The minor league season is coming to a close. The Rays’ minor league pitchers didn’t miss a chance to emulate their major league counterparts as great pitching was present across the organization as part of a perfect 5-0 day.
Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 2, Charlotte Knights (CHW) 0
The Bulls had a little bit of a problem as their roster was short-handed thanks to the Rays’ September 1st call-ups as the active roster expanded from 25 to 40. But the Bulls’ negated that with ridiculous pitching and just enough offense to come away with a 2-0 win. Alex Torres, owner of a 7.96 ERA in 63.1 Triple-A innings in 2012 entering Saturday, finally had his command and he was great. Torres went 5.2 innings allowing just 3 hits, striking out 10 while walking just 1. It was his first start with as many 7 strikeouts since his first start of the season back on April 6th. If only Torres could do this more often… Ryan Reid tossed 1.1 scoreless innings and Brooks Conrad gave the Bulls a lead with a 2-0 lead before Frank De Los Santos and Dane De La Rosa closed out the game, with De La Rosa retiring 4 in a row, 3 via the strikeout, for his 20th save of the year as the Bulls won 2-0. The Bulls 4-hit Charlotte and won despite managing just 3 hits of their own against Charles Shirek, who went a complete game in the loss for the Knights.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 11, Huntsville Stars (MIL) 4
Pairing 3 home runs with great pitching is an explosive combination- and a winning one. Matt Buschmann started the day before his old Vanderbilt roommate David Price and was sharp, going 7 innings allowing just 2 runs on 6 hits, striking out 5 while walking 2 and posting an 11-3 groundout to flyout ratio. Chris Rearick allowed 2 more runs in the 8th as he continues to struggle since being promoted to Montgomery before the red-hot Marquis Fleming struck out the side in the 9th. Now, to the offense. Michael Sheridan went 4 for 4 with a 3-run homer, his 10th of the season, a walk, and 2 runs scored, Omar Luna went 3 for 4 with a double and 3 runs scored, Derek Dietrich went 2 for 4 with a 3-run homer and a walk, and Kyeong Kang went 1 for 3 with a homer, 3 RBI, and 2 walks.
High-A Florida State League: Charlotte Stone Crabs 4, Fort Myers Miracle (MIN) 1
Eliazer Suero has just a 5.81 ERA on the year, but he has a 3.03 ERA in his last 10 appearances as he has pitched well of late. Saturday was no exception as Suero continued his roll. Suero allowed just 1 run on 2 hits in 7 innings, striking out 4 and walking 4 as the Stone Crabs won 4-1. Chris Andujar followed Suero with 2 shutout innings to finish off a 3-hitter. On offense, Lucas Bailey went 2 for 4 with a solo homer and Todd Glaesmann went 2 for 4 with a walk.
Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 5, Fort Wayne Tincaps (SDP) 3
The Hot Rods really had to earn their win, coming back from a late deficit to beat Fort Wayne 5-3. Jacob Partridge started for Bowling Green but a combination of poor control and bad defense did him in as he went 4 innings allowing 3 runs, 1 earned, on 4 hits, striking out 6 while walking 3. A Jake Hager solo homer, his 10th of the year, had given Bowling Green a 1-0 lead, but they trailed 3-1 after 4. But Andrew Bellatti kept the deficit right there with strong innings of relief, striking out 3 while walking 1 and posting a 4-1 groundout to flyout ratio, and Nick Sawyer tossed a scoreless top of the 8th before the Hot Rods finally put a rally together. 3 one-out walks loaded the bases before Cameron Seitzer popped out to bring Jeff Malm to the plate. And Malm delivered, drilling a grand slam, and Sawyer nailed down his own win in the 9th as the Hot Rods won 5-3. The Hot Rods scored 5 runs on just 3 hits, with the Hager and Malm homers accounting for all the runs.
Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Hudson Valley Renegades 2, Aberdeen Ironbirds (BAL) 0
6’7″ lefty Matthew Spann was sharp as the Renegades clinched the McNamara Division title with a 2-0 victory. Spann was given a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Justin O’Conner doubled and scored on a Joel Caminero single and didn’t let it go, going 6 innings allowing no runs on just 3 hits, striking out 2 while walking 1. Marty Gantt doubled home a run in the 7th to make it a 2-0 lead, and Brandon Henderson and Ryan Garton combined for 3 scoreless innings to seal the victory as the ‘Gades won 2-0. Ryan Dunn went 2 for 3 with a walk, while Caminero when 2 for 4 with his RBI single.