Montgomery finally wrapped up a five game series against Birmingham to open the season, and they were among three affiliates in action Monday. There was plenty of nice pitching, and Justin O'Conner was back behind the plate.
Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (3-2) ***Featured game of the day***
Taylor Guerrieri was impressive in his brief 2013 debut as Bowling Green defeated Lansing 3-2. He arrived at Bowling Green late after not getting enough work in at spring training, and his three inning start Monday seemed to indicate he's still building arm strength. He did strike out four in those three innings without walking a batter and allowing just one hit, giving him an impressive start to build on for outing number two later this week. His counterpart, another highly touted prep arm from the 2011 draft in Daniel Norris, struggled. The Hot Rods scored all three runs against him in the first two innings, highlighted by Andrew Toles's RBI triple two batters into the game, his first of two three baggers on the night. Eduar Quinonez allowed three runs in four innings of relief but got the win. For the first time since 2011, Justin O'Conner caught. He had two passed balls, but he also caught a runner stealing and picked another off third base.
Triple-A Durham Bulls (4-1)
Pitching and defense ruled the day in Durham's 2-1 win over Gwinnett. All three runs were unearned, and all three of them were scored in the ninth inning. A fielding error by Josh Lueke in the top half of the inning led to Gwinnett's only run in the top half of the inning, and shortstop Sean Kazmar responded in kind in the bottom half. With no outs and two runners in scoring position, the tying and winning runs crossed the plate on his fielding error. Jake Odorizzi was very impressive in his Rays organization debut, and he could've gone longer than 6.2 scoreless innings if he wasn't on a pitch count. He struck out eight while only issuing two walks and allowing four hits.
Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (3-2)
Montgomery got a complete team effort in their series winning 5-1 victory over Birmingham. After allowing two hits and an earned run in the first inning, Jake Thompson went on to retire 16 of the next 17 batters, with only one Baron reaching base on an error. He finished with seven strikeouts in six innings, throwing 58 of his 83 pitches for strikes. Meanwhile, the Biscuits offense used the long ball to give him run support. Robby Price and Mikie Mahtook both went deep in the third inning to give Montgomery a 3-1 lead, and Todd Glaesmann hit his first homer of the year in the sixth to add insurance. Marquis Fleming, Juan Sandoval, and C.J. Riefenhauser each threw a scoreless inning.
Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (1-3)
Charlotte finally ended their marathon streak of four games played and had a day off.
Star of the day- There was a lot to like on Monday. Odorizzi and Thompson were great, and O'Conner putting the gear back on and not being a total disaster is nice too.
Goat of the day- Marty Foster has nothing to do with minor league baseball, but man did he step in it last night.
Today's games (probables courtesy of milb.com)
Durham v. Gwinnett 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV)
Alex Torres (0-0, ---) v. Sean Gilmartin (1-0, 1.80)
Montgomery is off
Charlotte v. Bradenton 6:30 PM
TBA v. Eliecer Navarro (0-1, 3.00)
Bowling Green v. Lansing 8:05 PM
Jeff Ames (0-0, 1.80) v. Javier Avendano (0-0, 0.00)
Scouting the opposition
4-1, (T-1st in IL South)
Offense: 20 R (9th) .651 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 2.03 ERA (3rd) 1.30 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Sean Gilmartin (4), OF Todd Cunningham (12), RHP David Hale (16), 1B Joey Terdoslavich (18)
Bradenton Marauders (Pittsburgh)
0-4 (T-5th in FSL South)
Offense: 18 R (5th) .717 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 4.11 ERA (8th) 1.49 WHIP (8th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Gregory Polanco (4), SS Alen Hanson (5), RHP Nick Kingham (17), OF Willy Garcia (18), RHP Adrian Sampson (21), 1B Jose Osuna (24)
Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto)
3-2 (T-1st in MWL East)
Offense: 27 R (5th) .724 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 1.67 ERA (1st) 1.16 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Roberto Osuna (4), LHP Daniel Norris (8), C Santiago Nessy (14), 2B Christian Lopes (23), OF Chris Hawkins (30)