BLAST FROM THE PAST
When the Devil Rays knocked off 10-game Red Sox winners Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling this week, it was the first time in 20 years a team won consecutive games facing pitchers with at least 10 wins, this early in a season according to the Elias Sports Bureau. On July 2-3, 1986, at Fenway Park, the Blue Jays beat both Roger Clemens (14-0) and Oil Can Boyd (10-5).
NOT SO NOVEL AN IDEA
Grady Fuson, the San Diego Padres' farm director, is using an eight-man rotation at single-A Eugene and rookie-Class Peoria. The starter is limited to 60-65 pitches. The second starter begins an inning and is limited to 40-45 pitches. Four games later, the two starters' roles are reversed. It's a plan Bobby Mattick used when he ran the Jays farm system, to develop arms.
Etobicoke first baseman Joey Votto, 22, was named Topps double-A Southern League player of the month for June. Votto hit .355 with eight homers and 24 RBIs for the Chattanooga Lookouts. He led in homers, RBIs, total bases (75) and had the fifth best average. Votto had 13 multi-hit games, including three three-hit games, raising his average from .298 to .317.
BEST IN SHOW
Ryan Radmanovich of Calgary, who plays right field for the Somerset Patriots, was the independent Atlantic League player of the month for June. He hit .348 with eight doubles, five home runs and 14 RBIs in 21 games. The former Olympian in 2004 at Athens and a member of Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic had a .681 slugging percentage and a .494 on base percentage.
Brantford's Chris Cox pitched the Intercounty Terriers to victory over the host Niagara Rebels in the Founders Cup Connie Mack final in Welland. Mississauga's Billy Martin shut out Morgantown, W. Va., in the semi-final and Guelph's Mike Goemans threw a no-hitter over Albany, N.Y. In going 6-0, they were led at the plate by Chad Marshall of Paris, Ont., and Waterloo's Terrell Alliman.