On a day where the Rays lost in frustrating to Tim Hudson and the Braves, the frustration was magnified by two walk-off losses in the system. Ironically, the Rays’ Triple-A and Double-A franchises had nice games and if you want a positive take on Sunday in the Rays organization stop reading after the second recap.
Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 6, Charlotte Knights (CHW) 0
Former Diamondback first round pick Matt Torra has had a frustrating 2012 season in the Rays organization. Maybe that is finally over. Torra pitched extremely well against the Knights, going 6 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits and striking out 3 while walking 1. He forced an 8-5 groundout flyout ratio. Lefty John Gaub tossed 3 no-hit innings to close out this one, striking out 5 while walking 1. The story for the Bulls on offense was power, especially from unlikely sources. Cole Figueroa slammed his first homer for Durham and his 4th of the season, a second-inning 2-run shot. Mayo Acosta stayed blisterring hot, slamming his first homer for Durham, and Leslie Anderson also slammed his third homer of the year. Hideki Matsui also went 1 for 3 with a sac fly for the Bulls, who improved to 18-27 on the season.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 5, Birmingham Barons (CHW) 1
Where the heck did this come from? Rays left-handed pitching prospect Kyle Lobstein was a one-time recipient of a 1.5 million bonus as a second round pick. We haven’t seen much of the ability that prompted the Rays to give him such a bonus the past few years. Until Sunday. Lobstein turned in one of his best outings as a pro and his best outing of the season by a wide margin, going 8 innings allowing not a single run on 4 hits, striking out just 4 but walking just 1. His groundout to flyout ratio was an outstanding 12-4. Wow. Lobstein got his run support in this one from 2 for 5 days from Ty Morrison, Kyeong Kang, and Michael Sheridan, and Ryan Garko also went 1 for 4 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored. The Biscuits went over .500 at 23-22 of the season with the 3rd win in 4 games.
High-A Florida State League: Tampa Yankees 3, Charlotte Stone Crabs 2
The Stone Crabs were down 2-0 after 1 and got 3-hit in this game. Yet somehow they hanged with the Yankees all game. What a win it could have been. The Yankees tagged Enny Romero for 2 runs in the first innings on a Tyson Blaser RBI double and a sac fly, but a Keith Castillo RBI double brought Charlotte within 2-1. Neither starter would allow another run. Sean Black went 5 innings for the Yankees, allowing 1 run on 2 hits, striking out 5 while walking none. Romero, meanwhile, allowed 2 runs in 6 innings on 4 hits, striking out 5 while walking 2. He forced a solid 7-4 groundout to flyout ratio. The Stone Crabs finally tied the game in the 7th inning with their third hit of the ballgame as Phil Wunderlich slammed his third home run of the season off of Tommy Kahnle. But Theron Geith, after tossing scoreless innings in the 7th and 8th. But in the bottom of the 9th, he allowed a walk-off single to Eduardo Sosa than scored Rob Segedin as the Yankees won 3-2. The Stone Crabs drop to 21-21 on the season.
Low-A Midwest League: Fort Wayne Tincaps (SDP) 2, Bowling Green Hot Rods
It’s always frustrating to lose in a 9th inning lead- especially when you lose in a walk-off. Juniel Querecuto had an RBI single in the third inning, the only run the Hot Rods would get in 5 innings against Colin Rea. But Ryan Carpenter was even better, tossing 5 shutout innings, allowing just 4 hits and no walks while striking out 6. He also had a pickoff. Andrew Bellatti followed him up with 3 shutout innings to hand a 1-0 lead to Austin Hubbard. But Hubbard allowed a game-tying homer to Lee Orr and a walk-off single to Travis Whitmore as the Tincaps won 2-1. The Hot Rods fell to 24-20 on the year with the backbreaking loss. Josh Sale went 1 for 3 with a walk in the loss.