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Rays down on the farm July 24: Durham butchers pitchers duel

Nathan Karns pitched well, but the defense didn't hold up their end of the bargain

Nathan Karns has only allowed one earned run over his last three starts
Nathan Karns has only allowed one earned run over his last three starts
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Meyer and Nathan Karns was one of the better pitching matchups on the minor league calendar, and it was a tight game to the end.

Tim Beckham made his second rehab appearance yesterday.  He's not going to be back in a week if Ben Zobrist is traded, but as was discussed in the comments recently, he could be looking at an extended look in the big leagues once he's healthy.  I'm not sure when it'll be though because he's been the DH in his first two games.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (56-48)

Durham came up short in a wild 11 inning 6-5 loss to Rochester.  After blowing a ninth inning lead and allowing another run in the 10th, the Bulls were on the ropes, but Wilson Betemit extended the game with a solo home run.  In the 11th, a Hak-Ju Lee error led to two unearned runs being scored, and although they got the tying run into scoring position in the bottom half of the inning, they were unable to even it again.

All six runs the Red Wings scored were actually unearned because Durham committed five errors.  Nathan Karns was very good though, only allowing a pair of unearned runs on five hits in seven innings with nine strikeouts and no walks.  Rochester's Alex Meyer was good too, striking out eight in six scoreless innings.  Betemit, Lee, Justin Christian and Vince Belnome all reached base three times.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (18-15)

Montgomery held a 5-3 lead late, but they lost it in their 6-5 loss to ChattanoogaSantiago Garrido was brought in to protect that two run lead in the eighth, but with one out, he loaded the bases which were promptly cleared on an Alex Liddi double.  In the ninth, Willie Argo walked with two outs, but he was caught stealing to end the game.  Argo did have a good game though, as he reached base five times with a single and four walks.

Albert Suarez struggled a bit, allowing a run in three consecutive innings to put the Biscuits down 3-1.  He did finish strong with a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, but he finished with three runs (two earned) allowed on six hits and three walks in five innings with four strikeouts.  Jake Hager reached base four times with two hits and two walks, and Ryan Brett reached three times with a steal.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (12-20)

After falling behind 4-0, Charlotte scored 10 runs over the last five innings in their 10-6 win over Clearwater.  Jonathan Quinonez's two run homer in the fifth got the Stone Crabs' scoring started, and they would take the lead in the sixth with a three run inning.  In the seventh, Justin O'Conner hit a three run homer to extend the lead, and they added insurance with a run each in the final two innings.

Blake Snell allowed the Threshers to get that 4-0 lead, and he struggled after four straight outings allowing two or fewer runs.  Three of those runs scored in the second inning, including two on a two out triple, and he was charged with his last run in the fourth.  He finished with those four runs allowed on six hits and two walks in 3.1 innings with five strikeouts.  Charlotte battered Clearwater for 15 hits, including seven from the bottom three batters, Quinonez, Josh Sale and Granden Goetzman.  O'Conner and Patrick Leonard had two each.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (13-18)

Three home runs helped sink Bowling Green in their 7-2 loss to Cedar Rapids.  After the Hot Rods went up 1-0 in the second inning, Griset allowed three straight two run innings, the first of which featured two solo home runs.  Griset finished with six runs allowed (five earned) on eight hits in four innings with three strikeouts and no walks.

Bowling Green only had five hits, and only one of their runs was earned.  All five hits were singles, they didn't draw a walk and struck out 15 times.  After they scored their second run in the third inning, only two batters reached base, and one of those was on an error.  Julian Ridings had two hits.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (28-11)

Hudson Valley could only manage three hits in their 3-0 loss to Staten Island.  All three runs were scored against starter Edgar Gomez, and he exited after three innings having allowed eight hits with a strikeout and no walks.  Of course Grant Kay had one of the hits, and Casey Gillaspie had another, although he did strike out three times.

Rookie Princeton Rays (17-15)

Despite only getting five hits, Princeton was able to top Johnson City by a 7-3 score.  In a three run fourth, Nic Wilson and Cristian Toribio had two of those hits and each drove in a run.  A bases loaded walk and passed ball in the sixth helped them add two more, and Wilson hit his sixth home run of the season an inning later to add the seventh run.  Nick Ciuffo reached base twice and scored twice.

Starter Greg Maisto wasn't sharp, but only one of the three runs he allowed was earned.  In the fifth, Riley Unroe's error to start the inning eventually led to two runs scoring, the latter scoring on a bases loaded walk issued by Yonny Chirinos.  Maisto was charged with three runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks in 4.2 innings with three strikeouts.  Chirinos wasn't charged with any runs of his own in 3.1 innings of relief.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (18-11)

The GCL Rays scored eight straight runs in their game one win 8-3 win over the GCL Red Sox.  Up 4-1 in the seventh, the Rays added four more runs to really open the lead up.  David Rodriguez was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and Bill Pujols followed that with a two run double.  Christian Knott's third hit of the game scored the final run.  Tim Beckham and Matt Reida also had three hits, and Beckham stole a base.  Jose Alvarado allowed an unearned run in four innings with seven strikeouts, and Spencer Moran struck out two in two scoreless innings in his pro debut.

It took 10 innings in game two, but the Rays pulled out a 6-5 win.  After blowing a 5-1 lead, Reida drew a bases loaded walk in the 10th inning to win the game.  Reida had another three hit game, and along with the other top two hitters in the lineup, Oscar Sanay and Cade Gotta, reached base 10 times.  Isias Alcantar drove in three runs.  Blake Bivens allowed a run in three innings, and Brock Burke threw two scoreless innings.

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Star of the day- Reida added a ton of offense for the GCL Rays.

Goat of the day- Durham should try fielding the ball next time out.

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

Durham v. Rochester 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Alex Colome* (4-3, 3.55) v. Trevor May (8-5, 2.94)

Montgomery @ Chattanooga 7:15 PM (Radio stream)
Grayson Garvin (0-4, 3.92) v. Chris Reed (4-6, 3.19)

Charlotte @ Dunedin 6:30 PM (Radio stream)
Ryne Stanek* (1-1, 5.73) v. Sean Nolin (0-0, 3.38)

Bowling Green v. Cedar Rapids 8:05 PM (Radio stream)
Chris Kirsch (5-6, 2.89) v. Aaron Slegers (6-6, 4.66)

Hudson Valley @ Lowell 7:05 PM (Radio stream)
Hunter Wood* (1-1, 1.72) v. Ty Buttrey* (0-0, 1.35)

Princeton v. Johnson City 11:05 AM (Radio stream)
Trevor Lubking (0-3, 3.98) v. Steven Farinaro (1-3, 4.91)

GCL Rays @ GCL Red Sox 6:30 PM
TBA v. TBA

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota)
57-48 (T-2nd in IL North)
Offense: 471 R (6th) .731 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 3.34 ERA (1st) 1.28 WHIP (1st)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Alex Meyer (3), RHP Trevor May (8), LHP Sean Gilmartin (10), C Josmil Pinto (14), RHP Mike Tonkin (15)

Chattanooga Lookouts (Los Angeles)
11-20 (5th in SL North)
Offense: 413 R (10th) .708 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 4.40 ERA (9th) 1.52 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Corey Seager (2), LHP Chris Reed (8), OF Scott Schebler (17), IF Darnell Sweeney (25)

Dunedin Blue Jays
15-18 (4th in FSL North)
Offense: 458 R (4th) .707 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 3.11 ERA (2nd) 1.22 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Daniel Norris (6), C Santiago Nessy (23), OF Dwight Smith Jr. (27)

Cedar Rapids Kernels (Minnesota)
17-14 (T-2nd in MWL West)
Offense: 456 R (8th) .710 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 4.26 ERA (12th) 1.33 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Kohl Stewart (4), LHP Lewis Thorpe (7), RHP Fernando Romero (12), LHP Randy Rosario (22)

Lowell Spinners (Boston)
17-22 (3rd in Stedler)
Offense: 183 R (5th) .705 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 4.84 ERA (14th) 1.51 WHIP (14th)
Top 30 Prospects: 1B Sam Travis, RHP Karsten Whitson

Johnson City Cardinals
15-16 (T-2nd in APP West)
Offense: 156 R (6th) .677 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 3.84 ERA (6th) 1.47 WHIP (9th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Oscar Mercado (19)

GCL Red Sox
16-11 (2nd in GCL South)
Offense: 139 R (6th) .665 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 2.86 ERA (5th) 1.23 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Rafael Devers (20), SS Javier Guerra (27), RHP Michael Kopech, RHP Jake Cosart