Rays Winter League Recap: Daniel Mayora Explodes for 4 Hits, 5 RBI

By Robbie Knopf

Another Daniel Mayora headline? Do Rays fans really want to hear about a forgettable Durham Bulls utility player day after day? Sorry, but he’s playing that well.

Arizona Fall League: Salt River Rafters 10, Surprise Saguaros 9

This one was a wild game, and the three Rays for Salt River all played a role in the victory. Ryan Brett went 1 for 4 with a double, a walk, a stolen base, and 2 runs scored. The performance extended Brett’s hitting streak to 4 and he has now stolen a base in 3 straight games as well. Brett is finally starting to make things happen, and the Rays have to be impressed by the way he has rebounded from a tough start. Richie Shaffer isn’t out of the woods yet, but he is finding way to get on base, going 0 for 2 with 2 walks, an RBI, and a run scored, also playing strong defense at third base. Shaffer is hitting just .130 on the year, but his plate discipline has led to a serviceable .300 OBP and hopefully his zero strikeouts are a sign of improved contact. And finally, Merrill Kelly was the closest thing the Rafters had to a stopper in a nightmare game for pitchers, allowing 5 hits in 1.1 innings but allowing just 1 run as he earned the win. Hopefully he can build a little confidence and get back to the level of play that led to his breakout year at Durham this season.

Venezuelan Winter League: Leones del Caracas 9, Bravos de Margarita 6

The game was not going well for the Leones del Caracas. Entering the bottom of the 6th, the Leones were down 4-1 and already on their fourth pitcher of the game after the Bravos knocked out Tiago da Silva after just 3.1 innings pitched. But then, with a runner on in the bottom of the inning, Daniel Mayora did what he has so often done the last few weeks: turn everything around for the Leones. Mayora’s 2-run home run ignited Caracas’ comeback as they won the game 9-6. Mayora had another huge game, going 4 for 5 with a homer, a double, 5 RBI, and 2 runs scored. He capped the scoring with a 2-run single in teh 8th to give the Leones some insurance. And by the way, he stole a base for good measure. After his second straight 4-hit game and 8th multi-hit game in his last 10 contests, Mayora is now hitting a ridiculous .477 through 46 VWL plate appearances. Yes, it’s only 46 plate appearances, but that is unbelievable. Bobby Abreu also had a nice game for the Leones, going 2 for 3 with a triple, 2 walks, and 2 runs scored.