Now one step away from the majors, Merrill Kelly has continued to show that he may belong in the conversation of up and coming Rays pitchers. Since being promoted to Durham, Kelly has gone 3-0 with a 2.03 ERA. If he can decrease his walk rate, Kelly may end up forcing the Rays to find a place for him in Tampa within the next year or so.
Durham Bulls 1, Gwinnett Braves 0
Both Durham starter Merrill Kelly and Gwinnett starter David Hale managed to work through trouble to keep the opposition off the board for most of the day. Kelly got into trouble almost immediately, putting runners on first and third with one out. Kelly then managed to get Stefan Gartrel to ground into a double play to end the threat. The Bulls then loaded the bases with one out in the top of the second, but Hale managed to get a double play of his own to escape. The Braves had chances in the bottom of the second and again in the fourth, but were unable to push a run across. Durham had an excellent chance in the top of the seventh, as Mike Fontenot singled with one out, and moved to second on a ground out. Evan Frey had an infield hit, and Fontenot was caught attempting to score. The Bulls finally scratched a run across in the next inning, as they loaded the bases with no outs. Leslie Anderson hit a sacrifice fly to center, plating Tim Beckham for the only run of the game. Josh Lueke made that margin stand up, as the Bulls won an exciting 1-0 pitcher’s duel. Kelly got the win, allowing three hits and three walks in seven shutout innings. Fontenot had the best offensive day of anyone by far, going 3-5 with a double.
Montgomery Biscuits v. Mobile BayBears (Diamondbacks) – postponed
Due to wet conditions, the game between the Biscuits and the BayBears was postponed. The matchup will be made up as part of a double header later today, with Game one scheduled to begin at 3:05pm.
Charlotte Stone Crabs 9, Bradenton Marauders (Pirates) 6
Charlotte opened the game with a bang against Brandenton starter Emmanuel De Leon, scoring five runs in the first inning. Jake Hager and Willie Argo each had an RBI single sandwiching a run scoring ground out, and Jake DePew capped the outburst with a two run base hit. The Stone Crabs tacked on runs in the third, when Jeff Malm hit a solo home run, and Ryan Brett had an RBI groundout in the sixth to give Charlotte a 7-0 lead. As starter Felipe Rivero had been cruising though the Bradenton lineup, the game appeared to be well in hand at that point. However, the Marauders came back in the bottom of the inning, putting runners on first and second to start the frame. Dan Gamache singled to drive in a run, and after a strikeout, another walk loaded the bases. Rivero then uncorked a wild pitch, forcing home a run before an RBI groundout cut the lead to 7-3. Bradenton further closed the gap in the seventh, putting runners on first and third with no outs. A sacrifice fly brought in a run, and Gamache hit a run scoring double to cut the lead to 7-5. The Stone Crabs got a couple of much needed insurance runs in the ninth on a two run, two out double by Alejandro Segovia. Bradenton did get a run back in the bottom of the inning, but it was not enough as the Stone Crabs held on for the 9-6 victory. Rivero picked up the win, allowing three runs on three hits and three walks, striking out nine in 5.2 innings of work. Hager was 2-4 with two runs scored, a walk and an RBI.
Bowling Green Hot Rods 7, Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays) 1
Bowling Green struck first, putting runners on first and second with two outs in the second when Ryan Dunn drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single. The Lugnuts tied the game in the top of the fourth when Emilio Guerrero led off the inning with a double, moved to third on a fly out, and scored on a Christian Lopes groundout. The Hot Rods took control of the game in the fifth, putting runners on first and second. After consecutive strikeouts, Justin O’Conner singled to drive in a run. A walk loaded the bases, bringing up Tyler Goeddel. Goeddel singled, driving in two more runs as the Hot Rods took a 4-1 lead. They expanded that advantage in the sixth, loading the bases with no outs. Brandon Martin singled, driving in a run and keeping the sacks filled. After a force play at the plate, O’Conner grounded to third for a force out. However, third baseman Kellen Sweeney threw the ball away in his attempt to turn a double play, leading to two more runs as Bowling Green took a 7-1 lead. That score held up, as the Hot Rods emerged with the victory. Matthew Spann picked up the win, giving up one run on three hits and two walks in 5.1 innings. Joey Rickard was 2-2 with a walk in the victory.
Hudson Valley Renegades 4, Vermont Lake Monsters (A’s) 2
Scoreless through three innings, the Renegades broke through in the top of the fourth. Jonathan Quinonez doubled with one out, and scored on a base hit by Omar Narvaez. Narvaez moved to second on the throw home, and scored on a double by Darryl George. Hudson Valley added on in the fifth, putting runners on second and third with two outs, bringing Quinonez to the plate again. Once again, he delivered, this time with a two run single to give the Renegades a 4-0 lead. Vermont came back, getting a run in the bottom of the sixth when Ryan Huck doubled with two outs, and scored on an error. The Lake Monsters added another run in the eighth as Huck had an RBI double, but the Renegades managed to hold on to the 4-2 victory. Jordan Harrison picked up the win, allowing one hit and three walks in five shutout innings. Quinonez was 2-4 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored. Narvaez and Ariel Soriano were also 2-4 in the victory.
Pulaski Mariners 2, Princeton Rays 1
This game was a pitcher’s duel throughout the contest, and it was a matter of who would crack first. The Rays got on the board first, as Bralin Jackson led off the bottom of the fourth with a home run. As Rays starter German Marquez was mowing down the Mariners, that run seemed as though it would be enough. However, Marquez was pulled after five innings, and the Mariners got to the Rays bullpen. Zach Shank tied the game with a two out single in the top of the sixth, and the Mariners took the lead in the bottom of the ninth when Shank led off the inning with his first home run of the season, sending the Rays to a tough 2-1 loss. Isaac Gil took the loss, giving up a run on three hits in two innings of relief. Marquez was excellent in his no decision, giving up two hits while striking out seven over five shutout innings. Jackson was 3-4 with the solo home run in the loss.