did last night. I interrupted my usual Nick @ Nite routine to catch the ballgame on radio with Dave and Andy, two superbly great broadcasters by the way if you haven't heard them on radio. The only thing more fun than catching a late night radio broadcast is catching a late night TV broadcast, and it makes no sense to me why this one wasn't on TV. We are televising 12:15 weekday afternoon games against the Diamondbacks, but not tonight? Go figure. In any case, at least the Rays snapped their losing skid. I was unable to catch the game, of course, but I have heard the Scott Kazmir's changeup was on, and through a friend in Oakland that he was absolutely incredible. One can only hope he continues to use the change effectively to get outs.

Also, Julio Lugo and Aubrey Huff both got hits in their return to the lineup Friday night. In fact, only one player in the order did not get a hit, and that player, Jonny Gomes, had only two official at bats, and drove in a run anyway with a walk. The offense continued their recent slide, putting up only three, but it was enough to win the game as Travis Harper, Shawn Camp, and Tyler Walker shut the door on the elephants in the late innings. Just an excellent all-around ballgame.

Rays Reads

The Devil Rays have the right to keep the team's spring training in St. Petersburg through spring 2009 under an agreement reached this week with the city. The Rays' spring training contract is set to expire in October 2007. Under the new deal, the team can extend it through 2008 or 2009, although the Devil Rays are not required to do so. "They're looking at all their options" for spring training sites, said Joe Zeoli, managing director of city development administration for St. Petersburg.

[Courtesy of The St. Petersburg Times]

-Nothing worthy of highlighting in the DevilRays.com Notes Column, so I thought I'd highlight this little tidbit I caught while reading the St. Petersburg Times. The City Of St. Petersburg and the Devil Rays reached an agreement this week allowing the team to exercise an option on their spring training contract past the original expiration date of October 2007. This deal would extend it through the 2009 spring season. Essentially, the city is trying to force the Rays' hand in this, to try to get them to commit one way or another to what they are doing. The Rays have expressed an interest in moving spring training elsewhere, perhaps to Winter Haven or Port Charlotte. The Cleveland Indians will most likely leave Chain 'O Lakes Park after the 2007 spring season, and it was rumored that the Rays would slide in for 2008, however if the Rays extended their spring contract with St. Petersburg for two more seasons, then, of course, they would not be able to move in to Winter Haven in 2008.

Now, I have an apparent bias here. I am pretty sure that I live the closest to Al Lang Field of any online Rays fan you may meet. I can ride my bike to Al Lang, and have done so on many occasions. I have championed moving an FSL team back to Al Lang, I love that stadium so much, for it to be left vacant for longer than it already is would be terrible. I honestly have never been the Chain 'O Lakes Park before, but I have heard it is a very charming park, and I believe it, but I refuse to believe that it is better than Al Lang Field. How can you beat a stadium that is a pop fly from Tampa Bay in the middle of one of the largest waterfront park systems in the world, while being on the cusp of a bustling downtown and being right next to an airport and performing arts center, and a soon-to-be Salvador Dali Museum. How can you beat that? It is already criminal the way Al Lang is left vacant for 11 months of the year, don't leave it to die for condos. Please, Al Lang and the city don't deserve that.

Down on the Farm

AAA Durham-W, 6-1:
OF Elijah Dukes: DNP
SS B.J. Upton: 1-4, solo HR (3), RBI (16)
CF Darnell McDonald: 3-4, RS, 2 2B (10,11)
1B Kevin Witt: 3-4, 2 RS, solo HR (6), 2 RBI (12,13)
C Shawn Riggans: 2-4, 3 run HR (3), 3 RBI (8,9,10), K
3B Brent Butler: 1-4, K, SB (1)
SP Jamie Shields: 8 IP, 7 H, 1 R (ER), 0 BB, 9 K, W (2-2)
RP Jason Childers: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K

Bulls Up Next-vs Indianapolis, 5:00 (Seddon)

AA Montgomery-L, 7-8 (13):
2B Elliot Johnson: 2-5, 2 RS, 3B (5), 2 run HR (6), 2 RBI (17,18), IBB, K, SB (5), HBP
SS Matt Maniscalo: 1-4, 2 BB, K, E (5), HBP
CF Jason Pridie: 1-5, RS, IBB, 2 K, SB (5), HBP
C Charion Isenia: 2-7, 2 run HR (3), 2 RBI (10,11), 3 K
1B Gaby Martinez: 2-6, BB, K
DH Ryan Christianson: 2-7, 2 K
LF Francisco Leandro: 1-6, RS, 2B (1), BB
3B Aneudi Cuevas: 1-5, RS, 2 run HR (1), 2 RBI (2,3), BB, 3 K
SP Chuck Tiffany: DL; Did Not Start
SP Mike Prochaska: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R (ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 2 HR, WP
RP Jeff Ridgway: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Biscuits Up Next-vs Mississippi, 8:05 (Flinn)

A+ Visalia-L, 9-13:
CF Fernando Perez: 1-5, CS (6)
SS Reid Briganc: 3-4, 3 RS, 2 HRs (5,6) (solo, 2 run), BB, 3 RBI (22,23,24), PO
DH John Jaso: 3-4, 3 RS, 2B (6), BB
RF Patrick Breen: 1-5, RBI (20), K
C Joey Reiman: 3-3, 2B (5), 4 RBI (7,8,9,10), 2 BB, CS (1)
SP Brandon Mann: 5 IP, 7 H, 6 R (ER), 3 BB, 4 K, HR, L (1-2), E (1)

Oaks Up Next-vs Stockton, 10:05 (Houser)

A- Southwest Michigan-W, 3-1:
CF John Matulia: 1-3, BB, 2 K
SS Neil Walton: 2-4, RBI (4), SB (8)
RF Garrett Groce: 1-4, 2 RBI (10,11), 2 K
DH Matt Spring: 3-4, 2B (8)
2B-3B Hunter Vick: 2-4, 2 RS, K
SP Wade Davis: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R (ER), 6 BB, 3 K, E (1), HB

M Rays Up Next-at Beloit, 5:00 (Reinhard)