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Tampa Bay Rays MiLB Recap: Justin Williams Homers Twice

By Robbie Knopf

Raw power can be among the most frustrating things in baseball. You can watch a player hit the ball a long way in batting practice, but then the games begin and he may not hit the ball with authority at all because of issues like a swing that gets too long and an inability to find pitches to hit. Justin Williams is known for his raw power, and on Sunday, he was able to tap into it more than ever.

Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 3, Syracuse Chiefs (WSN) 0

Matt Andriese continues to get stronger as he goes every fifth day. In this game, he went 5 innings allowing no runs on 3 hits, striking out 6 while walking 1. His groundout to flyout ratio was a perfect 6-0. Andriese is coming off a solid year at Triple-A, and all he needed to get back to those results was a more regular routine. Four relievers closed out the shutout, although none was particularly impressive.

On the offensive side, Corey Brown went 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored while Mikie Mahtook and Allan Dykstra each went 1 for 3 with a double, a walk, and an RBI. Ryan Brett also had a 1-for-3 day with an RBI and a run scored as he is starting to find himself with his shoulder injury in the past.

High-A Florida State League: Charlotte Stone Crabs 2, Palm Beach Cardinals 0

Christopher Kirsch had a huge day on the mound for Charlotte, tossing 7 innings allowing no runs on 3 hits, striking out 6 while walking 1. His ERA on the season is now down to 2.44. Jeff Ames worked around a hit and a walk with 2 strikeouts in an inning behind him before Brad Schreiber recorded his 12th save with a perfect ninth.

Dayron Varona led the way for the Stone Crabs at the plate, going 3 for 5 with a stolen base and an RBI. Maxx Tissenbaum also went 2 for 3 with a walk while Willy Adames went 1 for 3 with 2 walks. Granden Goetzman had the other RBI.

Low-A Midwest League Game 1: Great Lakes Loons (LAD) 5, Bowling Green Hot Rods 3

In the completion of Saturday’s suspended game, the Hot Rods received mediocre outings from Greg Harris and Edgar Gomez, each of whom allowed 4 runs in 2 innings. The biggest highlights were Justin Williams, who drilled a solo homer, Cristian Toribio, who went 2 for 3 with a walk, a stolen base, an RBI, and a run scored, and Bralin Jackson, who went 1 for 2 with 2 walks and a run scored.

Game 2: Great Lakes 2, Bowling Green 1 (8 innings)

Brian Miller’s blown save negated Hyrum Formo’s nice outing. Formo went 6 innings allowing 1 run on 5 hits, striking out 2 while walking none. His groundout to flyout ratio was an excellent 9-2.

The lone Hot Rods run came on another Justin Williams solo homer. He finished the game 2 for 3 while Casey Gillaspie, Coty Blanchard, and Bralin Jackson all went 1 for 3. Williams began the day with just 2 homers, but he doubled that before long. Williams has a .256/.285/.413 line on the season, and he has especially picked it up of late. If he keeps tapping into his raw power, good things will be ahead.

Next: Tampa Bay Rays Game 51: Steven Souza’s Power Surge Continues

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