March 30, 2012; Bradenton, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) smiles as he warms up prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

The Undercards: Longo Starts Rehab as Bulls 6-Hit Lehigh Valley

Yes, Evan Longoria is on his way back. But his return was part of a nearly flawless day in the Rays organization.

Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 3, Lehigh Valley Ironpigs (PHI) 0

So how did Longo do? A meager 1 for 4. But he showed no signs of injury and is looking at a return in the middle of the week. All smiles there. Same story with the rest of this game. Matt Torra shut down the Ironpigs, going 6.2 shutout allowing just 4 hits while striking out 2 and walking none. Dane De La Rosa and Bryan Augenstein finished the 6-hit shutout. The offense came from a Brandon Allen RBI single in the 7th and a Cole Figueroa 2-run double in the 9th. Allen went 2 for 3 and Reid Brignac and Stephen Vogt each went 1 for 4 in Durham’s nice win.

Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 7, Huntsville Stars (MIL) 2

The Biscuits came through was an outstanding all-around team effort as they beat Huntsville 7-2. Hak-Ju Lee had a particularly bizarre game. He went 0 for 4 with a walk, but he stole 3 bases leading to 2 runs scored. Wow. Omar Luna went 3 for 5 with a stolen base of his own, an RBI, and 2 runs scored, and Ty Morrison went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI. Greg Sexton also went 3 for 4 with an RBI. On the pitching side, Joseph Cruz was decent, tossing 5 innings allowing 2 runs on 5 hits, striking out 4 while walking 3 and posting just a 4-3 groundout to flyout ratio. But the bullpen for the Biscuits really shined in this game. Scott Shuman entered Saturday with a 10.30 ERA. But on Saturday, he was lights out. He went 2 innings, facing the minimum 6 batters and striking out 5 of them. Shuman has electric stuff, with a fastball reaching the high-90′s and sharp slider, and hopefully he’s finally starting to figure it all out right now. Marquis Fleming then tossed a perfect inning before Kirby Yates struck out the side in his 1-2-3 performance in the ninth. Huge props to the bullpen, and what a game it was overall for the Biscuits.

Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 4, Fort Wayne Tincaps (SDP) 0

The Hot Rods did everything to warrant getting the headline for this post. Unfortunately, they picked the wrong day as Evan Longoria started his rehab. But the Hot Rods had a big day, clinching a playoff spot in the split-season playoff format with a 4-0 win over the Tincaps. It started with starter Ryan Carpenter. The Rays’ 7th round pick in 2011 was absolutely dominant, going 7 innings allowing not a single run on 2 hits, striking out 9 while walking just 1. Carpenter allowed 7 runs in his last start, but he came up big in this one in a game the Hot Rods had to win. The run support came from Jake Hager, who went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI, Ryan Brett, who went 2 for 3 with 2 runs scored. and Todd Glaesmann, who went 1 for 3 with an RBI. Drew Vettleson also went 1 for 4 with a stolen base. The Hot Rods get the chance to celebrate, and they capped off a nice run thus far this season with an outstanding win.

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Tags: Evan Longoria Hak-Ju Lee Jake Hager Matt Torra Ryan Carpenter Scott Shuman

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