The Tampa Bay Rays have some exciting arms in short-season ball, and a couple of them showcased their talents on Sunday. There were mixed results, as Nolan Gannon had yet another great outing while Brent Honeywell saw his first struggles as a pro.
Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 9, Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI) 2
Nate Karns put together a good start for the Bulls, going 6.0 innings and allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk while striking out 4. Karns has been inconsistent this year, but in his last 5 starts he has started to find a semblance of consistency, not allowing more than 2 runs and not lasting less than 6.0 innings. In relief, Steve Geltz threw 1.2 shutout innings before Adam Liberatore finished with 1.1 shutout innings of his own. The main reason that Geltz has been talked about this year was a drug-related suspension, however he deserves credit for his performance as he has thrown to a 2.35 ERA and a 43-13 K-BB ratio in 30.2 frames.
Offensively the Bulls got a contribution form everyone in the lineup, as each player had at least one hit and each player had at least one run scored or one RBI. Robby Price had just 1 hit in 4 at-bats, but that was a key 3-run homer. Jeremy Moore also added a homer of his own- his 7th in just 29 games with Durham this year. To put that in perspective, if Moore kept hitting home runs at that clip, he would hit 39 in 162 games. Justin Christian had a solid night of his own, going 3 for 6 with a run scored, and the offense as a whole broke out to 14 hits and 8 walks drawn. Also notable was that Nick Franklin had his first hit in the Rays organization- a double that was his only hit in 5 at-bats.
Double-A Southern League: Jackson Generals (SEA) 12, Montgomery Biscuits 3
Grayson Garvin followed up one of his best starts of the season with one of his worst, allowing 5 runs and 3 homers in 5.0 innings to earn the loss. What was encouraging was that he went so far and threw 83 pitches. Garvin’s biggest issue remains proving that he can be healthy enough to be a starter, and he has slowly been increasing his work load in his last few starts. Parker Markel had a rough relief outing, giving up 4 runs and getting just 1 out. Likewise Braulio Lara struggled, allowing 2 runs in 1.2 innings before Matt Lollis allowed a run in his sole inning.
Led by Cameron Seitzer’s 3 for 4 night that included a double, the Biscuits weren’t terrible on offense. Willie Argo also had a good day at the plate, going 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. But with the pitching staff’s struggles, there wasn’t much the offense could do to avoid the loss.
The High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs had their game with the Daytona Cubs suspended in the bottom of the 1st with a score of 0-0. The teams will resume play Monday
Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 7, Lake County Captains (CLE) 0
The Hot Rods pitching tandem of Bruedlin Suero and Stone Speer was excellent, with Suero throwing 6.0 shutout innings and striking out 6 and Speer throwing 3.0 scoreless innings to earn the save. The offense, meanwhile, had a breakout day. Kean Wong was at the center of the action, going 2 for 5 with a home run. Wong generally doesn’t hit for much power, but oddly enough it was his 2nd homer in his last 2 games. The amount of longballs that he hit in his previous 131 games? None. Also with a nice day was recent acquisition Willy Adames, who went 2 for 5 with an RBI. Both Adames and Wong are teenagers with an advanced feel for hitting, and you could draw up a scenario that they become the Rays’ double play combo in 3 or 4 years.
Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Hudson Valley Renegades 2, State College Spikes (STL) 0
Nolan Gannon had a solid start for the Renegades, throwing 5.0 shutout innings and striking out 3 while walking 1. The right-hander has done nothing but impress this year, totaling 42.0 innings so far and pitching to a 2.79 ERA. He has also showed great stuff, striking out 41 hitters, as well as control, allowing just 4 walks. Trevor Dunlap and Kyle McKenzie were also solid, each throwing 2.0 scoreless innings.
Offensively, Jace Conrad had a solid day, going 3 for 4. Hunter Lockwood also contributed, going 2 for 4 with a run scored. The offensive performance as a whole wasn’t great, as they went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position. However given the pitching staff’s outstanding effort, they did what they needed to get the win.
Advanced Rookie Appalachian League: Danville Braves 8, Princeton Rays 2
Brent Honeywell experienced his first rough start as a pro, allowing 4 runs (2 earned) in 3.0 innings while walking 2. On a more positive note, he did still strikeout 5 batters, and his ERA still sits at 1.45 this year. Likewise Yonny Chirinos went through some rare struggles, allowing 4 runs in 3.0 innings to raise his ERA to 2.57. Bret Dahlson was solid behind them, throwing 2.0 shutout innings. A non-drafted free agent signee this year, Dahslon is making the most of his opportunity, pitching to a 1.86 ERA in 19.1 innings thus far. The offense got a good effort from Angel Moreno, who went 2 for 5 with 2 doubles and a pair of RBIs. However the team couldn’t take advantage of numerous chances, going 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position.
The Gulf Coast League Rays were off