After two near flawless days, the Rays weren’t quite as happy after Thursday. But sometimes days that don’t go so well are needed in the name of progress.
Triple-A International League: Gwinnett Braves 8, Durham Bulls 1
The Bulls got flat-out killed on Thursday night. But Evan Longoria returned. Longoria didn’t exactly light up the skies, going 0 for 3 with a walk as the designated. However, he reported no problems with his injured hamstring, and that’s all the Rays care about.
Cesar Ramos started for the Bulls and lasted 5 innings allowing 2 runs on 7 hits, striking out 3 while walking 1 and posting an 8-2 groundout to flyout ratio. Nice to se Ramos continuing to throws the ball well. Bryan Augenstein did not. He allowed 4 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks in 1 inning. Augenstein was so bad that the Bulls, who had planned for Augenstein to throw the game’s final 3 innings, had to throw out catcher Craig Albernaz onto the mound for the third time this season. Albernaz went the final 2 innings, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits, striking out 1 while walking 1 as well. Alby, as he’s known to his teammates, is a warrior. In terms of the offense, Henry Wrigley slammed a solo homer for the only Bulls run, Chris Gimenez went 2 for 4, and Reid Brignac went 1 for 3 with a walk.
Double-A Southern League: Jackson Generals (SEA) 5, Montgomery Biscuits 2
The one Biscuits highlight: they managed just 4 hits, but all were for extra bases. Tough night otherwise. Jake Thompson went 5 innings allowing 5 runs on 9 hits, striking out 3 while walking 1 and posting just a 3-5 groundout to flyout ratio. Shane Dyer did follow with 2 perfect innings, striking out 2 while and posting a 3-1 groundout to flyout ratio. The Biscuits ran into the best on the other side as Taijuan Walker tossing 6 innings of 2-hit ball, striking out 8 while walking none. Michael Sheridan did slam a 2-run homer off the Generals bullpen, Hak-Ju Lee and Ty Morrison each went 1 for 4 with a double, and Shawn O’Malley went 1 for 1 with a triple after coming in as a pinch-hitter.
High-A Florida State League: Charlotte Stone Crabs 3, Dunedin Blue Jays 1
Great pitching and just enough hitting lifted the Stone Crabs over the Blue Jays. Victor Mateo got the start and went 5 innings allowed just an unearned run on 2 hits, striking out 6 while walking 2 and posting a 6-3 groundout to flyout ratio. He was followed by Theron Geith, who was downright dominant for 3 innings, allowing just 2 while striking out 4 against no walks and posting a 6-0 groundout to flyout ratio. Lenny Linsky tossed a hitless 9th, striking out 1 and walking 1 as well, for his long-awaited first save of the season. On offense, Todd Glaesmann slammed a solo homer, his second in as many days since being called up to Charlotte, and Robby Price went 2 for 5.
Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 6, Lansing Lugnuts 3
Since being one of the Rays’ 10 first and supplemental round picks in 2011, being drafted at 56th overall, Kes Carter has seen very little playing time as he has been set back by injuries. But on Thursday, in his first Low-A game since April 13th, Carter showed everyone why he was drafted so highly. Carter went 1 for 2 with a 2-run homer, 2 walks, and 2 runs scored as the Hot Rods beat Lansing 6-3. Parker Markel started for the Hot Rods and tossed 6.1 innings of 2-hit shutout ball, although he did post just a 4-3 strikeout to walk ratio and a 3-4 groundout to flyout ratio. Markel has allowed 1 run or less in 4 of his last five starts, but unfortunately for his ERA, he allowed 7 runs in the outlier. Other than Carter’s nice offensive day, several Hot Rods contributed good games, with Drew Vettleson going 3 for 5 with an RBI, Matt Rice going 1 for 1 with an RBI double, 3 walks, and a run scored, Josh Sale going 1 for 3 with a walk, and Jake Hager did everything but get on base, going 0 for 5 but with 2 RBI and his 9th stolen base of the season.
Rookie Appalachian League: Bluefield Blue Jays 9, Princeton Rays 2
This game was actually 2-2 after 5 innings before the P-Rays bullpen let it slip away. Kevin James started for Princeton and was halfway-decent in a brief 2 inning stint, allowing an unearned run on 3 hits, striking out 1 while walking 1 but posting a 4-0 groundout to flyout ratio. Jacob Faria followed with 3 innings of 1-run ball, allowing just 1 hit, a homer, while striking out 4 compared to not a single walk. Unfortunately, the rest of the bullpen was not as successful as Chris Kirsch, Daniel Bream, and Joan Guerrero combined to allow 7 runs in 4 innings. Oscar Hernandez did have an encouraging game, going 1 for 2 with 2 walks and a run scored, while John Alexander went 1 for 4 with a double. Ariel Soriano and Daniel Duran had the RBIs for Princeton.
Rookie Gulf Coast League: GCL Twins 7, GCL Rays 2
GCL Rays pitching fell apart in a 6-run 5th inning, including a 3-run home run by 2012 second overall pick Byron Buxton, to lose this one 7-2. Jordan Harrison got the start for the GCL Rays and tossed 4 good innings but lost control in the 5th, allowing 2 walks, a hit batsman, and a single before being lifted. He went 4+ innings allowing 4 runs on 4 hits, striking out 3 while walking 2. He did force a nice 6-1 groundout to flyout ratio. Stepan Havlicek followed by allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, in 2 innings before Brett Blaise allowed one more run in 2 innings of work, striking out 2 while walking 1. 2012 Rays 12th round pick Taylor Hawkins, who signed for an above-slot $272,500 bonus, went 0 for 3 to put him at 0 for 9 for his professional career. Hopefully he can change that very soon. Adderly Rosa went 1 for 2 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored for the GCL Rays, while Johnny Eierman went 1 for 4 with the other RBI.