Minor League Report

Mitch Talbot continued to struggle in the Durham Bulls 15-6 loss to the Pawtucket Red Sox tonight.

Mitch Talbot continued to struggle in the Durham Bulls 15-6 loss to the Pawtucket Red Sox tonight. Talbot is not pitching like a man that wants to get out of the wonderland that is Durham, NC. Talbot, who was arguably Nifonged (or screwed, a term created in the aftermath of the Duke Lacrosse case where Durham DA Mike Nifong tried to send three innocent young men to prison for crimes they obviously did not commit in order to gain politically) out Tampa Bay's starting rotation after a strong spring training, is off to a terrible start to the 2007 season for the Bulls. He allowed five earned runs in only three innings on his way to suffering his fifth loss of the year. The young right hander is now 2-5 with a 8.37 ERA. With a corrupt man like Nifong as the District Attorney, it is hard to imagine any more incentive to try and earn a call to St. Petersburg.

In all seriousness, Talbot and J.P. Howell do need to start pitching better and soon. With their talent and potential, both pitchers could improve the the Devil Rays' starting rotation in the very near future assuming they can put their Durham struggles behind them.

On a positive note, Elliot Johnson collected two hits in the slugfest to raise his batting average to .184. Joel Guzman went 3-4 and Wes Bankston hit a solo homerun for the Bulls in the loss. Shawn Riggans also collected a hit to raise his batting average to .300 or higher for the first time all season. Ben Zobrist, the Opening Day starter at shortstop for the Devil Rays, finished the game 0-5 in his third game since being to optioned to Durham less than a week ago.

As bad as Talbot was, the bullpen was not much better. Steve Andrade, who allowed eight runs in less than two innings, combined with Tony Peguero to allow 10 earned runs in a four inning span. Andrade was having a strong season before tonight's outing and his ERA is still only 4.50.

Montgomery Update

On Monday night, Evan Longoria blasted his tenth homerun of the season in Montgomery's 12-4 win over West Tennessee. Longoria finished 3-4 and headed in to Tuesday night with a .333 batting average. Shortstop Reid Brignac scored two runs and DH John Jaso also contributed three hits to lead the offense. After his first rough outing of the year in his previous start, Chris Mason (5-1) rebounded with six excellent innings on Monday to earn his fifth win of the season. Mason scattered 3 hits and 1 earned run in the Biscuits victory.

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