The Undercards: Everywhere You Look, 9th Inning Rallies Fall Short

By Robbie Knopf

The most frustrating part of playing and watching sports isn’t to lose by a lot. It’s to be losing, make a big comeback, and then fall just short.  It makes you wonder “why” and “what if.” And when it happens too often, it’s dejecting. Rays organization, let’s not make what happened Wednesday a trend.

Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 5, Indianapolis Indians 4

We start with a positive note- although this game certainly did not. Shane Dyer and the Bulls fell behind 4-0 after 1, most of that from a bases-clearing triple off the bat of Jeff Larish, but Dyer recovered to allowed just 1 hit over the next 4 innings, tossing shutout ball as he struck out 4 while walking 3. Dyer and the Bulls were rewarded for keeping the deficit at 4 when they finally rallied in the 6th, tallying four runs to tie the game culminating with a Juan Miranda two-run blast. The game would remain scoreless until the 10th, when Jeff Salazar led off the inning with a line drive down the left field line that was misplayed and he hustled it out into a go-ahead inside-the-park home run. Dane De La Rosa closed it out in the 10th as the Bulls won 5-4. Shawn O’Malley went 3 for 5 with a stolen base while Miranda went 2 for 4 and Reid Brignac also went 0 for 2 with 2 walks.

High-A Florida State League: Jupiter Hammerheads (MIA) 6, Charlotte Stone Crabs 5

Grayson Garvin had a dud of a start, tossing 4.2 innings allowing 5 runs on 5 hits, striking out just 1 while walking 4. 2 of the runs were on a two-run triple by Marlins top prospect Christian Yelich. The Hammerheads had a 5-2 lead after 5 and extended it to 6-2 with a run in the 8th against Victor Mateo on an Alfredo Lopez RBI single. That would prove to be the difference in the game. Philip Wunderlich drilled a 3-run homer in the 9th against Michael Ojala to pull Charlotte within 6-5. In came Jupiter closer Michael Brady, but Brett Nommensen greeted him with a double and Kevin Kiermaier followed with a single and a stolen base. But Alejandro Torres struck out as the comeback fell just short. Wunderlich and Mikie Mahtook each went 3 for 5, but it was not enough in this game.

Low-A Midwest League: Lansing Lugnuts (TOR) 6, Bowling Green Hot Rods 4 (10 innings)

The Hot Rods got a first inning 2-run homer in the first inning from Todd Glaesmann before Parker Markel gave it back in a short 2.2 inning stint as he continues to build his arm strength back up. But Charlie Cononie allowed 2 runs in the top of the 9th on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch and an error, and the Hot Rods would have to rally in the bottom of the inning. They did so in resounding fashion, with Glaesmann and Joshua Sale drilling back-to-back homers to tie the game. But in the top of the 10th, Trevor Shull allowed a 2-out, 2-run triple to Kenny Wilson as the Hot Rods lost 6-4. The heroic efforts of Glaesmann, who went 3 for 4 with 2 homers and 3 RBI were not enough.