No Rays game on Sunday, but their affiliates helped make up for it by following in the Rays’ footsteps with outstanding starting pitching.
Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 4, Norfolk Tides (BAL) 3
Cesar Ramos was sharp and the Bulls supported him with a pair of homers to finish off a 5-game sweep of the Tides. Ramos allowed 6 runs each in his last two starts, but he got back on track in this outing and came up with a great game. Ramos went 6 innings for Durham allowing just 3 hits, striking out 6 while walking 1. His groundout to flyout ratio was just 4-4, but it was a very positive outing and hopefully Ramos can build on it during his remaining time in Durham and then once he returns to the big leagues in September. In terms of the Bulls offense, Sean Rodriguez went 2 for 4 with a double, a homer, and 2 RBI. He’s now 3 for 6 in two games for the Bulls and hopes to continue his hot streak in Tampa Bay as well. Tim Beckham went 1 for 4 with a solo shot, his 6th of the year, and another likely September call-up, Rich Thompson, went 3 for 4 with a double, a run scored, and 3 stolen bases, bringing him to 28 on the year.
Double-A Southern League: Jacksonville Suns (MIA) 7, Montgomery Biscuits 3
Poor Biscuits. While every other Rays affiliate has gotten at least slightly positive results of late, the Biscuits have sputtered with shortstop and leadoff hitter Hak-Ju Lee on the DL with an oblique injury, and they lost again on Sunday. Kyle Lobstein started for the Biscuits and hurled a clunker, allowing 6 runs on 9 hits in 5.1 innings, striking out 2 while walking 1- but his groundout to flyout ratio was 10-1 so everything definitely was not all bad for Lobstein in this start. Ty Morrison, Greg Sexton, and Michael Sheridan did all have multi-hit games for Montgomery in the loss, while Mayo Acosta slammed a 2-run home run.
Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 10, South Bend Silver Hawks (ARI) 4
The Hot Rods banged out 10 runs for the second consecutive game and got great starting pitching again as well as they beat South Bend 10-4. Parker Markel started for Bowling Green and was outstanding again as he improved to 11-5 on the season with his 7th straight quality start, going 6 innings allowing just 2 runs, 1 earned, on 7 hits, striking out 3 while walking 1 and posting a ridiculous 13-1 groundout to flyout ratio. And Markel never had to worry about run support, with Cameron Seitzer going 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, 3 RBI, and 3 runs scored, Joshua Sale going 2 for 4 with a double, 3 RBI, and 1 run scored, Jake Hager going 3 for 5 with a double, his 15th stolen base, and 2 runs scored, and Matt Rice and Taylor Motter both having multi-hit days as well.
Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Hudson Valley Renegades 3, Aberdeen Ironbirds (BAL) 0
The pitching was dominant as the Renegades 3-hit the Ironbirds and Richie Shaffer provided the offense in a 3-0 Hudson Valley win. Jesse Hahn started and went 5 innings allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk, striking out 7 and posting a 4-3 groundout to flyout ratio. Hahn has allowed no runs on 1 hit in 5 innings in each of his last 3 starts as he has really hit his stride. On the year, the 2010 6th round pick has posted a 2.87 ERA with a 50-15 strikeout to walk ratio in 13 starts and 47 IP. Hahn was a highly-touted prospect coming out of college before elbow concerns caused him to drop down draft boards and eventually undergo Tommy John Surgery, but he has been outstanding for the Renegades this season. Brandon Henderson allowed just 1 hit in 3 innings of relief for the ‘Gades, striking out 2 and posting a 6-1 groundout to flyout ratio. On offense, Richie Shaffer had a 2-run single and Leonardo Reginatto had an RBI single to account for the 3 runs. Shaffer, the Rays’ first round pick in 2012, went 2 for 4 in the game and now has a .314/.400/.442 line on the season.