From the majors down to Low-A, it was a tough day in the Rays organization, at least for the early games.
Triple-A International League: Game 1: Norfolk Tides (BAL) 5, Durham Bulls 2
The Rays are known for “closer-by-committee.” Don’t even think about starter-by-committee. Matt Torra, Jhonny Nunez, and Alex Torres pitched 2.2, 3.0, and 3.1 innings each for the Bulls and it did not go very well. Torra allowed 3 runs on 3 hits, but more worrying is Torres. He walked 5 while striking out just 2 and allowed 2 runs to raise his ERA on the season to 9.28- no wait, he actually lowered his ERA! He has completely fallen apart this season, mirroring Matt Moore in a sense but not showing even a fraction of the promise. The Bulls did have some solid offensive performances. Jesus Feliciano went 2 for 4 with a double and run scored, Kyle Hudson went 2 for 5 with a run, and Brandon Guyer and Stephen Vogt each went 1 for 3 with a double, with Vogt driving in the Bulls’ two runs. Reid Brignac went 0 for 4 for Durham lowering his average at Triple-A to .136.
High-A Florida State League: Clearwater Threshers (PHI) 10, Charlotte Stone Crabs 7
If you want to talk about emulating Moore, Braulio Lara was even worse, allowing 8 runs on 9 hits in just 2+ innings. Ouch. The Stone Crabs were down 8-0 after 3 innings. The Stone Crabs did get some futile offensive performances. Robi Estrada went 3 for 4 with 3 RBI, Mayo Acosta went 2 for 4 with a homer, a double, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored (and is unfortunately looking like the Rays’ best catching prospect at this moment), and Derek Dietrich, who played second game for the 4th time this season, went 1 for 3 with a homer, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. Phillies 2010 first rounder and Philadelphia native Jesse Biddle pitched well for Clearwater, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits in 6 innings, striking out 5 while walking 2.
Low-A Midwest League: Lake County Captains (CLE) 6, Bowling Green Hot Rods 2
The Hot Rods got off to a 2-0 lead in this game on a Matt Rice sac fly and Jeff Malm solo homer. But after allowing just 2 hits and a walk through 4 innings, Hot Rods starter Roberto Gomes collapsed as was the organizational norm today, allowing 3 singles and a sac fly before departing with 2 outs, and Stayton Thomas could not stop the bleeding, allowing an RBI double and a 2-run single to Alex Monslave and Jordan Smith respectively. That put the Hot Rods in a 5-2 hole and they would lose the game 6-2. Josh Sale went 0 for 2 with a walk for Bowling Green, although Tyler Goeddel did have a single in 3 trips to get his batting average back up to .294.
The later games were more promising and please check back at RCG tomorrow morning for those.