The Undercards: Taylor Motter Smacks Walk-Off Homer
By Drew Jenkins
You always have to love a dramatic comeback win in baseball. That’s what the Montgomery Biscuits had on Tuesday after Taylor Motter‘s walk-off homer capped off a 5-run bottom of the 9th to give the Biscuits the victory.
Triple-A International League: Norfolk Tides (BAL) 2, Durham Bulls 1
Enny Romero had a nice start for the Bulls, going 6.0 innings and allowing 1 run while striking out 6 and walking 1. Romero continues frustrating in the Rays system, always showing promising stuff, but still not making significant progress with his command. Behind him, Steve Geltz threw a shutout inning. Geltz continues pitching well this year, throwing to a 2.70 ERA and an insane 53-15 K-BB ratio in 36.2 innings. Cory Burns tried to lock down the game, however he allowed the go-ahead run in the top of the 8th, returning to throw a scoreless 9th. The Bulls offense struggled, managing just 4 hits in the game. Nick Franklin had a solid night, going 2 for 3 with a walk, but not much else was doing for the Bulls.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 7, Tennessee Smokies (CHC) 6
The Biscuits carried a 4 run deficit into the 9th, however they plated 5 runs in that frame for an incredible comeback victory. Taylor Motter was the hero, smacking a 3-run home run for the walk-off victory. That was Motter’s only hit of the night, but the Biscuits were hardly complaining about his performance. Ryan Brett, Luke Maile, and Kes Carter were all good contributors, each smacking a pair of hits.
Albert Suarez had a nice start for the Biscuits, giving up 2 runs over 6.0 innings. Matt Lollis struggled in relief, giving up 4 runs in 2.0 innings. Then Bryce Stowell finished things off, earning the win with a scoreless inning of work.
High-A Florida State League: Charlotte Stone Crabs 11, St. Lucie Mets 8
Reinaldo Lopez had a decent start for the Stone Crabs, going 5.2 innings and allowing 2 runs while striking out 3. Lopez has managed a solid 3.18 ERA this season, though his 76-55 K-BB ratio in 133.0 innings does not impress. Kevin Brandt threw 1.1 scoreless innings, but behind him Nick Sawyer and Jose Molina combined to allow 6 runs without getting an out. Ryan Garton and Colton Reavis then each threw a scoreless inning.
On offense, Johnny Field had a great day, going 3 for 4 with a walk, a double, a triple, and 3 runs scored. Field put up a solid .827 OPS in 96 games at Low-A Bowling Green this season, but you had to wonder if that was simply because he was a college draft pick not seeing a huge spike in competition. But in 29 games at High-A Field has a .892 OPS and is slowly establishing himself as a legitimate prospect. Patrick Leonard also had a nice performance, going 3 for 5 with a double and 4 RBIs. Thomas Coyle and Granden Goetzman each also added multi-hit nights.
Low-A Midwest League: Lake County Captains (CLE) 3, Bowling Green Hot Rods 0
German Marquez had a good start for the Hot Rods, giving up 2 runs in 5.0 innings and striking out 7 while walking 0. Josh Kimborowicz then allowed 1 run in 3.0 innings before D.J. Slaton fired a scoreless inning. None of that mattered, however, as the Hot Rods offense managed just 1 hit on the night.
Advanced Rookie Appalachian League: Princeton Rays 8, Elizabethton Twins 7
Roel Ramirez allowed 5 runs in his start for the P-Rays, however 3 of those were unearned. He worked 5.0 innings, striking out 1 and walking none. Damion Carroll then allowed 2 unearned runs in 1.0 inning of work before Rafael Cordova and Mario Fernandez combined to throw a scoreless final 3.0 innings.
The offense, meanwhile, was led by Carter Burgess, who went 4 for 5 with a double, an RBIs, and 2 runs scored. Burgess has done a good job for the P-Rays this year, hitting .295/.368/.378. Also with a solid performance was Hector Montes, who went 3 for 5.
Rookie Gulf Coast League: GCL Red Sox 5, GCL Rays 4
The biggest storyline of this game was the return of Andrew Toles, who went 0 for 3 as the centerfielder. Toles, ranked one of the top prospects in the Rays’ system coming into the year, had not played since May 25th because of personal issues. Even before then he had struggled with High-A Charlotte, hitting .257/.298/.332. Toles has a long way to go to boost his stock to it’s previous level, but most importantly he is back on the field.
Eduar Quinonez made his first start of the year after missing time due to injury, throwing a single inning and letting up a run. Quinonez spent last season with Low-A Bowling Green, pitching to a 6.47 ERA in 57.0 innings. The pitching staff wasn’t great as a whole, and the offense came up just short of winning. Zacrey Law, Oscar Sanay, and Jose Rojas all had 2-hit performances.