Some moments are simply magical.
Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 4, Rochester Red Wings (MIN) 0
Monday’s game was a bullpen game for the Bulls as they didn’t have a starter available to pitch. That was of no matter as the four reliever stepped up to throw a combined gem. Ryan Reid got the start and threw 2 shutout innings, allowing 2 hits and a walk while striking out 2. Josh Lueke followed with another outstanding performance, allowing just 1 hit and striking out 4 while walking none and posting a 4-0 groundout to flyout ratio. Then Adam Liberatore and Dane De La Rosa closed out the game striking out 3 each in 2 shutout innings, allowing 3 hits and a walk. Overall, Bulls pitchers went 9 innings allowing no runs on 6 hits, striking out 12 while walking 2. Doesn’t get too much better than that. In his first game back with the Bulls after a long rehab stint, Nevin Ashley slammed a 2-run homer, and Tim Beckham went 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored.
High-A Florida State League: Ft. Myers Miracle (MIN) 5, Charlotte Stone Crabs 4
The Stone Crabs scored two in the 8th, but an unearned run in the 9th clinched the win for the Miracle. Braulio Lara got the start for Charlotte and wasn’t very good, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits in 5 innings, striking out 4 while walking 2 but posting a 3-5 groundout to flyout ratio. Theron Geith followed with 2 shutout frames before Lenny Linsky was penalized by a Luke Bailey walk-off passed ball in the 9th after a scoreless 8th. Hector Guevara went 4 for 5 with a solo home run for the Stone Crabs, while Kevin Kiermaier and Phil Wunderlich each went 2 for 4 with a double, with Kiermaier driving in 2.
Low-A Midwest League: Clinton LumberKings (SEA) 6, Bowling Green Hot Rods 2
Both teams had shoddy relief work in this one, but the Hot Rods’ was worse as they fell 6-2. Jacob Partridge had a pretty nice start, going 6 innings allowing 2 runs on 6 hits, striking out 7 while walking 3 and posting a 5-5 groundout to flyout ratio. But Justin Woodall allowed 4 runs in the 8th and that would be the difference. Trevor Miller (not the ex-Ray) tossed 6 shutout innings for Clinton before the Hot Rods scored 2 in the 7th on a Tyler Goeddel RBI double and a Alejandro Segovia RBI single. Segovia, Cameron Seitzer, Taylor Motter, and Juniel Querecuto all had multi-hit games in the loss for the Hot Rods.
Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Hudson Valley Renegades 9, Staten Island Yankees 8
It was 2012 Rays first round pick Richie Shaffer’s debut, and boy did the Renegades make it memorable. Matthew Spann got the start for Hudson Valley and had a rough night, going 3 innings allowing 6 runs, 5 earned, on 6 hits, striking out 1 while walking 3. He did post a 5-1 groundout to flyout ratio. This one just got away from him. Brandon Henderson followed with 3 relief innings with 3 strikeouts, but he allowed 2 runs to put the Renegades in a 8-0 hole after 4 innings. That remained the score after 6 and a half as Ryan Garton tossed a shutout relief innings. But then, the game completely turned around. Luke Maile singled to begin the inning before Marty Gantt reached on an error. Then Deshun Dixon singled in a run before Michael Williams did the same. A Joey Rickard single loaded the bases, and then Leonardo Reginatto and Tommy Coyle each delivered an RBI single. Maile and Gantt each singled a run before the inning was through as the Renegades turned an 8-0 blowout into an 8-7 nail-biter. Garton tossed a scoreless 8th for the Renegades, and after Hudson Valley failed to score, Shay Crawford pitched a hitless 9th as the Renegades were down 1 entering the final frame with Maile and Gantt due up second and third in the inning. They had already done their damage in the game, but they weren’t done. Maile hit a 1-out single before Gantt drilled an RBI triple to tie the game at 8. And after a pair of intentional walks, Joey Rickard ended it with a walk-off single as the Renegades won 9-8 in what of the greatest comebacks you’ll see. Shaffer went 1 for 3 in his debut, and his teammates helped make sure it was an even more unforgettable night. Maile went 5 for 5, Rickard went 3 for 5, and Gantt went 2 for 5 with all three coming up with huge hits to lead the Renegades to victory.
Advanced Rookie Appalachian League: Johnson City Cardinals 9, Princeton Rays 8 (11 innings)
Always tough when your bullpen blows a game. Eli Echarry started and had a tough outing, allowing 5 runs on 5 hits in 4 innings, striking out 3 while walking 2 and posting a 6-3 groundout to flyout ratio. But he was better than Johnson City starter Juan Bautista, who allowed 7 runs, 5 earned, in 3.1 innings. The P-Rays tallied 6 runs in the 4th inning to take an 8-5 lead. But it came apart as Daniel Bream allowed a 3-run 8th to tie the game, and an unearned run was the difference as the P-Rays lost 9-8. Jon Weaver took the loss in the game, but that was completely undeserved as he delivered a ridiculous relief appearance, going 4 innings allowing just the unearned run on 3 hits, and here’s the kicker: he struck out 8, and the other 4 outs were all groundouts. 8 strikeouts in relief! On offense, John Alexander slammed a 3-run homer, Alvin Toles went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI, and Reid Redman went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.
Rookie Gulf Coast League: GCL Red Sox 3, GCL Rays 0
The story of this game: the GCL Rays could not get a single runner into scoring position, managing just 4 hits and no walks in the game as Matt Spalding and Ellis Jimenez dominated for the Red Sox. Sheesh. Matthew Ramsey allowed a run in his one-inning start, just his second since Tommy John Surgery, before Jorge Rodriguez allowed just 1 hit in 5 innings, striking out 3 and posting a 5-5 groundout to flyout ratio. Kyle Pelchy allowed 2 runs in 3 relief innings as the Red Sox gave themselves a cushion if they had possibly needed it. Kes Carter, Bralin Jackson, Johnny Eierman, and Leopoldo Correa had the hits for the GCL Rays.