Rays Prospects

The Undercards: Nate Karns Strikes Out 12 As Bulls Advance

By Drew Jenkins

Only one Tampa Bay Rays’ affiliate is still playing, but they are providing plenty of reason to be excited. For the second year in a row, the Durham Bulls will be vying for an International League Championship, as they advanced after their win on Saturday.

Triple-A International League Postseason Game 4: Durham Bulls 4, Columbus Clippers (CLE) 2

The Bulls rallied off their third win in a row to clinch a return to the International League Championship Series. Nate Karns was a large part of the reason why the Bulls won this game. He dominated, throwing 7.0 innings and giving up 1 run while striking out 12 and walking 1. Karns has been wildly inconsistent this season, posting a 5.08 ERA on the year. But starts like this show how dominant he can be when his command is on, and that gives hope that he can reach his ceiling of a number 2 starter. Merrill Kelly did blow a lead by allowing a run in the 8th inning, though the Bulls came back in the bottom half of the inning to regain the lead. He would then throw a scoreless 9th.

Jeremy Moore once again had played a key part to the offense, going 2 for 4 with a double, 2 RBIs, and a run scored. The Rays have to be pleased how Moore, a minor league signing last offseason, has turned out. Though he disappointed at Double-A to start the year, he has posted a great .265/.335/.492 line in 55 Triple-A games. Cole Figueroa also had a solid day, going 2 for 3 with a walk and a pair of runs scored. The versatile infielder has already seen a couple of big league stints this year, and it is likely that we will see him again on the big league team once the Bulls’ season is finished. Nick Franklin is another infielder that we could see in the big leagues this season, and he too had a nice day, going 1 for 3 with a walk and an RBI to boost his postseason batting average to .462. All-in-all, this was a solid win from the Bulls.