Always great when everybody wins. Add in the Rays victory (although we had to stay up late on Saturday night to see it), and what a day it was for the Rays organization. And it wasn’t just the fact that they won- you’ll fine some exciting games below.
Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 8, Norfolk Tides (BAL) 0
All smiles for the Bulls on Saturday. Chris Archer was on a pitch count as he returns from an oblique injury, but he made the 60 pitches count, going 4 innings allowing no runs on 1 hit, striking out 3 while walking 1. Nice to see Archer throwing the ball well. Ryan Reid followed with a perfect frame before Frank De Los Santos allowed a hit and a walk while striking out 3 in two more shutout innings. Brandon Gomes then was perfect in the 8th, and suddenly the Bulls had a 2-hit shuout going. Adam Liberatore allowed 2 hits in the 9th, but he kept the Tides off the board to nail down the shutout. The Bulls only needed 1 run to win on Saturday but got plenty more. Rich Thompson went 4 for 5 with a double, 2 RBI, and a run scored, and Henry Wrigley and Will Rhymes each went 2 for 4 with a double, with Wrigley driving in 1 and scoring twice and Rhymes driving in 2 and scoring once. The other news item was that Evan Longoria was scheduled to play in this game but did not go, but it turns out that he was just a little sore and will be back in the Bulls’ lineup on Sunday. Phew.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 3, Jackson Generals (SEA) 2 (10 innings)
Mikie Mahtook came through in the clutch in his 5th game with the Biscuits to lead them to victory. Mahtook had an RBI double as part of a 2-run first inning for Montgomery to give starter Nick Barnese a little breathing room. Barnese went 5 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits, striking out 2, walking 2 as well, and posting a 7-4 groundout to flyout ratio. But Neil Schenk blew the lead in the 6th, and good bullpen work the rest of the way by both teams, including 4 strikeouts in 2 innings by Chris Rearick, send the game into extra innings. Mahtook made sure it didn’t go any longer with a sac fly in the 10th as the Biscuits won 3-2. Mahtook went 2 for 4 with a double and 2 RBI, Shawn O’Malley went 2 for 4 with a run scored, and the dynamic duo of Hak-Ju Lee and Ty Morrison were at it again from the top of the lineup as Lee went 2 for 3 with a walk, his 34th stolen base of the year, and a run scored while Morrison went 3 for 4 with a double, his 15th steal with the Biscuits and 26th overall, and a run scored as well.
High-A Florida State League: Charlotte Stone Crabs 13, Dunedin Blue Jays 6
A huge 7th inning swayed this one as the Stone Crabs completely turned this one around. Braulio Lara had a tough start, going 4.1 innings allowing 4 runs on 6 hits, striking out 6 while walking 2, and Alex Koronis allowed 2 more runs in 2.2 innings. Charlotte had led 4-0 after 1 inning but trailed 6-4 after 6. But everything changed in the 7th, as the Stone Crabs sent 14 batters in the plate as they tallied 9 runs, including a 3-run triple but Todd Glaesmann and a 2-run triple by Robby Price. Price and Glaesmann each went 2 for 5, with Price also hitting a double, driving in 4, and scoring twice, while Glaesmann simply drove in 3 and scoring once. Steven Tinoco also went 3 for 5 with an RBI and 2 runs scored for Charlotte.
Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 4, West Michigan Whitecaps (DET) 2
Good pitching and 4 early runs were the difference for the Hot Rods in this one. Roberto Gomez and Felipe Rivero split the start for Bowling Green, but Gomez’s first 3 innings of the game were better than Rivero’s middle 3. Gomez allowed no runs on 2 hits, striking out 2 while walking 1 and posting a 5-1 groundout to flyout ratio, while Rivero allowed 2 runs on 6 hits in his three frames, striking out 1 while walking none although he did post a 4-1 groundout to flyout ratio. Jacob Partridge and Austin Hubbard tossed the final 3 innings scoreless for the Hot Rods. In terms of the offense, Alejandro Segovia went 2 for 4 with a double and 2 RBI, Jeff Malm slammed a solo homer, Juniel Querecuto went 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored, and Tyler Goeddel went 1 for 3 with a double and also scored a run.
Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Hudson Valley Renegades 5, Williamsport Crosscutters (PHI) 3
The Renegades and Crosscutters each tallied all their runs in just one half-inning, but luckily the Renegades’ outburst was bigger as they won 5-3. Jeff Ames got the start for Hudson Valley and went 5 innings, allowing 3 runs, all in the 4th, on 4 hits, striking out 5 while walking none while posting a 5-3 groundout to flyout ratio. The Renegades scored 5 for Ames in the 5th, including RBI hits by Marty Gantt, Luke Maile, and Deshun Dixon, to take a 5-3 lead, and Jose Alberto Molina and Ryan Garton survived 4 walks in the final 4 frames to pitch shutout ball as the Renegades won 5-3. Gantt went 2 for 3 with a double, 2 walks, a stolen base, an RBI, and a run scored while Maile went 2 for 4 with a stolen base and an RBI.
Advanced Rookie Appalachian League: Princeton Rays 8, Bluefield Blue Jays 2]
Bruedlin Suero pitched well for the third straight time out and the P-Rays offense came up with some clutch hits as they won in a blowout. Suero went 6 innings allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits, striking out 4 while walking none. Suero has a 1.13 ERA in his last 3 starts after an 8.66 ERA in his previous 5. In termos of the offense, the P-Rays went 5 for 14 with runners in scoring position as they managed 8 runs despite just 9 hits, 8 of which were singles. Willie Argo went 3 for 4 with an RBI and 3 runs scored, Ariel Soriano had a double, the lone extra-base hit, and 2 RBI, and five other P-Rays drove in a run, including Oscar Hernandez, who went 1 for 3 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored.
Rookie Gulf Coast League: GCL Rays 10, GCL Orioles 3
The Gulf Coast League is usually a very pitcher-friendly league. The league average ERA in the GCL entering Saturday was 3.58, with 2 teams, including the GCL Rays, posting ERAs under 3.00. (Despite their 2.58 team ERA, the GCL Rays entered Saturday at 16-19 thanks to the second-fewest runs scored in the league.) But there are always going to be outlier games, and this was one of them. Matthew Ramsey started for the Rookie Rays (sounds more catchy than GCL Rays) and allowed an unearned run as he works his way into shape following Tommy John Surgery. Jorge Rodriguez allowed just another unearned run over the next 4 innings despite allowing 7 hits, neither striking out nor walking a batter. He did post a great 8-1 groundout to flyout ratio. Alex Moshier tossed a perfect 7th before Kyle Pelchy allowed yet another unearned run in the 8th as he worked the final 2 innings. And now to the rare showing of offense. The top 4 of the Rookie Rays lineup had a crazy afternoon, going 9 for 18 with 2 doubles, 4 stolen bases, 5 RBI, and 7 runs scored. Ben Kline raised his average to .425 on the season in 73 at-bats, going 3 for 5 with 2 stolen bases, an RBI, and 2 runs scored. He’s been about the only Rookie Ray that has hit all season long, and that shows in his batting average. The GCL Rays were hitting .240 as a team entering Saturday. Take out Kline and they’re at .229. Bralin Jackson also went 2 for 5 with a double, a stolen base, 2 RBI, and a run scored, Spencer Edwards went 2 for 4 with a double, a stolen base, and 3 runs scored, and among the non-top 4 in the lineup, Jiminson Natera went 2 for 4 with a double, 2 RBI, and a runs scored. Other good news is that Rays 2012 12th round pick Taylor Hawkins finally got his first professional hit after starting 0 for 11. Congratulations to him, and hopefully it’s the first of many.