Rays Homer past Royals

 

 

Rays 5, Royals 3

 

If you have not heard yet,the Rays have added another concert to their Sat. night concert series this season.

After the August 30th game against the Baltimore Orioles, the Bradenton-based alternative rock group “We the Kings”, will perform for all in attendance. The Group is best known for their songs, “Skyway Avenue”,and “Check Yes Juliet. The band is currently on tour in the alternative festival, the “Vans Warped Tour,” and just released their self titled CD, “We the Kings” avaIliable right now on their Myspace page.

 

                                

 

The group met while attending Bradenton’s King Middle School and will be featured during the Rays “Science Fiction Night.” The group has a great song that is similar to My Chemical Romance and The Offspring. The group will be playing on the same stage set as the regular Sat. night concert series in the Rightfield area of the Trop.

Keep in mind, Fox has picked up the August 30th game, and the game time has been switched from 7:05 PM to 3:55 PM to conform with the networks Sat afternoon game time. With that in mind, the Trop. will open it’s doors at 1:55 PM for the contest.

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Ever since Carlos Pena came off the DL, he has consistantly been revving up his batting average slowly but surely for the Rays. Pena has now hit safely in 28 straight games dating back to May 30th.  He is working towards the Rays team record of 37 games set by Ben Grieve in 2001. Pena has batted only .260 during that span with 15 walks.

Pena went 2-4 last night with a single that bouned to the rightfield wall in the 4th inning. In the 7th inning, Pena walked on 6 pitches, but was left on base with the Rays winning 3-2.

In the 9th inning, Pena came up with Evan Longoria on via a walk and hit his 17th homer of the season. Pena’s shot hit the top of the right centerfield wall before falling in the grassy area beyond the wall. The 2-run homer ended up being the difference in the game for the Rays. Pena’s 62nd homer as a Ray, puts him in 3rd place all-time for the team.

 

 

 

 

Jason Bartlett responded with and 0-3 night for the Rays. Last night, in his return to the Rays’ lineup, Bartlett went 3-3 and was a constant on defense . Last night, Bartlett again was heavy on defense in being a part of the Rays 2 double plays in the contest.

 In the 1st inning, Bartlett made a incredible play on a liner by David DeJesus to start the game for the Royals. Bartlett moved swiftly to his right to grab the liner that was heading for the gap in left centerfield.

 

 

 

 

Evan Longoria reached base 3 times last night. Longoria hit a liner to rightfield in the first inning, and walked twice in the ball game. Longoria’s walk in the 9th inning set him up to score on Pena’s homer.

In his last 7 games, Longoria is batting .333 ( 8for 24) with 3 homers and 6 walks. He currently leads all MLB rookies and the Rays in homers, with 19 this season,which is 2 away from the Rays current Rookie record held by Jonny Gomes.

Longoria also made a play in the 6th inning on a hard liner hit by DeJesus that was hugging the line at third base. Longoria reached toward the line and snagged the drive about a foot off the ground heading for the corner in leftfield.

 

 

 

 

Dioner Navarro started off the 6th inning with a blistering double off the left centerfield wall. Navarro moved to thrid ona single by Akinora Iwamura, and scored on a Sacrifice Fly by B J Upton to raise the score to 3-1 in favor of the Rays.

Navarro went 2-4  in the game to raise his average to .316 on the season. Navarro is currently ranked 2nd in the AL, and 3rd in the majors with a 36.3 percent caught stealing , and has thrown out 8 of his last 14 runners. Navarro made his only error on July 1st in 428 chances, and leads all MLB catchers with a .988 fielding percentage.

 

 

 

 

Edwin Jackson picked up his 6th victory of the season and pitched a spotty, but great contest. Jackson gave up 2-hits in 5 innings of work for the Rays. The only two hits to be registered by the Royals were solo homers by  Billy Butler in the 5th inning, and John Buck in the 6th inning. After the Buck homer, Jackson was replaced by Grant Balfour, who finished the inning for the Rays.

One year ago today, Jackson was 2-6, with a 6.65 ERA. Last season, Jackson did not get his 5th victory, and final win before Sept. 23rd.

The reason I mention this, is to show the improvement Jackson has made on the mound this season. People forget that he had two wins taken away on blown saves in the 9th inning of those contests, and has 4 quality starts in his last 5 appearances. Jackson has gotten consistantly better with his control and placement during this season. He is currently 6-7, with a 4.22 ERA for the Rays.

Jackson has had 8 starts where he has given up  1 earned run or less, but has won only 3 of them. His 3.72 road ERA is the best on the Ray’s this season.

 

The Rays record of 60-42 is 22 games better than last season at the 101 game mark.  The Rays current ERA of 3.82 is ranked 5th in the majors.

 

 

 

 

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