When your starting outfielders combine to go 9 for 16 (.563) with a homer, a triple, three doubles, two walks, two stolen bases, 7 RBI, and 6 runs scored, you know you’re having a pretty good day.
Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 15, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY) 2
Oh, what a day it was to be a hitter for the Durham Bulls on Monday night. Wil Myers stayed hot, going 2 for 5 with 2 doubles, an RBI, and even a walk (!)–but he was far from the player of the game. Each Bulls hitter collected a hit and two different groups of 7 of 9 had at least 1 RBI and 1 run scored respectively, but a few players specifically stood out. Jason Bourgeois had an enormous game, going 5 for 6 with a homer, a stolen base, 2 RBI, and 3 runs scored. Bourgeois has put up incredible numbers all season, managing a .330/.378/.462 line, and while the Rays don’t have a spot for him, they may be able to fetch something for him in a trade. Rich Thompson also went 2 for 5 with a triple, a double, a walk, a stolen base, 4 RBI, and 3 runs scored, Shelley Duncan homered for the second straight day and third time in five games, and Craig Albernaz went 2 for 5 with a double, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. Speaking of Albernaz, he did a great job behind the plate ensuring that this game remained a blowout and not a slugfest. Matt Buschmann made his Durham debut after being called up from Montgomery and pitched very well, going 4 innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits, striking out 6 while walking 1. Jeff Beliveau and Cory Wade both struck out 2 working around a hit in 2 innings of relief, and the Bulls actually finished the game with a 6-hitter, allowing just 2 runs while striking out 11. The Bulls have been outstanding all season and haven’t played any better than they are right now. Sad in a sense that the Rays will tear this team apart to fill major league needs, but at least they know that there is plenty of talent to be found.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 9, Pensacola Blue Wahoos (CIN) 7
If you wanted your slugfest, here it is. Jake Thompson started for the Biscuits and went right back to struggling after a few good starts, allowing 4 runs, 2 earned, on 5 hits in 5.1 innings, striking out 5 and walking 5 as well. Erik Hamren followed in his Rays organization debut and tossed 1.2 hitless innings, striking out 3 while walking 2. He walked out of a bases-loaded, no out jam in the 7th with two strikeouts and a groundout. Now to the offense. Cameron Seitzer just refuses to go away, going 3 for 4 with a double, 3 RBI, and 2 runs scored in this one, Todd Glaesmann and Shawn O’Malley both notched multiple hits, Riccio Torrez had a 2-run double, and Keith Castillo, the Southern League’s surprising Player of the Week last week, stayed hot by going 1 for 3 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored. Five Biscuits errors resulted in 5 unearned runs in this game, but their offense was great and that was enough to compensate this time around.
High-A Florida State League: Dunedin Blue Jays 3, Charlotte Stone Crabs 0
As it turned out, the prolific offensive performances by the Bulls and Biscuits were canceled out by the zeroes by the Stone Crabs and Hot Rods. It’s doubtful that they take solace that at least their fellow Rays affiliates had good days. In this game, Jesse Hahn started for Charlotte and wasn’t his sharpest but was still very good, going 4 innings allowing just an unearned run on 6 hits, striking out just 2 while walking 1 but posting a 7-0 groundout to flyout ratio. Kevin Brandt tossed the last 4 innings with a 9-0 groundout to flyout ratio, giving the Stone Crabs a 16-0 mark on the day, but he also allowed 2 runs on 7 hits and that was enough to make the difference. Ryan Brett did go 2 for 5 with a double in the loss for Charlotte.
Low-A Midwest League: South Bend Silver Hawks (ARI) 5, Bowling Green Hot Rods 0
After Taylor Guerrieri had his first real bad start of his career in his last time out, Jeff Ames was the next in line to struggle. He didn’t allow 6 runs, in fact only allowing 2 runs on 4 hits in 5 innings, but he struck out just 2 while walking 3. He failed to strike out more batters than he walked for the second straight start after managing a 2-to-1 or better strikeout to walk ratio in his previous 8 starts. Control and command are still essential things for Ames to work on, and even as he has pitched great (his ERA on the year is 2.75), we have to remember that his development has a long way to go. Matt Ramsey did throw a perfect 9th with 3 strikeouts to finish the game for Bowling Green. The Rays saw enough in Ramsey, their 19th round pick in 2011, to jump him from the GCL last year to Low-A this year and that has payed off big-time as he has managed a 1.80 ERA with 22 strikeouts against 7 walks in 13 appearances and 15 innings pitched. The Hot Rods managed just 2 hits in the loss, although Joey Rickard did walk twice and steal 2 bases.