When you are thinking about the minor leagues, you expect the top prospects to perform and the non-prospects to struggle. But, baseball is a humbling sport, and that is not always the case. That was no more evident than with Tampa Bay Rays affiliates on Tuesday night. Bruedlin Suero, a non-prospect, dazzled in a 7.0 scoreless inning performance. Top prospect Ryne Stanek, on the other hand, gave up 6 runs in 5.1 innings.
Triple-A International League: Louisville Bats (CIN) 5, Durham Bulls 4
The Bulls lost their second straight one run game in this contest as neither the offense or the pitching could do quite enough to get the job done. Doug Mathis made just his second start of the season, going 4.1 innings and giving up a single run while striking out 2. Jim Patterson then came out and had a rough outing, going just 1.2 innings and giving up 3 runs, though his ERA still sits at just 2.70. Juan Sandoval went the next 1.1 innings, giving up 2 walks but no hits and no runs. Behind him, Braulio Lara gave up a costly run in 1.1 innings before Jake Thompson finished out the last 0.2 innings. Thompson’s ERA sits at a great 1.17 after his promotion from Double-A this season.
Hak-Ju Lee was moved out of his regular leadoff spot all the way down to 9th for this game, and it was clear he wasn’t happy with the move. He responded by going 2-4 with a home run, driving in 2 runs and scoring 2 as well. Justin Christian added a 2-5 performance, and Mikie Mahtook and Mike Fontenot drove in a run each. But, the offense couldn’t make up for a disappointing pitching performance, and the Bulls would drop the game.
High-A Florida State League: Port Charlotte Stone Crabs 8, Lakeland Flying Tigers (DET) 0
The Stone Crabs had their second exciting game in as many days, but this one would be a blowout at the hands of the Detroit Tigers’ High-A affiliate. Bruedlin Suero was dazzling in his start, going 7.0 scoreless innings while allowing just 3 hits and no walks. William Gabay, a 2012 15th round pick, made his season debut behind Suero, going 2.0 scoreless innings and allowing just one walk and one hit. Gabay has only pitched in 2 games above rookie ball in his career, so we will see if he can handle the tough challenge moving forward.
The pitching staff ensured the offense didn’t have to do too much to win the game, but the offense sure didn’t get that memo. In total they put 17 runners on base, and timely hitting led to 8 of them scoring. Jonathan Quinonez accounted for 4 of those runs thanks to a 3-3 performance that included a solo home run. Tyler Goeddel also accounted for 4 runs, going 2-5 with a double, 3 RBIs, and a run scored. On top of that, Goeddel stole his 12th base of the season as he continues to re-establish himself as one of the top prospects in the Rays’ system. Leonardo Reginatto also had a nice 3-4 performance to cap off a great day for the offense.
Low-A Midwest League: Lansing Lugnuts (TOR) 7, Bowling Green Hot Rods 4
Ryne Stanek made his 3rd professional start on Tuesday as he is combing back from an injury that caused him to miss the first part of this season. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t go as well as his first two starts, as Stanek gave up 6 runs on 9 hits in 5.1 innings, though he did strike out 4 and walked just 1. He hardly got any help from Stone Speer, who allowed 3 runners that were inherited from Stanek to score on top of 1 of his own in his 1.1 innings pitched. After Speer, Colton Reavis threw 1.1 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 2.31 on the season.
Offensively, the Hot Rods would pound out 10 hits en route to 4 runs. Kean Wong had a nice day, going 2-4 with a walk as he continues to impress despite being just 19-years old. Ty Young added a solid 2-4 performance with a double and an RBI, and Pat Blair also went 2-4. But, the offense could not overcome such a large deficit to pull out with a win.