The Undercards: Merrill Kelly Continues to Dominate as Bulls Win 3-0

Merrill Kelly continued to dominate the International League, as he helped the Bulls shut out the Gwinnett Braves last night. He is now 4-0 with a 1.70 ERA since his promotion, and may be opening some eyes in Tampa. If he can continue to dominate, and begin to limit his walks, Kelly could find himself in line for a late season callup when rosters expand in September.

Durham Bulls 3, Gwinnett Braves 0

The Braves had their chances early on against Durham starter Merrill Kelly, getting a runner thrown out at home to end the second before loading the bases with one out in the third. However, Kelly was able to strike out the next two batters to escape the jam. The Bulls finally put some offense together against Braves starter David Hale in the fourth. Leslie Anderson singled with one out, and moved to third on a double by Ryan Roberts before scoring on a passed ball. Cole Figueroa homered in the fifth, giving Durham a 2-0 lead. That would be all the support Kelly needed, as he settled in after the third. Figueroa figured in the scoring in the eighth, as he doubled to lead off the inning, and was driven in on a double by Tim Beckham to tack on an insurance run as Durham won 3-0. Kelly pitched six shutout innings, allowing five hits and a walk, striking out five as he continued his strong performance for Durham. Figueroa finished a triple short of the cycle, going 3-4 with a double, a home run, and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot.

Montgomery Biscuits v. Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Reds) – suspended

With Pensacola having runners on first and third and no outs in the top of the second, rains swept through the Montgomery area, causing tonight’s matchup to be suspended. The game will be made up tomorrow at 5:05 PM, and will be followed by a seven inning game.

Clearwater Threshers (Phillies) 3, Charlotte Stone Crabs 0

Scoreless through three innings, the Threshers got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. With runners on first and second and no outs, Felipe Rivero uncorked a wild pitch to advance the runners. After a strikeout, Cameron Perkins grounded out to drive in the first run of the game. Clearwater loaded the bases in the top of the sixth, again with no one out. Perkins drove in another run, this time with a sacrifice fly, and Matt Tolbert  had a two out RBI single to give the Threshers a 3-0 lead. Meanwhile, after Drew Vettleson was thrown out at home to end the third inning, the Stone Crabs were unable to muster a threat on offense, as they fell to Clearwater 3-0. Rivero picked up the loss, allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits and three walks in six innings. Willie Argo was 1-2 with three walks in the loss.

Bowling Green Hot Rods 4, Quad City River Bandits (Astros) 3

The Hot Rods roared out to the lead in the fourth. After putting the first two hitters on, Tyler Goeddel tripled to plate both runners before scoring an a base hit by Leonardo Reginatto to put Bowling Green on top 3-0. In the bottom of the fifth, the River Bandits took advantage of some shaky defense by the Hot Rods. With runners on first and third and one out, Justin O’Conner attempted to pick off Dan Gulbransen. The throw was errant, and Gulbransen scored. Goeddel made another error with two outs, misplaying a ground ball to allow Brian Blasik to score from second, cutting the lead to 3-2. The Hot Rods got one of those runs back in the top of seventh. Joey Rickard doubled to lead off the inning, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a two out single by Andrew Toles. However, the River Bandits rallied in the bottom of the inning. Carlos Correa singled with two outs to cut the lead to one, and Quad City loaded the bases, bringing Rio Ruiz tot he plate. Matthew Spann got a much needed strikeout, ending the threat. The Hot Rods would hang on, taking a 4-3 victory. Reinaldo Lopez got the win, giving up two unearned runs on three hits and two walks over six innings. Goeddel was 2-4 with a triple, two RBIs and a run scored.

Hudson Valley Renegades 2, Jamestown Jammers (Pirates) 1

The Renegades got the benefit of an excellent outing from starter Kevin Brandt last night, as he held down the Jammers offense. Hudson Valley got both of their runs in the fifth, loading the bases with no outs. Ariel Soriano had the big hit, a two run, one out single off the glove of shortstop Adam Frazier to put the Renegades ahead 2-0. Jamestown got a run back in the sixth, as Michael Fransoso doubled to lead off the inning, and scored on a base hit by Jin-De Jhang. The Jammers put together a rally in the top of the ninth, putting runners on first and second, but the Renegades held on for the 2-1 victory. Brandt picked up the win, allowing two hits and two walks, striking out six over five shutout innings. James Harris was 2-3 in the victory.

Greeneville Astros 2, Princeton Rays 1

German Marquez had one bad inning, but that inning proved to be costly. Scoreless heading into the top of the fourth, Tanner Mathis walked to lead off the inning. Brett Phillips followed with a base hit, and both runners moved up on an error by Yoel Araujo, putting runners on second and third. A groundout and a sacrifice fly plated both runners, and the Astros took a 2-0 lead. The Rays got a run back in the bottom of the sixth, when Elias Torres  hit his first home run of the season. Princeton had a prime scoring opportunity in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases with no one out, bringing Torres to te plate. However, he grounded into a double play, with a runner thrown out at home and the second out coming at third to effectively end the rally. Greeneville held on from there, defeating the Rays 2-1. Marquez took the loss, giving up two runs, one earned, on one hit and three walks over five innings. Spencer Edwards was 2-5 with a double in the loss.

GCL Orioles 12, GCL Rays 1

The orioles hammered the Rays early and often, as every member of their starting lineup had at least one hit in the 18 hit ambushing of the Rays. The defense was not much better than the pitching, as the Rays made five errors, leading to two unearned runs. In fact, the only positive of the night came in the bottom of the ninth, when Jeremy Hadley led off the inning with a triple and scored on a base hit by Erick Vasquez. William Gabay took the loss, giving up two runs on three hits in 1.2 innings of work, yet was the Rays second most effective pitcher of the night. Eric Fredrick pitched a scoreless top of the ninth, giving up one hit while striking out three. Jose Paez was 2-2 in the loss.

Topics: Kevin Brandt, Merrill Kelly, Tampa Bay Rays

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