February 21, 2013; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Mike Montgomery (31) poses for a picture during photo day at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Undercards: Mike Montgomery Pitches Seven No-Hit Innings, But Bullpen Lets Bulls Down


No hitters are a rare occurrence, with only 276 officially recognized no-hitters having taken place in the major leagues. Even rarer is for a pitcher to give up a run during the no-hitter, or to be relieved, without an injury taking place, in the midst of the gem. Mike Montgomery, who has been working himself back into the form that once made him a top prospect for the Royals, can now claim to be a part of the latter two categories due to his performance last night.

Indianapolis Indians (Pirates) 6, Durham Bulls 5

The Bulls started out well, as Leslie Anderson hit a solo home run in the second to give Durham an early lead. Mike Montgomery was handling the Indians’ lineup with ease, getting groundout after groundout while working around the occasional walk. Indianapolis was just unable to make solid contact against him throughout the game. After the Bulls put up three runs in the top of the sixth, highlighted by a two run home run by Shelley Duncan, it was easy to imagine that Montgomery would be picking up an easy win. However, disaster struck in the eighth. Montgomery walked the leadoff batter, and was relieved at that point, despite having a no-hitter intact. Juan Sandoval came in, and promptly gave up a double to Tony Sanchez, ending any hope of a combined no-no. After an RBI single from Brett Carroll drove in Sanchez, Sandoval appeared to settle in, getting two quick outs. He then hit the next batter with a pitch, and was relieved as Jeff Beliveau came in to face one batter, which he walked to load the bases. Kirby Yates came in, and threw a wild pitch to score a run, cutting the lead to 4-3. Yates appeared to be on the verge of getting out of the inning, as Josh Harrison hit a grounder to Mike Fontenot at short. Unfortunately, Fontenot fumbled the ball, and threw late to first, allowing two runs to score. Matt Hague then singled home Harrison, and the Indians suddenly had a 6-4 lead heading into the top of the ninth. Durham got a run back as Juan Apodaca doubled and scored on an error, but they were unable to push another run across, falling in stunning fashion to the Indians 6-5. Montgomery had an excellent outing in the no decision, giving up a run on four walks, striking out three in seven innings. Beliveau took the loss, giving up the go ahead run by walking the only batter he faced. Apodaca was 3-4 with a double and a run scored.

Montgomery Biscuits 6, Huntsville Stars (Brewers) 5

You have to give both teams credit as they both fought hard in this back and forth affair. The Stars struck first, as Mike Walker hit a solo home run with two outs, and Nick Shaw added a two run double. The Biscuits came back in the bottom of the inning, loading the bases with no outs. After a pair of strikeouts, Mayo Acosta hit a two run single, with Kyeong Kang being thrown out at third to end the inning. Montgomery took the lead in the fourth, using three consecutive singles to tie the game. With runners on first and second, a fly ball to right moved Kang to third, where he scored on a wild pitch. Acosta drove in another run on a base hit, and the Biscuits had a 5-3 lead. That score held up until the ninth, as Austin Hubbard came in to close out the game. With one out, Adam Weisenburger hit a solo home run to cut the lead to 5-4. With two on and two out, Kentrail Davis tied the game with a base hit to left. However, the Biscuits refused to let that deter them from victory. Kang led off the inning with a single, and moved to second on a wild pitch. After a bunt single moved him to third, Robby Price singled to left to bring Kang home with the winning run. Despite blowing the save, Hubbard picked up the win, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk in his inning of work. Starter Jake Floethe settled in after the rough third inning, giving up three runs on five hits and three walks, striking out six in five innings. Kang was 2-3 with a walk and two runs scored, while Acosta was 2-3 with three RBIs in the victory.

Palm Beach Cardinals 12, Charlotte Stone Crabs 9 (Game One – seven innings)

The first game of the doubleheader was a make up game for the rainout on May 30th. Both teams were ready on offense, as the fireworks started almost immediately. Anthony Garcia hit a two out grand slam in the top of the first for the Cardinals, giving Palm Beach a 4-0 lead before the Stone Crabs came to bat. After the Cardinals scored another run in the top of the second, it was Charlotte’s turn to provide some fireworks in the bottom of the inning. With two runs already in and one out, Ryan Brett hit a three run home run to tie the game. Garcia hit his second home run of the game in the top of the third to give the Cardinals another lead, but Charlotte came back once again in the bottom of the inning. Jeff Malm and Lucas Bailey each hit RBI singles with two out to put the Stone Crabs on top 7-6. The Cardinals tied the game in the top of the fourth, and Charlotte took the lead back in the bottom of the fifth on Hector Guevara‘s RBI single. Then, Palm Beach put the game away in the top of the sixth, scoring five runs, highlighted by a two run double from Stephen Piscotty. The Stone Crabs got a run back in the bottom of the inning, but were unable to complete the comeback as they lost 12-9. Jacob Partridge took the loss, giving up five runs, four earned, on four hits and three walks over two innings in relief. Parker Markel had a rough start, allowing seven runs on seven hits and a walk in four innings. Brett was 3-4 with a double, a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored.

Charlotte Stone Crabs 4, Palm Beach Cardinals 0 (Game Two – seven innings)

Following the first game of the double header, the Stone Crabs truly needed an excellent pitching performance in the second game, and Felipe Rivero delivered just that. The Cardinals had the first scoring threat of the game, putting runners on second and third with no outs. However, Rivero was able to get out of the jam, getting two infield pop ups and a groundout to keep the Cardinals off the board. Jay Voss matched Rivero pitch for pitch until the fifth, when the Stone Crabs were able to get their offense going. With the bases loaded and no outs, Willie Argo singled to center to score two runs. Center fielder Matt Williams missed the ball, allowing another run to score, and Argo came all the way around the bases on a throwing error by second baseman Ronny Gil. That would be all the support that Rivero would need, as he held the Cardinals down the rest of the way, pitching a complete game shutout, allowing six hits and a walk for the win. Hector Guevara was 2-3 with a double and a run scored.

Dayton Dragons (Reds) 12, Bowling Green Hot Rods 10 (Ten innings)

The Dragons jumped out early on the Hot Rods, plating four runs in the first. Jesse Winker and Seth Mejias-Brean each had RBI singles, and Junior Arias followed with an RBI double. The Hot Rods got two back in the third, as Thomas Coyle homered, and Joey Rickard doubled, coming around to score on consecutive wild pitches. After Bowling Green got another run back in the fourth, the Dragons scored in the top of the fifth to put the lead back at two. However, the Hot Rods tied the game in the bottom of the inning, as Andrew Toles hit an RBI single, stole second, and came around to score on consecutive groundouts. The game remained tied until the top of the eighth, when Dayton appeared to put the game away, scoring five runs. Brent Peterson had a two run triple and Zach Vincej provided a two run single as the Dragons took a 10-5 lead. Again, the Hot Rods came back, scoring twice in the bottom of the inning before tying the game on a three run home run by Justin O’Conner. The Dragons just would not be detered, as Jeff Gelalich hit a two run single in the top of the tenth to give Dayton the 12-10 victory. Nick Sawyer took the loss, giving up two runs on four hits and three walks in two innings. Joey Rickard and Leonardo Reginatto each had three hits in the loss.

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