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The Rays Tank: Grand Slammer from Kiermaier

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Brian Blanco

The Rays lost in disappointing fashion last night courtesy of the bullpen and a rough ninth inning, but Kevin Kiermaier kept his darling rookie status alive with a grand slam:

It was Kiermaier's first in his career, and the first for the Rays in over a year.

Despite the excitement, the late-game loss dampered the glory,

"Feels good. But at the end of the day, that was a tough ninth inning and it just puts a damper on everything. It's not about me, it's about the team. I felt good in the batter's box tonight. But at the same time, they put more runs up than us tonight and that was a tough way to lose it there in the ninth."

***

Yunel Escobar completed his two-game rehab stint with the Stone Crabs yesterday, and is due back in the Rays lineup against the Blue Jays on Friday.

On the topic of injuries, David DeJesus, Wil Myers and Jerry Sands will all have follow-up exams on Friday as well, to determine when they'll make their return to the Rays.

That being said, the outfield looks to be a wee bit crowded when those guys come back...

Who goes, in the "OF logjam"? (Thanks for that one, Erik.)

Links:

- The Red Sox ditched A.J. Pierzynski, and proceeded to bash him after doing so. He doesn't have a reputation for being the nicest dude, but still - stay classy, Boston.

- The Hardball Times got a shoutout on the YES broadcast of the Rays-Yankees game last weekend, so 1. Congrats, guys, Shane Tourtellotte in particular, and 2. Due to this, THT revisited the "hangover effect" piece referenced on air. Give it a read.

- Beyond the Box Score took a look at the ERA-FIP differential for starting pitchers after the first half, seeing who has performed better or worse than their ERA indicated.