The Undercards: Jeff Ames Throws 6 Shutout Frames, Justin O’Conner Drives in Two in Hot Rods Win

By Robbie Knopf

If you’re coming here to restore your faith in humanity after yesterday’s Rays loss, read the Bowling Green game and nothing else.

Triple-A International League: Syracuse Chiefs (WSN) 5, Durham Bulls 0

Yunesky Maya entered Monday with just a 7.45 ERA in 5 starts for Syracuse. But that was no matter in this one as Maya dominated the Bulls, going 7.2 innings allowing no runs on just 6 hits, striking out 9 while walking 1. His ERA stands at just 5.89 right now, but he certainly made a big dent in it with his shutout performance. Jim Paduch allowed 5 runs, 3 earned, on 5 hits in 5 innings in a spot-start to take the loss for Durham. The Bulls relief corps, in sharp contrast to the Rays, was dominant in this one, with Steve Geltz and Adam Liberatore each striking out 3 in 2 innings of work, with the only baserunner being a single of Liberatore. Since allowing 3 runs in his second appearance of the season, Geltz has a 1.32 ERA and a 20-1 strikeout to walk ratio in his last 7 appearances across 13.2 innings pitched. The lefty Liberatore, meanwhile, only has an 11-4 strikeout to walk ratio in 11.2 IP, but he has allowed runs in just two of his nine appearances on the year. Leslie Anderson went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk, Wil Myers went 1 for 4 with a stolen base, and Shelley Duncan went 0 for 4 in his first Triple-A game of the season in the loss for the Bulls.

High-A Florida State League: Brevard County Manatees (MIL) 4, Charlotte Stone Crabs 2

Ryan Carpenter survived a rocky start to his outing to survive and the Stone Crabs got good bullpen work, but the offense was silent and it all went for nought. Carpenter went 5 innings allowing 4 runs on 5 hits, striking out 4 while walking 2. He retired 8 of the last 9 he faced to end his outing. Nate Garcia followed with 2 innings with a pair of strikeouts and Lenny Linsky tossed a scoreless 9th, but the Stone Crabs offense was able to muster only two 3rd inning runs. Jake Hager went 2 for 4 with a double and Richie Shaffer and Hector Guevara both went 1 for 3 with an RBI as the Stone Crabs lost their 11th straight.

Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 4, Clinton LumberKings (SEA) 2

Jeff Ames was great and the Hot Rods got not only 2 first-inning runs but also two key insurance runs in the 5th and 6th on their way to a 4-2 win. Ames went 6 innings allowing just 3 hits and a walk while striking out 4 in 6 shutout frames. His ERA stands at just 1.45 to go along with a 26-3 strikeout to walk ratio in 6 starts and 31 IP as he has been excellent all season. No win in the Rays organization is complete without a bullpen collapse these days, and sure enough Ryan Garton allowed a 2-run homer to Jordy Lara in the 9th, but in this one, the Hot Rods got a sac fly by Justin O’Conner in the 5th and an RBI single by Ryan Dunn in the 6th to negate the importance of that and nail down their win. The Rods offense had a nice effort with contributions across the board. Andrew Toles went 2 for 3 with a triple, a double, an RBI, and a run scored, Dunn, Leonardo Reginatto, and Marty Gantt all went 2 for 4, and Justin O’Conner having an encouraging game as he went 1 f0r 3 with 2 big RBI. The Hot Rods’ record now stands at 20-10 as they have combined great starting pitching with solid offense on their way to an outstanding season so far.