Between rehab appearances and recently signed players, there were a lot of familiar faces playing for and against Rays affiliates Wednesday. That will continue today with Daisuke Matsuzaka's rehab appearance against Durham.
AAA Durham Bulls (15-26)
Durham couldn't hold an early 3-1 lead in their 5-4 loss against Pawtucket. Hideki Matsui collected his first two hits as a Bull and also reached on a catcher's interference call. His first at-bat was a two-run double that gave Durham their initial lead of the game. With the bases loaded and no outs in the 3rd, Durham was only able to push one run across, and their inability to add insurance runs at that time may have cost them. A night after Alex Torres didn't walk anyone in 4.2 innings, Lance Pendelton picked him up with six walks of his own in 4.1 innings. Lars Anderson's 5th inning three run home run off Romulo Sanchez gave Pawtucket a 4-3 lead, and after Durham tied the game an inning later, Ryan Reid allowed an inherited runner to come around to score to give Pawtucket a 5-4 lead. The rehabbing Kevin Youkilis DH'd for Pawtucket and went 1/2 with a double, run scored and walk.
AA Montgomery Biscuits (20-21)
Montgomery won a bit of a unique game in 10 innings, defeating Birmingham 8-5. It looked like Birmingham would get out of the 10th unscathed when they threw Kyeong Kang out at home attempting to score on a ground ball for the second out, but then Leroy Hunt ran into trouble. Hunt's throwing error moved Tyler Bortnick into scoring position after he reached on the previous fielder's choice, and Brad Coon brought him home with a single. Mark Thomas singled to score Coon, and Thomas would come around to score on a Ty Morrison single. Marquis Fleming was credited with the win in only his second scoreless appearance since returning to Montgomery, and he also struck out in his first career at-bat after a series of defensive changes caused Montgomery to lose the DH. Ryan Garko was 1/4 with a walk in his Biscuits debut, and Jose Lobaton was 1/2 with a walk and double in his rehab appearance. Kang and Thomas each had three hit games, and Joe Cruz struck out seven in five innings, but he also allowed four runs.
High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs (19-19)
Charlotte scored three runs over the first two innings, and those runs held up in their 3-1 win against Ft. Myers. Their first run came on a wild pitch by struggling starter Jhon Garcia. In the second, Alejandro Torres singled with two outs, and that set up Robi Estrada's two-run dinger, his first of the year. That was all the offense Albert Suarez needed in his second straight solid start. He only allowed an unearned run in six innings on six hits and a walk, but he only struck out one. Over his last two starts, Suarez has allowed one earned run over 12 innings. Jim Patterson and Chris Rearick came in to strike out six in a combined three innings to finish the game. Torres and Estrada each had two hit games for Charlotte.
Low-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (22-18)
A three-run 6th inning was all the offense Bowling Green needed in their 4-1 win over Dayton. After Jake Hager popped out to start the inning, five straight Hot Rods reached base. Drew Vettleson and Jeff Malm started the hit parade with two singles, and Cameron Seitzer's double brought both of them home. Josh Sale followed with an RBI single, and Bowling Green was up 3-1. Dayton got their lone run in the top half of the inning when starter Roberto Gomez committed a throwing error that moved a runner from first to third, and the Dragons made him pay for it with a single to bring the runner home. Gomez pitched well, striking out six in six innings and only allowing the unearned run on three hits and three walks. Andrew Bellatti continued succeeding in his new relief role, striking out five in three scoreless innings. Malm, Seitzer, Ryan Brett and Joel Caminero each collected two hits apiece.
Star of the day- Marquis Fleming had the rare opportunity to bat and also pitched a couple scoreless innings.
Goat of the day- Lance Pendelton channeled his inner-Torres with a six walk start.
Today's games (probables courtesy of milb.com)
Montgomery @ Birmingham 8:05 PM
Matt Buschmann (1-1, 5.02) v. Cameron Bayne (3-2, 4.95)
Charlotte @ Tampa 7 PM
Braulio Lara (3-1, 5.13) v. Michael O'Brien* (4-1, 2.92)
Bowling Green v. Dayton 7:35 PM
Roberto Gomez* (2-1, 4.04) v. TBA
*Listed as TBA on milb.com
Scouting the opposition
27-14 (1st in IL North)
Offense: 211 R (1st) .783 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 3.28 ERA (4th) 1.31 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: C Ryan Lavarnway (9), RHP Alex Wilson (11) SS Jose Iglesias (12), OF Alex Hassan (26), 1B Lars Anderson (28)
Birmingham Barons (
21-20 (3rd in SL North)
Offense: 189 R (2nd) .716 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 3.62 ERA (4th) 1.38 WHIP (8th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Nestor Molina (2), RHP Simon Castro (3), SS Tyler Saladino (8), 1B Andy Wilkins (13), OF Jared Mitchell (17), OF Jose Martinez (26), LHP Pedro Hernandez
16-23 (4th in FSL North)
Offense: 147 R (10th) .646 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 4.10 ERA (9th) 1.38 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: C J.R. Murphy (9), OF Ramon Flores (13), RHP Zach Nudie (22), RHP Mark Montgomery (23), LHP Nik Turley (27), RHP Branden Pinder (30)
Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati)
14-26 (8th in MWL East)
Offense: 127 R (16th) .609 OPS (15th)
Pitching: 3.43 ERA (6th) 1.29 WHIP (12th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Kyle Waldrop (22), 2B Ryan Wright (23), 3B Sean Buckley (24)