No major league game for the Rays Thursday. The minor league games were crazy enough to compensate.
Triple-A International League: Norfolk Tides (BAL) 4, Durham Bulls 1
This game makes you shake your head. Chris Archer had one bad inning in the 3rd, allowing an RBI single to Miguel Tejada (yes, that Miguel Tejada- he’s preparing to join the big league team), and a 2-run triple to Joe Mahoney. Other than that, he was overbearing. Archer went 6 innings, even returning after a rain delay, and he allowed 3 runs on 5 hits. But get this: he struck out 12 while walking just 2! And he lost! It wasn’t even close! The Bulls just missed getting no-hit. Starter Miguel Gonzalez for Norfolk went 5 no-hit innings, striking out 4 while walking 1, and relievers J.C. Romero (again, that J.C. Romero) and Eddie Gamboa combined for 3 perfect innings. In came Jon Link to try to finish the combined no-no. Link walked Cole Figueroa to begin the inning before forcing Jeff Salazar to pop out. He then forced Jesus Feliciano to ground to second base- but instead of a game-ending double play, it turned into an error. And because of that, Matt Mangini came to the plate and delivered a solid single to not only break up the no-hitter but actually bring the tying run to the plate! But Leslie Anderson flied out to end it. Hideki Matsui went 0 for 3 in the game. The Bulls fall to 19-30 with one heck of a loss.
Double-A Southern League: Jackson Generals (SEA) 5, Montgomery Biscuits 4
A couple of home runs were not enough as the Biscuits blew a 3-1 lead to lose 5-4. Matt Buschmann started for the Biscuits and while his control was absent, the results were not. Buschmann went 6 innings allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, on 5 hits, striking out 6 while walking 4. He forced a 6-4 groundout to flyout ratio. He got his run support on home runs by Ty Morrison, a 2-run blast, and Ryan Garko, a mammoth shot, off of one-time Yankee Steve Garrison. But Alex Koronis allowed a Denny Almonte homer in the 7th to tie the game at 3 before a Mark Thomas squeeze bunt gave the Biscuits the lead back. But Adam Liberatore allowed a game-tying RBI single to Kalian Sims in the 8th and an Eric Campbell RBI single in the 9th as the Generals won 5-4. The Biscuits drop to 24-23 on the season.
High-A Florida State League: Charlotte Stone Crabs and Brevard County Manatees (MIL)
Oh, I forgot to mention in the title. Grayson Garvin has a no-hitter going. What? Not just while I’m writing this, but still even today, Friday May 25th. What?! One problem: the game was suspended after 3 and a half inning because of rain. Garvin struck out 2 while walking 1 in his 4 no-hit innings, forcing a 5-2 groundout to flyout ratio. Garvin will not be on the mound when the game resumes tomorrow, but the bullpen has a chance to preserve the no-hit bid with 5 more no-hit innings. The Stone Crabs themselves managed just 1 hit against Manatees starter Brandon Williamson, by the way. The Stone Crabs will be a game and a half tomorrow, completing this game before playing their scheduled game. The Hot Rods are currently 22-23 on the season and can go over .500 with a one-and-a-half-header sweep.
Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 12, Great Lakes Loons (LAD) 3
This game was fun. Drew Vettleson had quite a game for himself. He was a triple short of the cycle- after 3 innings of play! He couldn’t finish it but still had a great day, going 3 for 6 with a homer and a double. He also gunned down yet another runner foolishly trying to run on his golden arm for his minor leagues-leading 13th outfield assists. Wow. Ryan Brett went 2 for 6 with 1 homer and 3 RBI, and Cameron Seitzer, Alejandro Segovia, and Joel Caminero had two RBI each. On the pitching side, Felipe Rivero had a decent outing, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits in 5 innings, striking out 2 while walking 1. His groundout to flyout ratio was 9-3. Rivero finally allowed his first homer of the season, a Pedro Guerrero solo shot. Trevor Shull closed this one out with 4 innings of one-run relief. This win had to be satisfying for the Hot Rods. They improve to 25-22 on the year.