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Down on the farm July 9: Belnome keeps hitting

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The Rays' off-season acquisition from San Diego is an on-base machine

If Vince Belnome makes an out, he likely did so intentionally to ensure each game's fairness
If Vince Belnome makes an out, he likely did so intentionally to ensure each game's fairness
Jim Donten

Fewer games on the schedule today, especially compared to all of the days with doubleheaders lately.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (57-35)

Durham scored all of their runs in four consecutive innings to top Charlotte 8-2. Chris Gimenez got the scoring started in the fourth inning with a sac fly, and the Bulls would then post three straight multi-run innings. Shelley Duncan had a three RBI game, first with a run scoring single in the fifth and then a two run double an inning later. Matt Buschmann pitched an okay game with the run support behind him, allowing just one run in five innings on five hits and three walks with five strikeouts. Three Bulls had three hit games: Cole Figueroa, Vince Belnome and Mike Fontenot. Belnome reached base five times for the second time this season. C.J. Riefenhauser struck out two in two innings of work.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (9-11)

Montgomery got to Diamondbacks prospect Archie Bradley in a game one 4-1 win against Mobile. A Todd Glaesmann sac fly in the first inning gave the Biscuits a quick lead, but two innings later, Kyeong Kang delivered the knockout blow with a bases clearing triple to put them up 4-0. Meanwhile, Victor Mateo pitched his first scoreless start of the year, throwing six innings with two strikeouts, allowing two hits and three walks. Juan Sandoval allowed the BayBears' only run in the seventh inning. In addition to Kang, Mikie Mahtook and Robby Price had two hits.

It took 10 innings, but Montgomery fell in game two of their doubleheader by a 5-4 score. Riccio Torrez's two run double in the third inning capped off a three run inning, but Mobile took the lead back with a pair of runs in the sixth. With Jake Barrett in for Mobile to secure the save, Kevin Kiermaier led off the seventh with a solo home run to tie the game, but that would be the last run for the Biscuits who couldn't take advantage of chances with runners on base. That was one of three hits on the game for Kiermaier who also stole a base. In the bottom of the 10th, Marquis Fleming recorded the first out with runners on the corners. After intentionally walking the next batter to load the bases, he unintentionally walked Ryan Stovall to hand the BayBears the win. Jake Flothe started and allowed four runs (three earned) in 5.1 innings.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (11-7)

Luke Bailey and Roberto Gomez led Charlotte to a tight 1-0 win over Bradenton. One start after throwing a complete game shutout against Palm Beach, Gomez was at it again, this time with 6.2 scoreless innings. He struck out five and only allowed two hits and a pair of walks, and Shay Crawford and Nate Garcia struck out five over the final 2.1 innings to secure the game. The only run of the game came off the bat of Luke Bailey in the third inning; his solo home run was his first of the year. Jake Hager and Richie Shaffer each had two hit games.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (12-7)

A couple late runs were too little, too late in Bowling Green's 6-2 loss to Lansing. All six Lugnuts runs came on a trio of home runs, including a solo shot in the second inning by former Rays pick Kevin Patterson. In the bottom of the eighth, Justin O'Conner led off the inning with a solo home run to put the Hot Rods on the board, but he would also strike out to end the game. Andrew Toles also had an RBI hit. In six innings of work, Sean Bierman allowed a season high six runs on 11 hits with three strikeouts. Five of Bowling Green's seven hits came from the top two hitters in the lineup, Toles and O'Conner.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (13-9)

Hudson Valley couldn't add to a one run lead and fell to Vermont by a 4-1 score. In the fourth inning, Johnny Field doubled and came home to score on an Oscar Hernandez single to give the Renegades a 1-0 lead, but the Lake Monsters would grab the next four runs, three of which came against Justin Choate. Despite not striking out a batter, starter Chris Kirsch only allowed one run in six innings of work on six hits and a walk. Field's double was the only one of Hudson Valley's five hits that went for extra bases, and Pat Blair was the only Renegade to reach base more than once.

Rookie Princeton Rays (4-12)

Princeton fell in an early 3-0 hole and couldn't get out in a 4-2 loss to Pulaski. The Mariners scored two first inning runs and extended their lead two innings later on a Jeffrey Zimmerman home run. Starter D.J. Slaton managed to work two more innings, finishing with three runs allowed on seven hits and a walk in five innings with two strikeouts. Meanwhile, the Rays were baffled by Mariners prospect Luis Gohara who struck out nine batters in five scoreless innings. They would finally get on the board in the sixth inning with back to back doubles by Spencer Edwards and Bralin Jackson, and after Pulaski scored again in the ninth, David Garcia drove home Princeton's second run with a single. Jackson had two hits and stole a base.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (5-8)

Three crooked numbers powered the GCL Twins in an 11-4 GCL Rays loss. The Rays actually led the game twice, scoring two runs against rehabbing Twins pitcher Nick Blackburn, but the Twins were able to answer back in a big way. After Hec Montes' RBI single in the fourth put the Rays up 2-0, the Twins scored three runs to take the lead. Two innings later, a two run Rays inning that included a Jose Paez RBI double gave them the lead, but the Twins would take the lead in the seventh with consecutive four run innings. Three Rays pitchers each allowed three runs including starter Freddy Alvarez and Yomelbin Almonte who took the loss allowing four runs in two innings. Paez and Cristian Toribio each had three hit games.


Star of the day- Gomez hasn't allowed a run in two July starts.

Goat of the day- So far, the GCL Twins have had maybe the best offense in the league, assisted by the GCL Rays.

Today's games (probables courtesy of

Durham @ Charlotte 7:15 PM (MiLB.TV)
J.D. Martin (10-4, 3.11) v. Charlie Leesman (1-1, 3.64)

Montgomery is off

Charlotte v. St. Lucie 6:30 PM
Jesse Hahn* (1-1, 1.74) v. Hansel Robles* (3-2, 3.46)

Bowling Green is off

Hudson Valley @ Vermont 11:05 PM
Aaron Griffin (2-0, 2.41) v. Dylan Covey (0-0, 0.00)

Princeton v. Pulaski 7:05 PM
Jorge Rodriguez (0-2, 5.14) v. Noel De La Cruz (1-1, 3.45)

GCL Rays v. GCL Twins 12 PM

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition (standings current, stats through Saturday's games)

Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
41-51 (3rd in IL South)
Offense: 384 R (10th) .710 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 4.29 ERA (8th) 1.40 WHIP (7th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Carlos Sanchez (3), RHP Erik Johnson (4), RHP Andre Rienzo (7), LHP Charlie Leesman (11), 1B Andy Wilkins (12), RHP Jhan Martinez (13), OF Blake Tekotte (15), RHP Brian Omogrosso (17), C Josh Phegley (18), LHP Santos Rodriguez (21)

St. Lucie Mets
8-9 (4th in FSL South)
Offense: 366 R (4th) .689 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 3.48 ERA (3rd) 1.29 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Luis Mateo (4), RHP Michael Fulmer (7), RHP Domingo Tapia (9), RHP Hansel Robles (12), 3B Aderlin Rodriguez (19), C Kevin Plawecki (21), SS Matt Reynolds (23), C Cam Maron (30)

Vermont Lake Monsters (Oakland)
9-12 (3rd in Stedler)
Offense: 68 R (13th) .597 OPS (13th)
Pitching: 3.05 ERA (5th) 1.29 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF B.J. Boyd (12), RHP Dylan Covey, 3B Chad Pinder

Pulaski Mariners
9-7 (3rd in APP East)
Offense: 67 R (5th) .704 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 2.69 ERA (2nd) 1.11 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Luiz Gohara (12), 3B Joe DeCarlo (13), RHP Edwin Diaz (19)

GCL Twins
9-6 (1st in GCL South)
Offense: 83 R (1st) .738 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 3.63 ERA (8th) 1.31 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Kohl Stewart, LHP Stephen Gonsalves