Joe Maddon has called Cole Figueroa a big leaguer before, and now he'll get a chance to prove it.
Triple-A Durham Bulls (24-17)
One big inning boosted Durham in their 6-4 win over Charlotte. Trailing 3-1 entering the bottom of the third, the Bulls offense got to work and was prepared to take care advantage of Charlotte mistakes. Mikie Mahtook drove in two with a bases clearing double, and that's when Knights starter Charlie Leesman lost the strike zone. He hit Mike Fontenot to load the bases, and he would proceed to walk in three more runs to hand the Bulls a 6-3 lead. Durham was actually outhit by Charlotte 9-7, but they also drew seven walks total. Leadoff hitter Hak-Ju Lee led the way by reaching base three times.
For his second straight start, Merrill Kelly struggled. Charlotte picked up two first inning runs against him with three extra base hits, and he struggled to throw strikes himself, throwing fewer than 60% of his pitches for strikes. He allowed all four Charlotte runs (three earned) on eight hits and three walks in 4.1 innings with three strikeouts. Adam Liberatore relieved him and pitched great, striking out two in 2.2 perfect innings and ended up picking up the win.
Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (21-18)
Mike Colla's struggles continued in Montgomery's 5-2 loss to Mississippi. He allowed one run through the first three innings, but the game really fell apart in the fourth. With the bases already loaded, he allowed consecutive singles that scored three more runs, and he needed a runner caught stealing to help mitigate any further damage. When the offense provided him with two runs of support in the sixth, he coughed up a sixth run in the bottom half of the inning. He finished with five runs allowed on eight hits and three walks in six innings with three strikeouts.
The Biscuits got their two runs with a two out single. With the bases loaded, Jake Hager drove in Willie Argo and Taylor Motter and knocked Braves starter Jason Hursh out of the game. Motter and Hager each had two hits. None of Montgomery's six hits went for extra bases.
Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (19-20)
Charlotte's offense checked out after a two run first inning in their 6-2 loss to Daytona. Andrew Toles led off the game with a double and came home to score on a two out double by Patrick Leonard, and a fielding error allowed him to score as well. In the final eight innings, seven Stone Crabs did reach base, including several that got into scoring position, but no timely hits would come.
Starter Reinaldo Lopez pitched a decent game, holding the Cubs scoreless through five innings and not allowing his first hit until the fourth. In the sixth, he ran into trouble, allowing a two run homer to one of the Cubs' best prospects, Albert Almora. Lopez would finish the inning and exit the game, having allowed two runs on three hits and three walks in six innings with four strikeouts. The biggest blow in the game came two innings later against Marcus Jensen. With two outs in the eighth, Tim Saunders hit a grand slam, and Charlotte went quietly in the ninth to end the game.
Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (17-21)
Bowling Green staged a late comeback to top Lansing 4-3. Down 3-1 with one out in the seventh, Yoel Araujo hit a two run home run to tie the game. It was his fifth home run of the season and third in his last seven games. In the ninth, after Granden Goetzman led off with a double and Oscar Hernandez reached on a bunt attempt, Ty Young singled to bring home Goetzman and win the game. Young had three of Bowling Green's nine hits.
Ryne Stanek was not quite as sharp in his second professional start. A combination of a wild pitch and throwing error by Armando Araiza gave the Lugnuts a 1-0 lead in the first inning. His next four innings were scoreless despite getting into some trouble, and he finished with an unearned run allowed on three hits and five walks in five innings with two strikeouts. Colton Reavis replaced him and promptly allowed two Lansing runs to score, but he settled in and threw two better innings while the offense tied the game. Ian Kendall threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Star of the day- In his fourth year in the organization, Figueroa got the call every minor leaguer hopes for.
Goat of the day- Jensen really let Charlotte's game get away.
Today's games (probables courtesy of milb.com)
Durham v. Charlotte 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Matt Andriese (2-3, 5.09) v. Dylan Axelrod* (1-4, 6.47)
Montgomery @ Jackson 8:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Jared Mortensen (4-0, 3.24) v. Tyler Olson (0-1, 5.73)
Charlotte @ Daytona 7:05 PM (Radio stream)
Jeff Ames (1-3, 5.14) v. Felix Pena (1-4, 1.38)
Bowling Green @ Great Lakes 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
German Marquez (1-1, 2.03) v. Luis Chirinos (2-3, 7.11)
*Listed as TBA on milb.com
Scouting the opposition
Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
13-26 (4th in IL South)
Offense: 137 R (14th) .653 OPS (14th)
Pitching: 4.12 ERA (11th) 1.48 WHIP (13th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Erik Johnson (2), 3B Matt Davidson (4), 2B Carlos Sanchez (12), OF Jared Mitchell (13)
Jackson Generals (Seattle)
16-23 (T-3rd in SL North)
Offense: 150 R (9th) .647 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 3.95 ERA (8th) 1.29 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Victor Sanchez (7), 3B Patrick Kivlehan (12), SS Ketel Marte (20), C John Hicks (23)
12-24 (5th in FSL North)
Offense: 152 R (9th) .663 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 4.08 ERA (9th) 1.42 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Albert Almora (4), 3B Jeimer Candelario (8), 1B Dan Vogelbach (9), LHP Rob Zastryzny (20), RHP Zach Cates (27), RHP Ben Wells (28)
Great Lakes Loons (Los Angeles)
18-21 (5th in MWL East)
Offense: 216 R (1st) .725 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 4.61 ERA (15th) 1.41 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Jacob Scavuzzo (15), RHP Zach Bird (21), SS Jesmuel Valentin (22), RHP Victor Arano (29)