The Undercards: Markel, Thompson Dominate to Key Big Day


The starting pitching in the Rays minor league system was about as good as it gets on Tuesday night- just one starting pitcher allowed more than 2 earned runs, and 4 starters allowed 1 earned run or less. Now that’s Rays-worthy!

Triple-A International League: Buffalo Mets 5, Durham Bulls 4

Brandon Gomes‘ season has been a disaster. He has dealt with back problems all season, bounced up and down from the majors and Durham, and he just can’t seem to find his groove. In this one, he let a 4-3 inning in the 9th slip away as the Mets won 5-4. Lance Pendleton gave the Bulls a good start, allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, in 6 innings, striking out 3 while walking 2 and posting a 7-3 groundout to flyout ratio. Bryan Augenstein followed with 2 shutout relief innings before Gomes fell apart. Jordany Valdespin had the walk-off hit for the Mets. The Bulls came back from a 3-0 deficit thanks to timely hitting from Matt Mangini, 2 for 4 with a double, 2 RBI, and a run scored, Reid Brignac, who had an RBI triple, and a run scored (although he struck out 3 times), and Cole Figueroa went 2 for 3 with a double, a walk, and an RBI.

Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 5, Jackson Generals (SEA) 1

Jake Thompson remains an enigma, possessing great stuff but never striking out as many batters as he should. That remains the case, but he was pretty good on Tuesday night. Thompson went 7 innings, allowing just an unearned run on 2 hits, striking out 3 while walking 2 and posting a 13-5 groundout to flyout ratio. Nice to see Thompson forcing some groundballs and pitching well. Adam Liberatore tossed the final 2 innings scoreless for the Biscuits. On offense, Chris Sheridan went 4 for 4 with a double, but remarkably did not factor in the scoring as all the RBIs came from Omar Luna and Tyler Bortnick, who each went 1 for 4 with a  2-run double and a run scored.

High-A Florida State League: Bradenton Marauders (PIT) 3, Charlotte Stone Crabs 2

When you get a great start from one of your lesser starters, you have to take advantage, unfortunately, the Stone Crabs could not. Victor Mateo allowed just 1 run on 2 hits in 6 innings, although he did still walk 3 versus just 1 strikeout, but George Jensen allowed 2 runs in relief and Charlotte could muster very little offense. The Marauders also got an unexpected great start, as Matt  Benedict, owner of a 5.87 ERA on the season, tossed 6 innings allowed just an unearned run, and despite getting 4-hit, they came up with 3 runs. The Stone Crabs offense came from Luke Bailey, who went 2 for 3 with a solo home run, and Cody Rogers had the other RBI.

Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 5, Dayton Dragons (CIN) 1

Parker Markel has struggled through injuries all season. But on Tuesday night, he showed the electric stuff we’ve seen from him in the past, and he was incredible. Markel allowed just 1 run on 4 hits in 7 innings, striking out 8 while walking 1 and posting a 7-2 groundout to flyout ratio. He got run support from a couple of home runs, a 2-run shot from Alejandro Torres and a solo bomb from Drew Vettleson, and Vettleson went 3 for 4 with a homer, a double, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. Ryan Brett went 1 for 3 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored. He stole 2 bases to bring him to 28 on the season, most in the Rays organization.

Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Brooklyn Cyclones (NYM) 7, Hudson Valley Renegades 5

This game was absolutely crazy. There was a fielder’s choice fielded by the catcher where everyone was safe. There were two plays where a runner went 1st to 3rd without the ball being put into play- and only one of them was an error. They were errors, clutch hits, and hard-nosed baseball plays, and it was fun to watch. Unfortunately, the Renegades could not come out ahead, getting swept by the Cyclones. Jeff Ames went 5 innings, allowing 3 runs, all unearned, on 7 hits, striking out 7 while walking 3 and posting a 4-2 groundout to flyout ratio. Then Rob Finneran worked out of a 6th inning jam but was penalized by a couple of errors behind him as he let through 2 unearned runs in the 7th. He allowed 4 hits and a walk while striking out 3. Jose Molina (not the catcher) allowed 2 runs in the 8th to take the loss. On offense, Michael Williams went 2 for 4 with a 2-run double, Tommy Coyle went 2 for 5 with an RBI and 2 runs scored, scoring what at the time was the tying run after going 1st to 3rd on a wild pitch, Justin O’Conner went 2 for 5 with a double and run scored, and Ryan Dunn went 1 for 3 with a walk, an RBI, and 2 runs scored, scoring on a bizarre play where the Brooklyn catcher fielded the ball in front of home plate, saw Dunn coming and tried to stick out his glove to tag him, but Dunn eluded the tag and the throw to first was not in time. Scouting notes on this game will be up later today.

Advanced Rookie Appalachian League: Elizabethton Twins 7, Princeton Rays 2

Not every pitcher in the Rays organization pitched well. Bruedlin Suero struggled again, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits in just 4 innings, although he did strike out 3 while walking 1 and post an 8-1 groundout to flyout ratio. The P-Rays did little to help Suero, mustering just 2 runs. Good news was that 2012 3rd round pick Alvin Toles had a nice game, going 2 for 4 with a triple and a run scored.

Rookie Gulf Coast League: GCL Twins 3, GCL Rays 2

The season is still very young in the GCL, but BenT Kline is hitting out of his mind. Kline went 3 for 4 on Tuesday to raise his batting average to .619 in 6 games this season! Unfortunately, though, he did not factor in the scoring, and that was the difference in this one. Carlos Cedeno pitched 4 good innings for the Rays, allowed an unearned run on 3 hits, striking out 3 while walking 1 and posting an 8-1 groundout to flyout ratio, and Jordan Harrison was awesome in relief behind him, tossing 3 hitless innings, striking out 4 while walking 1, but Dayne Quist blew it with two runs allowed in the bottom of the 8th, although he did strike out the side. Other than Kline, Armandon Araiza went 2 for 4 with a run scored, and Clayton Henning went 1 for 3. Wilmer Dominguez went 1 for 3 with the GCL Rays’ only RBI.