David Price took the next step in this quest to return to the Rays rotation by making his first rehab start. It may not have been the smoothest of outings, but most importantly, Price made it through without pain. Hopefully, he can continue to progress during his rehab, and be back in the majors soon. However, that was not the big story in the Rays system, as the Bowling Green Hot Rods benefited from a solid pitching performance of their own, as four pitchers combined to no hit the Lansing Lugnuts in their Midwest League matchup Friday night.
Buffalo Bisons (Blue Jays) 3, Durham Bulls 2
Bulls starter J.D. Martin and Buffalo starter Thad Weber matched one another nearly pitch for pitch last night. The Bulls scored first, taking a brief lead in the top of the second inning. Ryan Roberts led off the inning with a base hit, and took second on a ground out, coming around to score on a base hit by Mike Fontenot. The Bisons tied the game in the bottom of the frame, as Jim Negrych doubled, and scored on a two out double by Ryan Goins. Both starters settled in, and the game remained tied heading into the fifth. Fontenot singled to lead off the inning, moved to second on a passed ball, and took third on a sacrifice bunt. Jason Bourgeois drove Fontenot in with a double, and took third on a balk. It appeared as though the Bulls had a chance to add to their lead, but Weber got out of the jam, getting two groundouts to end the threat. That squandered opportunity would haunt the Bulls, as Buffalo took the lead in the bottom of the inning. With runners on second and third and no outs, Sam Pillar, making his AAA debut, hit a double to drive in both runners. The Bulls had a chance to tie the game, loading the bases with one out in the sixth, but Fontenot grounded into a double play. Buffalo held Durham down from that point, taking a 3-2 victory. Martin took a tough loss, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk over seven innings. Roberts and Fontenot each went 2-4 with a run scored in the loss.
Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Reds) 9, Montgomery Biscuits 3
The Biscuits held the lead in this one, as Robby Price singled, and came in to score on a two out double by Cameron Seitzer to take the 1-0 lead. However, Pensacola came back in the top of the third, loading the bases with one out. A walk to Yorman Rodriguez forced in a run, and the Blue Wahoos took the lead on a base hit Travis Mattair. A RBI groundout gave Pensacola a 3-1 lead, but Montgomery tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Kevin Kiermaier drove in Robi Estrada with a triple, then scored on a groundout, knotting the game at 3-3. From that point, Pensacola took over. Mattair homered to give the Blue Wahoos the lead in the fifth, then Matt Kennelly drove in another run with a sixth inning double before scoring on a sacrifice fly. Marquez Smith added a two run double in the seventh, and Pensacola tacked on another run due to an error in the ninth as they ran away with a 9-3 victory. Enny Romero took the loss for Montgomery, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks in five innings. The Biscuits offense was held to only five hits and two walks by Pensacola pitching.
Bradenton Marauders (Pirates) 4, Charlotte Stone Crabs 3 (Game One – seven innings)
The most important feature of this game was the return of David Price to the mound, as he made his first rehab start following his triceps injury. He had his struggles with his control and game up runs in the second and third innings, but he managed to make it through the game without pain. The Stone Crabs scored all three runs in the top of the third, as Taylor Motter, Drew Vettleson and Richie Shaffer each had run scoring singles to put the Stone Crabs ahead. The Marauders tied the game in the fifth, as Alen Hanson led off the inning with a double, and scored on a two out double by Dan Gamache. Bradenton took the lead an inning later, as Hanson had a two out RBI base hit to put the Marauders ahead 4-3. That score held up, as Bradenton took the win. Price showed signs of rust, but had a solid start, giving up two runs, one earned, on two hits and two walks, striking out four in 2.1 innings. Nate Garcia took the loss, giving up a run on three hits in his inning. Shaffer was 1-2 with an RBI and a walk.
Charlotte Stone Crabs 4, Bradenton Marauders 0 (Game Two – seven innings)
Jesse Hahn was in control from the outset for the Stone Crabs, cruising through the Bradenton lineup. The Stone Crabs gave him some support in the fourth, putting runners on first and third with no outs. Drew Vettleson cleared the bases with a triple, and came around to score on a sacrifice fly to give Charlotte a 3-0 lead. Taylor Motter added an RBI triple of his own in the fifth, and that was all the run support that the Stone Crabs needed. Hahn pitched five excellent innings, then made way for Shay Crawford, who continued to shut down the Marauders as the Stone Crabs took a 4-0 victory. Hahn picked up the win, allowing two hits over five shutout innings, striking out five. Vettleson was 1-2 with a triple, two RBIs, a walk and a run scored.
Bowling Green Hot Rods 14, Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays) 1
The Hot Rods caught fire early, scoring four runs in the bottom of the second to jump out on the Lugnuts. Joey Rickard and Ryan Dunn each hit one out RBI doubles, and Dunn would later score on a wild pitch. Brandon Martin capped off the scoring with an RBI single. After the Lugnuts got a run in the top of the third, the Hot Rods exploded in the fourth, scoring eight times in the inning. With two runs already in and the bases loaded with no outs, Tyler Goeddel reached on an error to keep the bases loaded and bring in another run. Thomas Coyle singled to drive in two more runs, Marty Gantt had an RBI double, and a two run error completed the scoring for Bowling Green. Meanwhile, Bowling Green pitching was holding the Lugnuts in check, allowing only walks. The Hot Rods tacked on two more insurance runs in the sixth on a two run single by Goeddel, and pulled away with an easy 14-1 victory. Overshadowed by the offensive explosion was the excellent performance by the Hot Rods pitching staff, as Blake Snell, Eduar Quinonez, Nick Sawyer and Marcus Jensen combined on a no hitter. Quinonez earned the win, pitching three innings in relief, walking one while recording three strikeouts. Dunn was 4-4 with three runs scored, an RBI and a walk. Leonardo Reginatto was 3-4 with two doubles, two RBIs and three runs scored.
Hudson Valley Renegades 5, Staten Island Yankees 3
The Renegades scored first, as John Alexander singled with two outs in the second, and scored on a double by Granden Goetzman to take a 1-0 lead. They expanded that margin in the third, as Ariel Soriano had an RBI base hit and Johnny Field drove in a run with a groundout to put the Renegades ahead 3-0. That score held up until the eighth, when the Yankees got two runs back in the top of the inning Bubba Jones hit a two run double to cut the lead to 3-2. However, teh Renegades got those runs right back in the bottom of the frame, putting runners on first and second with two out. A wild pitch moved the runners up a base, and John Alexander drove them in with a two run single. Staten Island got a run back in the top of the ninth, but were unable to overcome the Renegades as they continued their unbeaten season, taking the 5-3 win. Aaron Griffin earned the victory, allowing two runs on four hits in four innings of work. Alexander was 2-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.