Rays down on the farm June 21: Gannon dominates in Renegades win

In 11 scoreless innings this year, Nolan Gannon has struck out 13 and only allowed two hits and three walks - Jim Donten

Nolan Gannon earns the Triforce of Power with another strong outing

Albert Suarez finally returned to the mound after only throwing a handful of innings last year, and other than that, highlights were few and far between.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (43-33)

Matt Andriese stretch of strong pitching was broken up Friday night in Durham's 8-2 loss to Syracuse.  After going seven straight starts allowing two or fewer runs, Andriese allowed two run home runs in both the second and third innings.  He would try to pitch into the fifth inning, but after allowing back to back doubles that scored another run, he was replaced by C.J. Riefenhauser.  Riefenhauser retired the first batter he faced, but three hits and a sac fly later, it was an 8-0 lead for the Chiefs.  Andriese finished with six runs allowed on nine hits and a walk in 4+ innings with six strikeouts.

Durham's offense could only muster individual runs in the sixth and seventh innings.  Mikie Mahtook led off the sixth with a double and scored on a Jayson Nix sac fly, and a Syracuse error allowed the second run to score an inning later.  Wilson Betemit had two hits including a double, and Curt Casali reached base three times. The Bulls were 1/12 with runners in scoring position, and they left nine runners on base.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (1-1)

A pitchers' duel fell apart late in Montgomery's 5-3 loss to Mobile.  The game was scoreless for the first five and a half innings before the Biscuits got on the board with a two run sixth.  Joey Rickard walked to lead off the inning, and Willie Argo followed that up with a bunt hit that resulted in two runners in scoring position thanks to a Mark Thomas error.  After a Jake Hager single and Cameron Seitzer sac fly, the Biscuits led 2-0.

That's when the game fell apart though.  Mike Colla was hit for two unearned runs to tie the game in the seventh, although it was Matt Lollis who allowed the second run to score.  An inning later, Lollis was charged with three runs of his own on three hits, including a pair for extra bases, and two walks.  Starter Grayson Garvin struck out one and allowed two hits and no walks in three innings.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (0-2)

Charlotte's offense was again absent in their 3-1 loss to Palm Beach.  Three straight singles by Patrick Leonard, Justin O'Conner and Kes Carter in the fourth inning actually put the Stone Crabs ahead, but they lost the lead in the next half inning.  After that inning though, only three batters would reach base.  Leonard had two of Charlotte's six hits.

Albert Suarez, after only pitching 6.1 innings in 2013, made his first appearance of 2014 and wasn't bad.  It's not surprising that he only lasted four innings, but they were all scoreless with three strikeouts, no walks and five hits allowed.  Minor league veteran Casey Weathers allowed both fifth inning Cardinal runs, and Marcus Jensen allowed the third.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (1-1)

Late insurance runs put the game out of reach in Bowling Green's 8-3 loss to Lansing.  Already down 4-3 in the seventh inning, the Lugnuts added four more runs against Stone Speer.  A Juniel Querecuto error to start the inning didn't help, but Speer would later allow a two run home run along with another run with two outs.  Starter Ben Griset wasn't any better, allowing four runs on nine hits and three walks in 4.1 innings with five strikeouts.

The Hot Rods scored the first run of the game in the third inning despite only putting the ball in play once.  Ty Young was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, stole second base, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and he came home to score on a one out error.  A passed ball and wild pitch helped them score their second run a few innings later, but at least Alexander Simon hit a double before scoring.  Kean Wong and Armando Ariaiza each had two hits.  Wong also stole two bases.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (5-3)

Nolan Gannon was sharp again in Hudson Valley's 3-0 win over Staten Island.  After working five scoreless innings in his 2014 debut, Gannon topped himself with six.  He only allowed a single hit and walk, and he struck out eight batters.  After he departed, Isaac Gil was just as effective, striking out five while only allowing two hits in three innings of relief to earn a save.

In his pro debut, Jace Conrad made his impact felt early.  He led off the game with a single, advanced to second on an error, stole third base and came home to score on another error.  Four innings later, Conrad's RBI single would extend the lead to 3-0.  Wilmer Dominguez had two hits too, and Casey Gillaspie struck out three times.

Rookie Princeton Rays (1-1)

There were no late heroics in Princeton's 11 inning 2-1 loss to Bristol.  The Rays' only run of the game came on a solo home run in the fifth inning off the bat of Manny Sanchez, coming straight from the Dominican Summer League where he hit 13 home runs in 2013.  That was one of Princeton's five hits with Carter Burgess and Enmanuel Paulino each getting a pair.  Rays batters struck out 11 times and only walked once.

Rays pitching was strong though, led by starter Freddy Alvarez.  He allowed just one run on four hits and two walks in six innings with seven strikeouts.  He was relieved by Yonny Chirinos who was even better, striking out five in four scoreless innings, only allowing one hit and one walk.  In the 11th, the Pirates scored the go-ahead run with a two out double off Rafael Cordova.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (0-1)

The GCL Rays offense thought the season started today in their 2-0 loss to the GCL Orioles.  In the ninth, a wild pitch moved two runners into scoring position with just one out, but outs by Jose Rojas and Jeremy Hadley ended the game.  They only had four hits and four walks, and a pair of double plays and picked off runners proved to be problematic.  James Harris was 0/3 in his rehab appearance.  Starter Jose Alvarado allowed a run on two hits and two walks in four innings with three strikeouts.

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Star of the day- Maybe Gannon is breaking out.

Goat of the day- Scoring runs in the GCL South is tough, but the Rays could at least get one.

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

Durham v. Syracuse 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Mike Montgomery (8-1, 3.38) v. TBA

Montgomery v. Mobile 7:35 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Victor Mateo (7-4, 3.73) v. Charles Brewer (3-1, 2.53)

Charlotte v. Palm Beach 6 PM (Radio stream)
Reinaldo Lopez (4-2, 3.20) v. Kyle Helisek (4-2, 2.59)

Bowling Green @ Lansing 7:05 PM (Radio stream)
Chris Kirsch (3-5, 3.78) v. Chase De Jong (0-4, 4.73)

Hudson Valley @ Staten Island 7 PM (Radio stream)
Oscar Armenta* (0-0, 0.00) v. Jordan Cote (0-0, 2.25)

Princeton v. Bristol 7:05 PM
Hyrum Formo (0-0, -.--) v. Jon Sandfort (0-0, -.--)

GCL Rays v. GCL Orioles 10 AM
TBA v. TBA

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Syracuse Chiefs (Washington)
44-30 (1st in IL North)
Offense: 329 R (6th) .743 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 3.42 ERA (2nd) 1.25 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Brian Goodwin (3), OF Steven Souza (10), SS Zach Walters (14), RHP Blake Treinen (23), RHP Christian Garcia (24)

Mobile BayBears (Arizona)
1-1 (T-1st in SL South)
Offense: 345 R (1st) .743 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 3.09 ERA (1st) 1.28 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Jake Lamb (12), RHP Jimmie Sherfy (15), RHP A.J. Schugel (20)

Palm Beach Cardinals
2-0 (T-1st in FSL South)
Offense: 324 R (4th) .699 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 3.13 ERA (5th) 1.26 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Charlie Tilson (12), RHP Tyrell Jenkins (17)

Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto)
1-1 (T-2nd in MWL East)
Offense: 336 R (6th) .701 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 4.20 ERA (11th) 1.49 WHIP (14th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF D.J. Davis (3), 3B Mitch Nay (4), SS Dawel Lugo (9), RHP Chase De Jong (11), RHP Tom Robson (16), 1B Matt Dean (25)

Staten Island Yankees
4-4 (3rd in McNamara)
Offense: 22 R (11th) .535 OPS (14th)
Pitching: 2.38 ERA (3rd) 1.41 WHIP (13th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Thairo Estrada (28)

Bristol Pirates
1-1 (T-2nd in APP West)
Offense: 4 R (9th) .598 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 2.33 ERA (4th) 0.98 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Jon Sandfort (28)

GCL Orioles
1-0 (T-1st in GCL South)
Offense: 2 R (14th) .623 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 0.00 ERA (1st) 0.89 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: Roster not yet available

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