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Tampa Bay Rays Rays MLB/MiLB Recap: Questionable Bullpen Work

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Before we return to our regularly scheduled MLB Draft programming, let’s get through this recap and a quick analysis of the Tampa Bay Rays’ interesting roster moves last night.

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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6, Tampa Bay Rays 2

Alex Colome was fine, going 5.1 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits, striking out 4 while walking 2. The Rays had a 2-1 lead when he departed, scoring on a Steven Souza Jr. 2-run blast. They trusted their relief corps to do the rest, but they could not. The Rays used two of their three best relievers in the seventh, but Kevin Jepsen and Brad Boxberger combined to allow 3 runs. There was some bad luck involved–two groundball singles and another groundball that was too soft to turn two–but Jepsen got himself into trouble by walking Matt Joyce and it all unraveled from there.

The Rays ended up losing 6-2 as Preston Guilmet allowed 2 runs on an Albert Pujols home run amid his 2 innings of relief. His splitter looked excellent, but when you throw in the high-80’s as a reliever, you have no margin for error at all. Bigger positives were Souza, Joey Butler, Kevin Kiermaier, and Nick Franklin. Butler went 2 for 4, Kiermaier had a huge outfield assist that maintained the Rays’ 2-1 lead in the sixth, and Franklin went 1 for 3 with an infield single and a nice stop at first base.

Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 6, Louisville Bats (CIN) 3

We have to expect that Curt Casali will be called up to replace Bobby Wilson in a few days, but Luke Maile had a great game in this one. He went 2 for 3 with a 2-run homer, a walk, 2 runs scored, and even a stolen base. Also homering were Corey Brown and J.P. Arencibia while Eugenio Velez had a 2-for-5 performance with a double and an RBI. The amazing Leonardo Reginatto also followed up his strong performance filling in on the mound by going 2 for 4. It was nice to see Maile and Reginatto joining the veterans to give the Bulls some nice punch.

On the mound, Everett Teaford had one of his better outings of the season, allowing 1 run on 3 hits in 6 innings, striking out 3 while walking 2. His groundout to flyout ratio was 10-4. Then, after Jhan Marinez allowed 2 runs, Kirby Yates finished the game in encouraging fashion for the save. He worked a perfect ninth with a pair of groundballs as he looks to return to the Rays and appear in his first big league game since April 14th.

Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 6, Pensacola Blue Wahoos (CIN) 1

Ryne Stanek had control issues, but he pitched well enough to win nonetheless. He tossed 6 innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits, striking out 2 while walking 5. He lowered his Double-A ERA to 2.29. Three relievers then finished the game behind despite allowing 5 baserunners and striking out only 1 in his final 3 frames.

Offensively, Boog Powell now has a 6-game hitting streak and a more impressive stretch of 4 straight multi-hit games. In this one, he went 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored, raising his average to .338. The other heroes for Montgomery were Johnny Field, who went 2 for 3 with a walk and 2-run homer, Hector Guevara, who also slammed a 2-run shot, and Joey Rickard, who went 3 for 4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.

High-A Florida State League: Dunedin Blue Jays 4, Charlotte Stone Crabs 3

It is difficult to find a pair less likely to drill back-to-back home runs than Pat Blair and Armando Araiza. Yet the Stone Crabs still lost! Blair also had a double to cap a 2-for-4 performance while Araiza went 2 for 3 and added a walk and a runner caught stealing. Dayron Varona also kept terrorizing younger competition, going 2 for 5 with a pair of doubles. His .383 batting average would mean more if he wasn’t 27 years of age at High-A. It looks like time for the Rays to send Varona, their recent signing out of Cuba, to Double-A.

On the mound, Chris Kirsch went 5.2 innings allowing 4 runs on 6 hits, giving up the lead by allowing 2 runs in his final frame. Jeff Ames then managed to go 1.2 innings despite allowing 3 hits and a walk, striking out 3, before Brad Schreiber retired both batters he faced.

Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 8, Beloit Snappers (OAK) 0

The score tells you that this was a great win, but it was probably even better. Enderson Franco tossed 6 shutout innings allowing just 4 hits and no walks while striking out 6. He was supported by homers from Casey Gillaspie, who went 2 for 4 with a homer and 3 RBI, and Justin Williams. Riley Unroe also went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI and a run scored while Jace Conrad, Cristian Toribio, and Alec Sole also delivered multi-hit games. Gillaspie is now hitting .279 with 13 homers and 40 RBI in 53 games–pretty good after a very slow start.

Next: Tampa Bay Rays: Why Was Matt Dacey’s Power Around in Round 21?

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