Rays down on the farm May 14: Montgomery back on track

Mike Montgomery has 23 strikeouts to seven walks in his last five starts - Leon Halip

Despite a first inning hiccup, Mike Montgomery had his best start since his no-hitter last month

Not much (or anything) to see with the two lower level affiliates last night.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (23-17)

Mike Montgomery made a first inning mistake but recovered for a very good start in Durham's 5-2 win over Charlotte.  With two outs in the first, he allowed a two run homer to occasional big league catcher Josh Phegley, and that would be the last time the Knights threatened Montgomery.  He only allowed two more baserunners the rest of his outing and finished with the two runs allowed on two hits and a walk in eight innings with seven strikeouts.  59 of his 94 pitches were strikes.  Jeff Beliveau struck out two more batters in one inning of work for the save.

Another occasional big leaguer, Jerry Sands, got Durham back in the game an inning later.  After Wilson Betemit singled to lead off the second, Sands attempted to break out of his slump with a two run homer, his seventh of the season.  The Bulls scored the eventual winning run later in the inning on a two out single by Mike Fontenot to score Vince Belnome.  In the fifth, Sands drove in another one with an RBI groundout, and Mikie Mahtook's two out double that inning extended Durham's lead to 5-2.  For just the fifth time this year, Belnome reached base three times.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (21-17)

Roberto Gomez received a lot of support in his Montgomery debut in their 9-3 win over Mississippi.  Before Gomez even took the mound, the bats provided him with a 3-0 lead, and he was spotted a 7-0 lead through two and a half innings before he finally allowed a run to the Braves.  After a single led off the third, Gomez allowed a double that ended his shutout, and they got a second run later in the inning with a successful squeeze bunt.  He allowed another run in the fourth, but overall, he was solid, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and no walks in five innings with a strikeout.

Ryan Brett singled to lead off the game, and after he came home to score, he was replaced before taking the field for the bottom half of the inning.  It was Willie Argo that drove him in, and Argo came up big again in the second inning, another three run frame for the Biscuits.  His two out double scored two runs, and he would drive in a fourth run with a sac fly in the sixth.  Six Biscuits reached base multiple times, led by Taylor Motter with three hits.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (19-19)

Charlotte was crushed by Daytona in their 12-0 loss.  11 of those runs were scored in the first five innings, and six of them were charged to the struggling Leonel Santiago in 2.2 innings of work.  He allowed those runs on six hits and two walks with a strikeout.  Eli Echarry and Ryan Garton were each charged with three runs (two earned).  Jonathan Quinonez had two of Charlotte's five hits, and Stone Crab hitters combined to strike out 11 times and draw no walks.  Dan Vogelbach was 0/4.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (16-21)

An ordinary shutout turned into a blowout late in Bowling Green's 10-0 loss to Lansing.  The Hot Rods held Lansing scoreless through the first three innings, but a solo home run in the fourth started a Lugnut rally that plated five runs over the next three innings.  Chris Kirsch's struggles continued, as he was charged with four runs on seven hits and five walks in 4.1 innings with three strikeouts.  Andrew Hanse allowed five more Lansing runs in the ninth.  Yoel Araujo had two of the Hot Rods' four hits.

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Star of the day- Montgomery really dominated after that first inning.

Goat of the day- Kirsch was not quite as good.

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

Durham v. Charlotte 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Merrill Kelly (4-1, 2.09) v. Charlie Leesman (1-2, 1.70)

Montgomery @ Mississippi 12 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Mike Colla (1-4, 4.84) v. Jason Hursh (2-3, 1.50)

Charlotte @ Daytona 10:35 AM (Radio stream)
Reinaldo Lopez (2-2, 4.46) v. Yao-Lin Wang (0-5, 8.44)

Bowling Green v. Lansing 11:35 AM (Radio stream)
Ryne Stanek* (0-1, 1.80) v. Jeremy Gabryszwski (2-2, 3.73)

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
13-25 (4th in IL South)
Offense: 133 R (14th) .648 OPS (14th)
Pitching: 4.06 ERA (11th) 1.47 WHIP (12th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Erik Johnson (2), 3B Matt Davidson (4), 2B Carlos Sanchez (12), OF Jared Mitchell (13)

Mississippi Braves
19-19 (3rd in SL South)
Offense: 135 R (10th) .692 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 3.43 ERA (3rd) 1.32 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP J.R. Graham (3), RHP Jason Hursh (4), RHP Shae Simmons (16), 3B Kyle Kubitza (22), OF Matt Lipka (24), RHP Aaron Northcraft (25), OF Robby Hefflinger (29), RHP James Hoyt (30)

Daytona Cubs
11-24 (5th in FSL North)
Offense: 146 R (9th) .658 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 4.17 ERA (10th) 1.44 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Albert Almora (4), 3B Jeimer Candelario (8), 1B Dan Vogelbach (9), LHP Rob Zastryzny (20), RHP Zach Cates (27), RHP Ben Wells (28)

Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto)
19-18 (4th in MWL East)
Offense: 180 R (7th) .715 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 3.83 ERA (6th) 1.45 WHIP (12th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF D.J. Davis (3), 3B Mitch Nay (4), RHP Alberto Tirado (8), SS Dawel Lugo (9), RHP Chase De Jong (11), RHP Tom Robson (16), C Santiago Nessy (23), 1B Matt Dean (25)

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