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Notes: Rays change pitchers
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07/08/2004 8:10 PM ET
Notes: Rays change pitchers
Seay recalled; Gonzalez sent down to Durham
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Reliever Bobby Seay recorded a 1.72 ERA in 29 games for Durham this season. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
NEW YORK -- The Rays swapped pitchers on Thursday, sending starter Jeremi Gonzalez to Triple-A Durham and recalling left-handed reliever Bobby Seay.

Gonzalez started the second game of a doubleheader against the Orioles on Monday, but took the loss, 8-2. It was Gonzalez's fifth loss this season, and 11th straight going back to last year.

"He needs to go back and start,'' manager Lou Piniella said. "He needs to build up arm strength.''

Seay has been throwing very well for the Bulls. He was 2-1 with one save and a 1.72 ERA in 29 games.

"He's healthy and he's been pitching very well,'' Piniella said. "We'll use him in middle-to-short relief.''

Seay, who was 1-1 with a 5.73 ERA in 24 games with the Rays since 2001, said he did what he could to get back to the Majors.

"I was just trying to prove that I deserved a chance up here,'' Seay said. "I'm not pitching any differently. I'm just a little more mature. I've kind of figured out how to pitch [in the minors]. Now, I need to do that up here.

"I just need to go out and work hard. I've got to work hard and prove myself.''

After spending much of the 2003 season and the first three months of 2004 in the minors, Seay wasn't sure he would ever pitch for Rays again.

"I didn't say never,'' Seay said. "But I didn't think my chances were all that great.''

Torre talks Tampa Bay: Yankees manager Joe Torre said he has been surprised by the Devil Rays all year.

"I think we're surprised they have won as many games as they have,'' Torre said. "I was also surprised how far under .500 they were. We saw them earlier in the year and we looked around at how much they upgraded, with Tino [Martinez] at first and [Jose] Cruz, they had some experience.

"Their young players -- [Aubrey] Huff, [Carl] Crawford and [Rocco] Baldelli -- they're legitimate players. I guess I'm surprised at how hot they have been. I would be surprised at how hot we were if we were as hot as they were. The fact that they were so far under .500, that was more of a surprise. They struggled pitching-wise early, but they have really gotten some help from their organization.''

Torre said Piniella deserves much of the credit.

"No question,'' Torre said. "Lou's going to get your attention. He's not going to just let them wallow in themselves or let them just 'nice try' and stuff like that. Lou is used to winning and he's certainly going to let them know about that. I think the fact is, that you're not going to get in the dugout and the clubhouse and be satisfied with mediocrity.''

Down on the farm: Shortstop B.J. Upton doubled and tripled for Durham in a 7-6 victory against Rochester on Wednesday. Matt Diaz had two doubles and extended his hitting streak to 17 games.

Pitcher Willie Glen, who was in Spring Training with the Rays, moved from Double-A Montgomery to Durham. He was 3-4 with a 4.84 ERA in 18 games for the Biscuits this season.

Montgomery won a six-inning game, 1-0, against Huntsville as Vince Harrison hit his first home for the Biscuits.

At Class A Charleston, Delmon Young now has 68 RBIs, tops in the organization.

Quick hits: Saturday is Old-Timers Day at Yankee Stadium and Piniella will take part in a pre-game ceremony honoring former teammate Thurman Munson, who died in a plane crash. "I knew him well,'' Piniella said. "In fact, [Bobby Murcer] and I were with him the night before, trying to talk him into selling his jet.'' ... Trever Miller's wife, Pari, is out of the hospital and doing well. He said his daughter, Grace Elizabeth, who was born prematurely, is doing better but likely will be at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg until the end of this month. ... Julio Lugo's sister, Rhina, who lives in New York and is seven months pregnant, was at the game with his mother, also named Rhina. ... Don Zimmer has already started interviews and book signings while in New York.

Paul C. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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