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Rays down on the farm July 15: Kay has unforgettable debut

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In his first professional game, the Rays' 27th rounder homers his first time up and then hits for the cycle.

His father isn't Roger Clemens like Kacy here, but Grant Kay was very good in college
His father isn't Roger Clemens like Kacy here, but Grant Kay was very good in college
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

It's really a nice story.  Obviously it's just one game, but the Rays are getting some nice production early on from their college picks.

Durham is hosting the Triple-A All-Star Game this week, and last night they held the Home Run Derby.  Mikie Mahtook was a late addition because of Mike Hessman's injury, but he failed to hit a single home run.  Dan Johnson would have participated if he hadn't been promoted to the big leagues.  Las Vegas' (Mets) Allan Dykstra won the event.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (53-44)

Durham is at the All-Star break.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (13-12)

Two late runs helped Montgomery erase a deficit in their 4-3 win over Pensacola.  Down 3-2 in the eighth, the Biscuits benefited from a one out error that led to two unearned runs.  After Kes Carter reached on that error, Taylor Motter singled to move him into scoring position, and Richie Shaffer doubled to tie the game.  Luke Maile's groundout after that gave Montgomery the lead.  Carter played a huge role earlier in the game with a two run single.  Carter had two hits and a steal.

To keep getting work during the big league All-Star break, Jeremy Hellickson was optioned down to Montgomery, and he might be ready for another shot with Durham.  He allowed a fourth inning run, but otherwise he completely baffled the Blue Wahoos, allowing just that run on five hits in six innings with 11 strikeouts and no walks.  Matt Lollis blew the lead, but Cory Burns picked up his first save with Montgomery.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (7-17)

Charlotte was rained out.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (10-14)

Bowling Green couldn't keep Lansing in the park in their 11-6 loss to the Lugnuts.  Bruedlin Suero allowed a leadoff home run to start the game, and it was the longball again a couple innings later that lost a 3-1 Hot Rods lead.  A two run homer in the third tied it, and they added eight more runs over the next three innings, including a third home run against Suero.  Suero allowed eight runs (six earned) on 10 hits and a walk in five innings with six strikeouts.

The Hot Rods actually outhit Lansing 14-13.  Only one was a home run though, an eighth inning solo shot from Elias Torres when the game was mostly out of reach.  Five of their runs came in the first four innings, but they couldn't continue adding on like Lansing.  Ty Young kept up his hot streak with an RBI double, and Torres and Alexander Simon had three hit games.  Three more Hot Rods had two hits each.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (23-8)

Grant Kay's pro debut was as good as it gets in Hudson Valley's 16-4 win over Batavia.  In his first at bat, he hit a three run home run to give the Renegades a 4-1 lead, and they would score three more runs to lead by six after one.  He would double and score in the fourth, singled and scored in the fifth and tripled in the eighth to complete the cycle.  The Renegades hammered out 24 hits total, and only one starter didn't have one.  Casey Gillaspie and Bralin Jackson each had four, and Jackson drove in four runs.

Enderson Franco wasn't sharp early, but with the first inning run support, he was good enough.  A leadoff double, wild pitch and throwing error gave Batavia a 1-0 lead two batters into the game, and they got two more against Franco in the third.  He finished with three runs (two earned) allowed on six hits in five innings with two strikeouts and no walks.  Three relievers combined to finish the last four innings.

Rookie Princeton Rays (13-11)

Princeton got production from the bottom of the lineup in their 4-2 win over Bluefield.  The Rays had nine hits, four of which came from the eight and nine hole hitters, Carter Burgess and Blake Grant-Parks.  Grant-Parks also walked, and it was his two run double in the fourth that broke a 1-1 tie and scored what proved to be the winning run.  Nic Wilson and Nick Ciuffo also had RBI hits.

Hyrum Formo was credited with the win, but he was just okay.  He allowed two runs on six hits and a walk in five innings with two strikeouts, but the bullpen was able to come in and shut down the Blue Jays.  Kyle McKenzie and Mario Fernandez combined to throw four scoreless innings with five strikeouts to hold Princeton's lead.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (14-6)

Two big innings led the GCL Rays to a 7-2 win over the GCL Twins.  A two out error helped the Rays score three first inning runs, but they would top that in the fifth.  Zacrey Law's double scored a run, Jonathan Freemyer's single scored Law, and a two run double by Chris Knott made it a 7-0 game.  Law, Knott, Matt Reida and Matt Ford all reached base three times.

Taylor Guerrieri made his third rehab start, and he recorded a season high four outs.  After a 1-2-3 first inning, he ran into a bit of trouble in the second.  He allowed a single, struck out the next batter and walked the next before exiting.  He struck out three in 1.1 innings.  Second rounder Cameron Varga relieved him again and had a fine outing, striking out five in 3.1 scoreless innings, only allowing two hits and walking none.  The Twins scored two unearned runs against Trevor Dunlap in the eighth.


Star of the day- It's all downhill for Kay from here.

Goat of the day- Suero had a tough time for Bowling Green.

Today's games (probables courtesy of

Durham is at the All-Star break

Montgomery is off

Charlotte is off

Bowling Green is off

Hudson Valley is off

Princeton is off

GCL Rays @ GCL Twins 12 PM (Radio stream)

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

GCL Twins
7-14 (3rd in GCL South)
Offense: 69 R (14th) .599 OPS (14th)
Pitching: 3.91 ERA (9th) 1.40 WHIP (11th)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Amaurys Minier (24)