The Rays’ organization had a trio of dominating pitching performances on Friday as the Durham Bulls swept their double -header and the Montgomery Biscuits easily won their game.
Triple-A International League: Game 1: Durham Bulls 1, Norfolk Tides (BAL) 0 (11 innings)
Enny Romero had a great start for the Bulls, throwing 7.0 scoreless innings and allowing just 1 hit while striking out 4 and walking 3. Romero has been pitching well as of late, giving up 3 runs over his last 18 innings of work. He still has a ways to go if he wants to prove that he can be a big league starter, but it seems as if he is finally starting to make progress. Behind Romero, Brandon Gomes threw 2.0 no-hit innings. Cory Burns and Adam Liberatore then each threw no-hit inning of their own. Bulls pitching as a whole allowed just 1 hit in 11 innings- an impressive feat. Meanwhile the offense struggled, managing just 4 hits throughout the whole game. They ultimately scored in the 11th inning off of a Mike Fontenot solo home run.
Game 2: Bulls 2, Tides 1 (7 innings)
Receiving a spot start because of the double-header, Merrill Kelly had a great start for the Bulls. He went 6.0 innings, giving up just 1 unearned run while striking out 5 and walking 1. Kelly has continually pitched well since being promoted to Triple-A in the middle of last season, posting a 2.94 ERA, 8.1 K/9, and a 3.2 BB/9 in 198.2 innings. Kelly has little left to prove in the minors and could factor in to the Rays’ plans soon. After him, Josh Lueke threw a shutout inning to earn his 12th save of the year. Vince Belnome led the way for the offense, going 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 7, Jackson Generals (SEA) 1
This time it was Dylan Floro‘s turn to put together a great pitching performance. Floro went 7.0 innings, allowing just an unearned run while striking out 6 and walking 1. The weirdest part of his outing was that he went away from his usual groundball ways (he has a career 59% groundball rate), getting just 5 groundouts compared to 8 flyouts. Behind Floro, Parker Markel and Andrew Bellatti each threw a scoreless inning. Bellatti struck out all three batters that he faced.
The offense did plenty in this game, smacking a total of 12 hits. Luke Maile led the way, going 2 for 4 with a trio of RBIs. Taylor Motter also added a solid performance, going 2 for 4 with a double and 2 runs scored. All-in-all 4 Biscuits had multi-hit performances and the offense did more than enough to get the job done.
The High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs were suspended in the second inning with the score 0-0
Low-A Midwest League: South Bend Silver Hawks (ARI) 6, Bowling Green Hot Rods 1
Issac Gil was roughed up in his start, giving up 6 runs in 4.1 innings, though he did strike out 6 while walking none. Andrew Hanse did have a nice relief outing, throwing 3.2 innings of no-hit ball. The offense managed 10 hits, but they went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. Julian Ridings had a nice day, going 3 for 4 with a triple. Elias Torres was also solid, going 2 for 4 with a solo home run.