The Undercards: Alex Colome, Chris Kirsch Dominate in Blowout Wins


On a day where the Tampa Bay Rays lost 7-1, their minor league affiliates had quite different results. Alex Colome and Christopher Kirsch led the Bulls and Hot Rods to 10-0 and 10-1 wins respectively, the Stone Crabs walked off, and the Biscuits held on for a rain-shortened win. This is what we’re used to from the Rays organization, and hopefully the major league team can get in line with that as well.

Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 10, Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI) 0

After Jake Odorizzi‘s blister issues prevented him from throwing his curveball after the first inning in his last start, the Rays will at least have to think through their options for his next start. Alex Colome could use more time at Triple-A, but his season debut for the Bulls gave him a chance to enter the conversation. Colome went 5.2 innings allowing no runs on 3 hits, striking out 9 while walking 3. He was also extremely efficient, using just 84 pitches. It was just one outing, but it reminds us that Colome still has a chance to be an impact pitcher on the Rays’ staff.

Ironically, Colome didn’t get the win for his efforts as the Bulls offense didn’t get going until the 6th. It instead went to Merrill Kelly, who went to the bullpen to make room for Colome but continued his great season with 3.1 shutout innings. Speaking of that offense, Justin Christian went 4 for 5 with a homer, a double, and 3 runs scored, Jerry Sands went 2 for 5 with a 3-run shot, and Mike Fontenot had a 3 for 4 day with 2 RBI and a run scored.

Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 8, Mississippi Braves 6 (7 innings- rain)

The confluence of two unfortunate occurrences put the Biscuits in an interesting spot on Saturday. Jake Hager was dealing with a minor shoulder injury and Riccio Torrez had retired, leaving them with no shortstop. So who did they put at the position? 6’5″, 220 first baseman Cameron Seitzer. Manager Brady Williams liked his hands and arm strength and thought he could survive. Sure enough, he fielded three groundballs without an error. It’s unlikely that Seitzer will be playing much shortstop once Hager returns, but it is great to know that he can play the position in a pinch. He also had a nice day at the plate, going 1 for 3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored.

Other heroes at the plate for the Biscuits included Ryan Brett, who had a 2-out bases clearing double, and Willie Argo,  who went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Jeff Malm also went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI and a run scored while JeremyMoore also drove in 2. The pitching in this game, though, was also quite interesting for Montgomery. Grayson Garvin made another short start as he continues to prove that he’s healthy and allowed just 1 hit in 2 innings, striking out 2 and getting 3 more outs on the ground. Then Jared Mortensen got destroyed, allowing 6 runs in 3 innings of work. But Jim Patterson tossed 2 perfect innings with 3 strikeouts to end the game, and that proved to be enough.

High-A Florida State League: Charlotte Stone Crabs 3, Brevard County Manatees (MIL) 2

Jonathan Quinonez has not had the type of the year he was hoping for as he’s hitting just .214. However, he has delivered several clutch hits and Saturday marked the most recent one as he drilled a walk-off single. A 4th inning homer by Patrick Leonard and an RBI single by Thomas Coyle scored the other runs, and the pitching made sure that was enough. Austin Pruitt went 6 innings allowing an unearned run on 5 hits, striking 5 while walking none.

Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 10, South Bend Silver Hawks 1

A 9th inning run ensured that Rays affiliates didn’t have two 10-0 wins, but this was a very nice win for Bowling Green nonetheless. Christopher Kirsch had an excellent start, going 7 shutout innings allowing just 3 hits and a walk. He struck out just 2 but forced 13 groundouts. In terms of the run support, Yoel Araujo went 3 for 5 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored, continuing his hot streak, and four other players had multiple hits. Oscar Hernandez and Johnny Field both had 2 RBI.