The funnest part of following minor league baseball is watching the top prospects with the ability to be the big league superstars of tomorrow. The most big league-pertinent part of the minor leagues? Rehab games for major leaguers. Big story on Tuesday was that Luke Scott began his rehab as he works towards returning to the Rays. Don’t worry, though–plenty of top prospects stood out as well.
Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 4, Toledo Mud Hens (DET) 3 (11 innings)
Two major rallies won this game for Durham as Cole Figueroa delivered a game-tying RBI double in the 9th before Jason Bourgeois won it with a 2-out walk-off single in the 11th. J.D. Martin got the start for Durham and pitched very well, going 6 innings allowing 2 runs on 6 hits, striking out 3 while walking 1. Steve Geltz struck out 4 while walking none in 2 innings in relief of Martin, bringing his strikeout to walk ratio in his last 3 appearances to a ridiculous 13-0 in 6 IP, but he allowed a go-ahead home run by Tigers top prospect Nick Castellanos in the 8th inning before the Bulls found a way to tie it and when it. Kirby Yates gave the Bulls 2 perfect innings with 4 strikeouts and Josh Lueke worked around a hit with 2 strikeouts in the 11th for the win. Martin struck out just 3 in 6 innings before Bulls pitching struck out 10 in the next 5 innings. On the offensive side, the two big hitters for Durham were Chris Gimenez and WIl Myers as Gimenez went 3 for 4 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored and Wil Myers went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk. Exciting win for the Bulls as both their pitching and hitting clicked as exactly the right time to beat a tough Toledo team.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 4, Tennessee Smokies (CHC) 3
A spotty effort by the Biscuits bullpen overshadowed a strong start by Enny Romero, but everything changed in the 9th as Montgomery got 3 in the 9th to win 4-3. Romero went 5 innings allowing just 1 run on 4 hits, striking out 6 while walking 2 before 2 runs allowed by the bullpen gave the Smokies a 3-1 lead entering the 9th. However, the Biscuits went to work against Trey McNutt, with Cameron Seitzer drilling a game-tying 2-run double before Riccio Torrez finished the job with a go-ahead single. Seitzer was the hero in the game, going 2 for 4 with 2 doubles, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored, as his jump from Low-A to Double-A has gone about as well as anyone could have expected.
High-A Florida State League: Charlotte Stone Crabs 3, St. Lucie Mets
Entering his start Tuesday, Roberto Gomez‘s numbers were absolutely horrific. His ERA had never been below 6.75 in any of his first three starts and his strikeout to walk ratio was just 10-9. But matched up against Mets top prospect Noah Syndergaard, Gomez finally showed the ability that helped him managed a 2.48 ERA at Low-A last year, going 6 innings allowing just an unearned run on 4 hits, striking out 5 while walking 1. Gomez and Syndergaard dueled to a draw, but with Syndergaard also allowed an unearned run, but the Stone Crabs got a run each in the 7th and 8th to come away with the win. Austin Hubbard struck out 4 in 2 perfect innings of relief for Charlotte. In terms of the bats, Luke Scott, making his first rehab appearance, delivered a huge hit, an RBI single in the 8th that wound up being the winning margin in the game, and Kyeong Kang went 2 for 3 with a home run and 2 runs scored, slamming a go-ahead solo shot in the 7th. Had to be exciting for Scott to be involved with a Rays-style game in Charlotte, and him coming up with a big hit just made it even more fun.
Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 12, Fort Wayne TinCaps (SDP) 6
Not much offense in the last three games we talked about. That was most certainly not the case here. Before we get to the bats, though, let’s talk about Jeff Ames, who went 5 innings allowing 3 runs on 7 hits, striking out 2 while walking 2, before Nick Sawyer allowed an unearned run on a hit and a walk in 2 innings of work, striking out 4 in the process. You can certainly do worse than that, and given the Hot Rods’ offensive outburst, it was plenty. Tyler Goeddel had a huge game, going 3 for 4 with a triple, a double, a stolen base, an RBI, and 3 runs scored, Andrew Toles went 2 for 5 with 3 stolen bases and a run scored, Tommy Coyle went 1 for 2 with a solo home run, 3 walks, a stolen base, and 4 runs scored, and Justin O’Conner and Marty Gantt both went 2 for 3 with a double, with O’Conner driving in 2, scoring twice, and stealing a base while Gantt stole 2 bases and scored a run. The Hot Rods’ lineup certainly flexed their muscles in this one, scoring at least 1 run in every inning (other than the bottom of the 9th, which didn’t happen because they had already won), and the result was a dominant win.