We are running late today, but let’s recap what happened in the Tampa Bay Rays system on Monday.
Tampa Bay Rays 6, Washington Nationals 1
Gio Gonzalez had a terrible outing for the Nationals, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits in 3.1 innings. Erasmo Ramirez wasn’t dominant either, but he worked past quite a few baserunners (5 hits, 3 walks, and a hit batsman) to toss 6 shutout innings, striking out 4. C.J. Riefenhauser and Enny Romero followed with a shutout inning each before Xavier Cedeno made things dicey in the ninth. He managed to allow only 1 run, but only after loading the bases.
Offensively, Logan Forsythe went 2 for 5 with a stolen base and 2 RBI, Kevin Kiermaier went 2 for 5 with 2 doubles, a stolen base, and 2 runs scored, Joey Butler went 2 for with a walk, a steal, and a run, and Steven Souza Jr. walked 5 times to tie the Rays record. The Rays’ offense looked great, but the big issue was that Evan Longoria was hit on the same left wrist that caused him to miss three games on the Rays’ most recent road trip. The team has to hope that he won’t miss any additional time.
Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 6, Indianapolis Indians (PIT) 3
It was a bullpen day for Durham with so many pitchers hurt or in the majors, but it went quite well this time around. Jordan Norberto started and allowed a lone run on 4 hits in 3.2 innings, striking out 6 while walking 1. He’s been inconsistent, but this was one of his better games. After Jim Miller allowed 2 runs in 2.1 innings, Robert Zarate, Kyle Winkler, and Preston Guilmet tossed hitless ball to end the game. Zarate struck out 1, Winkler K’d 2, and Guilmet struck out 2 working around a walk. Winkler is really turning into a player to watch after signing as a minor league free agent.
At the plate, meanwhile, Richie Shaffer drilled a solo homer, J.P. Arencibia stayed hot by going 3 for 5 with a double and 2 RBI, Corey Brown went 2 for 4 with a triple, a walk, 2 RBI, and a run, plus Luke Maile went 1 for 3 with 2 walks and a run scored. We can make similar comments about Shaffer and Arencibia–both are playing well, but need to strike out less. Luckily for Shaffer, at least he is walking.
Double-A Southern League: Pensacola Blue Wahoos (CIN) 4, Montgomery Biscuits 2
Blake Snell took a step in the right direction even in the loss. Snell went 5 innings allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, on 6 hits, but the most notable things was that he struck out 8 while walking 2. Snell had walked 4 batters in each of his previous 3 starts, but his control was back in this game, and he was able to miss bats as well. Bradin Hagens, Mark Sappington, and Parker Markel tossed scoreless relief behind him, but Ryan Garton allowed a run.
Pensacola pitchers faced just two batters over the minimum in the game with the help of 2 double plays. Both Biscuits runs came in the seventh, with Justin O’Conner drilling an RBI double and Johnny Field adding a sac fly.
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Low-A Midwest League: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (MIL) 7, Bowling Green Hot Rods 3
Riley Unroe, the Tampa Bay Rays’ second round pick from 2013, has come alive. He has a .417/.488/.472 line and a 5-5 strikeout to walk ratio in his 9-game hitting streak. He even has a .366/.419/.452 line dating back to his last 106 plate appearances. His latest act was a 3-for-4 performance with his 9th steal and a run scored on Monday to raise his line to .289/.376/.360 on the year. Cristian Toribio also went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI in the Bowling Green loss.
Henry Centeno joined Blake Snell in striking out 8 while walking 2, but there weren’t as many positives as he allowed 5 runs in 5.2 innings. Kyle Bird then allowed 2 more runs in 2.1 innings before Brian Miller ended the game with a perfect frame with a strikeout.