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Rays down on the farm August 21: Shaffer home run leads sweep

Every Rays affiliate won Tuesday, highlighted by Richie Shaffer's home run

Richie Shaffer has a .778 OPS in the second half
Richie Shaffer has a .778 OPS in the second half
Jim Donten

Kyeong Kang's walkoff home run was big, and two affiliates pitched shutouts.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (81-50)

Durham's offense did just enough in their 5-4 win over Charlotte. In the second inning, Kevin Kiermaier tripled home Chris Gimenez, and that one run difference proved to be crucial. The Knights exploded for three runs in the fourth, but Durham responded in kind in the bottom half of the inning. Mike Fontenot led off the inning with a home run, and later Tim Beckham and Vince Belnome each had RBI extra base hits to tie the game. Charlotte tied the game in the top of the fifth, but they would again fail to secure the shutdown inning. After Leslie Anderson popped out to start the inning, three straight singles by Shelley Duncan, Fontenot and Gimenez scored what proved to be the winning run. Mike Montgomery allowed all four Knights runs on six hits and four walks in 4.2 innings with two strikeouts. Three Bulls relievers combined for 4.1 scoreless innings, led by Steve Geltz with three strikeouts in 2.1 innings of work. Belnome had three hits, and Kiermaier hit two triples.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (26-32)

Kyeong Kang's two run walkoff home run gave Montgomery a 3-2 win over Mississippi. In the top of the ninth, Juan Sandoval lost a 1-1 tie by allowing a two out RBI single, and Kang's home run also came with two outs. Jake Thompson struck out five in five innings and only allowed one run, but he did so on four hits and four walks. He was relieved by Jim Patterson who struck out three and walked one in three no hit, no run innings. Cameron Seitzer and Robby Price each had two of Montgomery's six hits. Ryan Brett's fifth inning groundout scored the Biscuits' first run.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (31-22)

A Richie Shaffer solo home run was all Charlotte needed in their 1-0 win over Fort Myers. Shaffer's home run led off the seventh inning and was only their third hit of the game. Three Stone Crabs combined on the shutout, starting with Ryan Carpenter who made his first appearance since August 2nd. He struck out three and allowed three hits and no walks in four innings before being lifted for Lenny Linsky who struck out four in three innings with a hit and two walks allowed. Andrew Bellatti struck out two in two perfect innings. Shaffer and Taylor Motter reached base twice each.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (35-23)

A ninth inning run broke a 2-2 tie in Bowling Green's 3-2 win over South Bend. Stone Speer had just lost a 2-1 lead a half inning before, but his teammates were able to pick him up. Tommy Coyle led off the ninth with a single and quickly stole second base, but the Hot Rods made two outs after that. Patrick Leonard singled with two outs though, and Coyle scored what proved to be the winning run. With two runners on in the bottom of the ninth, Speer induced a double play to end the game. Reinaldo Lopez made a very good start, but because of the blown save, he didn't have anything to show for it. He allowed just one run on six hits and a walk in seven innings with six strikeouts. Andrew Toles picked up a pair of extra base hits, and Leonardo Reginatto also had two hits.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (28-32)

An unearned run against Orioles' first rounder Hunter Harvey was just enough in Hudson Valley's 1-0 win over Aberdeen. That error was on Harvey himself in the fifth inning. After issuing a walk to James Harris with Granden Goetzman already on third, Harvey threw the ball away trying to pick off Harris, allowing Goetzman to score. Two Renegades combined in the shutout, starting with Chris Kirsch throwing six scoreless innings with only three hits and two walks allowed with five strikeouts. Anthony Tzamtzis struck out two and walked two in three no-hit innings. Goetzman had three of Hudson Valley's six hits and stole a base.

Rookie Princeton Rays (19-40)

After losing a 2-0 lead in the top of the eighth, Princeton immediately answered with a run in their 3-2 win over Danville. Edgar Gomez allowed a solo home run to lead off the eighth, and a runner he left for Josh Kimborowicz came around to score when Kimborowicz uncorked a pair of wild pitches, including one with the bases loaded. In the bottom half of the inning, four Rays managed to strike out, but they still scored the go ahead run anyway. Yoel Araujo struck out to start the inning, but a passed ball allowed him to reach base. He moved up to third in a fielding error, and with the bases loaded and still no one out, came around to score on a Leopoldo Correa single. Three straight Rays strikeouts prevented them from capitalizing further. Gomez was charged with both Braves runs, and starter Jorge Rodriguez struck out four and allowed six hits and a walk in 5.2 innings of work. Coty Blanchard walked three times.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (23-29)

A four run seventh erased a 3-0 deficit in the GCL Rays' 4-3 win over the GCL Twins. Prior to the seventh, the Rays only had four runners reach base, but they were able to break out with two outs. Jeremy Hadley drove in the first run with a single, and the Rays got their second run after a hit batter and consecutive walks. Nick Ciuffo drove home the tying and go ahead runs with a single, and Andres Gonzalez was able to hold the lead. In relief of Jose Alonzo, Gonzalez struck out two and walked none in four scoreless innings of relief. Alonzo allowed all three Twins runs in five innings.


Star of the day- I didn't bother calculating game scores for the starters, but Kirsch's looked pretty good.

Goat of the day- Not on a sweep day.

Today's games (probables courtesy of

Durham v. Charlotte 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV)
Merrill Kelly (7-3, 3.12) v. Charlie Leesman* (3-2, 3.66)

Montgomery v. Mississippi 8:05 PM (MiLB.TV)
Enny Romero* (10-6, 2.69) v. Gus Schlosser (6-4, 2.25)

Charlotte v. Fort Myers 5 PM DOUBLEHEADER
Grayson Garvin* (0-0, 1.80) v. Matt Tomshaw* (4-4, 4.14)

Both games will be seven innings

Bowling Green v. West Michigan 8:05 PM
Jeff Ames (8-4, 3.13) v. Endrys Briceno (7-8, 4.57)

Hudson Valley v. Aberdeen 7:05 PM
Aaron Griffin* (3-2, 2.27) v. Mitch Horacek* (5-2, 2.34)

Princeton is off

GCL Rays @ GCL Red Sox 12 PM

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
59-71 (3rd in IL South)
Offense: 535 R (10th) .700 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 4.18 ERA (12th) 1.39 WHIP (8th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Carlos Sanchez (3), RHP Erik Johnson (4), LHP Charlie Leesman (11), 1B Andy Wilkins (12), RHP Jhan Martinez (13), SS Marcus Semien (14), RHP Simon Castro (20), LHP Santos Rodriguez (21), SS Leury Garcia

Mississippi Braves
32-25 (2nd in SL South)
Offense: 522 R (4th) .689 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 3.06 ERA (1st) 1.28 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP J.R. Graham (2), C Christian Bethancourt (3), 3B Edward Salcedo (17), RHP Juan Jaime (20), OF Robby Hefflinger (29), RHP Aaron Northcraft (30)

Fort Myers Miracle (Minnesota)
26-28 (5th in FSL South)
Offense: 603 R (1st) .755 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 3.53 ERA (4th) 1.29 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Byron Buxton (2), SS Levi Michael (16), RHP Tyler Jones (23), LHP Jason Wheeler (25), RHP Adrian Salcedo (27), LHP Chad Rodgers (28), 1B Kennys Vargas (29), OF Nate Roberts (32), RHP Zack Jones (33)

West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit)
27-28 (6th in MWL East)
Offense: 534 R (13th) .698 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 3.68 ERA (4th) 1.34 WHIP (8th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Jake Thompson (4), 2B Harold Castro (17), RHP Montreal Robertson (18), RHP Endrys Briceno (22), RHP Edgar De La Rosa (29), 1B Dean Green (33), RHP Corey Knebel

Aberdeen IronBirds (Baltimore)
30-27 (1st in McNamara)
Offense: 241 R (5th) .654 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 3.37 ERA (11th) 1.27 WHIP (9th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Mike Yastrzemski

GCL Red Sox
28-24 (T-1st in GCL South)
Offense: 186 R (15th) .656 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 3.24 ERA (5th) 1.26 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Trey Ball, C Jon Denney