J.D. Martin was named the International League Pitcher of the Year on Tuesday, having produced a 15-4 record with a 2.84 ERA and a sparkling 4.4-1 strikeout to walk rate in his first season in the Rays organization. Last night, he had his first appearance since being named the recipient of the top pitching honor in the IL, and continued to show how deserved that award truly was. Even though he is not on the Rays 40 man roster, it may be difficult for Tampa to keep him down during the stretch run.
Durham Bulls 5, Gwinnett Braves 1
Martin was the story again for the Bulls, as he kept the Braves off balance for most of the night. Gwinnett got their only run in the fifth, hitting three consecutive singles to load the bases before getting a run on a groundout. Meanwhile, Tim Beckham led off the game with a home run and had an RBI double in the second to help support Martin’s outing. Two RBI groundouts and a bases loaded walk capped the scoring for the Bulls, while Martin did the rest. Overall, he gave up the lone run on seven hits, striking out four in 7.1 innings. Beckham had an impressive game, and is likewise solidifying his chance to get a September callup, going 4-6 with a double, a home run, two RBIs and a run scored.
St. Lucie Mets 2, Charlotte Stone Crabs 1 (Ten Innings)
The Stone Crabs got an excellent outing from their pitching staff, but it was unfortunately wasted as the offense was unable to do much of anything last night. Charlotte scored in the first when Willie Argo led off the game with a double and scored on a groundout. From that point, Mets starter Hansel Robles held the Stone Crabs to two more hits for the rest of his outing. Charlotte employed a pitching committee, as starter Jacob Partridge lasted one batter into the fifth before being relieved, giving up a single to the leadoff batter, who later scored on a two out error by first baseman Jeff Malm. That error came back to haunt the Stone Crabs, as the game went to the tenth. Another mistake doomed Charlotte that inning. After a one out double by Cam Maron, Matt Ramsey intentionally walked the next hitter. Ball four got away for a wild pitch, putting runners on the corners. Rylan Sandoval followed with a sacrifice fly to left, sending the Stone Crabs to the tough loss. Ramsey took the loss, giving up a run on two hits and a walk in 1.2 innings.
Bowling Green Hot Rods 4, South Bend Silver Hawks (Diamondbacks) 1
The Hot Rods were in catchup mode most of the night, as the Silver Hawks took an early lead on a second inning home run by Michael Perez. From that point, starter Jeff Ames was solid, holding South Bend off the scoreboard in an attempt to give the Hot Rods a chance. That opportunity finally came in the seventh, as Bowling Green had three consecutive one out singles to load the bases. Andrew Toles had a sacrifice fly to tie the game, and the Hot Rods had a spark of life. That spark turned into a full blown fire in the ninth, as Bowling Green put runners on first and second with one out. A base hit by Patrick Leonard broke the tie, and Joey Rickard had a two out, two run single to put the game out of reach. Bruedlin Suero picked up the win in relief, giving up a hit and a walk while striking out five in three scoreless innings. Leonard was 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Hudson Valley Renegades 4, Connecticut Tigers 3 (Twelve Innings)
Ahead 2-1 heading into the fourth, the Renegades watched the lead slip away with two outs in the inning. A two out double was followed by an RBI single and another double to give the Tigers the lead. But the Renegades came back in the top of the fifth. Johnny Field led off the inning with a double, and ended up scoring on a wild pitch to tie the game. Both pitching staffs settled in from that point, as neither team had much of a scoring chance until the top of the eleventh. John Alexander led off the inning with a double, but was eventually stranded at third as it appeared as though the Renegades had squandered a golden opportunity. They had another chance in the twelfth, with Ty Young on second with two outs. James Harris proved to be the hero, singling to right to drive in Young with the game winning run. Anthony Tzamtzis worked around three walks in his 1.1 innings to get the victory. Alexander was 3-4 with a double, a walk and a run scored. Three other Renegades had two hits apiece as they managed thirteen hits for the game.
Princeton Rays 9, Bristol White Sox 7
Things looked bleak for the Rays heading into the top of the eighth, trailing 4-2. However, their bats exploded over the next two innings. The top of the eighth began innocently enough, as the Rays had runners on first and second with two outs. Everything changed on one swing of the bat, as David Garcia homered to give Princeton it’s first lead since the third. The Rays tacked on four more insurance runs in the fourth, highlighted by a two run error on second baseman Jeffry Santos on a ground ball off the bat of Leopoldo Correa. Those runs proved to be vital, as the White Sox were not about to let the Rays get away without a fight. Bristol loaded the bases with two out, bringing up Carl Thomore. Thomore cleared the bases with a three run double, and the White Sox suddenly had the tying run at the plate, as Santos had a chance to atone for his earlier miscue. However, Oscar Armenta struck out Santos to preserve the win for the Rays. Mario Fernandez picked up the win with three solid innings of relief, giving up two unearned runs on a hit and three walks. Six different Rays had two hits each, lead by Garcia, who was 2-5 with a home run and four RBIs.
GCL Rays 2, GCL Red Sox 1
The Rays pitching more than did it’s part last night, holding the Red Sox to two hits all night. Jose Paez reached on a bases loaded fielder’s choice in the first to plate the first run of the game, and Riley Unroe had an RBI single in the second to provide all the offense the Rays would need. The Red Sox got a run in the bottom of the second, loading the bases on two hit batters and a walk before Raymel Flores hit a sacrifice fly to cut the lead in half, but that was as close as the Red Sox would get. Jose Mujica earned the win with three innings of solid relief, giving up a lone hit while striking out two. Adderly Rosa was 2-3 with a run scored and a walk.