On a night where the Rays played perhaps their craziest game of the season but seized their chances to secure a much-needed win, Rays affiliates played some chaotic games of their own.
Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 3, Buffalo Mets 2
Chris Archer made his first start back in Triple-A since his major league debut, not dominating but getting the job done, and the Bulls got terrific bullpen work and just enough offense to get the job done. Archer went 5 innings allowing 2 runs on 2 hits, striking out 7 while walking 4 and posting a 6-2 groundout to flyout ratio. His control was off, but he stranded some baserunners and handed a 3-2 lead to the bullpen. The Bulls’ bullpen was star-studded on this night, featuring 3 of 4 former big leaguers in Cesar Ramos, Frank De Los Santos, Brandon Gomes, and Dane De La Rosa, and they were sharp, allowing just 1 hit and 2 walks in 4 innings, striking out 5 and posting a 3-1 groundout to flyout ratio. The Bulls offense came on three sac flies, by Chris Gimenez, Jesus Feliciano, and Shawn O’Malley, and other notables included Leslie Anderson, who went 2 for 4, and Reid Brignac, who went 1 for 2 with a walk.
Double-A Southern League: Jackson Generals (SEA) 2, Montgomery Biscuits 1
There was a great pitcher’s duel in Jackson, Mississippi on Monday night, but unfortunately the Biscuits could not come out on top. Kyle Lobstein got good results despite disastrous peripherals, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits in 6 innings but striking out 4, walking 4, and posting just a 6-6 groundout to flyout ratio, and he was still not as good as Jackson starter Forrest Snow, who allowed 1 run on 5 hits in 6 innings, striking out 4 while walking just 1. Shane Dyer, demoted from Triple-A, tossed the final 2 innings for Montgomery allowing 1 hit and 2 walks while striking out none, although his groundout to flyout ratio was 3-1. Hopefully Dyer can get back on track. Michael Sheridan went 2 for 4 with the only run scored for the Biscuits, while Hak-Ju Lee went 1 for 4 with their only RBI.
High-A Florida State League: Bradenton Marauders (PIT) 6, Charlotte Stone Crabs 3
The ideal comeback does not immediately proceed a crushing rally by the other teams to kill your hope in the game. This game featured Albert Suarez for the Stone Crabs up against Jameson Taillon, the number two overall pick by the Pirates back in 2009, one pick after Stephen Strasburg. Neither pitcher was dominant in this one, but both pitched pretty well. Suarez went 6 innings allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, on 4 hits, striking out 2 while walking 1 while Taillon went 7+ innings allowing 2 runs on 3 hits, striking out 2 and walking 2 as well. Suarez’s groundout to flyout ratio was just 7-9 to Taillon’s 10-4. The Marauders built up a 3-0 lead versus Suarez but the Stone Crabs tied it with Quinton Miller in the game. But Lenny Linsky, working his second inning, continued his struggles, allowing a 3-run homer to Alex Dickerson and the Marauders won 6-3. Cody Rogers and Hector Guevara had the Charlotte RBIs while Luke Bailey went 1 for 3 with a run scored. Something to watch is that Mikie Mahtook left the game after just one at-bat, and we have to hope he’s OK.
Low-A Midwest League: Dayton Dragons (CIN) 3, Bowling Green Hot Rods 2
Oh, bullpen collapses. Have to hate them in the majors. At the lower levels of the minors, you kind of have to regard them as part of the game. Well, that “part of the game” cost the Hot Rods on Monday. Ryan Carpenter started for the Hot Rods and was great, allowing no runs on 4 hits, striking out 4 while walking none and posting a 6-3 groundout to flyout ratio. He was staked to a 2-0 lead in the third inning on RBI doubles by Ryan Brett and Cameron Seitzer. But Jason McEachern fell apart in relief, allowing 3 runs in 2 innings of relief, including a Sean Buckley 2-run shot, and the Hot Rods lost 3-2. Brett and Seitzer each went 1 for 4 with their big doubles, Jeff Malm went 2 for 4 with a double, and Tyler Goeddel went 1 for 4 with 2 stolen bases, giving him 19 on the season, and a run scored.
Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Brooklyn Cyclones (NYM) 7, Hudson Valley Renegades 6 (11 innings)
More shoddy bullpen work here, but at least it made this one exciting. Sean Bierman got the start for Hudson Valley and allowed 3 runs on 7 hits in 4 innings, striking out 2 while walking none. He forced a 4-1 groundout to flyout ratio. Ian Kendall was fine in a 3 inning relief stint, allowing 1 run on 2 hits and 2 walks, striking out 4, but Marcus Jensen and Kris Carlson allowed 3 runs in 3.1 innings to blow a 6-4 lead. The Renegades trailed 4-2 after 6 innings before Ryan Dunn came up huge with a bases-clearing double to give them a 5-4 lead before they added another run in the 8th. Other than Dunn, notable offensive performers included Luke Maile, who went 2 for 4 with 2 walks and an RBI, Leonardo Reginatto, who went 3 for 5 with a double and an RBI, and Justin O’Conner, who went 1 for 4 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and 2 runs scored.
Advanced Rookie Appalachian League: Elizabethton Twins 13, Princeton Rays 1
Not much to see here if you’re a Rays fan. Jacob Faria struggled, going 4 innings allowing 6 runs on 9 hits, striking out 2 and walking 2 as well, although his groundout to flyout ratio was 5-2. The P-Rays managed just 3 hits, one each by Juan Morillo, John Alexander, and Ariel Soriano, who had the RBI.
Rookie Gulf Coast League: GCL Rays 1, GCL Twins 0 (10 innings)
Still trying to comprehend exactly what happened here. This game featured some of the best pitching you’ll see. Kuo Hua Lo tossed 5 perfect innings for the GCL Twins, and the Twins had a perfect game through 6 innings before it was broken up by a Bralin Jackson single in the 7th. But the GCL Rays pitching matched the zeroes. Oscar Armenta, an 18 year old left-hander out of Mexico, tossed 6 shutout innings allowing just 3 hits and a walk while striking out 3. He was followed by Luke Goodgion, who was outstanding, tossing 2 perfect innings with a strikeout and 5 groundouts. The game went to extra-innings, with Nick Sawyer allowing just 1 hit between the 9th and 10th innings, striking out 3 while walking none, and the GCL Rays won in a manner that you won’t see again for a long time, if ever. Jonathan Quinonez was hit by a pitch to begin the inning. Cesar Perez sacrifice bunted him to second base, but an error moved him to third. And the game ended on a wild pitch. The GCL Rays will certainly take the win- even though they managed just 1 hit in 10 innings. Sawyer earned a win in his first professional decision. I would tell you the notable offensive players, but they were nowhere to be found. Byron Buxton, the second overall pick by the Twins in the 2012 MLB Draft, went 0 for 4 against GCL Rays, slipping to 1 for 23 to begin his pro career.