The Undercards: Parker Markel Has Much-Needed Breakout Outing as Stone Crabs Beat Manatees

By Robbie Knopf

At least one team in the Rays organization had a good day. Skip to the Charlotte game for some optimism.

Triple-A International League: Syracuse Chiefs (WSN) 3, Durham Bulls 2

This game was too similar to the Rays game for comfort. Alex Torres was dominant, going 6 shutout innings allowing just 2 hits, striking out 7 while walking 2. His groundout to flyout ratio was an incredible 10-2. Torres is just rolling right now, and the Rays have to call him up in a bullpen role. He departed with a 2-0 lead, but of course his performance went for nought as the Bulls bullpen collapsed. Frank De Los Santos failed to record an out allowing 3 hits including a 2-run home run by 9th hitter Chris Rahl, and a single and an error with Will Inman in the game allowed the go-ahead run to cross the plate. Shelley Duncan went 3 for 4 with a double and Leslie Anderson slammed a 2-run home run in the loss for Durham.

Double-A Southern League: Mississippi Braves 19, Montgomery Biscuits 2

This is what the Rays game felt like. A bunch of pitchers got shelled–they don’t deserve the embarrassment of having their names mentioned–but Kyeong Kang did go 2 for 4 with a double. Yay.

High-A Florida State League: Charlotte Stone Crabs 5, Brevard County Manatees 3

The Rays have been waiting all season for Parker Markel to finally get going. On Tuesday night, it finally happened. Markel tossed 5 perfect innings before finishing his outing on a sour note as he allowed 3 runs on 3 hits in the 6th, but overall he was still much improved, going 6 innings allowing 3 runs on 3 hits, striking out 5 while walking 1 and managing an 8-2 groundout to flyout ratio. Shay Crawford and Austin Hubbard followed with shutout ball, and Hubbard especially impressed as he nailed down the save, allowing just a walk while striking out 5 in 2.1 hitless innings. On offense, Kes Carter was moved up to the leadoff spot in a Joe Maddon-esque attempt to break him out of his early-season slump and it worked perfectly as he went 2 for 5 with a triple, a stolen base, an RBI, and a run scored, Willie Argo went 2 for 3 with a double, a walk, 2 stolen bases, an RBI, and a run scored, Jeff Malm went 1 for 3 with a double, a walk, and 2 RBI, and Richie Shaffer went 2 for 5 with a run scored. Shaffer is hitting .313 (10 for 32) in his last 8 games as he is suddenly coming alive after his rough start to the year. Outstanding all-around effort by the Stone Crabs–had to be able to say that about someone, right?