Rays down on the farm April 6: Casali on fire

Birmingham couldn't get Casali out Saturday - Brian Blanco

It was 2013 all over again for the catcher acquired last spring

It's too bad Curt Casali couldn't play for every affiliate yesterday. I was hoping to see Jared Mortensen pitch a little better, but it's only one outing.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (1-2)

Matt Andriese wasn't great in his Durham debut, and the offense didn't provide him much support either in their 4-1 loss to Gwinnett. Andriese allowed four hits and walked three in five innings, but the big mistake was a three run homer by Mark Hamilton in the fourth inning. Andriese struck out four batters. C.J. Riefenhauser struck out four in two innings of relief, but he also allowed Ernesto Mejia's fourth home run of the series.

Meanwhile, the Bulls' offense was essentially nonexistent. Only one batter reached base through the first four innings. They got their lone run of the game on an Eddy Rodriguez RBI groundout that scored Jerry Sands. Durham only collected five hits, and only Sands' double in the fifth was for extra bases.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (2-1)

Montgomery used four crooked numbers to top Birmingham in a 14-7 slugfest. After coughing up three runs in the top of the first, the Biscuits battled back to score five runs of their own before the Barons could even record an out. The biggest hit of the inning was a two run double by Alejandro Segovia. Birmingham immediately tied the game again a half inning later, but Montgomery's pitching staff got stronger as the game went on while Birmingham's wilted. Once the game was tied at five, the Biscuits scored nine runs in the next seven innings and limited Birmingham to two. Jared Mortensen allowed five runs (three earned) on three hits and four walks in 1.1 innings with a strikeout.

Several Biscuits had breakout games at the plate, and the team pounded out 14 hits and drew seven walks. Curt Casali had three hits, two of which were doubles, and drove in four runs. He also walked and got hit by two pitches. Taylor Motter and Cameron Seitzer also had two hit games, and Seitzer drove in three runs. In addition to Casali, Motter and Seitzer, Willie Argo and Jake Hager reached base at least three times. Andrew Bellatti was credited with the win after allowing one run in 3.2 innings of relief with four strikeouts.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (1-2)

Charlotte was unable to erase a 4-0 deficit in their 4-2 loss to Bradenton. Back to back two out hits by Hector Guevara and Marty Gantt in the seventh scored their first run of the game, and a Marauder error with two outs in the eighth allowed them to cut the deficit to two runs, but Tyler Goeddel was caught stealing third to end the inning. The Stone Crabs brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but they couldn't take advantage. Those two out hits in the seventh were Charlotte's only hits in the game.

Starter Jeff Ames struggled to keep Bradenton in the ballpark, allowing two solo homers in 5.1 innings of work. He allowed three runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Ryan Garton allowed one inherited run to score and was charged with one of his own in 2.2 innings of relief.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (2-1)

Bowling Green left their bats at home in their 2-0 loss to South Bend. The Hot Rods loaded the bases with one out in the first inning, but the South Bend infield cut down the runner going home on a Ty Young groundout, and Alexander Simon couldn't pick up a two out hit. Pat Blair singled in the second, but only two more Hot Rods reached base the rest of the game, one of which came on an error.

That was unfortunate for starter Chris Kirsch who was sharp in his first start of the season. He allowed a leadoff double in the first inning, and that runner eventually came around to score. That was the only hit and run he allowed in the game, also only walking one in five innings and striking out six. The Silver Hawks scored an insurance run against Luis Cabrera in the sixth. Bowling Green struck out 13 times.

CLICK HERE FOR ALL BOX SCORES

Star of the day- Casali was one of several Biscuits who battered Birmingham.

Goat of the day- Offense was less than sparse in the organization outside of Montgomery.

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

Durham v. Gwinnett 1:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Mike Montgomery (0-0, ---) v. Mitch Atkins (0-0, ---)

Montgomery v. Birmingham 3:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Mike Colla (0-0, ---) v. Nick McCully (0-0, ---)

Charlotte @ Bradenton 1 PM (radio stream)
Austin Pruitt (0-0, ---) v. Orlando Castro (0-0, ---)

Bowling Green v. South Bend 3:05 PM (radio stream)
Hunter Wood (0-0, ---) v. TBA

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Gwinnett Braves
2-1 (T-1st in IL South)
Offense: 22 R (1st) .756 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 4.50 ERA (11th) 1.50 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)
1-2 (T-3rd in SL North)
Offense: 20 R (2nd) .771 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 6.48 ERA (10th) 1.48 WHIP (9th)
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)
2-1 (T-2nd in FSL South)
Offense: 17 R (3rd) .938 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 1.73 ERA (3rd) 0.92 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Tyler Glasnow (3), OF Josh Bell (7), C Jin-De Jhang (24)

South Bend Silver Hawks (Arizona)
1-2 (T-5th in MWL East)
Offense: 8 R (14th) .495 OPS (16th)
Pitching: 3.55 ERA (T-7th) 0.91 WHIP (2nd)
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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