It certainly wasn't the best day for starting pitching in the upper levels, but on a positive note, Hak-Ju Lee was back in the lineup, just a little over a year since his devastating knee injury.
Triple-A Durham Bulls (15-6)
Nathan Karns got hammered in Durham's 9-1 loss to Charlotte. In the first inning, Karns allowed three run and two run home runs, putting the Bulls in a quick 5-0 hole. Charlotte's offense went right back to work an inning later, scoring three more runs against Karns and knocking him out of the game. He allowed eight runs on six hits and two walks in two innings with three strikeouts. They only allowed one more run, but Durham's bullpen walked six more batters in six innings of work.
Durham's only run of the game came in the sixth against former big leaguer Frank Francisco, and it was unearned. Hak-Ju Lee scored in his 2014 debut, coming home on a Ray Olmedo groundout. Lee was 0/2 with a walk. Kevin Kiermaier had three of Durham's eight hits, and Mike Fontenot reached base three times.
Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (13-7)
A relentless Biscuits offense led Montgomery to a 10-7 win over Mississippi. Starter Grayson Garvin lasted only three batters, two of which he hit, before being removed from the game because of back soreness. Matt Neil came in and quickly allowed the two inherited runners to score, but he settled the game down a bit despite working in and out of trouble. He struck out six and allowed two runs in 4.2 innings. Braulio Lara was the only Montgomery pitcher to not allow a run.
Fortunately for Montgomery, the Braves staff had control issues of their own, and that helped them tie the game in the bottom of the first. Cameron Seitzer walked with the bases loaded, and Richie Shaffer delivered a run right after that with a single. Curt Casali got his first RBI extra base hit of the game an inning later, and he would come up big again in just a few innings. Now down 4-3 in the third, he led off the fifth with a solo home run to tie the game, and Montgomery scored two runs in each of the final three innings to secure the win. Casali reached base five times, including three extra base hits, and drove in four runs. Seitzer drew three of the team's 10 walks.
Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (7-12)
Charlotte's bullpen was impressive in their 14 inning 3-2 win over Bradenton. Starter Bruedlin Suero wasn't bad himself, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk in five innings with five strikeouts, but it was the bullpen that completely shut down the Marauders offense. Marcus Jensen, Jose Alberto Molina and Ryan Garton each threw three innings without being charged with a run, although Jensen allowed an inherited runner to score in the sixth. They combined to strike out six batters and only allow seven baserunners.
The Stone Crabs first got on the board in the fourth inning when a Patrick Leonard sac fly followed consecutive doubles by Tyler Goeddel and Leonardo Reginatto. Marty Gantt promptly doubled Reginatto home, but that would be all for their scoring until the 14th. In that inning, Reginatto led off with a double, moved to third on a Leonard single and eventually came home to score on a walkoff hit by Justin O'Conner. That was O'Conner's third hit of the game, and he reached base a fourth time with a walk.
Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (4-14)
The winning magic came to an end in Bowling Green's 13 inning 5-4 loss to West Michigan. The Hot Rods scored all four of their runs between the fourth and sixth innings, and they were first on the board when Oscar Hernandez drove in two with a two out single. After the sixth though, only four more batters would reach base, and when two runners got into scoring position in the eighth, they couldn't get a big two out hit. Hernandez had two hits, doubling his season total.
Starter Jake Faria struggled a bit, and the real pitching headline of the day came courtesy of reliever Colton Reavis. After Faria finished with four runs (three earned) allowed on six hits and a walk in six innings with two strikeouts, Reavis faced the minimum through four innings and struck out six. The Whitecaps scored the winning run on a throwing error by Aaron Griffin.
Star of the day- It's getting harder and harder to ignore what Casali is doing.
Goat of the day- Likewise, Karns was hard to miss today.
Today's games (probables courtesy of milb.com)
Durham @ Charlotte 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Matt Andriese (1-1, 3.79) v. Scott Carroll (3-1, 1.57)
Montgomery @ Jacksonville 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Victor Mateo* (2-2, 4.43) v. Anthony DeSclafani (3-1, 4.32)
Charlotte v. Bradenton 6:30 PM (Radio stream)
Austin Pruitt (0-1, 6.28) v. Jason Creasy (2-0, 1.83)
Bowling Green @ West Michigan 6:35 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Jordan Harrison (0-1, 3.60) v. Jonathan Crawford (0-1, 5.68)
*Listed as TBA on milb.com
Scouting the opposition
Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
7-13 (3rd in IL South)
Offense: 68 R (12th) .651 OPS (12th)
Pitching: 4.09 ERA (9th) 1.51 WHIP (14th)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Matt Davidson (4), 2B Carlos Sanchez (12), OF Jared Mitchell (13), RHP Jake Petricka (21)
Jacksonville Suns (Miami)
10-10 (3rd in SL South)
Offense: 84 R (T-3rd) .688 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 4.37 ERA (10th) 1.39 WHIP (8th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Andrew Heaney (1), LHP Justin Nicolino (4), RHP Anthony DeSclafani (5), RHP Jose Urena (7), C J.T. Realmuto (10), RHP Angel Sanchez (16), RHP Nick Wittgren (18), LHP Grant Dayton (21), LHP Edgar Olmos (23), RHP Tyler Higgins (25)
Bradenton Marauders (Pittsburgh)
12-7 (1st in FSL South)
Offense: 66 R (9th) .637 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 2.19 ERA (2nd) 1.13 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Tyler Glasnow (3), OF Josh Bell (7), C Jin-De Jhang (24)
West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit)
10-9 (4th in MWL East)
Offense: 69 R (13th) .659 OPS (13th)
Pitching: 2.76 ERA (2nd) 1.22 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Jonathan Crawford (5), LHP Kevin Ziomek (10), SS Javier Betancourt (16), RHP Jeff Thompson (24), SS Willy Adames (30)