With the Rays playing a crisp afternoon game versus the Minnesota Twins and the Yankees-Red Sox Sunday night game getting rained out, the minor league games on late Sunday afternoon and Sunday night took precedence. There were some exciting finishes and exhilarating performances across the Rays system and let’s see just what happened.
The Triple-A Durham Bulls game versus the Pawtucket Red Sox was rained out. It was the only one of the Rays’ four minor league games that was postponed.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 7, Penascola Blue Wahoos (CLE) 3
For most of this game, the Penascola Blue Wahoos were in control and it felt like their lead was insurmountable. But they never truly pulled away, and when Penascola’s pitching slipped, the Montgomery Biscuits took advantage. The Blue Wahoos’ grabbed the early lead against Montgomery starter Frank De Los Santos in the top of the first inning on a 2-run double by second baseman Brodie Green, who had a big day, going 4 for 4 with a double, a walk, and 3 RBI. But Santos settled in after that and ended up going 5 innings, allowing just the 2 runs on 6 hits, striking out just 1 while walking 2 although he did force 8 groundouts compared to 4 airouts. De Los Santos kept the Biscuits close, and that was all they needed. Through 5 innings, Penascola starter Daniel Corcino allowed just 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 in 5 shutout innings. But things came apart for him in the 5th. Tyler Bortnick reached on an error to begin the inning, and that may have thrown Corcino out of rhythm. Cole Figueroa followed with a double, advancing Bortnick to 3rd, and Henry Wrigley followed with a 2-run double to tie the game at 2. Two batters later, an Omar Luna bloop single gave the Biscuits the lead. Penascola tied the game in the top of the 7th, but Wrigley game through with another 2-run double in the bottom of the inning, and Brad Coon finished the scoring with a 2-run home run in the 8th, his first home run since 2010, as the Biscuits won 7-3. Wrigley had a huge day for the Biscuits, going 2 for 4 with his 2 doubles, a run scored, and 4 RBI, and Omar Luna also had to feel good about himself after a 3 for 3 day with a walk, an RBI, and 3 stolen bases in 4 attempts. Hak-Ju Lee went 1 for 5 with a stolen base (and also a caught stealing) and a run scored as his batting average on the season went to .167.
High-A Florida State League: Palm Beach Cardinals 11, Charlotte Stone Crabs 1
This was a game the Stone Crabs would like to forget. Starter Grayson Garvin got shelled. allowing 6 runs on 8 hits in 3 innings, striking out 2 while walking 2 to raise his seasonal ERA to 6.19, and reliever George Jensen was no better, allowing 5 runs on 6 hits in 2 innings. Every Cardinals stater had a hit but the player of the game was clearly second baseman Starlin Rodriguez, who went 3 for 5 with a single, a triple, and a home run, just a double short of the cycle, driving in 5 runs while scoring 2 more. Cardinals starter Anthony Ferrara kept the Stone Crabs off-balance all game, tossing 7 innings of 3-hit shutout ball, striking out just 2 while walking 2 but forcing 9 groundball outs compared to 4 flyouts. On the Charlotte side, third baseman Riccio Torrez went 2 for 4 with a double and a 9th inning RBI, and Ty Morrison, Hector Guevara, and Mikie Mahtook had the other Stone Crabs hits.
Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 4, Quad Cities River Bandits (STL) 3
On Sunday in Bowling Kentucky, there was an absolute classic. The Hot Rods faced off against another Cardinals affiliate, the River Bandits, but this one was definitely not a laugher. The Hot Rods grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 1st on a solo home run by Todd Glaesmann off of Quad Cities starter Dail Villanueva before a Joel Caminero RBI single in the 4th extended the lead to 2-0. Hot Rods starter Felipe Rivero entered his start with a 2-1 record without a single earned run allowed, and he continued dominating to begin the game, allowing just 1 hit in the first 2 innings and working around his own first inning throwing error on a pickoff play. But he allowed a walk and two singles in the 3rd, and he only avoided allowing a run thanks to a beautiful throw by Taylor Motter, an infielder by trade playing the outfield as the Rays try to increase his versatility, to nab Quad Cities third baseman Garrett Wittels at home. But Rivero struck out the side while working around a walk in the 4th and appeared to be fine. But between poor pitching and bad fielding, Rivero got into trouble again in the 5th, and this time, he could not escape unscathed. Right fielder Roberto Reyes reached on an error on Hot Rods first baseman Cameron Seitzer, and then Rivero walked Wittels. Shortstop Matt Williams then laid down a bunt, but Rivero threw it away, allowing Reyes to score and giving the River Bandits 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. Centerfielder Nick Martini followed with an RBI single to tie the game at 2. Rivero then walked DH Colin Walsh before forcing first baseman David Medina to ground into a 4-6-3 double play that gave Quad Cities the lead. Jason McEachern came in and forced catcher While Rivero struggled, Tyler Goeddel remained as hot as ever. (Credit: Mike Janes, Four Seam Images)
It was a nice day across Rays nation as Rays affiliates went 2-1 to go along with the Rays’ victory over the Twins, and Rays fans are hearing about quite a few talented players with the ability to make an impact at the big league level for the Rays someday. We saw big hits and great comebacks, and Rays players at all levels left us at the edge of our seats.