The Undercards: Biscuits Mount Big 9th Inning Rally But Fall in 14
By Robbie Knopf
One of the most frustrating things in baseball is to mount a big comeback, only to fall short. The Biscuits pulled off one and almost pulled off a second one, but all to no avail.
Triple-A International League: Lehigh Valley Ironpigs (PHI) 6, Durham Bulls 3
Poor defense, a bullpen collapse, and little offense- apparently the Bulls mirror the Rays. Ryan Reid, usually a reliever for Durham, got the start and allowed 3 first inning runs, all unearned thanks to a Reid Brignac error. Don’t let the error get you negative about Brignac’s defense.
In any event, Reid lasted 3 innings allowing the 3 unearned runs on 3 hits, striking out 1 and walking 1 as well. His groundout to flyout ratio was a sleek 7-0. Bryan Augenstein followed with shutout frames for the Bulls before Brandon Gomes came in and had an interesting outing but not a good one, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits in 2 innings but striking out 5 while walking none. Romulo Sanchez tossed the final two innings scoreless for Durham. On offense, Sam Fuld went 1 for 3 with a walk in a rehab game as he continues to work his way back, Stephen Vogt went 2 for 4 with a walk and a 2-run single, Chris Gimenez went 2 for 3 with a double and a walk, and Brignac went 1 for 4 with a run scored. Oh, and another note on Fuld- he helped the grounds crew change a sign during the game!
Double-A Southern League: Mobile Baybears (ARI) 8, Montgomery Biscuits 7 (14 innings)
What a game this was- but unfortunately it will go down in the loss column for the Biscuits. Nick Barnese got the start and didn’t have it, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits in 4 innings, striking out 3 while walking 1 and managing just a 1-4 groundout to flyout ratio. The bullpen was as good as it gets relieving him, with Merrill Kelly striking out 3 in 3 shutout innings, Neil Schenk K’ing 2 in his scoreless frame, and Kirby Yates tossing a scoreless top of the 9th. But the Biscuits will still down 5-0. But the Biscuits were not done yet- although their rally was pretty unlikely. Hak-Ju Lee was hit by an Evan Marshall pitch to begin the inning. Then Ty Morrison reached on an error by the second baseman. Omar Luna then beat out an infield single to load the bases before a Ryan Garko sac fly brought in the Biscuits’ first run. Then Kyeong Kang singled to make it 5-2. Tyler Bortnick walked to re-load the bases, and then Brett Nommensen delivered a 2-run single to make it 5-4. And the game was tied after Brad Coon laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to send the game into extra-innings. And the game continued and continued. Marshall and Yates each tossed scoreless half-innings in the 10th before Eury De La Rosa and Marquis Fleming held the hitters down over the next 3 innings to take the game into the 14th. There, Shane Dyer wilted and broke, allowing 3 runs, although just 1 earned after a Garko error. In the bottom of the inning, Mayo Acosta delivered a 2-out, 2-run homer to pull Montgomery within a run, but 8-7 would be the final as the Biscuits lost this crazy game. Amazingly in this game, no Biscuits player had multiple hits compared to seven (!) players with multi-hit games for the Baybears. The Biscuits scored 7 runs on 8 hits compared to the Baybears’ 8 runs on 17 hits. They did everything they could after a terrible first 4 innings, but it just was not enough.
High-A Florida State League: Charlotte Stone Crabs 5, Daytona Cubs 3
Matt Joyce‘s rehab game went well, Ricco Torrez had a huge game, and Kevin Kiermaier played well in his first start coming back from injury as the Stone Crabs came away with a win. Braulio Lara got the start for Charlotte and pitched OK going 6 innings allowing 3 runs on 7 hits, striking out 1 while walking none and posting a 9-5 groundout to flyout ratio. Theron Geith and Chris Rearick tossed the final three innings scoreless for Charlotte. In terms of the offense, Joyce went 1 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored and tweeted this after the game.
Torrez went 4 for 5 with a double and 2 RBI while Kiermaier went 2 for 3 with a triple and a run scored. Derek Dietrich and Cody Rogers also had RBIs for the Stone Crabs.
Low-A Midwest League: Peoria Chiefs (CHC) 8, Bowling Green Hot Rods 3
Apparently conformity fails. Every Hot Rods batter had exactly one hit but the Hot Rods got blown out by the Chiefs. The pitching trio of Trevor Shull, Jacob Partridge, and Andrew Bellatti was a disaster as Shull allowed 4 runs in 4.1 innings, Partridge 2 runs in 2.2 innings, and Andrew Bellatti 2 runs in 1 inning. Jake Hager did have a 2-run single for Bowling Green, Josh Sale had the other RBI, and Ryan Brett stole his 33rd base.
Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Game 1: Hudson Valley Renegades 3, Mahoning Valley Scrappers (SDP) 2 (7 innings)
Finally a come back that panned out. Jeff Ames got the start for the Hudson Valley and pitched well, allowing just an unearned run in 4 innings on 5 hits, striking out 7 while walking 2 and posting a 3-1 groundout to flyout ratio. A Leonardo Reginatto single gave him the lead but a Felix Gonzalez error tied the game. After Jose Molina tossed a perfect 5th, Marcus Jensen allowed an Evan Frazar home run to give the Scrappers a 2-1 lead going to the 9th. But Ryan Dunn singled, Tommy Coyle walked, Joel Caminero bunted the runners over, and Reginatto came through with a walk-off 2-run single as the Renegades won 3-2. Reginatto and Dunn each went 2 for 3, with Reginatto having the 3 big RBIs.
Game 2: Mahoning Valley Scrappers 10, Hudson Valley Renegades 6 (7 innings)
A nice offensive game was wasted as the Renegades’ pitching collapsed. Reinaldo Lopez and Kris Carlson combined to allow 10 runs, 8 earned, in 4.2 innings, striking out 3 while walking 5. Rob Finneran and Shay Crawford didn’t allow a run over the final two innings, but it was far too late as the Renegades trailed 10-2. The Renegades did get offensive production all over the place as Dunn had a 2-run double, Jake DePew had a 2-run single, and Reginatto, Caminero, Charles Epperson, and Deshun Dixon all had multi-hit games.
Advanced Rookie Appalachian League: Burlington Royals 10, Princeton Rays 3
Willie Gabay got his first pro start, and unfortunately it was a disaster as he allowed 7 runs on 5 hits in just 2.1 innings, striking out 3 while walking 2. He allowed homers to Patrick Leonard and Fred Ford, who had 2 homers and 5 RBI in the game for Burlington. Bubba Starling, the Royals’ first round pick in 2011, went 2 for 5 with 2 runs scored. In terms of P-Rays highlights, James Harris went 2 for 3 with a triple, a walk, and an RBI, and Reid Redman went 2 for 4.
Rookie Gulf Coast League: Game 1: GCL Rays 5, GCL Red Sox 2 (7 innings)
Big moment for Nolan Gannon as he made his first pro start, and although he pitched decently, he would have preferred to last quite a bit longer. Gannon went 1.2 innings allowing an unearned run on 2 hits, striking out 2 while walking none and posting a 3-1 groundout to flyout ratio. Fellow 2012 draft pick Damion Carroll followed with 2 shutout innings, although he struck out just 2 versus 3 walks and managed just a 1-2 groundout to flyout ratio. Next up was Carlos Cedeno, who tossed 2.1 shutout innings allowing 2 hits and a walk while striking out 4, forcing a 2-0 groundout to flyout ratio. The GCL Rays got some nice performance from the rehabbing Nevin Ashley, who went 2 for 3 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI, Adderly Rosa, who had a 2-run single, the also-rehabbing Kes Carter, who went 1 for 2 with a walk and a run scored, and Spencer Edwards, who went 1 for 3 with 2 stolen bases back-to-back.
Game 2: GCL Red Sox 3, GCL Rays 2 (7 innings)
When was the last time a Rays minor league team swept a doubleheader? Isaac Gil wasn’t so good, allowing 3 runs on 3 hits in 3 innings, although Dayne Quist followed him with 3 shutout innings, striking out 2 while walking none. Ben Kline continued his great season with a double and both GCL Rays RBI, bringing his average up to .467 on the year.