Sometimes the most exciting part of minor league games is not the minor leaguers but seeing the big leaguers work their way back from injury. With the Rays having a multiplicity of players on the DL, this is going to be a common sight in coming weeks.
Triple-A International League: Indianapolis Indians (PIT) 4, Durham Bulls 0
Matt Torra, who we’ll talk about more later today at RCG, had a halfway-decent start, going 5.1 innings allowing 3 runs on 8 hits, striking out 4 while walking 1. But he got absolutely no run support as the Bulls were 4-hit by ex-big leaguer Rick VandenHurk and a couple of relievers. Stephen Vogt had a hit and improbably stole a base, so that’s nice. Not much else in this game was.
Double-A Southern League: Game 1: Montgomery Biscuits 7, Mississippi Braves 3 (7 innings)
Oh, Jake Thompson. Even when the results are good, he still drives you insane. Thompson allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, on just 5 hits in 6 innings, but he both struck out and walked 3 and his groundout to flyout ratio was a bad 5-6. The unearned run was a result of his own throwing error. Ughhh. On offense, though, the Biscuits got some great performances without disclaimers. Hak-Ju Lee went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored. Ty Morrison went 2 for 4 with a double and a stolen base, his impressive 17th of the season between High-A and Double-A. Omar Luna went 1 for 2 with a solo homer, his first since 2010, 2 walks, 3 runs scored, and his 15th steal of the season. Ryan Garko went 2 for 4 with an RBI. After hitting .296 in 14 games at Montgomery, Garko could head to Triple-A to be ready for a big league call-up in case the Rays’ major leaguers continue to made out of paper mache.
Game 2: Mississippi Braves 3, Montgomery Biscuits 2 (7 innings)
The Biscuits could only come away with a doubleheader split after running into Braves 2011 first rounder Sean Gilmartin, who tossed a 7 inning complete game, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits, striking out 7 while walking 2. Merrill Kelly wasn’t exactly sharp in his spot-start for the Biscuits, allowing 3 runs in 4 innings. Luna finished off his impressive day with a 2 for 4 nightcap with an RBI. Chris Sheridan went 1 for 3 with the other RBI for the Biscuits.
High-A Florida State League: Jupiter Hammerheads (MIA) 11, Charlotte Stone Crabs 3
What the heck happened here? The Stone Crabs had a 3-1 lead after 5 innings thanks to a nice outing from Enny Romero, but Romero allowed a run in the 6th before giving way to Eliazer Suero. That did not go well. Suero recorded just 2 outs, the final out of the 5th and the first out of the 6th, and he allowed 9 runs, all earned, in the process. His ERA was 121.50. No, that’s not a typo. Romero was solid, going 5.2 innings allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, striking out 3 while walking 1 and posting a 10-3 groundout to flyout ratio. He was fine. Suero was not. In his first rehab game, Desmond Jennings went 1 for 3 with a double and a run scored, Kevin Kiermaier went 2 for 3, and Philip Wunderlich went 1 for 4 with a solo homer, his second in as many games and 4th in the last 6 games. Derek Dietrich went 1 for 4 with a triple and an RBI. That triple is his 6th of the season already, especially impressive because Dietrich is not known for his speed. Dietrich continues to hit for outstanding power as his line thus far in 2012 is .262/.341/.471, a .209 ISO. He has 12 doubles, the 6 triples, and 5 homers.