Sometimes you’re going great and then one bad game completely throws you off. Sometimes you’re slumping like crazy and the one game everything finally clicks. We saw both extremes on Thursday and unfortunately the player the Rays really care about among the two is trending in the wrong direction.
Arizona Fall League: Mesa Solar Sox 4, Phoenix Desert Dogs 3
The scoring summary for this game is quick: two 3-run homers and an RBI single. Joc Pederson of the Dodgers gave Mesa a 3-0 lead in the 4th that lasted until the 8th, when Athletics prospect Grant Green slammed a 3-run shot. But Orioles prospect Jonathan Schoop responded for Mesa in the bottom of the 8th with an RBI single and the Solar Sox won 4-3. For the Rays prospects, Kevin Kiermaier, the only Rays prospect in the game, went 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.
Venezuelan Winter League: Tigres del Licey 12, Gigantes del Cibao 11
Games don’t get much wilder than this one as the Tigres nearly blew a 12-5 lead entering the 9th inning. The two teams combined for 23 runs, but just 2 home runs- both by players who didn’t start the game, the Cardinals’ Ronny Gil and former Mets prospect Rafael Fernandez. And in the 9th, the Gigantes got 6 runs to make it a 1-run game- on just 3 hits. Rhyne Hughes was a big part of the Licey attack, going 3 for 4 with a double, 5 RBI, and a run scored, notching his second straight multi-hit game after not having a single one in his first 9 games of the season, while a former Rays reliever played a role in nearly blowing the game for Licey, Jesus Colome, allowing a hit and 2 walks in just a third of an inning, with poor defense exacerbating his struggles.
Mexican Pacific League: Naranjeros de Hermosillo 6, Aguilas de Mexicali 3
Jorge Cantu went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored for Hermosillo. He’s hitting just .255 on the MPL season, although he does have a .468 slugging percentage.
Venados de Mazatlan 4, Mayos de Navojoa 2
Wes Bankston had a rare a hitless game, going 0 for 4 with a walk. He’s still hitting .325 on the season. Career Mexican League Hector Velazquez had a rare 7-inning Winter Ball start for Navojoa, striking out 5 while walking 1 but allowing 4 runs on 7 hits including 2 home runs.
Venezuelan Winter League: Tiburones de La Guaira 13, Aguilas del Zulia 6
Alex Torres got off to a red-hot start to 2012 but had his second straight bad start on Thursday, and this one was about as bad as it gets. Torres went just 1.1 innings allowing 7 runs on 6 hits, striking out 2 while walking 2 and raising his ERA to 5.16 on the VWL season. Hopefully he can rebound from this and get right back on track. It really looked like he had broken through and hopefully these struggles are something he’ll get through fast. Ryan Reid tossed the 9th for Zulia, striking out 2 in a perfect inning.