Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday: Suns 7, Biscuits 5

Ben Lasater's pinch-hit, two-run single in the seventh inning pushed the Jacksonville Suns to a 7-5 win over the Biscuits on Saturday.

Rehabbing Rays All-Star Evan Longoria was 1-for-3 with a home run, a walk and two runs scored for the Biscuits. He is not scheduled to play Sunday before finishing his rehab stay with a full game Monday. In three games, Longoria is 3-for-11 with two homers.

Matt Sweeney and Stephen Vogt also homered for Montgomery, which had a five-game winning streak snapped. The Biscuits stroked just one hit between Longoria's leadoff homer in the fourth inning and the ninth.

Saturday's Rays roundup

Bulls 12, Indianapolis 3
Chris Carter had three hits, four RBIs, a double and a home run. Leslie Anderson knocked in three runs and Justin Ruggiano was 4-for-6 with two RBIs. Russ Canzler reached four times.

Stone Crabs 5, Fort Myers 4
Matt Hall's RBI single capped a four-run bottom of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Mike Sheridan doubled in the tying run and scored the winner. Greg Sexton was 2-for-3 with a walk, double and two runs scored. Josh Satow (3-1) threw two shutout innings and has a 1.35 ERA.

Hot Rods 2, Great Lakes 0
Enny Romero, Omar Bencomo and Austin Hubbard combined on an eight-hitter. Romero allowed four hits and four walks with seven strikeouts over five innings. Bencomo had three innings of four-hit ball. Hubbard threw a perfect ninth. Luke Bailey was 2-for-4 with a run scored and a double. He also picked off a runner.

Suns manager ejected after Longo homer

Jacksonville manager Andy Barkett was ejected after Evan Longoria's fourth-inning home run, apparently in protest of the called ball on the fifth pitch of the at-bat. Longoria hit the sixth pitch over the wall in left-center.

Longoria's at-bat log

Evan Longoria's Saturday at-bats, to be updated.

First at-bat, first inning: 89 mph foul, 81 offspeed called strike, 90 mph high, 80 curve barely high, 90 mph fouled to the screen, 90 mph high and away, 89 outside for a walk.
Second, second inning: 79 curve low, NA fastball low, 89 called strike, 82 bouncer up the middle 4-3.
Third, fourth inning: 88 low, 87 fouled straight back, 90 called strike on inside corner, NA fastball away, 77 curve stayed high barely, 90 at knees for home run.
Fourth (and probably last), sixth inning: called strike, 77 mph outside, 74 curve called strike, 81 grounder to third, 5-3.

To make Cobb space, McGee sent down

The Rays demoted Jake McGee to Durham to create roster space for Alex Cobb, who will start and make his major league debut Sunday.

Patience a virtue for Longoria jersey

Evan Longoria had a jersey already waiting on him when he reached Riverwalk on Thursday. It had been sitting there since 2008.

Longoria's actual game-used No. 6 jersey from 2007 was part of the Biscuits' annual charity auction, but the team still included another in their 2008 order.

The Biscuits put Longoria's name on the back of it and put it on display in the team's gift shop. It remained there until Longoria needed one. The jersey came off the mannequin Thursday and went on Longoria.

"I didn't know they took it off a mannequin,” Longoria said. “That's a little awkward.

"At least it still fits."

Saturday's lineups

Montgomery's Daniel Mayora slides in at second base today for the third game of the Biscuits' series with the Jacksonville Suns.

Evan Longoria 3b
Tim Beckham ss
Stephen Vogt c
Henry Wrigley lf
Daniel Mayora 2b
Nevin Ashley dh
Matt Sweeney 1b
John Shelby cf
Reid Fronk rf
Chris Archer rhp

Kevin Mattison cf
Ryan Curry 3b
Jim Negrych 2b
Kyle Skipworth dh
Jake Smolinski lf
Alex Romero lf
Luke Montz c
Erik Lis 1b
Chris Gutierrez ss
Brad Hand lhp

Ranking the Rays ... Colome

How Friday's efforts stack up among Tampa Bay minor leaguers ...

1. Alex Colome, CHA: 10 K's in 7 shutout innings, 3 hits
2. C.J. Riefenhauser, BWG: 11 K's in 6 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, HR
3. Dane De La Rosa, DUR: 3 no-hit innings, 4 K's, 1 walk
4. Matt Moore, MGM: 8 K's in 6 innings, 3 hits, 2 runs
5. Luke Bailey, BWG: 3-for-4, 2 2b's, 2 RBIs, steal, run

Friday's Rays roundup

Bulls 3, Louisville 2
Dane De La Rosa (3-1) threw three no-hit innings, struck out four and sliced his ERA to 1.13. Brandon Gomes' two innings also included four K's and netted his sixth save. Jose Lobaton singled in Brandon Guyer with the go-ahead run in the seventh. Desmond Jennings doubled twice.

Stone Crabs 1, Jupiter 0
Alex Colome worked seven innings, allowing three hits, walking one and striking out 10. Drew Leary finished with two no-hit innings and four strikeouts in his debut. Greg Sexton singled and scored on a wild pitch in the fourth. Matt Hall had a hit and two walks.

Hot Rods 5, Great Lakes 2
C.J. Riefenhauser rolled up 11 strikeouts in six innings, allowing one run on four hits, a walk and a hit batsman. Luke Bailey was 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs, a run scored and a steal. Cody Rogers had two hits, two steals and a run.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Longoria plans to play Saturday, sit Sunday

Rehabbing Rays All-Star Evan Longoria, left to decide whether to play Saturday or Sunday and sit out the other, said he's a go for Saturday.

Longoria said he feels good after Friday's 1-for-4 outing and he likes night games over day games anyway. Saturday's game starts at 7:05 p.m. with Longoria to play seven innings again. Sunday's game is at 2:05. Longoria's last rehab game is Monday and he'll play all nine innings.

Matulia hurts hamstring, will miss a few days

Outfielder John Matulia left Friday's game after the second inning because of an ailing right hamstring. He'll miss a few days, though manager Billy Gardner said it's a minor injury and Matulia won't go on the disabled list.

Espinosa set to rejoin Biscuits

Reliever Sergio Espinosa has been promoted from high-Class A Charlotte back to the Biscuits, where he finished last season. The left-hander had a 4.83 ERA in 30 appearances last season with Montgomery. He fills the roster spot vacated by Durham-bound Ryan Reid.

Friday: Biscuits 7, Suns 3

John Shelby hit a grand slam and Matt Moore retired the first 12 batters he faced in the Biscuits' 7-3 win over the Jacksonville Suns on Friday.

Rehabbing Rays All-Star Evan Longoria was 1-for-4 with an opposite-field single in the sixth.

Moore (1-2) allowed two runs on three hits over six innings to pick up his first Double-A victory. He walked one and struck out eight.

Shelby's grand slam highlighted a six-run, seven-hit second inning. Nevin Ashley led off the inning with an infield single and ended it with a single to left -- John Matulia was retired at home for the third out.

Shelby hits 17th grand slam in Biscuits history

John Shelby hit a grand slam in the second inning, the 17th grand slam in Biscuits history and the second this season. Stephen Vogt hit one April 11.

Longoria's at-bat log

Evan Longoria's Friday at-bats, to be updated.

First at-bat, first inning: 87 mph called strike, 88 ball inside, 88 long foul to right, 70 curveball for called K.
Second, second inning: called strike, bad swing on curve, bad swing on curve for K.
Third, fourth inning: 84 mph swing and miss, 88 mph swing and miss, (I bet the curve is on its way), 88 mph high (OK, how 'bout now?), 89 low and away (now??), 68 curve fouled past third, 90 flyout to right.
Fourth (and likely last), sixth inning: 83 inside, 85 line single to right.

Cobb going to majors?

Alex Cobb didn't make his scheduled start tonight for Triple-A Durham. With the Rays needing a spot starter Sunday, it appears Cobb may make his major league debut.

Cobb going to majors?

Alex Cobb didn't make his scheduled start tonight for Triple-A Durham. With the Rays needing a spot starter Sunday, it appears Cobb may make his major league debut.

Barnese to miss next start

Biscuits pitcher Nick Barnese will miss at least one start due to the back pain he felt Thursday night.

Barnese suffered a "mild strain" in his lat, manager Billy Gardner said. Barnese hasn't gone on the disabled list.

"The doctor looked at him and didn't find any serious issue," Gardner said. "I don't think it's anything that will keep him out for an extended time."

Friday's lineups

It's Game 2 of the five-game, Evan Longoria-rehab series between the Biscuits and Jacksonville Suns.

Evan Longoria 3b
Tim Beckham ss
Stephen Vogt c
Henry Wrigley lf
John Matulia rf
Nevin Ashley dh
Matt Sweeney 1b
Cole Figueroa 2b
John Shelby cf
Matt Moore lhp

Kevin Mattison cf
Chris Gutierrez ss
Jake Smolinski lf
Luke Montz c
Jorge Padilla dh
Ben Lasater 1b
Ryan Curry 2b
Alex Romero rf
Paul Gran 3b
Omar Poveda rhp

Bulls deactivate Hall to make room for Reid

Pitcher Jeremy Hall, after losing his Triple-A debut in a start Thursday night, went on Durham's "temporary inactive list" today so the Bulls could make room for reliever Ryan Reid.

Reid promoted to Durham

Biscuits reliever Ryan Reid has been promoted to Triple-A Durham.

Ranking the Rays ... Ashley

Ranking Thursday's efforts by Tampa Bay minor leaguers ...

1. Nevin Ashley, MGM: go-ahead HR, throws out basestealer, picks off another runner, 2-for-4
2. Brandon Guyer, DUR (2 games): 3-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBIs, 2 walks
3. Robi Estrada, BWG: 3-for-4, 2 RBIs, 2 runs, 2b, HR
4. Jimmy Patterson, BWG: 3 shutout innings, 1 hit
5. Hak-Ju Lee, CHA: 2-for-3, walk, RBI, steal, caught stealing

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday's Rays roundup

Louisville 3, Bulls 2, Game 1
Desmond Jennings
reached twice, scored and knocked in a run. Jose Lobaton was 2-for-3 and has a .372 average. Brandon Guyer reached twice and had an RBI. Cory Wade threw two shutout innings to cut his ERA to 1.20.
Louisville 11, Bulls 5, Game 2
Brandon Guyer
was 2-for-3 with a double, solo home run, walk and three runs scored. Jeremy Hall, in his Triple-A debut, gave up seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings. Russ Canzler had two RBIs.

Jupiter 4, Stone Crabs 3
Hak-Ju Lee
reached three times, had an RBI and stole a base. He was also caught stealing home. Rehabbing J.P. Howell threw a perfect first. Kyle Lobstein, in his season debut, gave up three runs on three hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.

Great Lakes 12, Hot Rods 5
Robi Estrada
was 3-for-4 with a double, home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. Nick Schwaner also homered. Jimmy Patterson threw three shutout innings of one-hit ball. Marcus Jensen gave up six runs in four innings, including five in the first.

Barnese to be re-evaluated Friday

OK, back to that Nick Barnese stuff ...

He said he'll be re-evaluated Friday.

"It wasn't crazy painful, but we'll see how it feels," Barnese said.

The right-hander said the pain started in the second and "I tried to see what it was." He wanted to go back out for the third inning. He left having allowed one run.

"He said it doesn't feel that bad, but we wanted to be cautious," manager Billy Gardner said. "There was no way he was going back out there."

Barnese left with lat discomfort

Biscuits starter Nick Barnese left Thursday's game with pain in his lat. Check back for more ... after I write my story for Friday's paper.

Thursday: Biscuits 4, Suns 3

Nevin Ashley's solo home run in the sixth inning gave the Biscuits the lead in a 4-3 win over the Jacksonville Suns on Thursday.

Tampa Bay All-Star Evan Longoria homered in the first game of his rehab stay with Montgomery. He was 1-for-4 with a solo homer in the third.

Tim Beckham followed Longoria's homer with a single, went to third on a Stephen Vogt single and scored on a Henry Wrigley groundout. Montgomery also scored in the fourth when John Matulia doubled and scored on a John Shelby single.

Longoria's fourth at-bat: U-3

Evan Longoria's fourth -- and likely final -- at-bat of the evening: 92 mph called strike, late on a 93 mph fastball with a grounder to first.

Longoria's third at-bat: L-6

Evan Longoria's third at-bat, with the bases loaded and none out: first-pitch lineout to shortstop on a 76 mph pitch.

Barnese out after only three innings

Biscuits pitcher Nick Barnese left after just three innings and 62 pitches. Reason uncertain. Trainer Andrew Hauser is still in the dugout. However, Rays minor league training coordinator Lee Slagle is in town this series and is not in the dugout.

Barnese threw 70 pitches in his last start but had 80 the start before that, so 62 seems a little low. He went 78 in his season debut.

Longoria's second at-bat: solo home run

Evan Longoria's second at-bat: takes ball inside, takes 82 mph fastball inside (stadium gun usually 2 mph slow), late on something 84 mph and fouls it down first-base line, fouls something 78 mph over first-base dugout, fouls 86 mph fastball straight back to the net, 85 mph checked swing fouled off knob of bat, 77 mph low (runner caught stealing), 82 mph home run to left-center.

Longoria's first at-bat: 4-3 groundout

Evan Longoria's first at-bat: a called strike, an easy grounder to second.

Longoria batting practice video

Here's a video of Evan Longoria taking some swings in batting practice and signing a few autographs.

Longoria's choice: miss Saturday or Sunday?

Rehabbing Evan Longoria is scheduled to play four of the five games against Jacksonville.

He'll choose whether to sit Saturday or Sunday, depending on how he feels.

Otherwise, Longoria will hit leadoff and play just seven innings -- except for Monday. He's scheduled to play all of Monday's series finale.

Thursday's lineups

Rehabbing speedster Evan Longoria will hit leadoff tonight for the first time in his career when the Biscuits start their series with the Jacksonville Suns.

Longoria is hitting leadoff to maximize his at-bats. He hasn't played since April 2 because of an oblique. Longoria has 39 career steals, 15 of which were last year.

Evan Longoria 3b
Tim Beckham ss
Stephen Vogt lf
Henry Wrigley 1b
Daniel Mayora dh
John Matulia rf
Nevin Ashley c
Cole Figueroa 2b
John Shelby cf
Nick Barnese rhp

Kevin Mattison cf
Chris Gutierrez ss
Jake Smolinski lf
Kyle Skipworth c
Jorge Padilla rf
Alex Romero dh
Erik Lis 1b
Paul Gran 3b
Jim Negrych 2b
Graham Taylor lhp

Biscuits add independent league pitcher

Left-handed pitcher Chad Thall has joined the Biscuits from the independent York Revolution to take promoted pitcher Jeremy Hall's roster spot.

Thall was with the Baltimore Orioles last year and spent the last three seasons with the Double-A Bowie BaySox. He was 2-1 with a 3.79 ERA last year for Bowie and had signed with the Revolution for this season.

Lobstein set for 2011 debut

Left-hander Kyle Lobstein is scheduled to make his season debut tonight for the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Though he's a starter, Lobstein will come in after rehabbing Rays reliever J.P. Howell makes a one-inning appearance. Lobstein was on the disabled list coming out of spring training with a little elbow tenderness.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday's Rays roundup

Bulls at Louisville
rained out

Jupiter 6, Stone Crabs 2
Scott Shuman surrendered four runs in the ninth on three hits and two walks. Josh Satow threw two shutout innings with a hit and two walks. Brett Nommensen had an RBI and doubled for Charlotte's only extra-base hit. He, Mike Sheridan and Hak-Ju Lee had two hits. The Crabs drew nary a walk.

South Bend at Hot Rods
rained out

Stone Crabs starter out with elbow

Charlotte starter Jake Thompson left tonight's game with Jupiter after two shutout innings due to tightness in his right elbow. He'll be re-evaluated Thursday. Thompson, 21, was a second-round draft pick last year out of Long Beach State and is the No. 10 prospect in the Tampa Bay system, according to Baseball America.

Biscuits to open gates early

The Biscuits, with Evan Longoria on hand for a rehab stay, will welcome fans early for batting practice Thursday and Friday. Fans can enter Riverwalk Stadium at 4 p.m. those days -- the time Montgomey begins batting practice. The Biscuits will offer a limited early concessions stand.

There is no batting practice Saturday because it's one of the annual autograph days where players are available for on-field autographs. Longoria is not required to participate.

Brignac, Jaso first-timers on All-Star ballot

Voting for the major league All-Star Game starts Friday and there are five former Biscuits who await your vote.

Catcher John Jaso and shortstop Reid Brignac are first-time candidates from the Tampa Bay Rays. Third baseman Evan Longoria and outfielder B.J. Upton of the Rays are also on the ballot, along with Minnesota Twins outfielder Delmon Young.

There will be ballots available at Riverwalk Stadium.

If you are so inclined, San Francisco's Pat Burrell spent a few days with the Biscuits on a rehab stop long ago, but we're not counting him.

Obviously, making out the All-Star ballot is an inexact science. These things have to be done in advance. For example, Brad Emaus is a candidate at second base for the New York Mets. Emaus was a Rule 5 draft pick in December whom the Toronto Blue Jays recently reclaimed and traded to the Colorado Rockies.

Jeremy Hall promoted to Durham

Right-hander Jeremy Hall has moved up to Triple-A Durham and will start the second game of a doubleheader Thursday at Louisville. The Bulls' game today at Louisville was rained out, forcing a Thursday twinbill. Hall is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA in 15 innings this year for the Biscuits.

He's taking the spot in Durham's rotation that previously belonged to Dirk Hayhurst, who went 4 2/3 innings in his last start and went on the disabled list.

Wednesday: Biscuits 17, Braves 2

John Matulia knocked in five runs, Cole Figueroa and Daniel Mayora each tied a Biscuits record with four runs scored, and Montgomery throttled Mississippi 17-2 on Wednesday.

Shane Dyer threw 6 1/3 innings, the most by a Biscuit this season, to pick up his first win. Nevin Ashley hit a two-run home run in the ninth and finished with three RBIs. The Biscuits finished with a season-high 17 hits and scored their most runs since a 20-2 win at Jacksonville on June 19, 2005.

Cipriano to DL; Kang activated

Infielder Cody Cipriano went on Montgomery's disabled list today and the Biscuits activated outfielder Kyeong Kang. Cipriano sprained an ankle in Tuesday's game at Mississippi.

Ranking the Rays ... Bortnick

Tuesday's top five, the toughest list so far ...

1. Tyler Bortnick, CHA: 5-for-5, 2b, 3b, walk, 2 RBIs
2. Luke Bailey, BWG: 4 RBIs, game-ending 3-run HR, 1b, resilient after 2 K's, 3 E's
3. Hak-Ju Lee, CHA: 4-for-5, 2 RBIs, 2 runs, HR, walk
4. Frank De Los Santos, MGM: 4 shutout innings, 1 hit, 0 walks
5. Dustin Biell, CHA: reached 3 times, scored 3 runs, 2 RBIs

Tuesday's Rays roundup

Louisville 8, Bulls 3
Brandon Guyer
reached twice and hit a sacrifice fly. Craig Albernaz, after a recent shaky outing, notched a perfect inning of relief.

Fort Myers 12, Stone Crabs 10
Tyler Bortnick
was 5-for-5 with a walk and was a home run shy of the cycle. He had two RBIs and a run scored. Hak-Ju Lee led off the game with a homer and finished 4-for-5 with two RBIs, two runs and a walk. Dustin Biell scored three times on his two hits and a walk. He also had two RBIs. Mark Thomas had three hits, two runs and two RBIs.

Hot Rods 5, South Bend 4
Luke Bailey's
three-run homer with two outs in the ninth won it. Nick Schwaner homered and Bailey hit an RBI single in the seventh after the Rods trailed 4-0. Austin Hubbard's shutout ninth, which included a hit and two walks, pushed him to 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday: Biscuits 3, Braves 1

Joe Cruz and Frank De Los Santos combined on a six-hitter in the Biscuits' 3-1 win at Mississippi on Tuesday.

Cruz (1-3) gave up one run on five hits in five-plus innings. His win was the first by a Montgomery starter this year. De Los Santos' four innings featured just one hit.

John Shelby scored twice and hit his second home run. Cole Figueroa had three hits.

Biscuits in on Longoria rehab

The Biscuits, just before 9 tonight, issued a press release about Evan Longoria's rehab. It would appear they have received official word on it.

Montgomery front office awaits word

The Biscuits' front office says it hasn't officially from the Tampa Bay Rays that All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria is coming to Montgomery.

Longoria will play four games in a five-game home series that starts Thursday.

"It will be great if he does come to Montgomery," Biscuits general manager Marla Vickers said.

The Biscuits say they have ideas for the series and expect added ticket sales.

"We think a lot of fans will want to come out to see Longoria, if he comes to Montgomery," Vickers said. "We'll really see how big of a baseball town Montgomery is."

Longoria to be with Biscuits on Thursday

Evan Longoria will start his rehab stay with the Biscuits on Thursday and will play four games in Montgomery's five-game series with Jacksonville. He's returning from an oblique injury suffered April 2 and is scheduled to return to the Rays before the end of a homestand May 5.

Ranking the Rays ... Sexton

Ranking them from Monday's games ...

1. Greg Sexton, CHA: 6 RBIs, 2 runs, 2 2bs
2. Henry Wrigley, MGM: 5 RBIs, 3-run HR
3. Victor Mateo, BWG: 6 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 2 walks, 7 K's
4. Tyler Bortnick, CHA: 3 runs, 3 walks, RBI
5. Chris Archer, MGM: 6 innings, 3 runs on 5 hits, 1 walk, 6 K's

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday's Rays roundup

Norfolk 5, Bulls 2
Desmond Jennings
doubled, had Durham's only RBI and stole a base. Edgar Gonzalez, after a three-run first, gave up one over the next six.

Stone Crabs 11, Fort Myers 5
Greg Sexton
doubled twice, scored twice and knocked in six runs. Tyler Bortnick had three runs scored, three walks and an RBI. Hak-Ju Lee reached three times and scored twice. Brett Nommensen walked twice and scored twice. Fort Myers uncorked seven wild pitches and issued seven walks.

Hot Rods 2, South Bend 1
Victor Mateo
threw six innings of one-run ball. Omar Bencomo added two perfect innings. Kevin Kiermaier had two hits, an RBI, a steal and was picked off.

Monday: Biscuits 5, Braves 3 (10)

Henry Wrigley's two-run double in the 10th lifted the Biscuits to a 5-3 win over the Mississippi Braves on Monday. Wrigley also hit a three-run home run with two outs in the sixth.

Chris Archer recorded Montgomery's first quality start before Marquis Fleming and Zach Quate each threw two hitless innings. Montgomery snapped a four-game losing streak.

Shields takes American League honor

Rays pitcher James Shields, formerly of the Biscuits, won the American League's weekly award for pitchers. Shields gave up one earned run in two complete-game wins and is 2-1 with a 2.35 ERA this year. He threw a four-hit shutout Sunday on the Toronto Blue Jays and a four-hitter last Tuesday in a 2-1 win over the Chicago White Sox.

State's prep coaches handing out $ at Riverwalk

Slocomb High's Clay Holmes will receive a $2,000 scholarship from the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association at Riverwalk Stadium on Sunday before the Biscuits play Jacksonville. Holmes is the association's student-athlete of the year. Russellville's T.J. Lindsey, Athens' Luke Mould and Fayette County's Evan Sims each will get a $1,500 scholarship.

The $2,000 scholarship is named for Joe Mason, a Milwaukee Brewers scout who lives in Millbrook. Mason scouts Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Miller pulls in Pacific Coast League award

Selma High's Jai Miller had a blazing week for the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats and won the Pacific Coast League's hitter of the week award.

Miller was 12-for-21 with seven runs scored and eight RBIs from April 18 through Sunday. On Wednesday, he had two homers and five RBIs. On Friday, his 4-for-5 game included three extra-base hits.

Boiling Van Slyke reels in league award

Chattanooga's Scott Van Slyke, the son of former major leaguer Andy Van Slyke, made an easy case for the Southern League's weekly awards.

Van Slyke was 14-for-27 with 12 RBIs from last Monday through Sunday. He had three home runs, seven doubles, a triple and seven runs scored.

Jacksonville left-hander Brad Hand was the top pitcher. He allowed one run on four hits over seven innings to beat Mobile on Wednesday.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday's Rays roundup

Norfolk 6, Bulls 5 (11)
Alex Cobb posted a quality-start no-decision and now sports a 2.05 ERA and a 3-0 record in four starts. Desmond Jennings was 3-for-6 with two runs and a double. Chris Carter was 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run. J.J. Furmaniak knocked in two runs. The Bulls have played five extra-inning games, including two in a row.

Stone Crabs and Hot Rods both off.

Sunday: Braves 4, Biscuits 1

Mississippi's Brett Oberholtzer shut down the Biscuits and Ernesto Mejia powered the Braves to a 4-1 win over Montgomery on Sunday. Oberholtzer's seven innings featured five Montgomery hits, a run, no walks and eight strikeouts. Mejia hit solo home runs in the second and fourth innings off Matt Moore (0-2). Stephen Vogt hit an RBI single in the third for the Biscuits.

Longoria appears headed to Biscuits

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, close to returning from an oblique injury, appears headed for a rehab stay with the Biscuits.

Longoria took batting practice before the Rays' game today at Toronto and told reporters afterward that he felt good. He also said he's likely headed to the Biscuits for a rehab stint that will start next weekend, the St. Petersburg Times reports.

"It went as good as it could go, no pain,'' Longoria said. "Huge step forward today.''

Montgomery opens a five-game home series with the Jacksonville Suns on Thursday. Longoria said he hopes to stay only two or three days, though the Rays are thinking longer.

Longoria, the Southern League's most valuable player for the Biscuits in 2007, is scheduled for another batting practice session Wednesday or Thursday in Minnesota, the Times reports, before his rehab.

Ranking the Rays ... Riefenhauser

Ranking Saturday's efforts of Tampa Bay farmhands ...

1. C.J. Riefenhauser, BWG: 1 hit, 6 1/3 innings, 10 groundball outs, no-hitter into seventh, 3 walks
2. Paul Phillips, DUR: 3 no-hit innings, only runner reached on error
3. R.J. Swindle, DUR: works out of bases-loaded jam, 1 2/3 perfect innings
4. Mike Ekstrom, DUR: 2 perfect innings
5. Brandon Guyer, DUR: 4-for-7, HR, 2 RBIs

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday's Rays roundup

Bulls 6, Norfolk 4 (14)
Paul Phillips
threw three no-hit innings for the win. Mike Ekstrom had two perfect innings. R.J. Swindle worked out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the fifth and retired all five hitters he faced. Brandon Guyer had four hits, a solo home run and two RBIs. Robinson Chirinos snapped the tie with an RBI single and Omar Luna followed with a sacrifice fly.

Fort Myers 4, Stone Crabs 2
Mark Thomas
homered. Brett Nommensen had a walk, steal and outfield assist.

Hot Rods 1, Lake County 0
C.J. Riefenhauser
took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He left with one out, having allowed one hit and inducing 10 groundball outs. Kevin Kiermaier doubled twice with one scoring Nick Schwaner in the second inning.

Lake County 14, Hot Rods 4
Enny Romero
served up four home runs and Jimmy Patterson three. Romero gave up nine runs on seven hits in one-plus inning. He faced seven batters in the second without recording an out. Todd Glaesmann had three RBIs.

Saturday: Braves 7, Biscuits 4

Jordan Kreke's two-run double in the sixth gave the Mississippi Braves the lead in a 7-4 win over the Biscuits on Saturday.

Stephen Vogt and Tim Beckham each had three hits for Montgomery. Vogt knocked in two runs.

Nick Barnese went five innings, the first Biscuits starter to do so since the season opener.

Ranking the Rays ... De La Rosa

How Friday's efforts by minor league Rays stack up ...

1. 1. Dane De La Rosa, DUR: 2 perfect innings, 3 K's, 0.82 ERA
2. Brandon Guyer, DUR: HR, 1b, walk
3. Shane Dyer, MGM: 1 run, 4-plus innings
4. Hak-Ju Lee, CHA: reached 3 times
5. Tim Beckham, MGM: hit, run, walk

Friday Rays roundup

Bulls 6, Charlotte 5
Dane De La Rosa threw two perfect innings, improved to 2-1 and lowered his ERA to 0.82. Brandon Guyer homered, singled and walked. Desmond Jennings and Chris Carter each scored twice. J.J. Furmaniak hit a go-ahead solo homer in the sixth.

St. Lucie 7, Stone Crabs 2
Hak-Ju Lee had two hits and a walk. Shane Minks threw two shutout innings.

Hot Rods at Lake County
Rained out

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday: Generals 2, Biscuits 1

Ralph Henriquez’s pinch-hit RBI single in the top of the ninth inning gave the Jackson Generals a 2-1 win over the Biscuits on Friday.

Henriquez’s hit came with two outs and scored Johermyn Chavez from second. Chavez hit a leadoff single and stole second to get into scoring position.

Montgomery’s run came in the first inning. Henry Wrigley singled in Tim Beckham with two outs. Starter Shane Dyer allowed one run in four-plus innings. Neil Schenk and Matt Bush each threw two shutout innings before Zach Quate came on in the ninth.

Pridie back in major leagues with Mets

Former Biscuits outfielder Jason Pridie returned to the major leagues today. The New York Mets put Angel Pagan on the disabled list with an oblique injury and promoted Pridie from Triple-A Buffalo.

Friday's lineups

It's the final game of a five-game series between the Biscuits and Jackson Generals. Jake Jefferies makes his Riverwalk Stadium debut as Montgomery's DH, while Henry Wrigley heads to left field. He played four games in the outfield last year for the Biscuits.

Cole Figueroa 2b
Tim Beckham ss
Stephen Vogt c
Daniel Mayora 3b
Henry Wrigley lf
Matt Sweeney 1b
Reid Fronk rf
Jake Jefferies dh
John Shelby cf
Shane Dyer rhp

Jake Shaffer lf
Kyle Seager 2b
James McOwen cf
Rich Poythress 1b
Luis Jimenez dh
Johermyn Chavez rf
Nate Tenbrink 3b
Carlos Triumfel ss
Brandon Bantz c
Jarrett Grube rhp

Howell starts rehab in extended spring

Injured Rays reliever J.P. Howell made his first rehab appearance today, throwing 25 pitches in an extended spring training game against the Orioles. Howell faced six hitters, allowed two hits and struck out four. His next scheduled appearance is Monday in an extended spring game against the Twins.

Ranking the Rays ... Nommensen

Ranking 'em based on Thursday's games:

1. Brett Nommensen, CHA: 2 RBIs, 2 runs, walk, triple
2. Frank De Los Santos, MGM: 4 shutout innings, 1 hit
3. Alex Torres, DUR: 5 innings, 1 earned run, 2 hits, 10 K's, 4 walks
4. Tyler Bortnick, CHA: 2 runs, 2 walks, hit
5. Stephen Vogt, MGM: within 3B of cycle

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday: Generals 7, Biscuits 3

Kyle Seager hit a three-run double and Luis Jimenez cracked a two-run home run to help the Jackson Generals build a large lead early in Thursday’s 7-3 win over the Biscuits.

Seager’s double capped a five-run second inning and Jimenez’s long homer to right made it 7-0 in the third. Starter Erasmo Ramirez was the beneficiary, though the 20-year-old worked seven effective innings for his first Double-A win.

Daniel Mayora hit a two-run home run in the sixth for the Biscuits. Cole Figueroa had an RBI double in the seventh. Montgomery’s Stephen Vogt came within a home run of the cycle.

Biscuits starter Joe Cruz surrendered seven runs in three innings. Reliever Frank De Los Santos, making his Double-A debut, three four shutout innings of one-hit ball.

Thursday Rays roundup

With the Biscuits down 7-0 after five, another dark night for the Rays.

Charlotte 6, Bulls 4
Alex Torres struck out 10 over five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits. He also walked four and took the loss. Brandon Guyer had two RBIs and Robinson Chirinos two hits. Justin Ruggiano and Russ Canzler reached base twice.

St. Lucie 10, Stone Crabs 7
Brett Nommensen was 2-for-4 with a walk, triple, two RBIs and two runs scored. Tyler Bortnick also scored twice, plus walked twice and singled. Anthony Scelfo also reached twice and had an RBI.

Lake County 9, Hot Rods 5
Cody Rogers homered, walked and scored twice, while Phil Wunderlich had two RBIs, giving him 15 this year. Robby Price walked twice and swiped a base. Bowling Green had four hits.

Thursday lineups

Shortstop Tim Beckham and center fielder John Shelby sits out of their first games all season in the fourth game of Montgomery's series with the Jackson Generals. Third baseman Daniel Mayora is the only iron man remaining with the Biscuits, if we count two starts at designated hitter.

Reid Fronk hits leadoff for the first time this season, but he has experience there. He batted first in 28 games last year at high-A Charlotte.

Reid Fronk rf
Cole Figueroa ss
Stephen Vogt lf
Daniel Mayora 3b
John Matulia rf
Henry Wrigley 1b
Nevin Ashley c
Matt Sweeney dh
Cody Cipriano 2b
Joe Cruz rhp

Jake Shaffer lf
Kyle Seager 2b
James McOwen cf
Rich Poythress 1b
Luis Jimenez, dh
Johermyn Chavez rf
Nate Tenbrink 3b
Ralph Henriquez c
Carlos Triunfel ss
Erasmo Ramirez rhp

Kang deactivated for De Los Santos

Outfielder Kyeong Kang has been moved off Montgomery's active roster to make space for pitcher Frank De Los Santos. Kang has a .167 average in eight games.

Ranking the Rays ... viva la Fronk

Ranking Wednesday's efforts amongst the minor league Rays:

1. Reid Fronk, MGM: reached base 5 times, 2 RBIs, go-ahead HBP RBI, sliding catch
2. Henry Wrigley, MGM: 3-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBIs, 2 2bs
3. Greg Sexton, CHA: 3-for-4, 2 RBIs, run, 2b
4. Justin Ruggiano, DUR: 3 walks, 2 runs
5. Hak-Ju Lee, CHA: HR, 2 runs scored

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday: Biscuits 11, Generals 10

Reid Fronk was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring home the go-ahead run in the eighth inning of the Biscuits’ 11-10 victory over the Jackson Generals on Wednesday.

Montgomery trailed 6-0 in the middle of the sixth inning.

The Biscuits tied it with a six-run sixth before the Generals answered with a four-run seventh. Montgomery tied it again with a four-run seventh before Fronk’s RBI put the Biscuits ahead.

Henry Wrigley hit RBI doubles and scored in both the sixth and seventh inning. He led off the eighth with an infield single and scored when Fronk was plunked.

Wednesday Rays roundup

With the Biscuits down 6-0 in the middle of the sixth, it's not a strong night for the Tampa Bay minor leagues.

Charlotte 8, Bulls 3
Justin Ruggiano, after hitting four home runs the last two days, was 0-for-1 with three walks and scored twice. Dane De La Rosa threw two shutout innings. Brandon Guyer was 2-for-4 with a double and run scored.

St. Lucie 7, Stone Crabs 6
Hak-Ju Lee hit a solo home run and scored twice. Greg Sexton was 3-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored. Brett Nommensen scored twice. Shane Minks gave up four runs in the sixth inning.

Dayton 4, Hot Rods 1
Robby Price was 2-for-4 and scored on a Phil Wunderlich single. Hector Guevara reached base twice. Jimmy Patterson and Austin Hubbard each threw a perfect inning.

Frank De Los Santos with Biscuits

The Biscuits have added a player, though he won't be on the active roster until Thursday.

Pitcher Frank De Los Santos, after a bout of chicken pox, has also been freed from extended spring training and put into a Montgomery uniform.

The left-hander was 10-9 with a 4.33 ERA last year at high-Class A Charlotte and is in his fifth professional season. He's the third player to come to the Biscuits from the extended spring program this week. Infielder Henry Wrigley and outfielder John Matulia joined the Biscuits on Monday.

De Los Santos missed 12 days of spring training recovering from chicken pox, which he said he got from his stepdad just before camp started. Though he was quarantined while he was sick, he apparently passed them on to shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, who just recently debuted at high-Class A Charlotte.

Major League Baseball takes control of Dodgers

This is off the usual purview of this blog, but it's worth mentioning that Major League Baseball has taken control of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Dodgers ownership has been in flux due to the divorce between Frank and Jamie McCourt. Frank claims the Dodgers are all his and Jamie claims half.

Wednesday's lineups

Luis Jimenez makes his season debut for the Jackson Generals today in the third game of a five-game series against the Biscuits. He's 28 years old and off the disabled list after not playing last year.

Cole Figueroa 2b
Tim Beckham ss
Daniel Mayora dh
Henry Wrigley 3b
John Matulia rf
Nevin Ashley c
Matt Sweeney 1b
Reid Fronk lf
John Shelby cf
Chris Archer rhp

Jake Shaffer lf
Kyle Seager 2b
James McOwen cf
Rich Poythress 1b
Luis Jimenez dh
Johermyn Chavez rf
Nate Tenbrink 3b
Ralph Henriquez c
Carlos Triunfel ss
Andrew Carraway lhp

Ranking the Rays ... Ruggiano again

How I'd rank Tampa Bay minor leaguers based on Tuesday's play ...

1. Justin Ruggiano, DUR: 2 HRs for a second straight game, 4-for-4, 4 runs, 3 RBIs
2. Daniel Mayora, MGM: 3 runs, HR, 2b, 3-for-4
3. Hak-Ju Lee, CHA: reached base 4 times, steal, run, RBI
4. Alex Cobb, DUR: 1 run on 5 hits in 5 innings, 8 K's
5. Sergio Espinosa, CHA: 3 shutout innings

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday Rays roundup

Bulls 9, Charlotte 1
Justin Ruggiano homered twice for a second straight game and finished 4-for-4 with a walk, four runs scored and three RBIs. Chris Carter had three RBIs and Desmond Jennings scored twice. Alex Cobb allowed one run in five innings, struck out eight and is 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA.

Stone Crabs 5, Palm Beach 4 (12)
Tyler Bortnick scored from second on a wild pitch/error combo to win it. Bortnick hit a tying single in the 12th and went to second on the throw. Hak-Ju Lee doubled, tripled, walked twice and stole a base. Sergio Espinosa threw three shutout innings.

Dayton 7, Hot Rods 2
Todd Glaesmann homered and reached base three times. Luke Bailey threw out two would-be basestealers. Chris Rearick tossed two perfect innings.

Tuesday: Biscuits 5, Generals 4

John Matulia singled home Daniel Mayora in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Biscuits to a 5-4 win over the Jackson Generals on Tuesday.

Mayora doubled to lead off the inning and went to third on a Henry Wrigley single. After the Generals walked Nevin Ashley intentionally, Matulia singled up the middle against a drawn-in infield.

Mayora scored three runs, including a solo home run to lead off the seventh. In the second, he and Wrigley scored on an Ashley single. Cody Cipriano doubled in Matulia for Montgomery’s second seventh-inning run.

Matt Bush (2-1) picked up the fourth victory of his professional career.

Tuesday's lineups -- bright and early, 10:30

Not too bright, but way too early, it's a 10:30 game today. Yawn.

John Shelby cf
Tim Beckham ss
Stephen Vogt c
Daniel Mayora 3b
Henry Wrigley 1b
Nevin Ashley dh
John Matulia rf
Cody Cipriano 2b
Kyeong Kang lf
Matt Moore lhp

Jake Shaffer lf
Carlos Triunfel ss
James McOwen cf
Rich Poythress dh
Eddy Martinez-Esteve 1b
Johermyn Chavez rf
Nate Tenbrink 3b
Scott Savastano 2b
Brandon Bantz c
Anthony Vasquez lhp

Ranking the Rays ... Ruggiano

Ranking 'em from Monday's games ...

1. Justin Ruggiano, DUR: 2 HRs, 4 RBIs, 3-run game-ending HR
2. Dirk Hayhurst, DUR: 6 innings, 2 hits, no earned runs
3. John Matulia, MGM: HR, 2b, 3 RBIs in season debut
4. Alex Colome, CHA: 5 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 7 K's
5. Chris Murrill, CHA: 2 RBIs, 1 run

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday: Generals 6, Biscuits 4

James McOwen had three RBIs, including a go-ahead, two-run home run in the fourth inning, to lead the Jackson Generals in a 6-4 win over the Biscuits on Monday.

Carlos Triunfel and Jake Shaffer each homered in the fifth inning for the Generals. McOwen added an RBI double in the eighth.

In his season debut, John Matulia had three RBIs for Montgomery. He led off the third inning with a home run to center field and hit a two-run double in the seventh. Stephen Vogt singled in John Shelby in the eighth.

Kenn Kasparek worked seven innings for Jackson, allowing three runs on five hits. Through six innings, the Biscuits had three hitters reach base against Kasparek.

Monday Rays roundup

Bulls 4, Gwinnett 1 (11)
Justin Ruggiano homered twice, including a three-run, opposite-field game-ending blast. Desmond Jennings reached base twice and has a .472 on-base percentage. Dirk Hayhurst allowed an unearned run on two hits over six innings. He walked none and whiffed six. Dane De La Rosa threw a perfect 11th and picked up his first Triple-A win.

Stone Crabs 5, Palm Beach 3
Alex Colome's five innings included one run on five hits, no walks and seven strikeouts. Chris Murrill had two RBIs and a run scored. Hak-Ju Lee reached base twice. Scott Shuman threw a perfect ninth for his first save.

Dayton 8, Hot Rods 2
Bowling Green had three hits, each doubles by Phil Wunderlich, Nick Schwaner and Steve Tinoco, and struck out 13 times.

Matulia homers on second pitch he sees

John Matulia, after his belated arrival this season, homered on the second pitch he faced.

Monday's lineups

John Matulia isn't waiting long to make his season debut. He's hitting seventh and playing right field tonight. Here are the lineups for the opening game of the five-game series between the Biscuits and the Jackson Generals, nee West Tenn Diamond Jaxx.

Cole Figueroa 2b
Tim Beckham ss
Stephen Vogt dh
Daniel Mayora 3b
Matt Sweeney 1b
Nevin Ashley c
John Matulia rf
Reid Fronk lf
John Shelby cf
Nick Barnese rhp

Jake Shaffer lf
Nate Tenbrink 3b
Kyle Seager 2b
Rich Poythress 1b
James McOwen dh
Johermyn Chavez rf
Ralph Henriquez c
Carlos Triunfel ss
Brandon Haveman cf
Kenn Kasparek rhp

Newmann retires; Wrigley, Matulia off DL

Biscuits pitcher David Newmann has retired, while infielder Henry Wrigley and outfielder John Matulia have been activated from the disabled list.

Newmann, a left-yhander, was in his second season with Montgomery. He converted from a starter to the bullpen this year. In three appearances covering 4 2/3 innings, he had a 9.64 ERA with six walks.

Wrigley and Matulia stayed in extended spring training with back injuries. They were both with the Biscuits last year.

Seddon grabs PCL pitching honors

Chris Seddon, two-time Opening Day starter for the Biscuits, won the Pacific Coast League's pitching award. The left-hander's 13 shutout innings include six hits and 10 strikeouts. He's yet to factor in a decision for the Tacoma Rainiers.

BayBears sweep Southern League awards

The Mobile BayBears swept the Southern League's first weekly awards of the season. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt has a .364 average through 10 games with six home runs and 15 RBIs. Right-handed pitcher Bryan Henry has thrown 8 2/3 shutout innings, is 2-0 and has allowed three hits.

Torres tops in International League

Former Biscuits pitcher Alex Torres, two starts into his Triple-A debut season, won the International League's weekly pitching award today. Torres has 10 1/3 shutout innings to his credit at Durham with five hits allowed, two walks and 17 strikeouts.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ranking the Rays ... Murrill

How they rank from Sunday's games ...

1. Chris Murrill, CHA: threw out 2 runners at home, reached base twice
2. Jose Lobaton, DUR: 2-for-3, HR, 2 walks, 3 runs
3. Hak-Ju Lee, CHA: 2-for-5, run, season debut after chicken pox
4. Daniel Mayora, MGM: 4 RBIs, 2 runs, 2b, HR
5. Phil Wunderlich, BWG: go-ahead 2-run HR, 3 RBIs

Sunday Rays roundup

Gwinnett 18, Bulls 7
Jose Lobaton was 2-for-3 with a home run, two walks and three runs scored. Desmond Jennings had a hit, walk and steal. ... ... ... ... Paul Phillips gave up 10 runs (eight earned) on nine hits in the sixth inning. Catcher Craig Albernaz, in his third career appearance, finished with two innings of three-run relief. Each surrendered two home runs.

Palm Beach 3, Stone Crabs 2
Hak-Ju Lee made his season debut after a bout of chicken pox and was 2-for-5 with a run scored. Chris Murrill threw out two runners at home and reached base twice. Jake Thompson threw four shutout innings, allowing two hits.

Hot Rods 7, Lake County 6
Phil Wunderlich hit a go-ahead, two-run home run in the seventh and had three RBIs. Cody Rogers and Hector Guevara also homered. Robby Price had a hit, walk, steal and two runs scored. Eliazer Suero, though he blew a save, threw 3 1/3 innings and gave up one run on three hits.

Bulls to make four MLB Network appearances

Hmmm, I missed this the other day. MLB Network (Channel 320 on my Charter) has announced the slate minor league games it will show this season. Four include the mighty, mighty Durham Bulls.

May 3, at Indianapolis, 10:05 a.m.
May 11, vs. Indianapolis, 10:05 a.m.
May 18, vs. Louisville, 11:05 a.m.
June 6, vs. Pawtucket, 11:05 a.m.

Sunday: Biscuits 13, Smokies 3

Tim Beckham homered for a second straight day and the Biscuits launched five to tie a franchise record in today's 13-3 win over the Tennessee Smokies. Daniel Mayora and Matt Sweeney each hit three-run homers, Beckham a two-run shot and John Shelby and Cole Figueroa solo blasts.

Ranking the Rays ... Koronis

How I'd rank 'em from Saturday's games ...

1. Alex Koronis, CHA: 6 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 8 K's
2. Alex Torres, DUR: 5 1/3 shutout innings, 3 hits, 8 K's
3. Omar Bencomo, BWG: 4 shutout innings, 3 hits, 5 K's
4. Dane De La Rosa, DUR: 1 1/3 hitless innings, 1 walk
5. Todd Glaesmann, BWG: 2 runs, 2 RBIs

Saturday Rays roundup

Bulls 1, Gwinnett 0
Alex Torres and two relievers combined on a four-hitter. Torres' 5 1/3 innings included three hits, one walk and eight strikeouts. Dane De La Rosa's 1 1/3 were smudged by just one walk. Brandon Gomes' two had one hit and one walk. Robinson Chirinos had one of Durham's three hits in the fifth. He went to second on an error and scored from there on an infield grounder/error with an acrobatic slide.

St. Lucie 5, Stone Crabs 4
Alex Koronis had a nice start, allowing one run on four hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out eight. Brett Nommensen reached base twice and stole one bag.

Lake County 10, Hot Rods 7
Steve Hiscock surrendered three runs in the eighth and four in the ninth. Todd Glaesmann scored twice and knocked in two runs. Phil Wunderlich had a hit and two walks. Omar Bencomo threw four shutout innings of relief.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday, Game 2: Smokies 3, Biscuits 1

D.J. LeMahieu's RBI double in the sixth inning snapped a tie and sparked the Tennessee Smokies to a 3-1 win over the Biscuits in the second game of today's doubleheader.

Saturday, Game 1: Smokies 11, Biscuits 7

Ryan Flaherty homered twice to lead the Tennessee Smokies to an 11-7 win over the Biscuits in the opening game of today's doubleheader. He hit a solo shot in the second and a three-run blast in the fourth.

Ranking the Rays ... Jennings

My opinion of Friday's efforts of Tampa Bay minor leaguers ...

1. Desmond Jennings, DUR: 3-run HR, 2 walks, sb, hbp, 2 runs
2. Derek Dietrich, BWG: 4 runs scored, 3-run HR
3. Merrill Kelly, CHA: 6 innings, 1 run, 5 hits, no walks
4. Phil Wunderlich, BWG: game-winning grand slam
5. Russ Canzler, DUR: reached base 4 times

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Rays roundup

Bulls 8, Norfolk 3
Desmond Jennings hit a three-run home run, walked twice, was hit by a pitch, stole a base and scored twice. Russ Canzler had a hit, three walks and a steal. Edgar Gonzalez's five innings included an unearned run on six hits.

St. Lucie 5, Stone Crabs 4 (10)
Brett Nommensen had three hits and Greg Sexton two RBIs. Merrill Kelly gave up one run in six innings and Sergio Espinosa threw two perfect innings. Tyler Bortnick reached base four times: a hit, a walk and two hit by pitches. Scott Shuman had three walks, a hit and two runs in an inning. Josh Satow gave up a game-ending two-run home run.

Hot Rods 11, Lake County 7 (10)
Phil Wunderlich hit a game-ending grand slam. Derek Dietrich scored four times and hit a three-run home run.

Friday: Rain 1, Biscuits-Smokies 0

The Biscuits and Smokies, with a rainout tonight, will play a doubleheader Saturday starting at 4:15 p.m.

Knights Stadium struck blow against Bulls, Bootcheck

Durham pitcher Chris Bootcheck's concussion came compliments of Knights Stadium, so sayeth Adam Sobsey of the Durham-area Triangle Offense blog (which does an exemplary job covering the Bulls).

Knights Stadium is the home venue of the Charlotte (N.C.) Knights and is located in Fort Mill, S.C.

Bootcheck was in the clubhouse when he was unexpectedly summoned to replace the ailing Richard De Los Santos. In Bootcheck's sudden sprint to the dugout, he didn't adjust for a low-hanging pipe. Ruh-roh. Bootcheck got into the game and, about to start his third inning, showed signs of wooziness. I'll leave further details to Sobsey.

Durham, after DL moves, calls on Phillips

Biscuits reliever Paul Phillips has been promoted to Triple-A Durham.

The Bulls are down two pitchers after Richard De Los Santos and Chris Bootcheck went on the disabled list.

Phillips, who has pitched for the Bulls in the playoffs each of the last two seasons, has thrown just 2 2/3 innings this year. He's 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA.

De Los Santos suffered a shoulder injury and Bootcheck a concussion Tuesday. Durham also activated catcher Craig Albernaz, who has been known to pitch.

Ranking the Rays ... Cobb

Ranking Thursday's efforts by Tampa Bay minor leaguers ...

1. Alex Cobb, DUR: 6 shutout innings, 3 hits, 10 K's
2. Chris Rearick, BWG: 4 shutout innings, 1 hit
3. Russ Canzler, DUR: home run, 2 runs, walk
4. Mike Ekstrom, DUR: 2 perfect innings
5. Braulio Lara, BWG: 5 innings, 2 hits, 1 run

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday Rays roundup

Bulls 4, Norfolk 0
Alex Cobb threw six innings of three-hit ball with no walks and 10 strikeouts. Mike Ekstrom followed with two perfect and Brandon Gomes one. Russ Canzler homered and scored twice.

St. Lucie 6, Stone Crabs 3
Chris Murrill reached base three times. Chris Andujar gave up four runs (two earned) in 4 2/3 innings. Adam Liberatore had 2 1/3 shutout innings of relief.

Hot Rods 4, Fort Wayne 1
Braulio Lara and Chris Rearick combined on a three-hitter. Lara allowed one run in five innings and Rearick had four shutout.

Thursday: Smokies 11, Biscuits 2

Rebel Ridling hit a sixth-inning grand slam and the Tennessee Smokies ripped the Biscuits 11-2 on Thursday. Chris Archer, facing his old team, allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings. Neil Schenk took the brunt of it, giving up five runs and getting three outs.

Online video baseball cards of Biscuits

Our video guys put together some video baseball cards of all the Opening Day Biscuits. You can click here to access them.

Rays hog numbers in draft order

The Rays will have 12 of the first 90 picks in the June draft, including six of the first 42. Major League Baseball announced the full draft order today. The draft is June 6-8.

Tampa Bay, due to the exodus of free agents after last season, has three first-round picks and seven sandwich picks.

24th (for losing Crawford to Red Sox)
31st (Soriano to Yankees)
38th (Soriano to Yankees)
41st (Crawford to Red Sox)
42nd (Balfour to A's)
52nd (Hawpe to Padres)
56th (Benoit to Tigers)
59th (Choate to Marlins)
60th (Qualls to Padres)
75th, second round (Balfour to A's)
89th, second round
119th, third round
150th, fourth round (In rounds 4-50, the Rays have the 29th pick.)

Ranking the Rays ... Suero

How I'd rank the minor league Rays from Wednesday's games ...

1. Eliazer Suero, BWG: 5 shutout innings, 2 hits, 8 groundball outs
2. Dirk Hayhurst, DUR: 6 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, beat former Cy Young winner
3. Brett Nommensen, CHA: reached base 3 times, 2 runs, including go-ahead run in 10th
4. Daniel Mayora, MGM: reached base 4 times, 3 RBIs
5. Jose Lobaton, DUR: 4-for-4, 3b, run

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday Rays roundup

Bulls 5, Charlotte 2
Jose Lobaton was 4-for-4 with a triple and Russ Canzler homered and had three RBIs to help the Bulls beat rehabbing major leaguer Jake Peavy. Dirk Hayhurst allowed one run on three hits in six innings.

Stone Crabs 5, Palm Beach 4 (10)
Brett Nommensen scored on a Mayo Acosta flyout for the go-ahead run. Nommensen walked twice, was 1-for-3 and scored twice. In the 10th, he walked, stole second and moved to third on a Greg Sexton bunt. Alex Colome hit the minimums for a quality start (6 innings, 3 runs). Josh Satow threw two shutout innings for the win.

Fort Wayne 3, Hot Rods 2
Eliazer Suero threw five shutout innings of relief with two hits, no walks and eight groundball outs. Nick Schwaner scored, had an RBI and walked. Robby Price was 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Wednesday: Smokies 12, Biscuits 10

Blake Lalli's two-run ground-rule double with two outs in the eighth gave the Tennessee Smokies a 12-10 win over the Biscuits on Wednesday in Sevierville, Tenn.

Daniel Mayora had three RBIs and reached base four times for the Biscuits, who lost for the first time in franchise history when scoring at least 10 runs.

Montgomery was 68-0 all-time when scoring in double figures. The Biscuits are now 2-77 when giving up 10 or more (both wins were in May 2008).

TrackMan more than a fancy radar gun

Here's a good, in-depth look at what TrackMan, the pitch-tracking system the Rays installed this year at Riverwalk Stadium, does, from Sports Illustrated.

Locals in the minor leagues

This list includes only those players who have appeared this season with an affiliated minor league team or those named Craig Brazell.

P Brian Bass, Montgomery: Lehigh Valley (Phillies)
P Brandon Dickson, Marbury: Memphis (Cardinals)
OF Jai Miller, Selma: Sacramento (A's)
P Wesley Wright, Grady: Oklahoma City (Astros)
P Cory Rauschenberger, Marbury: Memphis (Cardinals)
1B Craig Brazell, Montgomery: Hanshin Tigers
P Austin Adams, Millbrook: Akron (Indians)
P Evan Crawford, Prattville: New Hampshire (Blue Jays)
P Brandon Kloess, Montgomery: Winston-Salem (White Sox)
3B Joseph Sanders, Millbrook: Modesto (Rockies)
P Taylor Thompson, Montgomery: Winston-Salem (White Sox)
P Paul Burnside, Montgomery: Kannapolis (White Sox)
C Ryan Jenkins, Millbrook: Kane County (Royals)

Rauschenberger promoted to Memphis

Marbury's Cory Rauschenberger, after starting the year at Double-A Springfield in the St. Louis organization, has been promoted to Triple-A Memphis.

Rauschenberger, a right-handed pitcher, made three appearances at Springfield this season. The 26-year-old first reached Memphis in 2008. He had a 3.23 ERA at high-Class A Palm Beach last year after missing all of 2009.

Fuld replaces Manny in giveaway swap

The Rays, after ditching a Manny Ramirez bobblehead, are turning to Sam Fuld. They'll have a Super Sam Fuld Superhero Cape giveaway May 29 for the first 10,000 kids age 14 and under. If you wonder why Fuld and/or why a superhero cape, check this and this and this.

Tampa Bay's extended spring/rehab roster

The Rays have released their extended spring/rehab roster (dated today). These are the guys left behind in Port Charlotte, Fla., though some of the rehabs are expected to soon report to their full-season teams.

Right-handed pitchers -- Andrew Bellatti, Omar Bencomo, Roque Colon, Marcus Jensen, Daniel Johnson, Ian Kendall, Andrew Leary, Reinaldo Lopez, Parker Markel, Jason McEachern, Shane Minks, Eduar Quinonez, Trevor Shull, Pedro Silvestre, Matt Swilley, Cristian Vazquez
Left-handed pitchers -- Stepan Havlicek, Brandon Henderson, Kevin James, Jose Molina, Jacob Partridge, Shawn Smith, Matt Spann, Justin Woodall
Catchers -- Keith Castillo, Jake DePew, Omar Narvaez, Justin O'Conner, Gerardo Olivares, Junior Rodriguez, Alejandro Segovia
Infielders -- Tanner Biagini, Ryan Brett, Travis Flores, Darryl George, Felix Gonzalez, Jeff Malm, Julian Morillo, Juniel Querecuto, Leonardo Reginatto
Outfielders -- Bryan Bryles, Leandro Caminero, Deshun Dixon, Edward Dorvill, Cesar Guillen, Craige Lyerly, Josh Sale, Drew Vettleson, Chris Winder

Pitchers -- Wilmer Almonte, Jairo De La Rosa, Robert Dickmann, Jesse Hahn, James Hill, Mickey Jannis, Will Kline, Ricky Orta, Wilking Rodriguez, Albert Suarez, Kirby Yates
Infielders -- Julio Cedeno, Shawn O'Malley, Henry Wrigley
Outfielders -- John Matulia, Lucas Montero, Ty Morrison, Emeel Salem, Isaias Velasquez

Ranking the Rays ... Romero

How I'd rank Tuesday's performances among Tampa Bay minor leaguers ...

1. Derek Dietrich, BWG: HR in return from beaning
2. Enny Romero, BWG: 4 2/3 shutout innings, 2 hits, 3 walks, 5 K's
3. Jose Lobaton, DUR: 3-for-4, 2b, HR, 2 runs
4. Brett Nommensen, CHA: 3 RBIs, reached base 3 times
5. C.J. Riefenhauser, BWG: 5 innings, 1 run

Tuesday Rays roundup

Bulls 5, Charlotte 2
Jose Lobaton was 3-for-4 with a double, solo home run and two runs scored. Brandon Guyer homered in the first, scored twice and walked. Desmond Jennings reached base twice. Four relievers combined for seven shutout innings, including two by winner Mike Ekstrom.

Palm Beach 10, Stone Crabs 8
Brett Nommensen had three RBIs, two hits and one hit by pitch. Matt Hall scored twice, had one RBI and reached base three times. Tyler Bortnick knocked in two runs and scored once. After starter Frank De Los Santos surrendered nine runs in three innings, Mike Jarman threw three innings of one-run ball. Scott Shuman finished with two perfect innings.

Game 1: Fort Wayne 4, Hot Rods 0
C.J. Riefenhauser gave up one run over five innings, walking two and striking out seven. A Nick Schwaner double accounted for one of the Rods' two hits and their only runner to reach second.

Game 2: Hot Rods 1, Fort Wayne 0
Enny Romero went 4 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and walking three. Derek Dietrich homered with two outs in the fourth inning in his first action since being hit by a pitch Saturday. Romero, Matt Stabelfeld (1-1) and Austin Hubbard combined on a four-hitter.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A-Rod suspended for hitting batter

Former Biscuits pitcher Aneury Rodriguez, now with the Houston Astros, has drawn a three-game suspension for hitting Florida's Gaby Sanchez with a pitch Sunday. A-Rod is appealing.

Manny, a retrospective

With Manny Ramirez's retirement, The Onion has compiled a retrospective of its "greatest hits" from his career.

Ranking the Rays ... Torres

Here's how I'd rank Monday's performances around the Tampa Bay minor league teams. (With Bowling Green's rainout, I did decide that a minimum of three teams have to play for me to rank a top five. Thought I'd say that now.)

1. Alex Torres, DUR: 5 shutout innings, 2 hits, 9 strikeouts
2. Alex Koronis, CHA: 5 shutout innings, 2 hits, 7 strikeouts
3. Stephen Vogt, MGM: 2-for-3, 2 runs, grand slam, walk
4. Greg Sexton, CHA: 4 RBIs, 3-run HR, walk
5. Tyler Bortnick, CHA: 3-for-5, 2 RBIs, 2b, run

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Rays roundup

Charlotte 4, Bulls 3
Alex Torres threw five shutout innings in his Triple-A debut. He allowed two hits, walked one and struck out nine. Desmond Jennings reached base twice.

Stone Crabs 7, Palm Beach 5
Greg Sexton hit a three-run home run in the seventh and finished with four RBIs. Alex Koronis worked five shutout innings with two hits, one walk and seven strikeouts. Tyler Bortnick had three hits, a run and two RBIs. Josh Satow, after Shane Minks surrendered a grand slam with none out in the ninth, retired all three batters he faced.

Hot Rods
Rained out.

Monday: Biscuits 10, Barons 3 (6)

Stephen Vogt hit a grand slam and Matt Sweeney had a three-run home run in the Biscuits' 10-3, rain-shortened win over Birmingham on Monday.

Sweeney's three-run shot highlighted a six-run first inning for Montgomery. Vogt's grand slam came in the fourth.

The game ended with two outs in the top of the seventh when severe weather caused a power outage at Riverwalk Stadium.

The most-memorable stadium power outage

Written July 18, 2008, after a power outage the night before ...

Crane delay: Bird flips switch on park’s lights

Alabama Power identified the culprit that caused a 28-minute delay in Thursday’s game at Riverwalk Stadium, but the accused will escape punishment.
A crane crashed into a power transmission line between north Montgomery and Wetumpka, causing a substation breaker to operate twice, Alabama Power spokeswoman Jan Ellis said Friday.
The bird did not survive.
It interrupted service for a moment to Riverwalk, but one set of stadium lights went out, which caused the delay. The stadium lights, when they lose power, need about 30 minutes to warm up again.
Workers found the crane while checking the lines after the outage, Ellis said. Birds don’t regularly hit the power lines, though squirrels are a nuisance, she said.

Power failure at Riverwalk

The stadium lights just kicked off with a 2-2 count on Birmingham's Christian Marrero and two outs in the top of the seventh. The weather hasn't hit yet, but strong winds have kicked up.

9:26: A transformer just popped past right-center field.

Vogt second to hit slam for first Biscuits hit

Stephen Vogt just hit a grand slam to give the Biscuits a 10-3 lead over Birmingham in the fourth inning. It was also his first hit with Montgomery and he's the second to make his first Biscuits hit a slam.

On May 24, 2007, Matt Spring did it at Mississippi -- also in the fourth inning. (FYI: Spring's last hit as a Biscuit was also a home run.)

Your Biscuits grand slam list ...
Aug. 1, 2004: Frank Moore, sixth inning at Carolina, W, 11-1
June 19, 2005: Elijah Dukes, third at Jacksonville, W, 20-2
June 19, 2005: Delmon Young, third at Jacksonville, W, 20-2
April 26, 2006: Elliot Johnson, seventh vs. Birmingham, W, 8-3
May 11, 2006: Ryan Christianson, first at Huntsville, W, 5-2
July 19, 2006: Michael Coleman, third at West Tenn, W, 7-0
Aug. 9, 2006: Gabriel Martinez, ninth at Mobile, W, 15-2
Aug. 24, 2006: Patrick Breen, ninth at Jacksonville, W, 10-0
May 24, 2007: Matt Spring, fourth at Mississippi, W, 7-6 (12)
June 11, 2007: Jason Pridie, fifth at Mobile, L, 6-5
July 30, 2007: Evan Longoria, 10th at Birmingham, W, 9-3 (10)
Aug. 18, 2007: Gabriel Martinez, fourth vs. Jacksonville, W, 12-2
April 18, 2008: Sergio Pedroza, fifth at Tennessee, W, 8-5
May 31, 2008: Gabriel Martinez, fourth vs. Carolina, L, 7-6
Aug. 23, 2010: Matt Spring, first at Huntsville, W, 6-5
April 11, 2011: Stephen Vogt, fourth vs. Birmingham

Peavy's next start in Triple-A ... against Bulls

White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy, after making his first rehab start Friday against the Biscuits, will start Wednesday for Triple-A Charlotte, the Chicago Tribune reports. He'll face the Durham Bulls, Montgomery's Triple-A brethren.

Monday lineups; Williams to disabled list

Here's how they'll line up for the final game of the series and the final time (barring playoffs) the Barons will grace us with their presence this season at Riverwalk Stadium.

One bit of news: Barons outfielder Kenny Williams is going on the disabled list with the strained quadriceps he suffered Saturday. Williams Jr. is the son of White Sox general manager Kenny Williams Sr.

Cole Figueroa 2b
Tim Beckham ss
Stephen Vogt 1b
Daniel Mayora 3b
Matt Sweeney dh
Nevin Ashley c
Kyeong Kang lf
Reid Fronk rf
John Shelby cf
Nick Barnese rhp

Justin Greene lf
Drew Garcia ss
Christian Marrero 1b
Brandon Short cf
Josh Phegley c
Seth Loman dh
Christian Colonel 3b
Ozzie Lewis rf
Tyler Kuhn 2b
Nevin Griffith rhp

Ranking the Rays ... Kiermaier

The top performances from Sunday among Tampa Bay minor leaguers ...

1. Kevin Kiermaier, BWG: hit, 2 walks, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, steal, OF assist
2. Nate Garcia, BWG: 3 shutout innings
3. Cole Figueroa, MGM: 2 hits, GW RBI squeeze
4. Mike Ekstrom, DUR: 3 strikeouts, 1 perfect inning
5. Robby Price, BWG: 2-run HR, 2 runs scored

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Rays roundup

Gwinnett 5, Bulls 4 (11)
Desmond Jennings scored twice and Justin Ruggiano had two RBIs. Mike Ekstrom struck out the side in the eighth.

Bradenton 6, Stone Crabs 3
Tyler Bortnick reached base three times and Mike Sheridan had two RBIs. Scott Shuman worked a perfect eighth with two strikeouts.

Hot Rods 12, Dayton 3
Kevin Kiermaier reached base three times, scored twice, knocked in two runs and threw out a runner at home. Nate Garcia pitched three shutout innings, allowing one hit and walking one with seven flyball outs. Robby Price, who homered, and Luke Bailey also had two RBIs and two runs scored.

Rods' Dietrich expected to be OK after beaning

Bowling Green shortstop Derek Dietrich didn't play today after being hit in the back of the head with a pitch Saturday. But he should be OK and isn't expected to need to go on the disabled list, farm director Mitch Lukevics said.

Sunday: Biscuits 4, Barons 3

Cole Figueroa’s bunt single scored Reid Fronk with the go-ahead run in the seventh inning to lead the Biscuits to their first victory, a 4-3 win over the Birmingham Barons on Sunday.

Fronk led off the inning with a double down the right-field line and moved to third on a John Shelby bunt. After Kyeong Kang walked, Figueroa bunted to first and avoided the tag for a single.

Figueroa finished 2-for-4 with a double, run scored and RBI.

Nevin Ashley and Matt Sweeney hit back-to-back home runs to lead off the second for Montgomery. In the fifth, Figueroa and Tim Beckham had consecutive two-out doubles.

First back-to-back HRs by Biscuits since 2009

It took a few innings, but we have some historical context on the back-to-back home runs hit by Nevin Ashley and Matt Sweeney in the second inning today. They're the first back-to-back shots by the Biscuits since July 29, 2009, when Matt Fields and Cody Strait did it in the second inning of a home game with Huntsville.

July 29 vs. Huntsville (DH1): Matt Fields and Cody Strait with 2 outs in 2nd

May 9 vs. Birmingham (DH1): Gabriel Martinez and Rhyne Hughes with none out in 5th
June 21 vs. Mississippi: Sergio Pedroza and Rhyne Hughes with two outs in 9th
Aug. 3 vs. West Tenn: Gabriel Martinez and Chris Nowak with one out in 3rd

April 27 at Jacksonville: Reid Brignac and Evan Longoria with none out in 1st
Sept. 1 at Jacksonville: Patrick Cottrell and Patrick Breen with one out in 4th
Aug. 28 vs. Carolina (DH2): Fernando Perez and Brooks Badeaux with none out in 1st

April 11 vs. Tennessee: Rico Washington and Elijah Dukes with none out in 3rd
Aug. 14 at Mobile: Elliot Johnson and Jason Pridie with none out in 9th
Aug. 19 at West Tenn: Elijah Dukes and Rico Washington with one out in 1st
June 21 vs. Tennessee: Chairon Isenia and Shawn Riggans with none out in 6th
May 10 at Jacksonville: Brent Butler and Rico Washington with one out in 4th

Aug. 13 vs. Birmingham: Eric Reece and Brian Martin with none out in 4th
Aug. 13 vs. Birmingham: Vince Harrison and Iker Franco with none out in 8th

final update at 6:15 p.m.
Information not readily available from 2004. There were three other games where we thought it may have happened because consecutive hitters had home runs in the game, but they were NOT back-to-back.

July 2 at West Tenn: Brian Martin, Jace Brewer, Jesus Feliciano
July 3 at West Tenn: Dan DeMent and Jace Brewer
(DeMent's was a pinch-hit HR after Juan Salas had three at-bats. The Biscuits' only multi-run inning that night was the second.)
July 31 at Carolina: Vince Harrison and Iker Franco

Biscuits take first lead ... of season

Nevin Ashley's leadoff homer in the second puts the Biscuits ahead 1-0. It's Montgomery's first lead of the season. Matt Sweeney goes back-to-back.

Sunday lineups

It's the fourth game of the five-game series between Montgomery and Birmingham. With the Biscuits still seeking their first win, right-hander Shane Dyer makes his Double-A debut against Barons lefty Justin Edwards.

Cole Figueroa 2b
Tim Beckham ss
Daniel Mayora dh
Nevin Ashley c
Matt Sweeney 1b
Cody Cipriano 3b
Reid Fronk rf
John Shelby cf
Kyeong Kang lf
Shane Dyer rhp

Justin Greene lf
Drew Garcia 2b
Christian Marrero rf
Brandon Short cf
Seth Loman 1b
Ozzie Lewis dh
Tyler Kuhn 3b
Jared Price c
Greg Paiml ss
Justin Edwards ss

Ranking the Rays: Go with Gomes

The top performers from Saturday, in my humble opinion ...

1. Brandon Gomes, DUR: 1 1/3 perfect, escaped jam in 8th, first Triple-A save
2. Anthony Scelfo, CHA: 3 RBIs, HR, 3-for-4
3. Mayo Acosta, CHA: 3-run 2b caps 9-run inning, 2 runs
4. Alex Cobb, DUR: 5 innings, 1 run on 3 hits, throwing error
5. Daniel Mayora, MGM: 3b, 2 walks, 2 runs

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Girl Scouts take over Riverwalk

Here's a photo from the Girl Scouts' infestation of Riverwalk Stadium tonight. They're camping out and, when I left, were watching "Tangled" on the scoreboard.

Saturday Rays recap

Bulls 2, Gwinnett 1
Brandon Gomes worked out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the eighth and rolled through a perfect ninth for his first Triple-A save. Desmond Jennings led off the game with a home run. Alex Cobb won his Triple-A debut, allowed one run on three hits in five innings. He walked two, struck out seven and committed a throwing error.

Stone Crabs 14, Bradenton 1
Mayo Acosta, Anthony Scelfo and Matt Hall, the 7-9 hitters in the lineup, had three RBIs each. Scelfo, who homered, and Acosta each scored twice. Acosta's three-run double capped a nine-run fourth inning.

Dayton 5, Hot Rods 4
Steve Tinoco and Phil Wunderlich knocked in two runs each. Matt Stabelfeld gave up two runs in the seventh. Cody Rogers swiped two bases. Tinoco's two-run, two-out single in the second gave Bowling Green a 3-0 lead.

Saturday: Barons 6, Biscuits 4

Christian Marrero had three RBIs and Charlie Leesman retired Montgomery’s first 12 hitters in the Birmingham Barons’ 6-4 win over the Biscuits on Saturday.

The Biscuits fell to 0-3 for the first time since 2004, their inaugural season.

Marrero hit a two-run home run in the third inning to make it 2-0 and an RBI double in the sixth that gave Birmingham a 5-1 lead.

The Biscuits scored single runs in each inning from the fifth through the eighth. After scoring in the sixth, they had the bases loaded with one out and failed to add another run.

Montgomery stranded two runners in both the seventh and eighth innings. Each time, the runners were on with one out.

Daniel Mayora, whose leadoff triple in the fifth broke up Leesman’s perfect game, scored twice to lead the Biscuits.

Hot Rods' Dietrich leaves after being hit in head

Bowling Green shortstop Derek Dietrich left tonight's 5-4 loss at Dayton after being hit in the head with a pitch in the top of the fourth inning.

Price bobblehead already on eBay

Of course, it didn't take long for a David Price bobblehead to reach eBay. You can buy it now for $45 or buy it now for $40.

If you don't have your Manny wig, good luck

The Rays have stopped selling Manny Ramirez memorabilia and canceled a planned bobblehead giveaway, so sayeth the St. Pete Times' Marc Topkin, after Ramirez's retirement due to a positive drug test.

In 2006, the Biscuits planned to give away a Delmon Young figurine until Young's infamous bat-meets-umpire incident. The figurine underwent a metamorphpsis and turned into a B.J. Upton figurine.

Saturday lineups

Biscuits right-hander Joe Cruz, the wins leader in the Florida State League last year, makes his Double-A debut against Barons left-hander Charlie Leesman.

Cole Figueroa 2b
Tim Beckham ss
Stephen Vogt c
Daniel Mayora 3b
Nevin Ashley dh
Matt Sweeney 1b
John Shelby cf
Reid Fronk lf
Kyeong Kang rf
Joe Cruz rhp

Kenny Williams rf
Drew Garcia ss
Christian Marrero 1b
Brandon Short cf
Josh Phegley c
Seth Loman dh
Christian Colonel 3b
Justin Greene lf
Greg Paiml 2b
Charlie Leesman lhp

Ranking the Rays: Bailey moves needle

Ranking the top performances around the Tampa Bay system from Friday ...

1. Luke Bailey, BWG -- 4-for-4, 4 RBIs, 2B, HR, walk
2. Jimmy Patterson, BWG -- 3 shutout innings, 1 hit, 6 K's
3. Derek Dietrich, BWG -- 3-for-5, 2 2Bs, 3 runs
4. Paul Phillips, MGM -- 1 2/3 perfect innings
5. Nick Schwaner, BWG -- 2 hits, 2 walks, 2 runs, 2 RBIs

Friday Rays recap

Bulls 5, Gwinnett 3 (12)
Desmond Jennings singled home Russ Canzler with the go-ahead run. Brandon Guyer and Robinson Chirinos combined on a 9-2 double play in the ninth to force extra innings. Justin Ruggiano reached base four times.

Bradenton 13, Stone Crabs 0
Alex Colome surrendered seven runs in 1 2/3 innings. Charlotte pitchers issued 10 walks, including four by Colome. Reliever Frank De Los Santos gave up six runs on six hits in the fifth.

Hot Rods 11, Dayton 4
Luke Bailey had four hits and four RBIs, both career highs, with a double and home run. Derek Dietrich was 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs scored. Nick Schwaner had two hits, two walks, two RBIs and two runs. Jimmy Patterson's three shutout innings of relief included just one hit and six strikeouts.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Peavy sides with Tide

Yeah, it's early April and the baseball season is young, but it's still the poison-your-tree SEC, so I asked Jake Peavy the quasi-religious question tonight.

A cousin of his was nearby in college garb and Peavy shared his denomination.

Though the Mobile native had signed with Auburn before going pro, Peavy said he -- like his cousin -- is an Alabama football fan.

Friday: Barons 7, Biscuits 2

Rehabbing major leaguer Jake Peavy gave up two unearned runs in 3 2/3 innings and the Birmingham Barons clubbed three home runs in Friday’s 7-2 win over the Montgomery Biscuits.

Kenny Williams hit a three-run homer in the eighth and finished with four RBIs. Josh Phegley and Seth Loman each had solo homers.

Biscuits shortstop Tim Beckham had two hits off Peavy and stoked Montgomery’s scoring rally. With two outs in the third inning, Cole Figueroa singled and Beckham doubled. Both scored when third baseman Christian Colonel committed a throwing error.

Biscuits shocked at Ramirez news

It's safe to say the Biscuits were stunned that Manny Ramirez had retired to avoid a reported 100-game drug suspension.

"That's crazy. I don't know what to say," said shortstop Tim Beckham , who was in major league camp this spring. He said Ramirez helped teach him about the game and was a positive influence in the clubhouse.

"Just his work ethic and how he went about his business," Beckham said. "He talked to everybody and wasn't a bad guy in the clubhouse. All that now is surprising."

Ramirez and outfielder Johnny Damon joined the Rays this year. They were both part of the 2004 curse-breaking, world champion Red Sox.

"You could see how much he and Damon meant to New England and that team," said Biscuits reliever Ryan Reid, a Maine native who was a Sox fan growing up. "They'll be in the history books there forever."

Baker takes Kotchman's spot with Bulls

Pitcher Brian Baker has been activated by the Durham Bulls to take Casey Kotchman's place on their roster.

Friday lineups

The Biscuits face former Cy Young winner Jake Peavy tonight and give David Price bobbleheads to fans.

Cole Figueroa 2b
Tim Beckham ss
Stephen Vogt lf
Daniel Mayora 3b
Nevin Ashley c
Matt Sweeney 1b
Cody Cipriano dh
Reid Fronk rf
John Shelby cf
Chris Archer rhp

Kenny Williams cf
Drew Garcia ss
Christian Marrero rf
Brandon Short lf
Josh Phegley c
Christian Colonel 3b
Seth Loman 1b
Ozzie Lewis dh
Tyler Kuhn 2b
Jake Peavy rhp

Kotchman goes to Rays; all Biscuits present

Infielder Casey Kotchman has been promoted from Triple-A Durham to take outfielder Manny Ramirez's roster spot with the Rays, according to ESPN. All of Montgomery's position players are present and accounted for while the Biscuits take batting practice.

Manny Ramirez retires

Manny Ramirez, the longtime major league star now with the Tampa Bay Rays, has announced his retirement, Jerry Crasnick reports. Ramirez was 1-for-17 with one RBI in five games with the Rays, though he missed a late spring training game and Thursday's game at the Chicago White Sox. He's a 12-time All-Star, a nine-time Silver Slugger winner and was starting his 19th major league season.

3:28 update: The Rays just released a statement that hinted at a drug issue involving Ramirez, who drew a 50-game suspension in 2009. Another violation would have meant sitting 100 games.

“The Tampa Bay Rays were informed today by the Commissioner’s Office that Manny Ramirez has decided to retire after being informed of an issue under the Drug Program. We are obviously surprised and disappointed by this news. We will have no further comment on this matter, and our fans and organization will carry on.”

Historical Boston photos put on display

Since you've surely already read my game story and notebook (there's also a photo gallery and a column not from me) from Thursday's game, allow me to recommend this story from the Boston Herald.

It's about longtime photographer Leslie Jones' trove of work that will be shown by the Boston Public Library and the research behind it. The library started posting photos today.

Ranking the Rays: Romero star for night

Ranking the players' performances around the Tampa Bay organization from Thursday's Opening Night, in my usually deviant opinion ...

1. Enny Romero, BWG: 5 shutout IP, 1 hit, 8 K's
2. Marquis Fleming, MGM: 2 perfect IP, 25 pitches, 19 strikes
3. Derek Dietrich, BWG: 3 RBIs, HR
4. Neil Schenk, MGM: 1 IP, 4 pitches
5. Steve Hiscock, BWG: 3 shutout IP, 1 hit
6. Matt Moore, MGM: 5 IP, 1 run, 2 hits, 7 K's, loss

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Thursday Rays wrapup

Gwinnett 2, Bulls 1
Richard De Los Santos, after retiring 10 straight hitters, gave up two runs in the fifth to take the loss. Justin Ruggiano doubled in Ray Olmedo for Durham's run in the top of the fifth. Ruggiano and Olmedo had three hits each.

Stone Crabs 3, Bradenton 2
Mayobanex Acosta's single scored Brett Nommensen and Greg Sexton trotted in on an error in the bottom of the ninth. Josh Satow picked up the win. Tyler Bortnick was 2-for-4 with two steals and a run scored.

Hot Rods 4, Dayton 0
Enny Romero, Steve Hiscock and Austin Hubbard combined on a three-hitter. Romero gave up one hit in five innings, walked one and struck out eight. Derek Dietrich hit a two-run home run in the ninth and had three RBIs. Cody Rogers scored twice, was 2-for-4 and tripled.