Why do most Rays fans like pitcher’s duel better than slugfests? 1) High-scoring games take a whole lot longer to play. 2) No matter how much the Rays win by, the only thing we’re going to dwell in as how well the starting pitcher performed. 3) If you win by too many runs, it could ruin your Pythagorean Winning Percentage. 4) There’s the inevitable Jose Molina hit with runners in scoring position and the Rays need him to save those for when it actually matters. 5) What if you lose, as was the case with the Rays last night? In any event, the Biscuits scored 13 runs on Monday night, and they were lucky enough to come away with a win.
Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 5, Louisville Bats (CIN) 2
Breaking news: Wil Myers draws a walk. Fine, that doesn’t really grab you in so much. And luckily there were much better things to happen to the Bulls in this game. J.D. Martin started and went 6.2 innings allowing no runs on 6 hits, striking out 3 while walking 2 but forcing an 11-3 groundout to flyout ratio. Jeff Beliveau followed with 2 strikeouts working around a hit in an inning of work, and after Juan Sandoval allowed a couple of runs, Kirby Yates struck out both batters he faced for the save. In terms of the offense, Myers went 0 for 3 with a walk and a run scored, but luckily a whole bunch of players did better. Vince Belnome went 2 for 5 with a 2-run home run. If James Loney was struggling as we all cynically thought, Belnome might be the Rays’ first baseman right now. He does have a .337/.438/.515 line, so that might not be such a bad thing. Leslie Anderson also drilled a 2-run homer while Jesus Flores had his latest strong game since joining the Rays’ system, drilling a solo homer. Flores, the former Mets top prospect and big leaguer with the Nationals, has looked lifeless for the last years. Have the Rays brought him back to life? (Not hard to picture Joe Maddon as Dr. Frankenstein.)
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 13, Huntsville Stars (MIL) 2
Quite a lopsided score in this one in the Biscuits’ favor but before we discuss the offense I must remind you to keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times and tell you a little bit about the pitching. Mike Colla made his Rays organization debut and pitched great, going 6 innings allowing just 1 run on 5 hits, striking out 6 while walking 1. Now to the bats. But where to start? Todd Glaesmann, Kyeong Kang, and Mark Thomas all went 3 for 4 with a home run. You’re might not see a bunch of players lumped together with that good numbers for quite a while. Kevin Kiermaier went 2 for 6 with a 2-run homer and a stolen base, Cameron Seitzer went 2 for 3 with a double, a walk, 2 RBI, and 3 runs scored, and Shawn O’Malley had 3 more hits while Mikie Mahtook had 2. All told, the Biscuits banged out 13 runs on 19 hits. The only annoying thing is that for a guy like Mark Thomas, who has struggled the entire season, the rest of the offense did so well that you have to take his huge night with a grain of salt.
High-A Florida State League: Charlotte Stone Crabs 6, Tampa Yankees 3
Always great to beat the Yankees, even at High-A. If only the Rays could beat the Red Sox. Anyway, Ryan Carpenter rebounded from 3 runs in the top of the 1st to have a nice outing, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings, striking out 3 while walking 2. Andrew Bellatti and Nate Garcia tossed 3 hitless innings to seal the win. The Stone Crabs got their runs on 1 in the 4th and 5 in the 5th, and several players had big games in the process. Ryan Brett continues to play outstanding, going 3 for 4 with a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored, Richie Shaffer went 1 for 4 with a triple, a walk, an RBI, and 2 runs scored, Hector Guevara went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI and a run scored, and Jeff Malm went 2 for 4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Seems like Brett may have gotten his dose of adversity for his career done in one foul swoop as he’s rolling right now, managing a .329/.372/.534 line in 78 plate appearances.