The international free agent signing period starts today, but don't expect to see the Rays in the news in that regard. They received penalties this year after going 15% over last year's allotted budget to sign Jose Mujica, and David Rodriguez.
Triple-A Durham Bulls (52-33)
Durham's offense was shut down for most of game one in a 2-1 loss to the Clippers. Through the first six innings, only two Bulls would reach base, and they were both erased on double plays early in the game. It wasn't until the seventh, already down 2-0, that they would mount a genuine threat. With two outs in the final inning, Shelley Duncan doubled home Tim Beckham and was replaced by the newly signed Evan Frey as a pinch runner. However, Leslie Anderson grounded out to end the game. This wasted a pretty solid start from Mike Montgomery who threw the seven inning complete game, only allowing one earned run on seven hits and a walk with five strikeouts. Duncan had two of the team's four total hits.
They were able to turn the tables in game two though with a 5-0 shutout win. Already short on starters because of the injuries at the major league level, the Bulls had a bullpen game with four relievers pitching two or fewer innings. Cory Wade got it started by facing the minimum over two scoreless innings, and he was followed by Adam Liberatore, credited with the win, who threw two scoreless of his own. C.J. Riefenhauser made his Durham debut, finishing with 1.2 innings and striking out three of the six batters he faced. Josh Lueke recorded the final four outs. Offensively, they broke the game open with a four run third inning that included RBI hits from Duncan and Anderson. Duncan and Cole FIgueroa each had two hit games.
Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (7-6)
Montgomery broke open a tight pitcher's duel midway through their 7-2 win over Tennessee. The game was scoreless through four and a half innings before the Biscuits finally got on the board in the fifth with a Hector Guevara RBI groundout and Mayo Acosta single. An inning later, they added all the insurance they would need with a four run inning that would include a two run single by Riccio Torrez after Todd Glaesmann and Kyeong Kang executed a double steal. Enny Romero earned the win with seven scoreless innings, striking out three and only allowing three hits and three walks. Marquis Fleming allowed both Smokies runs while only recording one out. Four Biscuits reached base twice including Mikie Mahtook with two hits.
Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (7-5)
Alejandro Segovia smashed two home runs en route to a Charlotte 5-1 win in game one. His first was a solo home run in the second inning that broke a 1-1 tie, and his second came in a sixth inning that also featured a solo home run by Kes Carter. Ryan Carpenter pitched five effective innings, allowing just the one run on four hits and two walks with two strikeouts. Frank De Los Santos struck out one in two innings of work in his rehab appearance. Drew Vettleson drove in two runs with a three double game.
Jupiter answered in game two with four first inning runs in Charlotte's 5-0 loss. After allowing the first two batters of the game to reach base, Felipe Rivero induced a double play, but the inning unraveled from there. Four straight Hammerheads hits with a wild pitch mixed in between put them up 4-0, allowing starter Justin Nicolino to cruise to the victory. Rivero would be charged with all five runs in four innings, but the final one was unearned. He allowed seven hits and one walk while striking out two. Carter had two of Charlotte's four hits.
Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (8-4)
Taylor Guerrieri threw six more scoreless innings in Bowling Green's 6-1 win over West Michigan. That extended his scoreless streak to 22 innings, a new franchise record. He allowed three hits, struck out three and walked none. While he was dominating, the offense piled up six runs on 14 hits, starting with Luke Maile's third inning double that scored the first two runs of the game. Maile would later hit a second double on his way to collecting three hits for the game. Five other Hot Rods would have multi-hit games, including Tommy Coyle who drove in a run, scored one and reached base three times. Matt Ramsey allowed the Whitecaps' only run, but he did strike out four in two innings of work.
Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (10-5)
A scoreless streak of 36 innings came to an end for Hudson Valley in their 13 inning, 1-0 loss to Aberdeen. For the second straight day, they needed several extra innings to decide a tight game, and unlike Sunday's, it did not end in their favor. With two outs in the top half of the 13th, a half inning after the Renegades got the winning run to third with one out and couldn't capitalize, Sam Kimmel doubled home Hector Veloz for what proved to be the winning run. Hudson Valley had only seven hits and nine runners reach base, but they still managed to get 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position and only got one hit. Jonathan Quinonez's double was the only extra base hit of the seven. Starter Austin Pruitt maintained his perfect ERA with five scoreless innings, and Kevin Brandt led a number of impressive bullpen performances with four strikeouts in three scoreless innings.
A late home run helped Princeton squeak out a tight 2-1 win over Johnson City. Travis Flores led off the eighth inning with his third home run of the season, a solo shot that broke a 1-1 tie. Opening Day starter Jorge Rodriguez finally settled in to have his first quality start of the season. He allowed the Cardinals' only run on three hits and a walk in six innings of work and struck out four batters. Clayton Crum and Hunter Wood combined to strike out four over the final three innings to earn the win and save respectively. Princeton collected seven hits in the game, but six of them came off the bats of three players with two hit games: Flores, Bralin Jackson and Douglas Duran.
Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (3-5)
The GCL Rays were postponed.
Star of the day-
Goat of the day- Of the eight total games played, half the affiliates scored two or fewer runs.
Today's games (probables courtesy of milb.com)
Montgomery v. Tennessee 8:05 PM (MiLB.TV)
Victor Mateo (2-8, 6.23) v.
Bowling Green v. Dayton 8:05 PM
Sean Bierman (4-3, 2.13) v.
Hudson Valley v. Aberdeen 7:05 PM
John Farrell* (0-0, 8.44) v.
Princeton is off
Both games will be seven innings
*Listed as TBA on milb.com
Scouting the opposition
Columbus Clippers (Cleveland)
38-47 (3rd in IL West)
Offense: 349 R (12th) .715 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 4.44 ERA (10th) 1.44 WHIP (9th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP (2), RHP (6), RHP C.C. Lee (10), LHP (11), OF (19), SS Juan Diaz (32)
Tennessee Smokies (
6-5 (1st in SL North)
Offense: 344 R (3rd) .722 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 3.62 ERA (7th) 1.34 WHIP (7th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Arismendy Alcantara (10), 3B (12), RHP (13), OF Matt Szczur (14), RHP Tony Zych (22), RHP Trey McNutt (24)
Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati)
5-7 (T-5th in MWL East)
Offense: 361 R (7th) .680 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 4.74 ERA (16th) 1.46 WHIP (15th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Robert Stephenson (2), RHP Nick Travieso (6), OF Jesse Winker (7), LHP Ismael Guillon (9), OF Jeff Gelalich (14), 3B Seth Mejias-Brean (19), 3B Tanner Rahier (20), RHP Sal Romano (30)
Aberdeen IronBirds (Baltimore)
6-8 (3rd in McNamara)
Offense: 46 R (10th) .592 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 3.83 ERA (11th) 1.34 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Mike Yastrzemski
GCL Red Sox
5-3 (1st in GCL South)
Offense: 24 R (14th) .629 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 3.13 ERA (8th) 1.12 WHIP (1st)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Trey Ball