Over the past few years, one of the hallmarks of the Tampa Bay Rays has been their pitching. Their farm system has been among the best in baseball in developing young pitchers, and the Rays have typically had a surplus of starting pitching. Last night, the farm system put that pitching front and center, giving up a total of three runs in the four games they played.
Durham Bulls 2, Louisville Bats (Reds) 1
Looking at the score, it would make sense to expect pitching to dominate, and it certainly did. Durham starter Matt Buschmann and Louisville starter Armando Galarraga both pitched well, holding the opponent in check for most of their outings. However, the Bulls were able to get to Galarraga, as Vince Belnome doubled and scored on a base hit from Shelley Duncan to give Durham a 1-0 lead in the first. They added on to the lead in the fifth, as Brandon Guyer led off the inning with a single, and moved to second on a balk. Recently demoted Ryan Roberts came through with a base hit, driving in Guyer to give Durham a 2-0 lead. The Bulls appeared poised to add to the lead, loading the bases with one out, but Galarraga was able to escape further damage. Louisville got one of the runs back in the top of the seventh, as Jason Donald led off the inning with a double, moved to third on a ground out, and scored on Billy Hamilton‘s groundout to cut the lead in half. However, the Bulls held the Bats down afterwards, and took a 2-1 victory. Buschmann worked through some trouble, allowing four hits and four walks over five shutout innings, while striking out seven. He looked fairly good in his fourth start in Durham as he looks to work his way to the majors. Belnome was 2-4 with two doubles and a walk.
Montgomery Biscuits 3, Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Reds) 1
Cameron Seitzer and Todd Glaesmann got the offense started for the Biscuits, hitting consecutive singles to put runners on first and second with no outs. After two quick outs, it began to appear as though the Biscuits would squander the first scoring opportunity of the game, but Mark Thomas came through with an RBI single to give Montgomery a 1-0 lead. Theo Bowe tied the game with a solo home run in the top of the third, but Glaesmann hit a solo home run of his own to take the lead right back for the Biscuits. Seitzer also got into the power act, hitting his first home run of the year in the sixth to tack on an insurance run for Montgomery. Those runs were all that starter Mark Colla needed, as he cruised through the Pensacola lineup en route to the 3-1 victory. Colla made only one mistake, the home run to Bowe, leading to the only hit he gave up. He walked three and struck out three in his seven innings of one run ball to earn the win. Glasemann was 3-3 with a home run, and Seitzer was 2-4 with two runs scored and the home run.
Charlotte Stone Crabs v. Bradenton Marauders (Pirates) – postponed
It’s not very often that one sees ‘Postponed – Other’ as the reason for a game to be cancelled, but there it was on the Stone Crabs site. As it turns out, rains Wednesday night into Thursday morning left the field in such a bad state that the infield was unable to be repaired in time to start the game. THe game will be made up as part of a double header on Friday.
Bowling Green Hot Rods 2, Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays) 1
The game did not start off well for the Hot Rods, as starter Sean Bierman walked the first two batters he faced. After a line out, Kevin Patterson grounded to first baseman Patrick Leonard, who threw the ball away attempting to get a force out. A run scored, and the Lugnuts seemed to have the momentum. Then, Bierman snagged a line drive off the bat of Emilio Guerrero, flipping it to first for the double play. The Hot Rods tied the game an inning later, as Marty Gantt singled with one out, and scored one batter later on a Joey Rickard double. Bowling Green had chances to take the lead in the third and fourth innings before breaking through in the fifth. Andrew Toles led off the inning with a double, and was followed by a bunt single by Tyler Goeddel. Toles scored on a throwing error, but Goeddel was gunned out at third. The Hot Rods then ran into another out, as Luke Maile singled with a runner on, but was thrown out attempting to stretch the hit into a double. However, the Lugnuts were unable to mount a rally, and the Hot Rods managed to hold on to a 2-1 victory. Bierman picked up the win, allowing the one unearned run on three hits and four walks over five innings. Toles, Rickard and Thomas Coyle each had two hits in the win.
Hudson Valley Renegades 6, Staten Island Yankees 0
The Renegades took a quick lead, putting runners on first and second with no outs. After an out, a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third before Johnny Field drove in the first run of the game with an RBI groundout. Hudson Valley added runs in the third and fourth, as Ariel Soriano drove in a run with a two out double in the third and Julian Ridings had a run scoring single in the fourth. While the offense was scratching out runs, the Renegades pitching staff was keeping the Yankees off the board. Benjamin Griset pitched the first three innings, allowing three hits while recording three strikeouts. He then made was for Eli Echarry and Andrew Hanse, as they completed the shutout. Hudson Valley added on three more insurance runs in the top of the ninth, highlighted by a two run error by Yankees second baseman Hector Crespo. Echarry earned the win in relief, allowing six hits and two walks in his four inning as he worked through trouble to keep the Yankees off the board. Ridings had an excellent game for Hudson Valley, going 4-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.