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Rays down on the farm April 14: Karns better in win

Like Enny Romero's last start, Nate Karns improved on his earlier outings

Is Nathan Karns going to be in the Rays' plans sooner than expected?
Is Nathan Karns going to be in the Rays' plans sooner than expected?
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte's offense busted out of their season-long slump for now, and Bowling Green was saved a loss by virtue of having the game canceled.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (8-3)

Nathan Karns moved past his first two poor starts in Durham's 3-1 win over Gwinnett. He used 84 pitches (56 strikes) to pitch five effective innings, only allowing a solo home run to former major leaguer Tyler Greene. In addition to only allowing three hits, he was finally able to find the strike zone and only walked two batters, compared to seven strikeouts. Adam Liberatore, Steve Geltz and C.J. Riefenhauser combined to pitch four scoreless innings.

Durham's offense was able to stake Karns to an early lead against rehabbing big leaguer Gavin Floyd. In the second, Mike Fontenot and Ali Solis hit back to back singles to start the inning, and both eventually came home to score on a Ray Olmedo groundout and passed ball with two outs. Robby Price singled with the bases loaded in the fifth to extend the lead to 3-0. The #6-8 hitters in the Bulls' lineup, Mikie Mahtook, Fontenot and Solis, did most of the heavy lifting for the Bulls, combining to go 7/14 and scoring two runs.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (5-5)

Montgomery's offense couldn't provide much run support in their 2-1 loss to Mobile. Grayson Garvin got the Biscuits' pitching staff of to a nice start with four strikeouts, one walk and no hits allowed in three scoreless innings. The Rays are still limiting his innings, but he has been effective through two short stints this year. Andrew Bellatti allowed one run with three strikeouts in 2.1 innings, and Jim Patterson threw 2.2 scoreless innings of relief.

Down 1-0 in the seventh, Montgomery finally scored their first and only run of the game. With two outs, Willie Argo drew a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch before Alejandro Segovia singled him home to tie the game. Unfortunately for the Biscuits, Santiago Garrido's relief outing lasted just three pitches. In the bottom of the ninth, he allowed a walkoff solo home run to Jordan Parraz to give the BayBears the series win.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (3-7)

It took 14 innings, but Charlotte earned a series victory with a 7-6 win over Palm Beach. The Stone Crabs got the game off to a fast start, batting around in the first inning and scoring five runs. Josh Sale drove in two of those with a single, and Kes Carter drove in two more with a double. After giving one of those runs up in the top of the second, Tyler Goeddel got it back in the bottom half with a single to score Andrew Toles.

In the fourth inning, things fell apart for Austin Pruitt, although Tyler Goeddel shoulders some of that blame. One run was already home in the inning when he committed a throwing error with two outs. That scored another Cardinal run, and one batter later, Charlie Tilson hit a game tying three run home run. Pruitt finished with six runs allowed (two earned) on eight hits and a walk in five innings with one strikeout. Three innings after the teams traded runs in the 11th, Maxx Tissenbaum singled home Carter with two outs to send Charlotte fans home happy. Four Stone Crab relievers combined to allow one run in nine innings, and four Stone Crabs had two hit games, including Toles who stole two bases.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (2-4)

Bowling Green's game was canceled.

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Star of the day- Karns was much better Sunday, and the Rays could need an arm very soon.

Goat of the day- Montgomery's offense was lower level affiliate-esque and couldn't support solid pitching.

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

Durham @ Charlotte 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Enny Romero (1-1, 3.72) v. Andre Rienzo (0-1, 3.00)

Montgomery @ Pensacola 7:30 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Victor Mateo* (0-2, 9.00) v. Carlos Contreras (1-0, 2.57)

Charlotte v. Fort Myers 6:30 PM (Radio stream)
Leonel Santiago* (0-1, 6.23) v. Alex Wimmers (1-0, 2.45)

Bowling Green v. Kane County 8:05 PM (Radio stream)
Jake Faria* (0-1, 3.24) v. Paul Blackburn* (0-0, 6.00)

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
6-5 (2nd in IL South)
Offense: 38 R (10th) .676 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 2.94 ERA (1st) 1.28 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Matt Davidson (4), 2B Carlos Sanchez (12), OF Jared Mitchell (13), RHP Jake Petricka (21)

Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Cincinnati)
6-4 (T-1st in SL South)
Offense: 37 R (5th) .701 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 2.93 ERA (3rd) 1.09 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Robert Stephenson (1), OF Yorman Rodriguez (5), RHP Michael Lorenzen (6), RHP Carlos Contreras (7), RHP Daniel Corcino (13), OF Donald Lutz (16), RHP Jon Moscot (23)

Fort Myers Miracle (Minnesota)
6-4 (T-1st in FSL South)
Offense: 56 R (1st) .665 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 2.88 ERA (6th) 1.40 WHIP (11th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP J.O. Berrios (5), 2B Jorge Polanco (10), OF Max Kepler (11), OF Adam Brett Walker (16), LHP Mason Melotakis (18), 3B Travis Harrison (25), SS Niko Goodrum (26)

Kane County Cougars (Cubs)
7-3 (T-1st in MWL West)
Offense: 53 R (2nd) .623 OPS (14th)
Pitching: 4.03 ERA (11th) 1.42 WHIP (12th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Paul Blackburn (12), OF Jacob Hannemann (17), RHP Tyler Skulina (19), 2B Danny Lockhart (30)