The Tampa Bay Rays were off, but there was plenty of excitement in their minor league ranks. Both the Montgomery Biscuits and Port Charlotte Stone Crabs had exciting days, as they would both win their games with some late-innings heroics.
Triple-A International League: Indianapolis Indians (PIT) 4, Durham Bulls 0
Jeremy Hellickson made his second rehab start for Durham, but this one didn’t go as well as the first. He would go 2.1 innings, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits, 1 walk, and 2 strikeouts. Expect one more rehab start until Hellickson is ready to return to the big leagues, but if he struggles again the Rays could elect to give him an additional start. Matt Andriese would finish things off after Hellickson, throwing 5.2 scoreless innings and allowing just 1 hit and 2 walks while striking out 5.
The Bulls offense could not get to Indians starter A.J. Morris, who would throw a complete game shutout. Cole Figueroa would go 3-4, and Vince Belnome went 1-3 with a double. But other than that, there wasn’t much happening for the offense.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 4, Birmingham Barons (CHW) 2
There was a pretty exciting game for the Rays Double-A affiliate. Biscuits’ starter Victor Mateo gave up 2 quick runs in the first 2 innings, but then he calmed down and threw 5 scoreless innings. Matt Lollis and Matt Ramsey would also do their part by throwing a scoreless inning each. The Biscuits were down 2-1 heading into the 8th, but they would tie up the game. Heading into the 9th the game was still tied, but a Ryan Brett double, a Jake Hager single, and a Cameron Seitzer single led to the Biscuits taking the lead by 2. Jeff Malm, Hager, and Seitzer all had three hits, and Luke Maile added a 2-4 performance as the offense managed 13 total hits.
High-A Florida State League: Port Charlotte Stone Crabs 8, Fort Myers Miracle (MIN) 7 in 11 innings
Another exciting day for a Rays affiliate, this one would take extra innings to find a winner. Reinaldo Lopez went just 4.0 innings, giving up 4 runs, but none of them were earned in a sloppy defensive day. Leonardo Reginatto, Patrick Leonard, Justin O’Conner, and Lopez himself all made errors. Bruedlin Suero, usually a starter, came on and would go 2.0 innings while giving up 2 runs (1 earned). Parker Markel and Marcus Jensen would each throw a scoreless 2.0 innings. Ryan Garton came on in the bottom of the 11th to earn the save, but he made things interesting by allowing a run and letting the lead shrink to 1 run.
The Stone Crabs offense would provide excitement on a couple of different occasions. Heading into the 9th, the Stone Crabs were down by 1, but a home run by Julian Ridings tied the game up to send it to extras. Tommy Coyle then drove in the go ahead triple in the 11th, and would later score a much-needed insurance run off a Reginatto single. Luke Bailey had a nice day at the plate, going 3-5 with a home run shortly after being sent down from Montgomery. Julian Ridings added a double on top of his homer en route to a 2-5 performance. Patrick Leonard and Justin O’Conner also added 3-6 performances in a night where the offense smacked 17 hits.
Low-A Midwest League: Dayton Dragons (CIN) 3, Bowling Green Hot Rods 1
Jake Faria was outstanding has the Hot Rods starter, going 7.0 innings while giving up 0 runs on 3 hits and striking out 9. His ERA now sits at a solid 3.27 on the year. Jorge Rodriguez would struggle in his inning of work, giving up 3 runs, though only 1 was earned thanks to an Alexander Simon error. Offensively, no Hot Rod would have more than a single hit. Both Oscar Hernandez and Simon hit doubles, but the offense as a whole struggled and they would not get the job done.