The Rays won their FIFTH straight game last night thanks to a 9th inning solo shot from Ben Zobrist (I just can’t call him Zorilla this early in the season) and a walk-off single from Johnny Damon.Â And no, I did not bring out the Ben and Jerry’s.Â However, I was having dinner during the final two innings. Maybe I just need to eat any time the Rays are down.Â With the victory, Tampa Bay improves to 6-8 on the season.
Final Score: Twins 3, Rays 4 [Box Score]
I don’t feel the need to question Joe Maddon very often, but I certainly wasn’t the only one wondering why John Jaso didn’t bunt with BJ Upton on third and no outs in the 9th last night.Â I’m just glad Johnny was there to make the non-bunt (nearly) a non-issue. Joe Rays Fan echoes my sentiments. [Rays Index]
For some reason BJ looked confused (maybe he didn’t expect to win five in a row) while rounding the bases following Damon’s hit. Check out Upton’s expression around the :07 mark in this video Damon’s walk-off single.
Damon-sans shoulder towel-speaks about his recent heroics here.Â He has the game-winning RBI in each of the last 5 games.
JP Howell’s long road to recovery from left-shoulder surgery seems to be progressing well.Â The 27-year-old southpaw threw live batting practice before Saturday’s game. After throwing 34 pitches Howell said, “Feels good to have a little juice going in your body.”Â While I’m glad you’re feeling good, JP, perhaps using the word “juice” in any context following Manny’s retirement is not the best idea.Â Also, that hirsute look that Joe Maddon encouraged earlier this season doesn’t really work for you.Â That said, can’t wait to see you come back! [Rays Baseball]
So far, Evan Longoria’s rehab for a strained left oblique is going well.Â Longo is eligible to come off the DL on Monday, but is not likely to return to the lineup for another week.Â The All-Star third baseman received his 2010 Gold Award before Saturday’s game against Minnesota. [Tampa Tribune]
Jeremy Hellickson is set to start against the Twins today.Â Hellboy faced Minnesota in his Major League debut and picked up the win after allowing two runs in seven innings of work. Here’s to continued success for Hellickson and a sweep for the Rays! [Rays Baseball]