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Rays down on the farm July 30: Blanchard's big day leads Hudson Valley

Coty Blanchard had a couple key plate appearances late in Hudson Valley's win

This was the only photo of Coty Blanchard in the editor that didn't have him getting sacked or committing a turnover against an FBS team
This was the only photo of Coty Blanchard in the editor that didn't have him getting sacked or committing a turnover against an FBS team
Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE

Coty Blanchard is a college player from the 2013 draft, and usually college players who can't make a full-season affiliate the following spring training get cut.  He might be a special case though.  He had his best season at Jacksonville State after leaving the football program, so even though he's 22 and repeating short-season ball, maybe the Rays have a player to watch here.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (58-51)

Two home runs made the difference in Durham's 4-2 loss to Charlotte.  In a 1-1 game, Merrill Kelly allowed a two run home run to former big leaguer Josh Phegley, and a half inning after the Bulls pulled within one run, prospect Marcus Semien took Kelly deep.  Kelly finished with all four Knight runs allowed on seven hits and a walk in five innings with five strikeouts.  Doug Mathis struck out three and walked three in three hitless innings of relief.

The Bulls had seven hits, and six of them came from the bottom three hitters in the lineup, Ali Solis, Hak-Ju Lee and Ray Olmedo.  Olmedo scored their first run of the game on a balk, and he had an RBI single in the fifth.  He had three hits, and Lee had two.  Leadoff hitter Robby Price had the seventh hit.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (20-19)

For the first time since May 2012, Grayson Garvin pitched six innings, but it wasn't enough in Montgomery's 1-0 loss to Jacksonville.  Thanks to three double plays, he only faced one batter over the minimum through the first five innings, but his fourth double play came a batter too late.  It ended the sixth inning, but not before Austin Nola singled home the game's only run.  Garvin finished with that run allowed on four hits in six innings with three strikeouts and no walks.

Unfortunately, Jacksonville's Justin Nicolino was better.  The Biscuits actually had more hits, but they were all singles, and Nicolino didn't issue any walks.  Kes Carter and Willie Argo had two hits.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (17-21)

Despite walking 10 batters, Charlotte was able to top Tampa by a 5-4 score.  Three of the four Yankee runs reached base via walk, and the last two scored on back to back bases loaded walks from Kevin Brandt in the sixth.  Brandt walked four while only recording two outs, and starter Reinaldo Lopez walked five in five innings, although he only allowed one run.  Marcus Jensen struck out four in 3.1 scoreless innings.

Marty Gantt's two run triple to start a three run inning gave the Stone Crabs a 4-1 lead in the fourth, but it was just two innings later when the Yankees scored three of their own against Brandt.  With one out in the eighth, Tyler Goeddel tripled, and he came home to score on a Tommy Coyle sac fly.  Goeddel, Gantt and Maxx Tissenbaum each had two hit games, but Tissenbaum was taken out early due to an apparent injury.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (15-22)

Bowling Green was able to hang on in a slugfest in their 8-7 win over South Bend.  The key inning proved to be the seventh.  Holding a 4-3 lead, Oscar Hernandez got the big inning started with a one out solo home run.  Armando Araiza followed that with a walk, and the Hot Rods got to relief legend Jose Jose after that.  Darryl George would triple home two runs, and he scored himself on a two out error.  George led the Bowling Green 15 hit barrage with four, and Hernandez had three.  Kean Wong led four Hot Rods with two each.

After Bowling Green blew the game open, their bullpen nearly gave all of it back.  Ben Griset left with two runners on and one out, and Andrew Hanse allowed both of those inherited runs to score.  Hanse would be charged with two runs of his own that inning, but he was able to get the last two outs with a runner in scoring position.  In his first start since 2012, Isaac Gil allowed three unearned runs on five hits in 3.2 innings with five strikeouts and no walks.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (31-14)

Playing center field for just the third time in his career, Coty Blanchard had two big plate appearances in Hudson Valley's 5-3 win over Vermont.  He came up with the bases loaded in the sixth down 1-0, and his walk tied the game.  An inning later, Hunter Lockwood was hit with the bases loaded to give the Renegades the lead, and Blanchard followed that up with a bases clearing double.  Grant Kay had three more hits including a double, and Casey Gillaspie reached base three times.

Oscar Armenta didn't have a single 1-2-3 inning, but he was always able to get out of trouble until the sixth inning.  A one out triple put the Lake Monsters ahead, but further damage was avoided when the Renegades were able to turn a double play with the infield in.  Armenta finished with that run allowed on six hits and three walks in six innings with five strikeouts.  Kyle McKenzie got the win with two scoreless innings of relief.

Rookie Princeton Rays (20-18)

Princeton fell behind 2-0 early, but they chipped away and eventually beat Bristol 3-2.  They got it done with extra bases again, picking up six out of nine hits total.  Doubles by Cristian Toribio and Angel Moreno scored their first run, and Toribio doubled again in the fifth before coming around to score the tying run.  In the ninth, Toribio did a little better, hitting a solo home run to give the Rays their first lead.  He had four hits and was just a triple shy of the cycle.  Princeton batters struck out 16 times.

Greg Maisto allowed both Pirates runs in the second inning.  After two singles to start the inning, it took a wild pitch, groundout and passed ball for Bristol to score their runs.  He finished with those two runs allowed on five hits in five innings with three strikeouts and no walks.  Bret Dahlson was solid in relief with three strikeouts in three scoreless innings.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (21-13)

A five run second inning sprung the GCL Rays to a game one 7-6 win over the GCL Twins.  They batted around in the second inning, and it was capped off by a two run single from Cade Gotta.  After the Twins scored four runs in the third, the Rays' two run third proved to be crucial.  Chris Knott had three hits.  Starter Jose Alvardo allowed four Twins runs in 2.2 innings, but 2014 pick Spencer Moran picked up the win allowing one run in 2.1 innings of relief.

The Twins scored two runs in both the first and second innings in the Rays' game two 4-2 loss.  After two scoreless appearances to start his career, Brock Burke allowed all four runs in two innings, but another 2014 pick, Blake Bivens, struck out three in three hitless innings.  The Rays only had four hits.  Bill Pujols reached base twice.

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Star of the day- Blanchard has a .738 OPS for the Renegades this year.

Goat of the day- Montgomery's offense failed to support Garvin in his longest start of the season.

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

Durham @ Charlotte 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Alex Colome (4-3, 3.55) v. Shawn Hill (3-4, 5.11)

Montgomery v. Jacksonville 8:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Victor Mateo (10-6, 3.57) v. Dustin Moseley (0-1, 6.00)

Charlotte v. Tampa 6:30 PM (Radio stream)
Jared Mortensen (0-0, 0.00) v. Brett Gerritse (3-5, 3.62)

Bowling Green @ South Bend 7:05 PM (Radio stream)
Chris Kirsch (6-6, 2.82) v. Blake Perry* (5-3, 4.35)

Hudson Valley @ Jamestown 7:05 PM
Chris Pike* (1-0, 3.70) v. TBA

Princeton @ Bristol 7 PM (Radio stream)
Trevor Lubking (0-3, 3.08) v. Billy Roth (0-5, 5.88)

GCL Rays @ GCL Twins 12 PM
TBA v. TBA

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
50-62 (T-3rd in IL South)
Offense: 538 R (1st) .768 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 4.98 ERA (14th) 1.53 WHIP (13th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Erik Johnson (2), 3B Matt Davidson (4), 2B Marcus Semien (5), 2B Micah Johnson (6), 2B Carlos Sanchez (12), OF Michael Taylor (27)

Jacksonville Suns (Miami)
24-15 (T-1st in SL South)
Offense: 460 R (7th) .677 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 3.70 ERA (4th) 1.27 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Justin Nicolino (4), RHP Jose Urena (7), C J.T. Realmuto (10), RHP Nick Wittgren (18), OF Brent Keys (19), C Austin Barnes (20), RHP Tyler Higgins (25)

Tampa Yankees
20-18 (3rd in FSL North)
Offense: 428 R (7th) .687 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 3.39 ERA (6th) 1.26 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Eric Jagielo (5), OF Aaron Judge (6), 1B Greg Bird (8), 2B Angelo Gumbs (25)

South Bend Silver Hawks (Arizona)
22-15 (2nd in MWL East)
Offense: 539 R (1st) .724 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 3.59 ERA (6th) 1.28 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Jose Martinez (6), OF Stryker Trahan (8), 1B Daniel Palka (17), C Michael Perez (20), RHP Geordy Parra (22), SS Joe Munoz (26), 2B Jamie Westbrook (27), 2B Andrew Velasquez (28)

Jamestown Jammers (Pittsburgh)
19-26 (T-5th in Pinckney)
Offense: 197 R (7th) .691 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 4.28 ERA (12th) 1.30 WHIP (8th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Elvis Escobar (25), 1B Matt Andriese, C Taylor Gushue

Bristol Pirates
10-27 (5th in APP West)
Offense: 138 R (10th) .614 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 4.39 ERA (10th) 1.43 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Jon Sandfort (28)

GCL Twins
13-21 (4th in GCL South)
Offense: 115 R (14th) .587 OPS (15th)
Pitching: 3.92 ERA (8th) 1.36 WHIP (8th)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Amaurys Minier (24)