The Undercards: Tim Beckham Returns, Brandon Allen Homers Twice in Durham Win
After rain postponed the Rays’ game on Friday night, setting up a Sunday doubleheader, two more games in the Rays’ organization got rained out on Saturday. But luckily, there’s still plenty to talk about from the Rays’ minor league games on Saturday.
Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 11, Buffalo Bisons (NYM) 5
Tim Beckham is back. The polarizing shortstop and number one overall pick by the Rays back in 2008, Beckham was suspended 50 games for drug use- although a drug of abuse, not a performance-enhancing drug. Beckham could have very well missed out on a big league opportunity because of his suspension. Well, he’s back now. Durham had a pretty nondescript game in his first day back, going 1 for 4 and making an error at shortstop. But his Durham teammates stepped up in a blowout win. Brandon Allen‘s average at Triple-A stands at .419 after and 2 for 5 day with 2 homers and 4 RBI. Jeff Salazar went 3 for 5 with a double, a homer, and 3 RBI, and Henry Wrigley went 1 for 4 with a 2-run blast. Reid Brignac‘s average on the season is up to .220 now, after he went 1 for 4 with an RBI. Brignac played second base for the 7th time all season with Beckham at shortstop. Jim Paduch had a great outing for the Bulls going 7 innings allowing an unearned run on 5 hits, striking out 4 while walking 3, although a bullpen collapse made this game closer than it could have been. The Bulls’ record stands at 35-42 as they have won 4 of their last 5.
Double-A Southern League: Mobile Baybears (ARI) 4, Montgomery Biscuits 3 (12 innings)
Runs and even hits were scarce in this one, but the Biscuits let this one get away. Jake Thompson came through with one of his best outings of the season, going 6.1 innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits, striking out 5 while walking 2. He was opposed by D-Backs prospect David Holmberg, but the Biscuits got Holmberg for 3 runs, albeit in 8 innings, on 7 hits as Holmberg struck out 4 while walking none. But Kirby Yates blew the save in the 9th before Marquis Fleming allowed a walk-off fielder’s choice in the 12th as Biscuits lost 4-3. Ty Morrison went 2 for 4, the only Biscuit with multiple hits, while Tyler Bortnick had the big go-ahead hit, a 2-out 2-run single in the 6th inning. Hak-Ju Lee went 1 for 4 with a walk and his 25th stolen base of the season. The Biscuits fall to 1-2 in the second half of the season.
Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 6, Dayton Dragons (CIN) 3
A solid pitching performance and a couple of homers got the job done for Bowling Green in this one. Parker Markel got solid results for the Hot Rods, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits in 5 innings, but it is annoying that he struck out just 2 while walking 3 and posted just a 5-4 groundout to flyout ratio. The offense was a little greater without qualification. Jeff Malm had a nice day, going 2 for 4 with a double, a homer, and 2 RBI, Drew Vettleson went 2 for 4 with a homer, and Matt Rice went 1 for 3 with a homer as well. Jake Hager went 2 for 5 with an RBI from the leadoff spot while Tyler Goeddel went 1 for 4. The Hot Rods are now 2-0 in the second half after clinching a playoff spot in the first half.
Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Hudson Valley Renegades 10, Staten Island Yankees 1
Unfortunately for the Yankees, this one was one-sided. Jeff Ames, who David discussed on Saturday, got the start and allowing 1 run on 2 hits in 4 innings, striking out 2 while walking 2 and posting a 4-2 groundout to flyout ratio. He was replaced by 2010 15th round pick Brandon Henderson, who was even better in a 4-inning stint, allowing no runs on 1, striking out 2 while walking 1 and posting a 6-2 groundout to flyout ratio. Henderson is a projectable 6’3″, 175 lefty with a good sinker and good control. On offense, Justin O’Conner went 2 for 4 with his first homer of the season along with a double, Joel Caminero hit a 2-run shot, Deshun Dixon went 4 for 6, and Luke Maile went 3 for 4 with a double, a walk, 3 RBI, and a run scored. It was quite a game for the Renegades, now 5-1 on the season.
Advanced Rookie Appalachian League: Pulaski Mariners 6, Princeton Rays 1
There were some positive developments in this game for Princeton, but not enough to win this game. Bruedlin Suero (any relation to fellow Rays prospect Eliazer Suero?) got the start and struggled, allowing 4 runs, 3 ER, on 3 hits in 2.2 innings, striking out just 1 while walking 2 although his groundout to flyout ratio was 7-2. He was replaced by Hugo Duarte, who was much better, allowing 1 run on 4 hits in 4.1 innings, striking out 4 while walking none. The P-Rays got little offense, but Ariel Soriano went 3 for 4 with a stolen base and a run scored, Australian signee Daryl George went 2 for 3 with a walk, and Oscar Hernandez went 1 for 2 with a double and 2 walks. Princeton suffers its first loss of the season, falling to 4-1.