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February 21, 2013; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays pitcher J.D. Martin (51) poses for a picture during photo day at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Undercards: J.D. Martin Continues Stellar Performance for Durham as Bulls Win 6-2

Once a player has been in the majors and has been sent down to the minors, all they likely hope for is one more chance to prove they belong with the big league club. For J.D. Martin, it is now almost three years since he last appeared in the majors with the Washington Nationals. That hope may be growing fainter with each passing day. However, he has pitched quite well this season for the Durham Bulls as he continues to hope for that chance. Performances like the one he had last night can only help his cause.

Durham Bulls 6, Norfolk Tides (Orioles) 2

The Bulls appeared to be set for a big first inning, when Tim Beckham doubled to right with a runner on first. However, Evan Frey was thrown out attempting to score at the plate, and the Bulls had to settle for a single run when Beckham scored on Vince Belnome‘s base hit. The Bulls made up for it in the second, as Cole Figueroa doubled in a run, the scored on a base hit by Jesus Flores to put Durham on top 3-0. Sacrifice flies by Mike Fontenot and Shelley Duncan drove in runs in the third and fourth innings as the Bulls took a 5-0 lead. Meanwhile, J.D. Martin continued his dominance for the Bulls as he looks to get back to the majors. He cruised through the Norfolk lineup before giving up a home run to Yamaico Navarro in the fifth for his only blemish of the night. The Tides and Bulls traded runs in the eighth, and Durham coasted to an easy 6-2 victory. Martin picked up the win, allowing the one run on five hits, striking out four in 6.1 innings of work. Frey had his best game since being acquired by the Rays, going 2-4 with a run scored, a stolen base and a walk.

Montgomery Biscuits 8, Mobile BayBears (Diamondbacks) 0

The Biscuits came out firing against the BayBears Thursday night, putting the first two runners on before Cameron Seitzer drove in the first run of the game with a base hit to center. Todd Glaesmann followed with a ground ball to third, but an error led to a run scoring as Montgomery took a quick 2-0 lead. They extended that lead in the third, as Kyeong Kang homered to lead off the inning. The Biscuits loaded the bases with no outs, and a wild pitch forced home another run. Riccio Torrez hit a double with one out to plate two more runs, and Montgomery held a 6-0 advantage. Glaesmann hit a two out, two run triple in the fourth to put the Biscuits ahead 8-0, and that was more than enough support for starter Jacob Thompson, as he held the BayBears in check throughout his start. Marcus Fleming and Neil Schenk pitched the final three innings, preserving the shutout as the Biscuits cruised to an easy 8-0 victory. Thompson picked up the win, allowing only four hits and three walks, striking out six over his six shutout innings. Kang was 3-5 with a solo home run and three runs scored. Mikie Mahtook was 204 with a walk and three runs scored in the win.

Charlotte Stone Crabs 6, Palm Beach Cardinals 2

Charlotte manufactured a run in the top of the first as Jake Hager walked with one out, took second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a ground out before scoring on a base hit by Richie Shaffer. Drew Vettleson hit a sacrifice fly in the third to extend the lead to 2-0, and that appeared to be all the support that starter Jesse Hahn may need. However, the Cardinals managed to get to Hahn in the fourth, putting runners on second and third with one out. A wild pitch led to a run, and Alex Mejia doubled to tie the game at 2-2. But the Stone Crabs came back, and began the fireworks earlier than anticipated this night. The first two batters of the innings singled to put runners on first and third, when Hager doubled to break the tie. A one out walk loaded the bases, and Alejandro Segovia hit a sacrifice fly to give Charlotte the 4-2 lead. Another walk reloaded the bases for Jeff Malm, who singled to left to drive in two more runs. Willie Argo attempted to score from first, but was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. Neither team had much of a scoring chance from that point on, and the Stone Crabs held on tot he 6-2 victory. Andrew Bellatti picked up the win in relief, pitching three scoreless innings, giving up only one hit while striking out two. Hager was 1-3 with a double, two runs scored and a walk.

Dayton Dragons (Reds) 6, Bowling Green Hot Rods 5

Locking in a pitcher’s duel heading into the top of the fifth, the Hot Rods broke through in the top of the frame. With runners on second and third with one out, Dayton starter Ismael Guillon threw a wild pitch to plate a run. A sacrifice fly by Andrew Toles plated another run, and Bowling Green took a 2-0 lead. They extended the lead in the top of the seventh, as back to back walks with two outs put runners on first and second. Patrick Leonard followed with a double, driving in both runners, and came around to score on a base hit by Toles to give the Hot Rods a 5-0 lead. With starter Dylan Floro cruising through the Dragons lineup, it appeared as though the game would be well in hand. Reliever Eduar Quinonez entered in the bottom of the inning, and, unfortunately for the Hot Rods, quickly erased those hopes. The Dragons loaded the bases with no outs, and Quinonez walked in a run to end the shutout. A sacrifice fly cut the lead to 5-2, and after a strikeout, Quinonez appeared as though he may escape further harm. However, Sammy Diaz singled to drive in another run, and Daniel Pigott followed with a three run homer to put Dayton on top 6-5. Bowling Green was unable to muster another scoring threat, and the Dragons held on for the victory. Quinonez took the loss, giving up the six runs on four hits, a walk and a hit batter over one inning. Floro pitched well in the no-decision, allowing seven hits while striking out three over six scoreless innings. Leonard was 1-4 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored in the loss.

Hudson Valley Renegades 9, Staten Island Yankees 1

Ariel Soriano started off the game quickly for the Renegades, belting a home run to lead off the game. However, that would be the highlight of Soriano’s night, as he was drilled in the head with a pitch his next time up. The Renegades would come through for their fallen teammate, loading the bases with no outs in the fourth. A force out by Darryl George and a sacrifice bunt by John Alexander plated two more runs, and Hudson Valley took a 3-0 lead. George drove in another run in the sixth on a base hit, and the Renegades truly put the game out of reach in top of the ninth, loading the bases with no out. A groundout drove in a run, and Jonathan Quinonez singled to plate the second run of the inning. Ty Young extended the lead with a two run double and took third on the throw home. Young would cap off the scoring for the Renegades by coming home on a sacrifice fly. The Yankees got a run back in the bottom of the frame, but it was not nearly enough as Hudson Valley ran away with the 9-1 victory. Aaron Griffin cruised to the win, giving up two hits while striking out four over five shutout innings. Quinonez was 3-5 with a run scored, an RBI and a double.

Princeton Rays v. Burlington Royals – postponed

Rain washed out the game between the Rays and Royals last night at the Burlington Athletic Stadium yesterday. The game will be made up as part of a double header later today, with game one starting at 5:00 pm.

GCL Rays 4, GCL Twins 3

The Twins took an early lead when Zach Larson led off the game with a home run, but the Rays came back in the second to tie the game. Nick Ciuffo doubled to lead off the inning, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a two out single by Jiminson Natera. The Rays took the lead in the third, as Cristian Toribio doubled, moved to third on Riley Unroe‘s single, and scored while Unroe was thrown out attempting to steal second. The Twins tied the game in the bottom of the fifth, as Nelson Molina got to second on an error by Ciuffo, took third on a force out, then scored on a base hit by Chad Christensen. However, the Rays took the lead back in the top of the sixth. After loading the bases with no outs, Ciuffo hit a sacrifice fly to plate a run. With two out, Hector Montes singled to drive in another run, putting the Rays ahead 4-2. The Twins got a run back in the bottom of the eighth, but it was not enough as the Rays held on to the 4-3 victory. Mario Fernandez picked up the first win of his professional career, giving up two runs, one earned, on five hits over five innings. Ciuffo was 1-3 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI.

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Tags: J.D. Martin Jacob Thompson Nick Ciuffo Tampa Bay Rays

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