Brandon Guyer Hits Homerun In First Major League At Bat, Rays Win 6-2

Brandon Guyer hits a homerun in his first major league at bat, and James Shields cruises to an easy win over the Orioles.

  • Live
3 Total Updates since May 4, 2011
  • Updates 3
  • All Updates 3

Brandon Guyer Hits Homerun In First Major League At Bat, Rays Win 6-2

For the Rays, the thunder began before the rain Friday night. On a night where Derek Lowe and Jaime Garcia each took a no-hitter into the 7th, James Shields’ 7+ IP, 1 ER performance may look rather pedestrian. However, Shields has now pitched into at least the 7th in five straight starts and allowed only 4 ER in that span. Shields found some run support early on from recently called up Brandon Guyer who sent a Zach Britton fastball into the left-center field seats for two runs after Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton laced back to back doubles to the right field corner. Guyer, making his debut in front of a dozen or so family and friends from nearby Virginia, would become the first Ray to ever hit a homerun in his first major league plate appearance.

Both Britton and Shields would go on cruise-control through four rain-soaked innings. Not until Baltimore’s Derek Lee homered off of Shields in the 6th to almost the exact same seat as Guyer had in the 2nd, did the O's make a sound offensively. Shields would shake that pitch off and continue his streak of dominance as he finished his one-run effort having given up 3 hits, 3 walks, and striking out 5 Oriole hitters.

Britton wouldn’t survive past the 6th inning and the Baltimore bullpen would allow the Rays to cushion their lead to 6-1 at its highest.  After an Evan Longoria walk and a Kelly Shoppach walk, recently-hot Casey Kotchman singled off Clay Rapada on a ground ball to right field, allowing Longoria to score. Not to be outdone, Koji Uehara would give up a single to Ben Zobrist and a homerun to Johnny Damon in the top of the 9th. Baltimore would add a gimme-run in the bottom of the 9th when Vlad Guerrero and Luke Scott would hit back-to-back doubles off of Joel Peralta. Fellow new-Brandon, Brandon Gomes would come in to collect the last out of the game, pushing the Rays to an 18-14 record. The Orioles and Rays will face off tomorrow afternoon at 1:10pm.

 

Continue

Morrow Shuts Down Rays As Blue Jays Win; Niemann Leaves Game With Stiff Back

Brandon Morrow is tough for the Rays to beat even on the best of occasions, and last night’s game went sour for the Rays right from the start. By the end of the first inning, it became apparent that Jeff Niemann did not have his best stuff with him. Niemann had put together a strong seven inning outing his last time out, leading many to hope that his troubles were behind him, but last night he suffered from many of the same old problems: he was leaving balls up in the zone, missing his locations, and his velocity was topping out around 90 MPH. The Blue Jays got two runs in the first inning off a Adam Lind homerun, and they never looked back.

Niemann continued to struggle over the course of the night, allowing a total of six hits in four innings while striking out none. His velocity continued to sink as the game went on, and by the time he left after the fourth inning, he was topping out at 86 MPH. That velocity decrease led many to believe Niemann was injured, and the Rays did announce later in the game that Niemann left with a sore back. He will be evaluated today, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he hit the DL after his string of early season problems.

While Brandon Morrow only struck out seven Rays this time out – and allowed nine baserunners during six innings – the Rays still couldn’t get much going on offense. They threatened to score many times, but stranded runners or got victimized by good defensive work by the Blue Jays. Notably, Johnny Damon got thrown out at the plate in the fourth inning after the ball got stuck under the padding on the left field wall, as catcher Jose Molina made a fantastic block of the plate. It just wasn’t the Rays’ night.

The umpires didn’t help either. Joe Maddon and BJ Upton both got thrown out of the game for arguing calls with the umpires, but both of them had justifiable grounds for being annoyed. Upton was arguing with the home plate umpire over the strike zone all night, and ended up getting very annoyed after being called out on a pitch far off plate in the ninth inning. And Joe Maddon was tossed for arguing over a call that the umpires had reversed: they’d originally called Sam Fuld safe on a bang-bang play at first base (which replays showed was the correct call), but then the home plate umpire overruled the ruling of the first base ump to call Fuld out. Maddon was understandably furious, and got ejected for the second time this year.

The Rays and Jays finish their series today at 1:10 PM, as David Price faces Kyle Drabek.

Continue

Niemann Hopes To Build On Success Tonight Against Blue Jays, Morrow

After winning last night in dramatic fashion against the Blue Jays, the Rays send Jeff Niemann to the mound tonight to face off against Brandon Morrow for the Blue Jays.

This will be Morrow's third start of the season, as he missed a few weeks in the beginning of the year with an injury, and his second start against the Rays. In the last time he face the Rays, Morrow struck out 10 batters in only 5.1 innings and held the Rays to just three runs. However, once he left he game, the Jays' relief pitching gave the game away by allowing three more runs to score, giving the Rays a 6-4 win. 

Now that Morrow has a few starts under his belt, though, he could be even tougher against the Rays tonight and potentially last longer into the game than he did last time. The Rays have always struggled against him, and they'll need their left-handed hitters to come up big tonight if they want to pull out a win.

Also, if the Rays are going to win tonight, they will need Jeff Niemann to pitch like he did last time out. While Niemann has struggled at times this year - he currently has a 5.60 ERA and 4.61 FIP - his most recent start was a huge success. Niemann took a no-hitter through the sixth inning against the Twins, lasting seven full innings while only allowing one run. It was the best Niemann has pitched all season, but the trick will be if he can duplicate that success against the Blue Jays' offense. Thankfully, the Jays are missing Jose Bautista this series, so their lineup lacks its normal punch.

Tonight's game is schedule for 6:40 PM.

Continue
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SB Nation Tampa Bay

You must be a member of SB Nation Tampa Bay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Tampa Bay. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Tampa Bay

You must be a member of SB Nation Tampa Bay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Tampa Bay. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.