Just a few days after The Amazing Spiderman came out, Superman has returned. (I don’t think that works very well.) Sam Fuld is still a ways from the big leagues, but at least he’s back in action and making progress towards his long-awaited 2012 Rays debut.
Triple-A International League: Gwinnett Braves 6, Durham Bulls 5
Big red flag in this game as Chris Archer left after just 1 inning, apparently because of an injury. Have to hope he’ll be OK. Despite terrible pitching behind him (6 runs allowed in 8 innings), the Bulls nearly stole this game. Brandon Allen had a 2-run homer as part of a 3-run first inning for the Bulls, and their lead got to 4-0 before the Braves tied it in the 6th. Cole Figueroa hit a clutch RBI single to give the Bulls a 5-4 lead, but Reid Brignac was also thrown out at home on the play, which proved to be huge when the Braves scored 2 in the 8th to seal their win. Allen had a nice game, going 2 for 4 with the 2-run homer along with a double, while Chris Gimenez went 2 for 5 with and Tim Beckham along with Brignac had nice games, with Beckham going 1 for 2 with 2 walks and an RBI while Brignac went 1 for 3 with 2 walks of his own.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 7, Jackson Generals (SEA) 2
Some interesting things in this game as the Biscuits rolled to an easy win. Kyle Lobstein was great, allowing 2 run on 6 hits in 5.2 innings, striking out 8 while walking 2. He still allowed too many hits and you can’t like his 4-5 groundout to flyout ratio either, but the 8-strikeout performance was impressive. He was followed by Joseph Cruz, working out of the bullpen for the first time this season after a season of struggles in the rotation, and he pitched well, allowing just a hit in 1.1 innings while striking out 3. On offense, Brett Nommensen went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI, Michael Sheridan went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI, Kyeong Kang went 2 for 3 with a walk and an RBI, and Ty Morrison went 1 for 2 with a walk, an RBI, and 2 runs scored, stealing his 22nd base of the season. Hak-Ju Lee also notched his 7th triple of the year.
High-A Florida State League: Charlotte Stone Crabs 3, Palm Beach Cardinals 1
Simply the presence of Sam Fuld was enough to spur the Stone Crabs to victory. Albert Suarez tossed a good game for the Stone Crabs, allowing 5 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings, striking out 1 and posting an 8-2 groundout to flyout ratio. In terms of the bats, Fuld didn’t play so well, going 0 for 3 with 2 strikeouts, but it’s still great to see him back on the field. Phil Wunderlich had a huge day for Charlotte, going 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and all 3 RBI. Mikie Mahtook, playing in his first game since injuring his shoulder running into an outfield wall, went 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored, while Steven Tinoco went 2 for 4.
Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 4, Lake County Captains (CLE) 2
Ryan Carpenter didn’t allow a hit after the 1st inning and the top of the lineup was dynamic as the Hot Rods came away with a crisp win. Carpenter allowed a first inning since before holding the Captains hitless over the last 5 innings, retiring 15 in a row at one point and 17 of the last 18 batters he faced. The duo of Ryan Brett and Jake Hager at the top of the lineup helped provide him some run support, with both going 2 for 4. Brett drove in 1 and stole his 29th base of the season, while Hager homered, doubled, and scored twice. Drew Vettleson and Juniel Querecuto had the other RBIs for Bowling Green.
Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Auburn Doubledays (WAS) 8, Hudson Valley Renegades 7 (10 innings)
The Renegades battled back in this one to turn a 5-1 deficit after 6 innings into a 7-5 lead, but could not hold and eventually lost in extra-innings. Sean Bierman didn’t have a good start on the surface, 3 runs on 5 hits in just 4.1 innings, but he struck out 4 while walking none and posted an outstanding 8-0 groundout to flyout ratio. The Renegades got offensive production from all over the place, with Justin O’Conner going 2 for 6 with an RBI double and a run scored, Deshun Dixon going 2 for 3 with 2 walks and an RBI, and Leonardo Reginatto going 2 for 4 with a walk and 2 runs scored. Tommy Coyle, Luke Maile, and Ryan Dunn had the other RBIs for Hudson Valley.
Rookie Appalachian League: Danville Braves 6, Princeton Rays 3
The P-Rays saw a 3-0 lead disappear in this frustrating game. Hugo Duarte started for Princeton and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits, not striking out or walking a batter and posting a 4-2 groundout to flyout ratio. Kevin Brandt allowed 3 more runs over the next 3 innings for the P-Rays. On offense, Daryl George followed up his 2-homer performance Friday with a 2 for 4 game with a double and an RBI, Alvin Toles went 2 for 5 with a triple and a run scored, and Juan Morillo went 2 for 5 as well with an RBI and a run scored.
Rookie Gulf Coast League: GCL Orioles 3, GCL Rays 1
This game had some promising moments for the GCL Rays, but 4 errors let it slip away. For the first 4 innings of this game, the GCL Rays were faced with a basically impossible task, matching up against longtime big league pitcher Joel Pineiro, and of course Pineiro tossed 4 perfect innings, striking out 5. But 19 year old lefty Oscar Armenta out of Mexico did his best to match him, allowing just a first inning unearned run on 3 hits in 5 innings, striking out 4 while walking none, but it was not enough. Jason Wilson allowed 2 more unearned runs later in the game. Spencer Edwards, the Rays’ 2nd round pick in 2012, made his pro debut, going 0 for 2 and making an error at shortstop as maybe the pressure got to him a little bit. Edwards has plenty of time to get his pro career rolling. Clayton Henning went 1 for 4 with a run scored for the GCL Rays.