The Undercards: Ryne Stanek Solid, Hot Rods Offense Rolls

By Drew Jenkins

The Tampa Bay Rays have been reeling as of late, losing 6 in a row as the season continues to get out of hand. But on the bright side, their minor league affiliates are playing well. Overall, none of them have lost in the past 3 days, and they have put up a combined 10-0 record in that time frame. That included 3 wins on Sunday, all of them by a comfortable margin.

Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 4, Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI) 2

Enny Romero has been wildly inconsistent, but this start shows just how good he can be when his command is on. He would go 6.2 innings, allowing just 2 runs (1 earned) while striking out 4 and walking just 1. One outing doesn’t mean his command issues are solved, but it is certainly a start. Behind him, Brandon Gomes went 1.1 scoreless innings and Jeff Beliveau threw another scoreless inning. Beliveau STILL hasn’t given up a run in 22.2 Triple-A innings and 2.0 MLB innings.

A 4-run 2nd inning was all that was needed from the offense in this one. No hitter had more than a single hit. However, Cole Figueroa‘s 2-RBI double and Vince Belnome‘s RBI double would be enough to get the job done. Curt Casali also had a nice day by getting on base in 2 of 3 plate appearances. Overall a solid day from the Rays’ Triple-A squad.

Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 8, Mississippi Braves 3

The Biscuits would get started early by plating a run in the 1st and another two runs in the 2nd, but they would hardly stop there. Luke Maile had a big day, going 3-4 with a solo home run and 3 runs scored. Richie Shaffer also added a nice 2-4 performance with 2 RBIs. Shaffer is hitting a miserable .171 in his last 10 games, but maybe this game is an indication that he is turning things around. Ryan Brett added a 2-5 performance and a double to cap off a great offensive day.

The pitching didn’t need to do much to win this, but that didn’t stop Victor Mateo from having a strong start. Mateo would go 6.0 innings, allowing 2 runs while striking out 4 and walking 2. Behind him, Matt Lollis would go 2.0 innings while letting up a run. Lollis had started the season off strong, but has now allowed 7 runs in his last 8.1 innings. Bryce Stowell would finish things off with a perfect 9th inning.

High-A Port Charlotte was rained out

Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 11, South Bend Silver Hawks (ARI) 1

Ryne Stanek was the starter for the Hot Rods, and he would dominate once again. Stanek went 6.0 innings, allowing just 1 run while striking out 6 and walking just 1 to lower his ERA to 2.63. He fell to the Rays at 29th overall in the 2013 draft thanks to command and injury concerns. But, at least the command hasn’t been an issue this season, as he has posted a great 2.3 BB/9 thus far. After Stanek, Brad Schreiber and William Gabay would throw 3.0 scoreless innings.

The offense had an outstanding day, smacking 13 hits and drawing 4 walks en route to 11 runs. Pat Blair had a solid effort, going 2-5 with a double, 3 RBIs, and a run scored. Ty Young would go 1-2 with 3 walks, 2 runs scored, and 3 RBIs. Armando Araiza had a great day as well, going 2-5 with a homer, 2 RBIs, and 3 runs scored. It was a great day for the Hot Rods in every aspect of the game.