The Rays game is later tonight, but a couple of Rays affiliates played a couple of late morning and afternoon games and those games leave Rays fans with smiles on their faces entering tonight. The Montgomery Biscuits and Bowling Green Hot Rods both emerged victorious with a couple of top prospects right at the forefront.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 7, Pensacola Blue Wahoos (CLE) 4
Hak-Ju Lee seemed to be just waiting to break out. The last two days, Sunday and Monday, Lee had a single hit in each game, striking out just once. On Tuesday, everything finally came together. Lee went 3 for 5 with a 3-run triple, providing the margin of victory as the Biscuits beat the Blue Wahoos 7-4. Three other Biscuits had multi-hit days, with Cole Figueroa (a guy who I really like as a utilityman) going 2 for 5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored, Greg Sexton going 2 for 3 with 2 doubles, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored, and Emeel Salem going 2 for 3 with a walk. On the pitching side, things were much more sketchy for the Biscuits. Joseph Cruz started and survived, going 5 innings while allowing 3 runs on 3 hits, striking out just 2 while walking 3. He labored, throwing 87 pitches in his 5 innings, 53 strikes, and he forced 7 groundouts compared to 5 flyouts. Alex Koronis tossed a scoreless relief inning for the Biscuits before Kirby Yates allowed a run in an inning of work and Jim Paduch pitched a perfect 9th for the save. Hopefully the pitching can be a little more dependable for the Biscuits. This win improves the Biscuits to 10-10 on the season, and if Lee can get it going from the leadoff spot, this team could be primed for a hot streak.
Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 3, Quad Cities River Bandits (STL) 2
Drew Vettleson has emerged as the only steady contributor from the three first round and supplemental picks the Rays had in 2010. He further reinforced that with an incredible game on Tuesday. Vettleson went 4 for 4 with 1 homer, 2 doubles, an RBI, and 2 runs scored. Here’s what Vettleson tweeted following the game.
— Drew Vettleson (@DrewVettleson) April 24, 2012
Jeff Malm also went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and an RBI, and Juniel Querecuto went 2 for 4 with a double, a triple and a run scored. So how did the Hot Rods only come away with 3 runs? Ineptitude with runners in scoring position as they went just 3 for 16. But the Hot Rods’ pitching was good enough for them to win. Ryan Carpenter went 6 innings, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits, striking out 3 while walking 2 and forcing 5 groundouts compared to 3 flyouts. Jacob Partridge closed out the game for Bowling Green with 3 innings of 1-run relief, allowing 2 hits and a walk while striking out 3. The Hot Rods need to improve with runners in scoring position as just 3 runs on 11 hits won’t cut it, and hopefully Tyler Goeddel (0 for 3 with a walk and a strikeout) can get going again, but the pitching was great and the individual efforts by Vettleson, Malm, and Querecuto helped the Hot Rods improve to 13-6 on the year.