If only the Rays could score like some of their affiliates did on Sunday.
Triple-A International League: Game 1: Rochester Red Wings (MIN) 5, Durham Bulls 1 (7 innings)
Jim Paduch did the Bulls bullpen a huge favor by going the 7-inning complete game in this one, but the Red Wings went 3 for 6 with runners in scoring position and stranded just 3 as they put together 5 runs to win this game. Paduch went 7 innings allowing 5 runs, 4 earned, on 8 hits, striking out 5 while walking 1. His groundout to flyout ratio was 5-7. He didn’t pitch that bad, but he was victimized by the sequencing in which he allowed his hits, allowing 2 hits after a second inning error and 3 hits, including the only extra-base hits he allowed in the game, in the 5th. The Bulls got very little offense, with Stephen Vogt needing to do everything by himself, going 2 for 3 with a solo home run. Jesus Feliciano and Leslie Anderson had the only other Durham hits.
Game 2: Durham Bulls 4, Rochester Red Wings 3
Henry Wrigley slammed a 7th inning walk-off single to lead the Bulls to a doubleheader split. Chris Archer got the start for the Bulls but was on a strict 45-pitch limit coming off an oblique injury. He tossed 2.2 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits, striking out 1 while walking none and posting a 4-1 groundout to flyout ratio. Frank De Los Santos followed with a scoreless inning before Ryan Reid managed one of the most bizarre pitching lines you’ll ever see: 1 inning pitched, 0 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, and 2 earned runs allowed. He also hit a batter and Adam Liberatore and Bryan Augenstein allowed the runners they inherited from Reid to score. Sorry, Ryan. Liberatore allowed a run without recording an out while Augenstein tossed 2.1 shutout innings allowing just a hit while striking out 2 and posting a 4-1 groundout to flyout ratio. Augenstein, 26, appeared in brief big league stints with the Diamondbacks and Cardinals, throws in the high-80’s with a sinker-slider arsenal that forces a ton of groundballs and he could make an appearance with the Rays before the season is through. Leslie Anderson slammed a 3-run homer in the second inning to give the Bulls a 3-0 lead, but the bullpen gave it back, requiring Wrigley’s heroics. Wrigley and Cole Figueroa each had 2 hits in the game.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 5, Birmingham Barons (CHW) 4 (10 innings)
The Biscuits rallied back from a 3-1 deficit to take a 4-3 lead, and they managed to come away with a win in extra innings. Nick Barnese got the start and pitched OK, allowing 3 runs on 3 hits in 5 innings, striking out 3, walking 3 as well, and posting a 2-5 groundout to flyout ratio. He allowed all his hits and runs in the third inning. Marquis Fleming and Chris Rearick combined for 3 shutout relief innings behind him. Kyeong slammed a solo homer and Ty Morrison laced an RBI single to pull the Biscuits within 3-2 before the Biscuits stole 2 runs in the 8th thanks to a pair of unearned runs but Luis Sierra lined a game-tying RBI single in the bottom of the 9th for Birmingham against Kirby Yates to send the game into extras. Brad Coon gave the Biscuits a 5-4 lead with a 2-out RBI single in the 10th, and Yates tossed a scoreless 10th as the Biscuits won 5-4. The Biscuits scored their 5 runs on just 6 hits, with only Morrison (2 for 4) having a multi-hit day.
Low-A Midwest League: Clinton LumberKings (SEA) 10, Bowling Green Hot Rods 9
The Hot Rods fell behind 5-0 and 10-4 in this game before battling back, but it wasn’t enough as they came up just short. Trevor Shull and Jason McEachern allowed all 10 runs over the first 7 innings, although half of them were unearned as the Hot Rods’ defense collapsed. Stayton Thomas tossed 2 scoreless innings to end the game for Bowling Green and give them a chance to come back. The Hot Rods scored 3 in the 8th before a Drew Vettleson 2-run shot brought the Hot Rods within a run, but that was all they could get. Vettleson had a huge game for Bowling Green, going 3 for 5 with a homer, a stolen base, and 2 runs scored, Cameron Seitzer went 3 for 5 with a homer short of the cycle, driving in 1 and scoring 3 more, and Jake Hager went 2 for 3 with a triple and 2 walks.
Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Hudson Valley Renegades 8, Aberdeen Ironbirds (BAL) 2
The surging Renegades came up huge again to pull off a 4-game sweep of the Ironbirds. Jesse Hahn delivered his second good start in a row, going 4 innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits, striking out 3 while walking 1 and posting a 6-2 groundout to flyout ratio. Eduar Quinonez and later Dylan Floro each threw 2 shutout relief innings for the Renegades, and they posted a 15-3 groundout to flyout ratio as a team, a very good sign. The offense delivered two 4-run innings, with Ryan Dunn having the big blow with a 3-run home run in the first inning. Luke Maile also went 2 for 3 with a double, 3 RBI, and run scored for the Renegades, while Joey Rickard went 2 for 5 with 2 runs scored and Charles Epperson went 2 for 4 with a stolen base and a run scored.
Advanced Rookie Appalachian League: Princeton Rays 13, Johnson City Cardinals 3
The P-Rays offense clicked on all cylinders as they rolled over the Cardinals. Alex Keudell, who was the University of Oregon’s ace this past season, made his first professional start following 6 relief appearances and pitched well, going 3 shutout innings allowing 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4 and posting a 4-1 groundout to flyout ratio. After Randy Davis allowed 2 runs in 2.2 innings, Hugo Duarte tossed 2.2 one-run frames, striking out 5, before Willie Gabay and Nick Sawyer tossed a scoreless inning each, with Sawyer striking out 2, to close out the game. The offense? They went 6 for 14 with runners in scoring position and stranded just 5 runners all game. Alvin Toles went 3 for 4 with a double, a homer, a stolen base, 4 RBI, and 2 runs scored, Reid Redman went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles, 3 RBI, and 2 runs scored, Ariel Soriano went 3 for 4 with a double, a stolen base, and 2 RBI, moving from right field to shortstop in the game as he showcased his incredible versatility, Julian Morillo had a pinch-hit 2-run home run, and finally Oscar Hernandez had a breakout game, going 2 for 4 with a run scored to hopefully break his slump.