Rays down on the farm April 8: Hit Bull Win Steak

This is the only photo in the editor that had the bull in it - Liz Condo-US PRESSWIRE

For one day, Justin Christian will have enough meal money to eat something besides gas station hot dogs

Justin Christian is the first batter to hit the bull since Craig Albernaz last year.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (3-2)

A late outburst help secure the lead in Durham's 8-1 win over Charlotte. Justin Christian led off the bottom of the first with a home run off the bull, and Wilson Betemit drove in a second run later in the inning. In the third, Erik Bedard ran into a bit of trouble when he loaded the bases with nobody out, but after a sac fly that cut the lead to one, he induced a ground ball double play to end the inning. Bedard was strong in four innings, only allowing the run on two hits and a walk with five strikeouts. Juan Carlos Oviedo struck out one in a perfect inning of relief, and Merrill Kelly struck out five in three scoreless innings.

Up 3-1 in the eighth following a Jerry Sands solo homer in the sixth, the Bulls broke the game open with a five run frame. The first run scored on a third strike passed ball with the bases loaded, and two more runs would score thanks to sloppy Knights defense. Sands and Wilson Betemit also had RBI doubles. Sands, Betemit, Christian and Ray Olmedo had two hit games, and Cole Figueroa reached base three more times.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (3-2)

A Richie Shaffer home run proved to be the difference in Montgomery's game one 4-3 win over Birmingham. The Biscuits scored all our of their runs in the third inning, first on an RBI triple by Taylor Motter. After Cameron Seitzer walked, they successfully executed a double steal to go ahead 2-0. Later in that at-bat, Shaffer hit his second home run of the season to go up 4-0.

Mike Colla started for Montgomery and lasted three innings, allowing all three Baron runs just a half inning after Montgomery's big inning. Matt Lollis was credited with the win with three strikeouts in two scoreless innings of relief, and Santiago Garrido picked up his second save with two strikeouts in an inning. Former Rays farmhand Frank De Los Santos pitched an inning for Birmingham.

Game two got wild late, but Montgomery was on the wrong end of an 8-5 score. Two batters into the game, Grayson Garvin coughed up a home run to Michael Earley, but ultimately he pitched well for three innings, allowing just that run on two hits and a walk with three strikeouts. The Biscuits offense was largely nonthreatening throughout the game, and the Barons added to their lead in a big way, starting with three runs in the sixth against Jim Patterson. Braulio Lara then allowed four in the seventh to put Montgomery down 8-0.

With three outs to go, the Biscuits finally attempted to mount a comeback. Riccio Torrez tripled home the first two runs, and he came home to score himself on a Jake Hager groundout. Motter singled home their fourth run, and the fifth scored on a throwing error. Unfortunately, the rally ended with the tying run at the plate when Seitzer and Luke Maile made outs. Maile did have two hits earlier in the game.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (1-3)

Charlotte was off.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (2-2)

Bowling Green was off.


Star of the day- Christian has hit in his first four games with the Bulls.

Goat of the day- Montgomery's bullpen really let game two get out of hand.

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

Durham v. Charlotte 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Nathan Karns (0-0, 16.87) v. Scott Carroll* (1-0, 0.00)

Montgomery is off

Charlotte @ Ft. Myers 7:05 PM (Radio stream)
Leonel Santiago* (0-0, ---) v. Mason Melotakis (0-0, 18.00)

Bowling Green @ Burlington 7:30 PM (Radio stream)
Blake Snell (0-0, ---) v. Elliot Morris (0-0, ---)

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
3-2 (T-1st in IL South)
Offense: 11 R (7th) .584 OPS (13th)
Pitching: 2.72 ERA (7th) 1.26 WHIP (9th)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Matt Davidson (4), 2B Carlos Sanchez (12), OF Jared Mitchell (13), RHP Jake Petricka (21)

Fort Myers Miracle (Minnesota)
3-1 (T-1st in FSL South)
Offense: 29 R (1st) .664 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 3.00 ERA (7th) 1.19 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP J.O. Berrios (5), 2B Jorge Polanco (10), OF Max Kepler (11), OF Adam Brett Walker (16), LHP Mason Melotakis (18), 3B Travis Harrison (25), SS Niko Goodrum (26)

Burlington Bees (Anaheim)
2-2 (T-1st in MWL West)
Offense: 15 R (T-9th) .731 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 2.67 ERA (3rd) 1.22 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Victor Alcantara (15), RHP Mike Clevinger (17), OF Mike Fish (18), RHP Joe Krehbiel (23), SS Erick Salcedo (27)

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