The Tampa Bay Rays organization had a great day on Monday, with only the Bowling Green Hot Rods winning, and that was only a 1-run loss. Among the stars were Nate Karns, Grant Kay, and Brent Honeywell.
Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 5, Toledo Mud Hens (DET) 2
Nate Karns had a great start for the Bulls, going 7.0 innings and giving up 2 runs while striking out 7 and walking 2. Karns has been dominating lately, giving up just 3 earned runs over his last 4 starts spanning 27.2 innings and striking out over a batter per inning. Karns’ command remains inconsistent, and that’s why his ERA sits at 4.76 on the year, but stretches like this still give hope that he can be a number two starter in the big leagues. In relief, Brandon Gomes threw a scoreless inning before Adam Liberatore and Josh Lueke combined to lock down the 9th.
Offensively Justin Christian had his second 3-hit night in as many days, going 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored. Fellow veteran Wilson Betemit was also solid, going 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs and his 16th homer of the season. Also contributing was Mikie Mahtook, who went 2 for 4 to raise his average back above the .300 threshold. Overall, a solid day for the Bulls.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 6, Jacksonville Suns (MIA) 1
The pitching staff was great in this one, combining to allow just one unearned run that came in Albert Suarez‘s 5.0 innings pitched. Santiago Garrido and Andrew Bellatti would each throw 2.0 shutout innings in relief. The offense, meanwhile, managed a stout 14 hits on the night. Jeff Malm led the way, going 3 for 4 with a double, 3 RBIs, and a run scored. Malm has now safely hit in each of his last 5 games, 4 of which he had multiple hits. Joining Malm with 3-hit nights were Willie Argo and Cameron Seitzer. Kes Carter also hit a homer to cap off a nice game for the Biscuits.
High-A Florida State League: Charlotte Stone Crabs 3, Tampa Yankees 1
This start was the epitome of Blake Snell, as he showed dominant stuff by striking out 7 and allowing 3 hits in 5.0 innings, but also had control issues by walking 5 hitters. While Snell wouldn’t allow a run, the amount of walks still made this a fairly disappointing start. Snell has a high ceiling, at least close to the highest of any pitcher in the Rays system. But to reach that his control still needs plenty of refinement. Behind him Jose Molina allowed 1 run in 3.0 innings before Zach Cooper threw a shutout frame.
The Stone Crabs offense wasn’t awe-inspiring, but they would get the job done. Maxx Tissenbaum extended his hitting streak to 5 games and had his second multi-hit night in a row by going 2 for 4. Josh Sale also had a nice performance, going 2 for 3 with a run scored. Sale is now a distant dream for the Rays, still possessing the raw power that made him a first round pick, but never reaching his potential thanks to issues tapping into that power combined with character problems.
Low-A Midwest League: Quad City River Bandits (HOU) 4, Bowling Green Hot Rods 3
Bruedlin Suero was efficient in this start, going 7.0 innings, but he wasn’t particularly effective, allowing 4 runs and 3 homers. Stone Speer was solid in relief, keeping the Hot Rods within striking distance by throwing 2 shutout innings. Unfortunately for the Hot Rods, the offense came up just short. Alexander Simon went 3 for 4, and both Julian Ridings and Darryl George went 2 for 4. George has been on fire as of late, slashing a .343/.378/.543 in his last 10 contests.
Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Hudson Valley Renegades 8, Vermont Lake Monsters (OAK) 3
Nolan Gannon turned in his second-worst start of the season, going 5.0 innings and allowing 4 runs while striking out 4 and walking 0. When that is your second-worst start of the season, you know you are doing something right. That has been true for Gannon, as he has managed a 3.16 ERA and a 38-3 K-BB ratio in 37.0 innings this season. Behind him, Edgar Gomez and Gerardo Reyes each threw 2.0 shutout innings.
Offensively Hunter Lockwood led the way, going 2 for 4 with a homer, a double, 3 RBIs, and 2 runs scored. Grant Kay also continued mashing by going 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles, 2 RBIs, and a run scored. Kay just doesn’t seem to know how to make an out, as he is hitting an unreal .440/.509/.800 through his first 13 professional games. Also having multi-hit games were Jace Conrad, Bralin Jackson, and Coty Blanchard.
Advanced Rookie Appalachian League: Princeton Rays 8, Bristol Pirates 1
Once again Brent Honeywell had a dominant outing, going 3.2 innings and allowing no runs on 3 hits and a walk while striking out 7. Through 5 starts over 15.2 innings, Honeywell has allowed just 1 run while striking out 20 and walking 2. Yonny Chirinos was solid as the piggyback, going 4.0 innings and giving up 1 run. Tomas Michelson then finished things off with 1.1 shutout innings. Only Enmanuel Paulino had multiple hits as part of a 2 for 4 night that included a homer, with this game being a more team effort as 7 different P-Rays notched a hit.
Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays were rained out