It was a day of near-misses for the Tampa Bay Rays minor league organization on Wednesday. In 5 games, three would be decided by 1 run, one would be decided by 2 runs, and the last would be decided by 4 runs. Unfortunately, the Rays affiliates would come up on the wrong side of every game.
Triple-A International League: Indianapolis Indians (NYM) 2, Durham Bulls 1
Enny Romero hasn’t had a good season, but he was solid on Wednesday. Romero would go 6.0 innings, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) while striking out 5 and walking none. Romero still has quite a bit of work to do before he is big league ready, but a good sign is that he has only walked 1 batter in his last 3 starts. Adam Liberatore would then throw a scoreless inning behind Romero to lower his ERA on the season to 2.53. Josh Lueke, who cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A today, would finish things off with a scoreless inning of his own. The Rays are glad Lueke could remain within the organization, but he is going to have to do a lot to convince the team to give him another big league opportunity.
Offensively, the Bulls managed a decent 7 hits, however they would only take 3 at-bats with runners in scoring position, and they would fail to come up with a hit in any of them. Curt Casali had a nice 2-4 day including a double. Veteran Mike Fontenot would also go 2-4. In the end it came down to the offense after the pitching staff was solid, but they could not get the job done.
Double-A Southern League: Birmingham Barons (CHW) 4, Montgomery Biscuits 2
Grayson Garvin struggled in his start for the Biscuits, lasting just 2.1 innings and giving up 4 runs on 6 hits. After dominating in limited time this season, Garvin has given up 7 runs in his last 4.1 innings and his ERA has skyrocketed to 5.09. Behind him, Jim Patterson and Andrew Bellatti kept the Biscuits in the game by combining to throw 5.2 scoreless innings. However, the offense would come up short nonetheless. Taylor Motter had a nice 3-4 day with a double, and Jeremy Moore went 2-4 with a solo home run. The Biscuits would smack 9 hits, but they were 0-6 with runners in scoring position as they came up short.
High-A Florida State League: Fort Myers Miracle (MIN) 7, Port Charlotte Stone Crabs 6
In this game it would be the offense that did a great job, but the pitching staff that came up short. Austin Pruitt had an iffy start, going 5.0 innings and allowing 2 home runs en route to 4 earned runs. Kevin Brandt would throw two perfect innings behind him while striking out 4. But then, Nick Sawyer came on and could only get 1 out, allowing 3 runs and walking 5. In 17.2 innings this season, he has walked an ugly 30 batters en route to a 5.09 ERA. Ryan Garton would get the final two outs of the game for the Stone Crabs.
Down 7-2 heading into the 9th, the Stone Crabs offense did all they could to attempt a comeback, coming up just short by scoring 4 runs in the inning. Tyler Goeddel had a nice day at the plate, going 2-5 with 2 RBIs. No other hitter would have a multi-hit day, though Maxx Tissenbaum would hit his first home run of the year, a 2-run shot. The offense did plenty in this game, but they couldn’t overcome the pitching staff’s woes.
Low-A Midwest League: Game 1: Dayton Dragons (CIN) 4, Bowling Green Hot Rods 0 in 7 innings
Playing a pair of 7 inning games because of a Tuesday rainout, the Hot Rods would come up short in game one. German Marquez had a so-so start, giving up 9 hits and 4 runs in 5.0 innings, but only 2 of those runs were earned and he walked just 1 batter. Andrew Hanse would then throw a scoreless inning in relief. The offense would only manage just three hits en route to a shutout. Kean Wong accounted for 2 of them in his 3 at-bats.
Game 2: Dragons 4, Hot Rods 3 in 7 innings
Errors would cost the Hot Rods in this game, as 3 of them led to 3 of starter Ben Griset‘s 4 runs allowed being unearned, though 2 of the errors were made by Griset himself. He would go 5+ innings, handing the game over to Colton Reavis with 2 runners on base in the 6th. Reavis wouldn’t give up any runs of his own, but he allowed both inherited runners to score, and those two runs ended up deciding the game. Offensively the Hot Rods did much better than game one, smacking 8 hits and scoring 3 runs. Granden Goetzman‘s 2-run homer led the way, and Juniel Querecuto put up a 2-3 performance. But, the Hot Rods couldn’t come up with the win in this one.