February 29, 2012; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (35) poses for a portrait during photo day at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

The Undercards: Archer Dominates as Bulls Split Doubleheader


There was exciting news for the Triple-A Durham Bulls on Tuesday as one of their players, Brandon Guyer, has been called up to the big leagues for the first time this season. But that also left the Bulls shorthanded for their doubleheader that day. The Bulls came up with a doubleheader split, with another player stepping up.

Triple-A International League: Game 1: Syracuse Chiefs (WSN) 4, Durham Bulls 2 (7 innings)

The Bulls faced off against a former All-Star pitcher, Zach Duke, in the opener of their doubleheader, and it did not go well. Duke went the complete game (7 innings), allowing just 3 hits and a walk while striking out 5. He got 9 groundouts compared to 3 flyouts. The Bulls somehow pushed across 2 runs against Duke. Kyle Hudson was the only player in the game with a performance in the game that he could be proud of, going 2 for 3 with an RBI and stolen base. Cole Figueroa had the other hit for Durham (he was finally brought up to Triple-A!).

Game 2: Durham Bulls 2, Syracuse Chiefs 1

The past couple of seasons, Chris Archer has been an enigma. He has possessed a dynamic fastball and a great slider, but he just has not been able to put it all together. Archer has now put together two good starts in a row. Archer turned in his best start of the season, going 6 innings and allowing 1 runs on 4 hits, striking out 5 while walking 1. He forced 8 groundouts to 2 flyouts and he was extremely efficient, throwing just 75 pitches, 48 strikes. It’s great to see Archer pitching well, and maybe he has finally turned a corner in terms of his command. Archer actually trailed almost the entire game before Craig Albernaz came up with a huge 2-run single in the 5th inning. Reid Brignac and Stephen Vogt each went 1 for 2 with a walk in the game and scored on Albernaz’s clutch hit. The Bulls are just 12-21. Is this finally the win that gets them going?

Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 6, Chattanooga Lookouts (LAD) 1

This game was pretty crazy even though the Biscuits rolled. This game matched up Biscuits ace Shane Dyer with former (and future) big leaguer Nathan Eovaldi. Dyer pitched well, going 6 innings and allowing 1 run on 4 hits, striking out 3 while walking 3 but forcing 9 groundouts to 3 outs. Bizarrely, he made 2 errors. Eovaldi struck out 6 while walking 2 in 5 innings, but he allowed 4 runs on 7 hits, making an error of his own. The big hitters in this game for the Biscuits were Henry Wrigley, who went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI, and Emeel Salem, who went 1 for 4 with a 2-run triple. But the story in this game was Hak-Ju Lee, a notable player every game, but his performance Tuesday was downright perplexing. Lee went 1 for 3 with a double, 2 walks, and run scored. Lee also made an error at shortstop. But the biggest story was that he managed to get caught stealing and picked off in the same game! Not exactly sure how to explain that. The Biscuits improved to 15-18 on the year as they continue their trudge towards .500 and beyond.

High-A Florida State League: Daytona Cubs 11, Charlotte Stone Crabs

Grayson Garvin had a night to forget. he lasted just 1.1 innings, allowing 7 runs, 6 earned, on 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out none. Nate Garcia did as well to a lesser extent, allowing 4 more runs in 3.2 innings. The result: the Stone Crabs were down 11-0 after 3 innings. Ty Morrison, Robby Price, Derek Dietrich, and Cody Rogers all went 1 for 4 with a double in this game and Hector Guevara went 2 for 3, but they were not doing to come back in this game. The Stone Crabs drop to 14-18 with the loss.

Low-A Midwest League: Lake County Captains (CLE) 4, Bowling Green Hot Rods 3

This was a frustrating game. The Hot Rods got another great start from Felipe Rivero, who allowed 1 run on 4 hits in 5 innings, striking out 5 while walking 3 and forcing 6 groundouts to 4 flyouts. The Hot Rods had a 3-1 lead when Rivero departed on a Juniel Querecuto RBI double, a Todd Glaesmann sac fly, and a Jeff Malm RBI triple. But in the 8th, Jason McEachern had his first truly terrible outing of the year. The Captains struck for 3 runs including an RBI triple by Indians top prospect Francisco Lindor, coming back to win 4-3. A bunch of Hot Rods hitters had nice games. Drew Vettleson went 3 for 5 with a double and run scored, Jake Hager went 2 for 5 with 2 runs scored from the leadoff spot, Jeff Malm went 2 for 4 with his RBI triple, and Joel Caminero went 2 for 4 with a double. However, the Hot Rods got too few hits with guys on base, leaving 10 guys on, and McEachern finally had a bad outing, raising his ERA to 2.18 on the year, and it cost the Hot Rods, who fell to 17-15 on the year.

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Tags: Chris Archer Craig Albernaz Drew Vettleson Felipe Rivero Hak-Ju Lee Henry Wrigley Jake Hager Shane Dyer