On a day where the Rays tipped their hats to the past with Turn Back The Clock Night, we look back to the future and see how the Rays’ minor league affiliates and their players did on Saturday.
Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 12, Buffalo Mets 6
A nice start from Alex Torres and of course the offense stood out on Saturday night for the Bulls. Torres went 5 innings allowing just 1 run on 2 hits, striking out 6 while walking 3 and posting a 7-1 groundout to flyout ratio. He did run his pitch count too high, throwing 92 pitches, 55 strikes in his five innings. But the Bulls bullpen wasn’t under much pressure. The Bulls staked Torres to a 12-0 lead after 4 and a half innings, battering out 16 hits in the game. Chris Gimenez went 2 for 5 with a 3-run homer, Tim Beckham went 3 for 5 with an RBI and 2 runs scored, Henry Wrigley went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI, and Jesus Feliciano (3 hits), Stephen Vogt, and Rich Thompson all had multi-hit games as well.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 6, Jacksonville Suns 5
Nick Barnese showed some potential even as he struggled, but the Biscuits came back from an early deficit to win 6-5. Barnese, making just his second Double-A start and third overall of the season following rehab from shoulder problems, went 3.2 innings allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, on 8 hits, but he struck out 5 while walking 2 and posted a 3-1 groundout to flyout ratio and a 6-3 groundball to flyball ratio overall. The Biscuits were able to win the game thanks to 3.1 innings of two-run ball from Merrill Kelly and 2 shutout innings from Kirby Yates to go along with the offense coming alive just enough. Omar Luna went 2 for 4 with a 2-run homer, his second of the season, Ty Morrison went 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored, Michael Sheridan had a 2-run double, Ryan Garko went 2 for 3 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and 2 runs scored, Mark Thomas went 2 for 4, and Tyler Bortnick didn’t have a great game, but somehow made something happen, going just 0 for 3 with a walk but stealing 2 base, giving him 22 on the season, and scoring a run.
High-A Florida State League: Fort Myers Miracle (MIN) 7, Charlotte Stone Crabs 2
Didn’t take a miracle for Fort Myers to win this one- Braulio Lara was just bad again. Lara went 5 innings, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits, striking out just 1 while walking 2 and managing just a 6-7 groundout to flyout ratio. His ERA on the season stands at 7.04. Lenny Linsky also struggled again as he works his way back from injury, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks in an inning of work. Theron Geith and Chris Rearick closed out this game with 3 scoreless frames, combining for 4 strikeouts. On offense, Robi Estrada went 2 for 5 and Estrada, Derek Dietrich, Phil Wunderlich, and Cody Rogers all doubled, with only Estrada getting more than one hit.
Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 4, Lansing Lugnuts (TOR) 3
One relatively big inning and hoping the other team doesn’t score as many runs isn’t a great strategy, but it can work. Felipe Rivero got the start and suspiciously lasted just 3 innings despite shutout ball on 3 hits, striking out 2 and posting a 3-1 groundout to flyout ratio. Have to hope he’s OK as this year has been incredible for him. Andrew Bellatti, Charlie Cononie, and Austin Hubbard allowed a run each in 3, 2, and 1 innings respectively. On offense, Tyler Goeddel had just 1 hit but made it count, slamming a 3-run homer as part of a 4-run 3rd ining, and Drew Vettleson also had an RBI single. In addition, Vettleson notched his 16th outfield assist on the season, throwing out Gustavo Pierre at home in the 3rd not long before his RBI single was the margin of victory in the game. Taylor Motter went 3 for 3 with a stolen base and a run scored, Jeff Malm went 3 for 4 with a double, and Jake Hager went 1 for 4 with 2 stolen bases and a run scored in the game.
Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Hudson Valley Renegades 6, Staten Island Yankees 4
The Renegades overcame deficits of 3-0 and 4-3 on their way to a nice 6-4 victory, with 2012 draftees playing key roles. Reinaldo Lopez showed some good signs in 3.1 innings but allowing 3 runs, 1 earned, on 5 hits, striking out 4 while walking 1 and posting a 5-1 groundout to flyout ratio. He was replaced by 2012 13th rounder Dylan Floro, who was excellent, tossing 2.1 shutout innings, allowing 3 hits, but stranding the bases loaded in the 4th after Lopez loaded them with 2 outs and striking out 3 while walking none. His groundout to flyout ratio was an excellent 5-0, so he got 8 of his 10 outs on strikeouts and groundouts. After Shay Crawford allowed an unearned run in an inning of work, but Ryan Garton, the Rays 34th round pick in 2012 tossed 2 perfect innings to finish the game. The 6 runs came from Ryan Dunn, the Rays 17th round pick in 2012, who had a big 2-run double, 16th rounder Tommy Coyle, who had an RBI double, and Luke Maile (9th round) and Marty Gantt (7th) both doubled and scored a run each as well. I will be in the press box today as the Renegades take on the Mets-affiliated Brooklyn Cyclones at the Renegades’ home, Dutchess Park.
Advanced Rookie Appalachian League: Bristol White Sox 13, Princeton Rays 12
Let’s just say pitchers didn’t have their way in this one, but the stat lines were pretty bizarre. Look at these stat lines from the starters.
That’s the Appalachian League for you. Echarry also managed a 6-0 groundout to flyout ratio in this outing that raised his ERA on the season to 11.00 (Cose’s was 4-2 and raised his to 13.50). Echarry is not half that bad of a pitcher, but his defense isn’t going him any favors right now. Anyway, back to the game. Every pitcher in this game allowed at least one run. The win in this game actually went to Mitch Mustain, whose name you may recognize as he was a one-time quarterback at USC and previously the University of Arkansas. On offense, neither side homered but got 14 hits each. James Harris went 3 for 5 with a double, a stolen base, 3 RBI, and a run scored, Daryl George went 3 for 4 with a walk, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored, Juan Morillo went 2 for 5 with a triple, 2 RBI, and a run scored, and Willie Argo went 2 for 5 with 3 stolen bases, an RBI, and 2 runs scored. A notable performer for Bristol was 2012 White Sox first round pick and the player who did a backflip at the MLB Draft, Courtney Hawkins, who went 3 for 5 with a double, a walk, a stolen base, 2 RBI, and 5 runs scored.
Rookie Gulf Coast League: GCL Rays 4, GCL Orioles 2
Smiles all around in this one as the GCL Rays won and the debuts of 2 relatively high profile draft picks, 4th rounder Nolan Gannon and 6th rounder Damion Carroll, went well. The start in this one for the GCL Rays was Luis Cabrera, who pitched well, allowing 1 run on 6 hits in 5 innings, striking out 3 while walking 1 and posting a 7-3 groundout to flyout ratio. He was followed by Gannon, who allowed a hit in a scoreless inning as he got his feet wet in pro ball, and Carroll’s first appearance also consisted of a shutout inning as he walked a batter. Both posted 2-0 groundout to flyout ratios, so the Rays had to be happy about that. Non-drafted free agent Alex Moshier tossed a perfect 9th with one strikeout for the save in this one. With the bats, Johnny Eierman went 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored, and Wilmer Dominguez went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Non-drafted free agent Ryan McChensey went 1 for 3 with a double and the only other RBI.