Rays down on the farm April 5: Shaffer sparks rally

Shaffer only has one hit so far, but at least it was a home run - Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The former first rounder's first hit of the season was a big one

Kiermaier has stood out early, as has Cole Figueroa.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (1-1)

Durham failed to keep Ernesto Mejia in the park again in their 12-7 loss to Gwinnett. The Barves first baseman hit two more home runs, giving him three in two games against the Bulls. The first was a two run shot in the first inning off starter Enny Romero who allowed six runs (four earned) on six hits and three walks in four innings with four strikeouts. Juan Carlos Oviedo couldn't provide any relief, allowing two runs in an inning of relief.

Between the fourth and seventh innings, Durham scored all seven of their runs, including Kevin Kiermaier hitting his second home run of this season against a big leaguer, this time against Ervin Santana. Kiermaier had three hits and scored three times. Ali Solis had two hits and drove in three runs, and Justin Christian drove in two with two hits. Both of them also committed errors leading to unearned Gwinnett runs. Five of their 12 runs were unearned. Cole Figueroa reached base five times with a pair of singles and three walks.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (1-1)

A seventh inning Richie Shaffer home run sparked a rally to help Montgomery top Birmingham 5-4. Down 4-2, Shaffer led off the inning with a dinger off Nestor Molina, who some Toronto fans inexplicably felt would become an ace a few years ago. With one out, a Luke Maile double followed a Riccio Torrez single, and Taylor Motter's double brought home both of them for the game tying and winning runs. Motter reached base two times and stole a base.

The Barons scored the first four runs of the game against Dylan Floro who stumbled out of the gate. After a shaky second and third innings, Floro settled in and finished with the four runs allowed on seven hits and a walk in five innings with four strikeouts. Three Biscuit relievers combined to toss four scoreless innings, including newcomer Matt Lollis who was credited with the win.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (1-1)

Charlotte was poor in all phases of the game in their 9-1 loss to Bradenton. Starter Reinaldo Lopez got hammered for seven runs (six earned) and could not get through the third inning, only finishing the first 2.2 with 10 hits allowed, one walk and one strikeout. Although only one of the nine Marauder runs was unearned, the Stone Crabs committed five errors.

Already down 8-0, Charlotte scored their only run of the game in the seventh inning on a two out single by Josh Sale. The Stone Crabs only picked up five hits, all of which were singles, and they didn't draw any walks either. Eventually, Sale should probably bat higher than eighth in the lineup.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (2-0)

After blowing a ninth inning lead, Bowling Green battled back to beat South Bend 5-4. Called on to save a 3-1 lead, Brad Schreiber instead allowed three runs while only recording one out. The go ahead run scored on a wild pitch. A wild pitch would also give the Hot Rods the win; after hitting a triple to tie the game, Granden Goetzman came home to score on one two batters later. It was Goetzman's second triple of the game. Four Hot Rods had two hit games, including Johnny Field and Armando Araiza who reached base three times.

Starter Jordan Harrison was good, allowing a run on two hits and two walks in five innings with one strikeout. Reliever Andrew Hanse was even better, striking out four in three scoreless innings of work, only allowing one hit. Darryl George drove in two of Bowling Green's runs.

CLICK HERE FOR ALL BOX SCORES

Star of the day- Goetzman has two hits in each of the first two games this year.

Goat of the day- Charlotte was all-around bad, but Lopez put them in a huge hole.

Today's games (probables courtesy of milb.com)

Durham v. Gwinnett 5:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Matt Andriese (0-0, ---) v. Hector Daniel Rodriguez (0-0, ---)

Montgomery v. Birmingham 7:35 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Jared Mortensen (0-0, ---) v. Scott Snodgress (0-0, ---)

Charlotte @ Bradenton 6:30 PM (radio stream)
Jeff Ames (0-0, ---) v. John Kuchno (0-0, ---)

Bowling Green v. South Bend 8:05 PM (radio stream)
Chris Kirsch (0-0, ---) v. TBA

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Gwinnett Braves
1-1 (T-1st in IL South)
Offense: 18 R (1st) .841 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 6.35 ERA (14th) 1.71 WHIP (T-12th)
Top 30 Prospects: C Christian Bethancourt (2), 2B Tommy La Stella (9), RHP Cody Martin (11), 3B Edward Salcedo (12), OF Joey Terdoslavich (15), OF Todd Cunningham (23), RHP Juan Jaime (27)

Birmingham Barons (White Sox)
1-1 (T-1st in SL North)
Offense: 13 R (T-1st) .791 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 3.71 ERA (7th) 0.94 WHIP (1st)
Top 30 Prospects: 2B Micah Johnson (5), OF Trayce Thompson (7), RHP Chris Beck (8), RHP Chris Bassitt (15), LHP Scott Snodgress (16), OF Keenyn Walker (23), RHP Myles Jaye (24), 1B Rangel Ravelo (30)

Bradenton Marauders (Pittsburgh)
1-1 (T-2nd in FSL South)
Offense: 13 R (2nd) .947 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 2.65 ERA (6th) 1.06 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Tyler Glasnow (3), OF Josh Bell (7), C Jin-De Jhang (24)

South Bend Silver Hawks (Arizona)
0-2 (8th in MWL East)
Offense: 6 R (8th) .573 OPS (14th)
Pitching: 5.51 ERA (12th) 1.16 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Braden Shipley (2), RHP Aaron Blair (5), OF Stryker Trahan (8), 1B Daniel Palka (17), C Michael Perez (20), LHP Daniel Gibson (21), RHP Geordy Parra (22), SS Joe Munoz (26), 2B Jamie Westbrook (27), 2B Andrew Velasquez (28)

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