They call High-A to Double-A the largest jump from one level to another aside from Triple-A to the major leagues. That makes what Cameron Seitzer has done even more impressive–he has gone from Low-A to Double-A yet has emerged as one of Montgomery’s best hitters in the early going. He had his best game yet on Thursday, leading the way as the Biscuits rattled off 11 runs on their way to an easy win.
Triple-A International League: Toledo Mud Hens (DET) 9, Durham Bulls 7
Durham fans attending the game as the Bulls took on Toledo got to see two of the Rays’ top prospects: Chris Archer and Wil Myers. Unfortunately, only one of them had a good game. Archer had a rough outing, going 5 innings allowing 6 runs, 5 earned, on 7 hits, striking out 6 while walking 2 but allowing 3 home runs. Myers, on the other hand, slammed his second home run of the season as part of a 2 for 4 day, also walking and driving in 2. Much has been made of the fact that Myers hasn’t hit for much power to begin the year, but why does that matter when his slash line is .338/.440/.515? Vince Belnome also slammed a 2-run home run, and Brandon Guyer went 1 for 3 with a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored. Mike Fontenot went 1 for 2 with a double and 2 RBI, but he has to leave the game with hamstring tightness and you have to hope he will be OK. Durham’s offense was great in this game, and it was simply bad luck that their offense clicked right when Archer had a rare poor outing.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 11, Birmingham Barons (CHW) 3
A lot of reasons for the Biscuits to smile in this one as their entire team delivered a game to remember. Jake Thompson had been terrible his last couple times out for Montgomery, but he showed flashes in this one, going 4 innings allowing just 2 unearned runs on 5 hits, striking out 6 while walking 2. His pitch count got up to 94 in just those 4 innings so clearly there is more work to be done, but it certainly was a step in the right direction. Another pitcher who had struggled, Zachary Quate, tossed 1.1 perfect innings, while Marquis Fleming allowed just 1 hit in 1.1 innings, striking out 3. But given the 11 runs the Biscuits put up, we have to talk about the offense. In this game, it really wasn’t a case of the Biscuits killing the ball–they scored 11 runs on just 10 hits and only 2 hits went for extra bases. The key was that they went 6 for 14 with runners in scoring position, seizing their opportunities and finding a way to pull away in the game. The two big hitters in the game for the Biscuits were Cameron Seitzer and Kevin Kiermaier, and what games they had as Seitzer went 4 for 4 with a double and 3 RBI and Kiermaier went 3 for 4 with a walk, 2 stolen bases, 2 RBI, and 4 runs scored. Shawn O’Malley also slammed a 2-run home run, his first of the season. It’s cool to see a lot of home runs and and extra-base hits, but this offensive effort by the Biscuits was made even more satisfying by all the clutch they came up with, making this win especially nice.
High-A Florida State League: Fort Myers Miracle (MIN) 5, Charlotte Stone Crabs 3
Frustrating game for the Stone Crabs overall, but there were several positives to harp on even as they lost 5-3 to the Miracle. Ryan Carpenter got the start for Charlotte and got hit hard, going 4 innings allowing 4 runs, 3 earned, on 8 hits, striking out 4 while walking 4. Eliazer Suero proceeded to allow 1 run on 3 hits in 3 innings of relief, striking out 4 while walking none as well, before Nate Garcia finished the game in perfect fashion, tossing 2 spotless frames with 3 strikeouts. Overall in the game, the Stone Crabs allowed 5 runs on 12 hits but struck out 10 while walking none. On the hitting side, the Stone Crabs actually saw 8 of the 9 players in the lineup collect at least one hit, with the only exception being a rehabbing Luke Scott. Richie Shaffer slammed a solo home run in the 8th inning, his second of the season, and the Rays hope that the home run will be what gets him going as he has hit just .200 so far this season. Kes Carter and Curt Casali both went 2 for 4 in the game, with Carter doubling and scoring a run. The Stone Crabs were a solid 3 for 11 with runners in scoring position, but it wasn’t enough as they received poor pitching and punchless hitting on their way to a 5-3 loss.
Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 4, Burlington Bees 2
Dylan Floro went 5 strong innings and Tommy Coyle carried the Hot Rods offense as Bowling Green emerged victorious 4-2. Floro continued his great start to the season and to his pro career as a whole, going 5 innings allowing 1 run on 5 hits, striking out 4 while walking none and posting a 7-2 groundout to flyout ratio. His sinker had a great life at the bottom of the zone to go along with a good changeup, and the result was another great outing. Marcus Jensen followed by allowing 1 run on 3 hits in 3 innings of work before Matthew Ramsey struck out 2 in a perfect 9th for the save. In terms of the run support, this game was the Tommy Coyle show as he went 3 for 3 with a home run, a triple, a walk, and a run scored right at the top of the lineup. Andrew Toles went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored while Leonardo Reginatto went 1 for 3 with a stolen base, an RBI, and a run scored. The Hot Rods didn’t do much at the plate, but with Coyle and others stepping up, they came up with 4 runs and that made all the difference. Their pitching was great, but baseball is a game determined by who scores the most runs by the end of the game, and luckily in this one, it was the Hot Rods.