The Tampa Bay Rays minor league organization had a rough go of things on Friday. Only 1 of 7 affiliates would win (not counting DSL and VSL), and none of them would score more than 3 runs.
Triple-A International League: Syracuse Chiefs (WSH) 8, Durham Bulls 2
Matt Andriese couldn’t continue his recent string of success in his start on Friday, giving up 6 runs in 4.0 innings on 9 hits, though he did strike out 6 and walk 1. His struggles likely were because of him straying away from his usual groundout tendencies, as he allowed 2 home runs. C.J. Riefenhauser didn’t do much behind him in 2.0 innings of relief, allowing 2 runs, but then Jake Thompson and Adam Liberatore went 3 scoreless innings. Offensively, veterans Wilson Betemit and Mike Fontenot both went 2-4, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the poor pitching.
Double-A Southern League: Mobile BayBears (ARI) 5, Montgomery Biscuits 3
Things looked like they were going up for the Biscuits, as they took a 2-0 lead into the 7th inning. Grayson Garvin had just come off a 3.0 scoreless inning start, and Mike Colla had also thrown his first 3 innings without giving up a run. But then in the 7th, Colla allowed a pair of runs, albeit unearned thanks to a Jake Hager error. The game was still tied at that point, but the BayBears blew it open by getting 3 runs off Matt Lollis in the 8th. Early in the year it looked like Lollis was a steal as the “throw-in” of the Logan Forsythe-Alex Torres deal, but after putting up a 7.53 ERA the last 10 games his ERA now sits at 4.21. Braulio Lara would have a nice outing, throwing 1.1 scoreless innings.
On offense, Hector Guevara had a nice 2-4 day that included a double. Willie Argo also added a nice 2-5 day. The Biscuits as a whole did o.k., but they went just 1-9 with runners in scoring position. Had they capitalized on those opportunities, we could have been talking about a whole different game.
High-A Florida State League: Palm Beach Cardinals 3, Port Charlotte Stone Crabs 1
The headline in this game was a pair of pitchers who both pitched for the first time in quite a while. The first was Albert Suarez who started the game for the Stone Crabs, his first appearance since April 2013 because of injuries. He had a nice outing, going 4.0 scoreless innings as he looks to re-establish himself. Former 8th overall pick Casey Weathers relieved him with 2.0 innings, giving up 2 runs. Not a great outing for Weathers- but more importantly he was on the field for the first time since 2012, and the first time in the Rays organization. Patrick Leonard had a nice day at the plate, going 2-4 with a double, but the Stone Crabs offense as a whole didn’t do much to back up the pitching staff in this one.
Low-A Midwest League: Lansing Lugnuts (TOR) 8, Bowling Green Hot Rods 3
The first two Hot Rod pitchers struggled, as Ben Griset gave up 4 runs on 9 hits in 4.1 innings before Stone Speer allowed 4 runs (2 earned) in 2.2 innings. At least Colton Reavis continued a nice season that has seen him put up a 2.72 ERA with a scoreless inning. Offensively, Armando Araiza had a nice 2-4 day with a double, and Kean Wong also went 2-4 and stole 2 bases. It might not have made up the 5 run gap, but if the Hot Rods hadn’t have gone 0-8 with runners in scoring position, the game would have been at least a bit closer.
Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Hudson Valley Renegades 3, Staten Island Yankees 0
Nolan Gannon had his second straight great start, going 6.0 scoreless innings while allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk, also striking out 8. The 2012 4th rounder hasn’t made much of a name for himself yet since he hasn’t ever pitched in full season ball, but he is certainly a name to keep an eye on. Issac Gil had a nice outing behind him, throwing 3.0 scoreless innings and striking out 5. 2014 13th rounder Jace Conrad made his professional debut Friday, and he put up a nice 2-4 outing with an RBI and a run scored. Wilmer Dominguez also had a solid 2-3 day, and Coty Blanchard smacked a double to cap off a solid win for the Renegades.
Rookie Appalachian League: Bristol Pirates 2, Princeton Rays 1 in 11 innings
The good news- Princeton got a solid pitching performance. Starter Freddy Alvarez went 5.0 innings and allowed 1 run while striking out 7, and he was followed by 4.0 scoreless innings from Yonny Chirinos. Rafael Cordova had a little rougher go of things, as he allowed the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th. The bad news was that Princeton only managed 5 hits despite the extra action, and they struck out 11 times. Carter Burgess did go 2-4 with a double, and so did Enmanuel Paulin0, but they were the only bright spots for the otherwise stagnant offense.
Rookie Gulf Coast League: GCL Orioles 2, GCL Rays 0
Princeton had a rough go of things, but GCL was even worse. They got good pitching performances from Jose Alvarado and Alberto Casanas, both of whom gave up 1 run in 4.0 innings. However the offense managed just 4 hits, with no player getting more than 1 hit. They would also go 0-4 with runners in scoring position, and that would cause GCL to lose in this one.