The Undercards: Pitching Duels Highlight Minor League Action
By David Hill
Two extra inning games highlighted the action Wednesday night, as the Rays minor league system engaged in multiple pitchers duels. Overall, the Rays were 3-4 on the night. Here is this morning’s look around the minor leagues:
Columbus Clippers 3, Durham Bulls 0
Jeanmar Gomez was dominant, holding the Durham Bulls scoreless over 8 innings in the Clippers’ shutout victory. Columbus scored in the top of the first, leading off the game with consecutive singles to put runners on first and third. Vinny Rottino grounded into a force play to drive in Tim Fedroff with the game’s first run. Matt LaPorta had an RBI single in the top of the sixth, and came around to score on an RBI single by Gregorio Petit. The Bulls best scoring opportunity came with two out in the sixth, as Will Rhymes tripled. However, Henry Wrigley struck out to end the threat. Gomez allowed only 5 hits while striking out 5 over 8 innings for the victory. Tim Beckham was 2-3 in the loss.
Montgomery Biscuits 2, Jackson Generals 1
After falling behind 1-0, the Biscuits rallied, scoring a walk-off 2-1 victory over the Jackson Generals. The Generals scored in the top of the first, as Joseph Dunigan‘s two out single drove in Francisco Martinez for a 1-0 lead. Montgomery tied the game in the bottom of the fourth, as Mikie Mahtook hit a solo home run with one out. The Biscuits had an opportunity to take the lead in the bottom of the fifth, with runners on second and third with one out, but Shawn O’Malley lined into a double play, ending the threat. The game remained 1-1 until the bottom of the ninth, when Brett Nommensen singled with two outs, driving in pinch runner Brad Coon for the winning run in the 2-1 victory. Kirby Yates picked up the victory in relief, giving up 1 hit while striking out 3 in 1.1 innings of work. Nommensen and Omar Luna each had two hits in the victory.
Bradenton Marauders 2, Charlotte Stone Crabs 1 (11 innings)
The Stone Crabs and the Marauders battled for 11 innings, with Bradenton pulling out the 2-1 victory. The Marauders scored first in the top of the first inning, Dan Grovatt singled with one out, and advanced to second on an error by Robby Price. After moving to third on a fly out, Alex Dickerson singled to drive Grovatt in to give Bradenton an early 1-0 lead. Charlotte came back in the bottom of the sixth, as Philip Wunderlich doubled with one out, scoring on Hector Guevara‘s RBI single, tying the game at 1-1. That score held up until the top of the eleventh, as Elevys Gonzalez homered with two out for the eventual game winning run. Jeff Neimann started the game, allowing 1 unearned run on 3 hits and 1 walk, striking out 3 in 2.2 innings pitched in his rehab assignment. Matt Nevares took the loss, allowing 1 run on 1 hit and 1 walk in 2 innings, striking out 3 batters. Riccio Torrez was 2-5 with 1 double and 1 triple.
South Bend Silver Hawks 6, Bowling Green Hot Rods 4
The Silver Hawks jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead, holding on for a 6-4 victory over the Hot Rods. South Bend scored five times in the top of the second inning, highlighted by home runs from Eric Groff, Ryan Court, and Chris Ellison. The Hot Rods cut the lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the third, as Jeff Malm hit a two run, two out double. The Silver Hawks loaded the bases with one out in the top of the eighth, scoring another run as Niko Gallego reached on an error by Juniel Querecuto, plating Tom Belza for a 6-2 lead. The Hot Rods rallied in the bottom of the frame, as Malm had singled with one out, driving in two runs to cut the lead to 6-4. Seth Simmons then entered the game, and held the Hot Rods in check to preserve the victory for South Bend. Ryan Carpenter took the loss, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits, striking out 4 over 6 innings. Malm was 2-4 with 1 double and 4 RBIs. Drew Vettleson was 1-1 with 2 runs, 1 triple, and 3 walks.
Hudson Valley Renegades 2, Vermont Lake Monsters 0
Taylor Guerrieri pitched five shutout innings as the Renegades pulled out a 2-0 victory over the Lake Monsters. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth, when Richie Schaffer hit a two run home run to give Hudson Valley a 1-0 lead. Schaffer drove in another run in the sixth, as his RBI single gave the Renegades a 2-0 lead. Ian Kendall and Shay Crawford followed Guerrieri, preserving the 2-0 shutout. Guerrieri gave up 4 hits over his 5 innings, striking out 4 without allowing a walk. Schaffer was 2-4 with a home run, a run scored, and 2 RBI.
Princeton Rays 4, Bluefield Blue Jays 3 (13 innings)
The Blue Jays jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead, but the Rays chipped away, eventually coming away with a 4-3 victory in 13 innings. Bluefield scored a run and loaded the bases before the Rays recorded an out. Santiago Nessy‘s sacrifice fly made the score 2-0, followed by Nico Taylor‘s RBI single to give Bluefield a 3-0 lead. The Rays scored in the bottom of the inning, as Brandon Martin led off the frame with a home run, cutting the lead to 3-1. Oscar Hernandez hit a home run with one out in the bottom of the fourth, cutting the lead down to 3-2. With two out in the seventh, Martin doubled, and scored on an errant pickoff attempt by catcher Santiago Nessy, tying the game at 3-3. The score remained tied until the bottom of the 13th, when Martin led off the inning with a walk. Reid Redman reached on a throwing error by Matthew Dean, scoring Martin from first with the winning run. Pedro Silvestre picked up the victory in relief, pitching a perfect inning, striking out one. Martin, Hernandez, and John Alexander each had two hits in the win.
GCL Red Sox 3, GCL Rays 0
The Rays had their chances, but were unable to push any runs across in a 3-0 loss to the Red Sox. The Rays loaded the bases with two out in the bottom of the first, only to have the Red Sox escape as Leopoldo Correa grounded out to end the inning. The Red Sox scored in the top of the second, as Nick Moore tripled to lead off the inning, scoring on a two out balk. The Rays put two on with one out in the bottom of the frame, only to hit into an inning ending double play. The Red Sox pushed another run across in the top of the fifth, as Tzu-Wei Lin doubled to lead off the inning, coming around to score on two wild pitches. Lin factored into the scoring again in the top of the seventh, as he hit a one out triple, and scored on Cleuluis Rondon‘s sacrifice fly, giving the Red Sox a 3-0 lead. The Rays again loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh with one out, but were unable to push a run across. For the game, the Rays only had 3 hits, but drew 8 walks. Nolan Gannon took the loss, allwoing 1 run on 1 hit and 4 walks over 3 innings, striking out 3 batters.