The Undercards: Blake Snell Superb, Oscar Hernandez Homers in P-Rays Win


Sunday was a huge day for the Rays as they came away with a doubleheader sweep against Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, and the Philadelphia Phillies. Their minor league affiliates looked to follow suit.

Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 4, Buffalo Bisons (NYM) 3

The Bulls faced a tough assignment of their own, matched up against Mets top pitching prospect Matt Harvey. They threw right-hander Matt Buschmann in his Durham debut, making a spot start because Alexander Torres was called up to Tampa Bay. The two pitchers battled to make it a good one. Harvey went 5 innings allowing 2 runs on 7 hits, striking out 6 while walking 2 while Buschmann went 5.1 innings allowing 2 runs on 5 hits, striking out 5 while walking 3. Both runs he allowed were on solo home runs, one by Fred Lewis and one by Josh Rodriguez, and he allowed all 3 of his walks, along with a hit batsman, in the 5th and 6th innings. Buschmann isn’t quite where he wants to be yet, but it was a solid debut and Buschmann looks to continue his surprise breakout season (more on Buschmann over the next couple of days at RCG). On offense, Matt Mangini had a big day, going 3 for 4 with 1 homer and 2 RBI, Rich Thompson went 3 for 4 with a triple and an RBI, and Jeff  Salazar went 2 for 4 with a double and 1 run scored. An interesting storyline in the game was that Reid Brignac and Tim Beckham switched positions, with Brignac playing shortstop and Beckham playing second base. Brignac went 1 for 4 with a double and a run scored to extend his hitting streak to 7 while Beckham went 0 for 3 with a walk.

Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 5, Mobile Baybears (ARI) 2

Oh, Joseph Cruz. He frustrates you even in his good outings. Cruz had a nice start in this one in terms of pure performance, going 6 shutout innings. However, he allowed 3 hits and 6 walks while striking out just 3. His 7-5 groundout to flyout ratio didn’t help matters either. But Cruz did earn the win, improving to 5-6 on the season. The Biscuits offense had a nice day, banging out 5 runs on 13 hits. Omar Luna and Ryan Garko each had a double, 2 RBI, and a run scored, Luna as part of a 2 for 5 day while Garko went 3 for 5, and Ty Morrison and Brett Nommensen each went 2 for 4 with a run scored.

Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 3, Dayton Dragons (CIN) 2

This game featured the same score and scoring pattern as the Rays’ first game Sunday as they fell behind 1-0, scored 3 straight runs, and then allowed another run but held on to win 3-2. Roberto Gomez wasn’t exactly David Price, going 5 innings allowing 1 run on 5 hits, striking out 5 while walking 4. Trevor Shull earned the win in the game with 2.2 innings of 1 run relief, and Charlie Cononie was great for the 4-out save, striking out 3 while walking 1. Like the Rays, the Hot Rods’ big bat was a first baseman, not their first baseman in the game, but a player who’s a natural first baseman in Jeff Malm, their DH in this one. Malm went 2 for 4 with a homer, a double, and 2 RBI. Alejandro Segovia homered for the other RBI. Tyler Goeddel also went 1 for 3 with a double and stole his 16th base of the season.

Short Season-A New York Penn-League: Staten Island Yankees 9, Hudson Valley Renegades 1

After the Hot rods battered the Yankees 10-1 on Saturday, the Yankees came right back on Sunday. Jesse Hahn had a nightmare of an outing, allowing 7 runs ,6 ER, on 7 hits in just 1.1 innings, striking out none while walking 3. He did post a 2-0 groundout to flyout ratio. Eduar Quinonez did follow him with a solid appearance, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits in 4.2 innings, striking out 5 while walking 1 and forcing a 4-2 groundout to flyout ratio. Ryan Garton retains a 0.00 ERA through 2 pro relief appearances as he tossed a shutout frame, allowing 1 hit, and Jose Molina (a right-handed reliever) tossed a perfect 9th as well. The Renegades managed just 4 hits and the only player with a game he could write home about was Tommy Coyle, who went 1 for 3 with a walk and the only RBI.

Advanced Rookie Appalachian League: Princeton Rays 5, Pulaski Mariners 4

This was one of the most exciting games in the Rays system this season. Blake Snell got the start and was as good as it gets. Snell went 3.2 perfect innings, striking out 6 and posting a 4-1 groundout to flyout ratio. Only a rain delay stopped him on this day. The P-Rays grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a 2-run single by third baseman Daryl George. Snell came through with his unbelievable outing, and he was replaced by Jon Weaver, who kept the combined perfecto going through 5.1 innings before allowing a double in the 6th and then he allowed a leadoff homer in the 7th to Bryan Brito to pull the Mariners within 2-1. Oscar Hernandez came right back for the P-Rays with a solo homer in the bottom of the inning, his first of the season after 21 in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2011, to restore the P-Rays’ 2-run advantage. But the Mariners were not done fighting. Willie Gabay allowed a solo homer to Toby Demello in the 8th, and Randy Davis came in and allowed a double to Brito and a subsequent Martin Peguero game-tying sac fly to knot the game at 3. But in the bottom of the inning, with 2 outs and the bases loaded, Hernandez came through again, drilling a 2-run single. Zach Butler escaped a bases-loaded jam in the 9th allowing just 1 run on a hit-by-pitch as the P-Rays held on to win 5-4. Davis earned his first professional win despite the blown save and Butler earned his 3rd save of the season. Hernandez had his best game in America, going 2 for 4 with the homer and 3 huge RBI. It was a huge win in a crazy game for the P-Rays and they’re now 5-1 on the season.