The Undercards: Casey Gillaspie Homers to Lift Renegades
On a night where the pitching in the Rays organization was often leaky, it was the bats that determined whether each team won or loss. For the Hudson Valley Renegades, the hero was Casey Gillaspie, the 2014 first rounder who suddenly is hitting his stride.
Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 5, Pawtucket Red Sox 3
Rubby De La Rosa stunned the Rays earlier this season, but it was Matt Andriese and the Bulls beating him in this game. Andriese allowed home runs to Corey Brown to bookend his outing, but he was solid otherwise, going 6.2 innings allowing 3 runs on 7 hits, striking out 6 while walking none. C.J. Riefenhauser and Josh Lueke tossed 2.1 shutout innings to finish the game, with Lueke earning his first save of 2014. On the offensive side, meanwhile, Hak-Ju Lee looked like the top prospect we’re used to seeing, going 3 for 5 with a homer and 2 runs scored, and Mike Fontenot also went 3 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored.
Double-A Southern League: Tennessee Smokies (CHC) 6, Montgomery Biscuits 5
It was a bullpen day for the Biscuits, and it went surprisingly well. Jim Patterson started and went 4 innings allowing only 1 run on 6 hits, striking out 3 while walking 2. Bryce Stowell followed by allowing 2 unearned runs on 3 hits in 3 innings pitched, striking out 4 while walking none. Patterson and Stowell certainly weren’t perfect, but after seven innings, the Biscuits led 5-3. Unfortunately for Montgomery, Braulio Lara blew the save and prevented a satisfying win from falling into place. Jake DePew did homer in the loss, giving him exactly one home run in each of the last four years, and there were a couple other of heroes at the plate for the Biscuits. Alejandro Segovia drilled a 3-run double, Richie Shaffer went 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, and a run scored, and Joey Rickard went 2 for 3 with 2 walks.
High-A Florida State League: St. Lucie Mets 6, Charlotte Stone Crabs 4
A relief corps collapse put a damper on this one, but there were still several impressive showings. Reinaldo Lopez got the start and went 6 innings allowing only an unearned run on 4 hits, striking out 2 and walking 2 as well. His groundout to flyout ratio was a solid 9-4. Lopez is right around the league average age having turned 23 in April, and he has managed solid results to the tune of a 3.44 ERA. In support of Lopez, Patrick Leonard went 3 for 5 with a triple, a double, an RBI, and a run scored, Maxx Tissenbaum went 2 for 5 with a triple, a double, 2 RBI, and a run scored, and the trio of Tyler Goeddel, Granden Goetzman, and Leonardo Reginatto all went 2 for 4. Leonard’s season continues to get better–he’s now at a .290/.382/.522 line on the season–while Tissenbaum’s six-game hitting streak including five multi-hit games has brought him up to .307/.335/.423.
Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 10, Lake County Captains (CLE) 2
Little went wrong for the Hot Rods in this game as they took a 7-0 lead and never looked back. Jacob Faria got the start and went 5 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits, striking out 4 while walking 1. His groundout to flyout ratio was a strong 6-1. Then Josh Kimborowicz delivered a strong relief appearance behind him, allowing just 1 run on 2 hits in 3 innings, recording 3 strikeouts against 1 walk. Finally, Brad Schreiber erased some of the frustration from his tough season with a 1-2-3 inning in the ninth, striking out 2. The 10 runs for the Hot Rods came on 15 hits as the Hot Rods earned those runs. Juniel Querecuto, Armando Araiza, and James Harris all homered, with Querecuto managing 3 hits overall in the game and Araiza coming away with 2. Harris’ penchant entering the season was that he could do everything but hit, but he has a .265/.306/.471 line in his last 10 games as he may be finally making some progress. Arguably the best hitters in the game overall, though, were Alexander Simon, who went 4 for 5 with a triple, a double, 3 RBI, and a run scored, and Pat Blair, who went 3 for 4 with a walk and 3 runs scored. The switch-hitting first baseman Simon has come out of nowhere to hit .280 for the Hot Rods, and it is nice to see him getting back into form after a recent slump.
Short Season-A New York Penn League: Hudson Valley Renegades 8, Brooklyn Cyclones (NYM) 6
It was a slugfest at Dutchess Stadium on Tuesday night, and luckily Casey Gillaspie and the Renegades’ hitters were up to the task. Casey Gillaspie gave Hudson Valley an early lead with a 2-run homer to highlight a 2 for 3 day with a walk. Since starting his career for 2 for 25, Gillaspie has a .364/.463/.636 line in 41 plate appearances. Fellow 2014 draftee Jace Conrad also had a big game, going 2 for 3 with a triple, an RBI, a run scored while Bralin Jackson went 1 for 3 with a double, a walk, a stolen base, an RBI, and a run scored. But none of it would have mattered if not for the excellent relief of Isaac Gil after Enderson Franco allowed 6 runs in 4.2 innings pitched. Gil went 3.1 innings allowing just a walk while striking out 5 as he earned his third win of the season.