Triple-A Durham Bulls (45-37)
A six run inning broke a 2-2 tie in Durham's 8-2 win over Indianapolis. Curt Casali doubled home two that inning, but the big hit came later in the inning. With the bases loaded, Jeremy Moore socked a grand slam to provide insurance and put the game out of reach. Four Bulls had two hit games, including Mikie Mahtook with his 25th double of the season.
He did allow a pair of runs, but Matt Andriese rebounded from his poor start last time out. He allowed those two runs on three hits and two walks in six innings with six strikeouts, and it was the eighth time in his last nine starts he allowed two or fewer runs. Brandon Gomes struck out three in two scoreless innings, and Steve Geltz was back from his suspension with two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 ninth.
Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (5-3)
Neither team could muster much offense in Montgomery's 4-1 loss to Huntsville. The teams combined for just nine hits, and Montgomery used two of their four in the fourth inning to score their only run. After Jake Hager led off with a triple, Taylor Motter brought him home with a single to tie the game at one. The Biscuits would only get two more runners in scoring position the rest of the game, and they were both with two outs. Motter had two of the hits and also walked.
Victor Mateo wasn't sharp, but the defense didn't help him either. Of the four runs he allowed, the only run that was earned was on the solo home run hit against him in the second inning. Errors by Ryan Brett and Jeff Malm led to two runs in the fourth, and a passed ball helped the Stars add an insurance run late. Mateo was charged with four runs (one earned) on five hits and four walks in 6.1 innings with four strikeouts. Braulio Lara retired all five batters he faced.
Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (0-8)
Charlotte ran their losing streak to double digits in their 7-3 loss to Palm Beach. The Stone Crabs fell behind 7-0 through four innings when the got to Reinaldo Lopez. He lasted just 3.1 innings, and all seven runs were charged to him on eight hits and two walks with two strikeouts. Zach Cooper, making his Charlotte debut, and Ryan Garton settled the game down after that, but the offense ran out of time.
Julian Ridings' two out single got Charlotte's scoring started in the fifth inning, and Patrick Leonard's second home run in as many days made it a 7-2 game an inning later. Justin O'Conner hit a sac fly in the eighth. Ridings and Leonard had two hit games, and Leonardo Reginatto picked up three.
Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (3-4)
A five run sixth inning broke things open in Bowling Green's 9-3 win over Lake County. Already holding a 4-3 lead, the Hot Rods added five more, largely due to Captains mistakes. With two outs, Pat Blair singled to extend the inning for what would be their only hit in the big inning. Lake County had a fielder's choice that didn't record an out, four wild pitches, a passed ball, two walks including one with the bases loaded and even a run scoring balk to give the game away. Earlier in the game, James Harris hit a solo home run, and Kean Wong had three hits and reached base four times.
Ryne Stanek pitched three innings in his first start in 12 days. He was charged with three runs, but all of them were unearned. He put the first two players on with a hit batter and walk, and after an out, a Pat Blair error loaded the bases. Nellie Rodriguez would clear them with two outs, and Stanek finished with three unearned runs allowed on four hits and a walk in three innings with five strikeouts. Luis Cabrera struck out five in 3.2 no-hit innings, but he did walk three.
Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (9-5)
Hudson Valley had a big breakout performance in their 14-3 win over Staten Island. They got off to a fast start by scoring four runs in both the first and second innings, and Hunter Lockwood was in the middle of it all game long. He drove in the first run of the game before Clayton Henning cleared the bases with a double to make it 4-0, and Lockwood drove in another run in the second. After allowing three runs in the fifth, Hudson Valley responded immediately by scoring five more of their own. Lockwood had four hits, three of which went for extra bases.
Oscar Armenta pitched well until his hiccup in the fifth inning. He only faced one batter over the minimum through the first four innings, and then Staten Island got to him with four hits in the fifth inning to score three. Armenta finished with the three runs allowed on five hits and a walk in five innings with two strikeouts. Isaac Gil struck out three over four scoreless innings to earn a save.
Princeton took a really long time to lose in their 17 inning 5-4 loss to Kingsport. Rays pitching was outstanding, but the finally got to a reliever when Ruben Paredes gave up two runs (one earned) in the 17th. Including Paredes, six Princeton arms combined to strike out 23 batters compared to only two walks, and two of the five Kingsport runs were unearned. Starter Hyrum Formo allowed a pair of solo home runs in five innings with five strikeouts. With six strikeouts in four scoreless innings, Mario Fernandez may have had the most impressive relief appearance.
Princeton managed to have 21 batters reach base, but they were just 3/17 with runners in scoring position and left 17 men on base. Hec Montes and Nic Wilson each led the Rays by reaching base four times, and Riley Unroe's solo home run in the second was their last run until the 17th. Cristian Toribio's single pulled within one, and he reached third with two outs, but Enmanuel Paulino struck out to end the game. Finally.
Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (3-3)
After getting blown out Wednesday, the GCL Rays returned the favor with a 9-0 win over the GCL Red Sox. Bill Pujols led off the first inning with a single, advanced on a passed ball and wild pitch in the same at-bat and came home to score what proved to be the only necessary run. They would tack on a few more, but the big inning came in the sixth. The first six batters reached base, including a two run single by Oscar Sanay, on their way to a five run inning to blow the game open. Catcher Jose Rojas had three hits, including two doubles.
Meanwhile, the Rays received very good pitching from a pair of arms. Jose Alvarado pitched five scoreless, one-hit innings with seven strikeouts and three walks. Behind him, Jordan Harrison made his second rehab appearance, and he could be ready to head back to Bowling Green. He struck out six in four scoreless innings, only allowing four hits and walking none.
Star of the day- It's too bad Princeton didn't get a little more run support.
Goat of the day- Charlotte needs a stopper, and Lopez allowing seven runs in 3.1 innings wasn't that.
Today's games (probables courtesy of milb.com)
*Listed as TBA on milb.com
Scouting the opposition
46-34 (1st in IL West)
Offense: 365 R (4th) .717 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 3.59 ERA (4th) 1.31 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Nick Kingham (5), C (15), 1B (21), OF Jaff Decker (22)
Huntsville Stars (Milwaukee)
4-4 (T-3rd in SL North)
Offense: 369 R (2nd) .713 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 3.28 ERA (2nd) 1.23 WHIP (1st)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Mitch Haniger (3), RHP David Goforth (8), LHP Jed Bradley (18), 1B (20), RHP Drew Gagnon (25), OF D'Vontrey Richardson (30)
7-1 (1st in FSL South)
Offense: 352 R (4th) .700 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 3.14 ERA (5th) 1.26 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Charlie Tilson (12), RHP Tyrell Jenkins (17)
West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit)
3-4 (T-5th in MWL East)
Offense: 311 R (14th) .664 OPS (16th)
Pitching: 3.08 ERA (2nd) 1.21 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Jonathan Crawford (5), LHP Kevin Ziomek (10), SS Javier Betancourt (16), RHP Jeff Thompson (24), RHP Zac Reininger (25), SS Willy Adames (30), C Grayson Greiner
Aberdeen IronBirds (Baltimore)
1-13 (4th in McNamara)
Offense: 27 R (14th) .533 OPS (14th)
Pitching: 2.84 ERA (5th) 1.25 WHIP (9th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Stephen Tarpley (21), C Jonah Heim (21), C Alex Murphy (31)
5-3 (T-1st in APP West)
Offense: 40 R (5th) .710 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 3.49 ERA (5th) 1.31 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: None
2-4 (4th in GCL South)
Offense: 21 R (14th) .681 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 4.06 ERA (9th) 1.41 WHIP (9th)
Top 30 Prospects: None