Charlotte's rough season continued with two more losses Wednesday, the only two losses for the Rays organization on the day.
AAA Durham Bulls (61-72) ***Featured game of the day***
Despite only recording one hit, Durham won a tight 2-0 pitcher's duel over Norfolk. That hit came off the bat of Chris Gimenez in the first inning and did not result in any scoring. Chris Archer pitched as well as he ever has, striking out eight in 6.1 scoreless innings. He only allowed three hits and two walks, and 69 of his 104 pitches were for strikes. On the losing side of things was former Major Leaguer Jake Arrieta who struck out eight, walked five and was charged with both Durham runs. In the 6th inning, Arrieta walked four straight batters and then threw a wild pitch to the next to put the Bulls up 2-0. Adam Liberatore and Dane De La Rosa struck out four over the last 2.2 innings to preserve the win.
AA Montgomery Biscuits (34-25)
Down 7-2 at one point, Montgomery scored seven runs in the final three innings to top Pensacola 9-8. Mikie Mahtook's two RBI single in the 7th capped off a four run inning, and the longball aided the Biscuits in the 9th. Derek Dietrich and Ryan Garko hit back to back homers, and Mahtook followed those two with a triple and eventually came around to score the 9th run. Although he managed to last five innings longer than his last start, it was another rough outing for Nick Barnese who allowed six runs in five innings. Neil Schenk and C.J. Riefenhauser cooled of Pensacola's offense in the late innings long enough for the Biscuits to take the lead, and Riefenhauser was credited with the win. In addition to Mahtook and Dietrich, Ty Morrison had a productive game, going 3/5 with a solo home run, two runs scored, two RBI and a stolen base.
High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs (23-34)
After a smooth start to the game, Palm Beach eventually got to Braulio Lara in Charlotte's 7-2 game one loss. After only allowing one baserunner through the first three innings, the Cardinals scored seven runs against Lara and Alex Koronis combined in the 4th and 5th innings. After four and a half, Charlotte cut the lead to 3-2, but a four run bottom half of the inning including a three run homer by Cody Stanley put the game away for Palm Beach. Robby Price and Kevin Kiermaier drove in a run apiece, but Cody Rogers was the only Stone Crab that reached base twice.
Cody Stanley decided game two as well as Palm Beach completed the doubleheader sweep with a 4-2 win. With the game tied 1-1 in the 3rd, Stanley's second three run blast of the night gave the Cardinals a lead they wouldn't relinquish. George Jensen made his first start of the season for Charlotte and struggled, allowing four runs in three innings with two walks to just one strikeout. Despite the loss, Charlotte outhit Palm Beach 9-4, but they were 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base. All nine hits were singles, and six of them came from the bats of Robby Price and Todd Glaesmann.
Low-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (35-23)
Bowling Green hit Cincinnati's 2011 first rounder Robert Stephenson hard in their 12-5 win over Dayton. Stephenson allowed seven runs (four earned) in just 3.1 innings, nearly doubling the amount of runs he's allowed in his six Midwest League starts. Stephenson was chased from the game in the 4th inning after loading the bases with three straight singles, and former Northern Iowa basketball hero Lucas O'Rear allowed two of the inherited runners to score on a wild pitch and single. They were the first two of seven unanswered runs the Hot Rods would score en route to their blowout victory. Cameron Seitzer and Jake Hager each had a two run homer, two of five extra base hits on the night for Bowling Green. Matt Rice stayed hot with three hits and two RBI, topped only by Drew Vettleson who had four hits. Ryan Brett reached base four times but is still stuck on 48 steals this season. Justin Woodall made his first start of the year, allowing five runs in four innings, and Charlie Cononie got the win with five scoreless innings in relief.
Short Season-A Hudson Valley Renegades (42-20)
Hudson Valley cruised to another easy victory, topping Connecticut 11-0 Wednesday. A day after asking people to stop referring to him as Matt, Matthew Spann struck out five in six easy scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and a pair of walks. The Renegades got all the offense they needed in the bottom of the 1st, and it was just one of four multi-run innings on the night. Richie Shaffer singled home the first run of the game, and he came home to score himself on a Luke Maile triple. Shaffer's three hit night broke up a three game hitless streak and should get him back on track in his first pro season. He was one of five Renegades to record multiple hits, but one of the players who didn't landed the biggest blow of the night for Hudson Valley. Thomas Coyle's three run homer was his second in as many days, and at the time it gave the Renegades an 8-0 lead.
Rookie Princeton Rays (33-29)
A late rally aided by more poor Danville defense gave Princeton a 7-5 win. In the 8th inning down 5-4, Andrew Toles and William Argo hit back to back singles before Danville's newest defensive meltdown. After Toles took the extra base on the Argo single, Omar Narvaez's squeeze bunt resulted in no outs for the Braves, tying the game. With Oscar Hernandez at the plate, Danville committed two throwing errors on a double steal attempt, allowing both baserunners to score. In addition to his late single, Toles hit a solo home run in the 6th inning, and Princeton hopes the two hit game will break him out of his recent slump. With another two hit game, John Alexander is batting .342 in his last 10 games but still isn't showing much power or on-base skills.
Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (26-30)
The GCL Rays came back to defeat the GCL Red Sox 3-2 Wednesday. The Rays took a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning by hitting three straight two-out singles, but the Red Sox soon took a 2-1 lead against Jorge Rodriguez. Rodriguez exited after four innings with four strikeouts and four hits allowed. For the Red Sox, they were the only four hits they would get. Stepan Havlicek picked up his 3rd win by pitching four hitless innings, and the offense regained the lead with him on the mound. In the 7th, Leopolo Correa and Johnny Eierman hit back to back sac flies to take a 3-2 lead. Isaias Velasquez was 3/3 with a walk in his rehab appearance, and Yoel Araujo had two hits.
Star of the day- There were plenty of choices, but Chris Archer certainly stood out.
Goat of the day- Charlotte whiffed in a doubleheader as the worst season in the team's brief history winds down.
Today's games (probables courtesy of milb.com)
Durham v. Norfolk 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV)
Jim Paduch (5-9, 5.68) v. Zach Petersime (0-1, 2.25)
Montgomery @ Pensacola 8 PM (MiLB.TV)
Jake Thompson* (7-10, 5.30) v. Daniel Corcino* (7-7, 3.17)
Charlotte @ Palm Beach 6:35 PM
Enny Romero (5-6, 3.69) v. Chris Corrigan (2-8, 4.69)
Bowling Green v. Dayton 7:35 PM
Felipe Rivero (8-8, 3.11) v. James Allen (7-4, 4.02)
Hudson Valley v. Connecticut 7:05 PM
Jeff Ames (4-0, 1.58) v. Charles Gillies (0-3, 3.35)
Princeton v. Bristol 7:05 PM
Blake Snell* (5-1, 2.09) v. Todd Kibby (4-4, 3.14)
GCL Rays @ GCL Red Sox 12 PM
TBA v. TBA
*Listed as TBA on MiLB.com
Scouting the opposition
Norfolk Tides (Baltimore)
68-65 (2nd in IL South)
Offense: 554 R (10th) .702 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 3.47 ERA (3rd) 1.27 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: OF L.J. Hoes (5), 3B Ryan Flaherty (7), OF Xavier Avery (9), 1B Joe Mahoney (13), 2B Ryan Adams (23), 1B Brandon Waring (25)
Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Cincinnati)
29-30 (3rd in SL South)
Offense: 502 R (10th) .692 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 3.73 ERA (4th) 1.33 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Billy Hamilton (2), RHP Daniel Corcino (6), OF Ryan LaMarre (14), RHP Tony Cingrani (15), C Tucker Barnhart (25), 3B David Vidal (26), RHP Kyle Lotzkar (30)
Palm Beach Cardinals
27-32 (4th in FSL South)
Offense: 493 R (11th) .668 OPS (12th)
Pitching: 3.79 ERA (5th) 1.31 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: C Cody Stanley (24), RHP Seth Blair (28)
Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati)
25-31 (7th in MWL East)
Offense: 542 R (15th) .676 OPS (15th)
Pitching: 4.22 ERA (15th) 1.39 WHIP (13th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Robert Stephenson (7), OF Yorman Rodriguez (19), OF Kyle Waldrop (22), 3B Sean Buckley (24)
28-33 (3rd in Stedler)
Offense: 234 R (13th) .624 OPS (14th)
Pitching: 3.58 ERA (8th) 1.24 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Ramon Lebron (11), OF Danry Vasquez (18), OF Jake Stewart
Bristol White Sox
16-43 (5th in APP West)
Offense: 212 R (10th) .658 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 5.15 ERA (9th) 1.55 WHIP (9th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Jefferson Olacio (15), 1B Keon Barnum
GCL Red Sox
32-25 (1st in GCL South)
Offense: 262 R (2nd) .659 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 3.15 ERA (3rd) 1.21 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: None