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Rays down on the farm July 6: Suarez wins in return to Montgomery

The former Rays top 20 prospect could provide a boost to the Biscuits' rotation

Baseball America's profile pic for Albert Suarez has him wearing a Princeton Devil Rays cap
Baseball America's profile pic for Albert Suarez has him wearing a Princeton Devil Rays cap

There was a lot of discussion about the David Price for Addison Russell not-trade, as there should have been.  The Russell trade that did happen was a legitimate blockbuster, and I think a small market team acquiring someone like Price would have sent out even more shock waves.

The Rays are 8.5 games out of first place, but they're assisted by the fact that Baltimore's .540 winning percentage is the lowest among division winners.  They've been playing better lately, they hope to get Wil Myers back soon, and the division is up for grabs.

If Oakland wanted to make a deal now, I can't blame the Rays for not wanting to throw in the towel on this season and move Price at this point.  If their play falls apart again over the next three weeks, they can still make a deal.  If that happens in August and September, they could still get a great return in the off-season barring a catastrophic injury.  If they whiff on the return of a Price trade, the franchise could be in for some serious lean years.  The return and the timing of the deal has to be right, and I don't envy their position.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (48-43)

Enny Romero was victimized by one big inning in Durham's 5-2 loss to Gwinnett.  Jayson Nix's RBI single to score Curt Casali in the fourth gave Romero a 1-0 lead, but he had the opposite of a shutdown inning.  It only took three batters for the Braves to tie the game, and a double after that gave them the lead.  After allowing a two run triple, Romero was pulled, having allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks in 3.2 innings with three strikeouts.  54 of his 90 pitches were strikes.

Doug Mathis allowed a run in 4.1 innings of long relief, but he also struck out four and kept the game within reach.  Wilson Betemit's home run to start the ninth brought the Bulls back within three, and they got the tying run to the plate with one out.  Mike Fontenot and Mikie Mahtook then made outs to end the game.  Nix and Jeremy Moore had two hit games, and Mahtook walked three times.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (9-8)

Despite only picking up two hits, Montgomery was able to eke out enough offense in their 3-1 win over Mississippi.  Neither of those hits contributed to their two run second inning.  Thanks to a walk, two errors, two wild pitches and a passed ball, the Biscuits were able to go up 2-0.  The only two times they hit the ball out of the infield that inning were flyouts.  An inning later, they earned their final run on back to back doubles by Jake Hager and Luke Maile.

Albert Suarez hadn't pitched in Double-A since 2013, and he made his return count.  After allowing a leadoff single to start the game, he retired 12 straight before running into trouble in the fifth.  With a pair of runners in scoring position and one out, he was able to limit the damage though and allow their only run on a sac fly.  Suarez finished with that run allowed on three hits and a walk in six innings with a strikeout.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (4-13)

They were outhit 12-4, but Charlotte got out to a 3-0 lead and hung on for a 3-2 win over Fort Myers.  With runners on the corners and two outs, a Miracle error allowed one Stone Crab run to score and prolonged the inning for a Marty Gantt RBI single.  In the seventh, Justin O'Conner's solo home run with two outs proved to be the decisive run.  O'Conner had two hits, and Leonardo Reginatto walked three times.

Austin Pruitt allowed both Fort Myers runs, but he had an effective outing.  After completing six innings, Charlotte tried stretching him through a seventh, but he had to exit with one out when the tying run came to the plate.  Kevin Brandt allowed both inherited runners to score on back to back singles, and Pruitt finished with two runs allowed on seven hits and a walk in 6.1 innings with eight strikeouts.  Four Charlotte pitchers combined to strike out 12 and only walk one.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (5-11)

A sixth run seventh inning sunk Bowling Green in their 10-3 loss to Dayton.  After Armando Araiza's two run double got the Hot Rods on the board and cut the deficit to two runs, Andrew Hanse collapsed in relief of Chris Kirsch.  With two runners in scoring position and nobody out, Bowling Green intentionally walked a batter to load the bases, and the floodgates opened.  Four straight singles scored four more runs, a groundout scored another, and a double to make it a 10-2 game knocked Hanse out.

Starter Chris Kirsch allowed the first four Dragon runs, but only one of them was earned.  In the Dayton three run fourth inning, Kean Wong committed interference that erased the first out of the inning, and all the damage was done after they would've been out of the inning had he not committed interference.  Kirsch finished with the four runs (one arned) allowed on six hits and two walks in six innings with three strikeouts.  Darryl George had two hits including a solo home run, and Araiza somehow committed catcher's interference twice.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (15-5)

Hunter Lockwood hit his second walkoff home run of the season in Hudson Valley's 10 inning 4-3 win over Staten Island.  After the Yankees tied the game with two runs in the ninth against Gerardo Reyes, Reyes then had to sneak out of a bases loaded, no outs jam in the top of the 10th to set the stage for Lockwood.  After two quick outs, Lockwood hit his fourth home run of the season to win the game.  That was his third hit of the game, he was a triple shy of the cycle, and he also walked.  Jace Conrad had three hits and stole two bases.

Starter D.J. Slaton was outstanding, but the Reyes blown save meant he would come away with nothing.  In six scoreless innings of work, Slaton only allowed three hits and struck out seven with no walks.  Two of those hits led off the fifth inning as the Yankees put a pair of runners in scoring position, but he was able to get out of the jam.  Reyes allowed two runs on five hits and two walks in two innings with a strikeout.

Rookie Princeton Rays (8-8)

Princeton's offense was shut down again in their 3-1 loss to Johnson City.  After being shut out Friday, the Rays could only manage one run, and it came on a wild pitch.  Patrick Grady and Angel Moreno each had two of Princeton's six hits, and Moreno also stole a base.

The Cardinals scored all three of their runs against starter Trevor Lubking.  With one out in the first inning, Lubking allowed three consecutive singles to put Johnson City up 1-0.  Lubking allowed three runs on six hits in four innings with a strikeout and no walks.  In the third inning, he allowed a two run homer to Blake Drake that put the game away.  Princeton hates The Drake.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (10-4)

The GCL Orioles' pitching turned the tables on the GCL Rays, and their winning streak came to an end with a 2-0 loss.  The Rays could only muster two hits, but they did supplement those with six walks.  Their best chance to score came in the third inning when a Jaime Ayende walk and Oscar Sanay double put two runners in scoring position with no outs, but obviously no one could come through.

Angel Yepez allowed both Oriole runs, but they were unearned.  A pair of Matt Ford errors in the second allowed both of the runs to score, but after that, Yepez was good.  He finished with the two unearned runs allowed on three hits and a walk in five innings with four strikeouts.  Nick Sawyer's strike throwing rehabilitation took a step back with three walks in an inning of work.


Star of the day- Despite the good outing, the number of runs Suarez has allowed this year doubled Saturday night.

Goat of the day- Someone needs to figure out what's going on with Romero.

Today's games (probables courtesy of

Durham v. Norfolk 5:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Nathan Karns (4-5, 6.08) v. Josh Stinson (0-4, 7.58)

Montgomery v. Mississippi 6:35 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Grayson Garvin (0-3, 3.77) v. Williams Perez (3-4, 2.52)

Charlotte @ Fort Myers 4:05 PM (Radio stream)
Reinaldo Lopez (4-3, 3.44) v. B.J. Hermsen* (0-2, 10.97)

Bowling Green v. Dayton 3:05 PM (Radio stream)
Jorge Rodriguez (2-5, 5.84) v. Dan Langfield (2-0, 2.37)

Hudson Valley @ Staten Island 4 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Hunter Wood* (0-0, 0.92) v. Jonathan Holder (0-0, -.--)

Princeton v. Danville 6:05 PM
Jose Alonzo (2-0, 0.60) v. Andrew Waszak* (1-1, 5.11)

GCL Rays are off

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Norfolk Tides (Baltimore)
36-54 (3rd in IL South)
Offense: 412 R (2nd) .714 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 4.97 ERA (14th) 1.45 WHIP (11th)
Top 30 Prospects: DH Henry Urrutia (7), RHP Mike Wright (8), LHP Chris Jones (27), RHP Josh Stinson (28)

Mississippi Braves
10-7 (2nd in SL South)
Offense: 384 R (4th) .716 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 3.58 ERA (3rd) 1.26 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP J.R. Graham (3), RHP Jason Hursh (4), 2B Jose Peraza (6), OF Kyle Wren (18), 3B Kyle Kubitza (22), OF Matt Lipka (24), OF Robby Hefflinger (29)

Fort Myers Miracle (Minnesota)
9-6 (3rd in FSL South)
Offense: 426 R (1st) .702 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 3.07 ERA (3rd) 1.28 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: CF Byron Buxton (1), RHP J.O. Berrios (5), 2B Jorge Polanco (10), OF Max Kepler (11), OF Adam Brett Walker (17), LHP Mason Melotakis (18), 3B Travis Harrison (25), SS Niko Goodrum (26), RHP Tyler Jones (27), C Stuart Turner (30)

Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati)
8-8 (5th in MWL East)
Offense: 368 R (11th) .682 OPS (13th)
Pitching: 3.45 ERA (3rd) 1.24 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Phil Ervin (3), RHP Nick Travieso (8), LHP Amir Garrett (18), RHP Jackson Stephens (19), OF Jonathan Reynoso (20), RHP Sal Romano (25), OF Sebastian Elizalde (26), 3B Tanner Rahier (27), RHP Dan Langfield (30)

Staten Island Yankees
11-10 (3rd in McNamara)
Offense: 88 R (9th) .640 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 2.98 ERA (3rd) 1.23 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: C Luis Torrens (19), SS Thairo Estrada (28)

Danville Braves
11-5 (1st in APP East)
Offense: 110 R (1st) .816 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 4.11 ERA (6th) 1.31 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Carlos Salazar (17), C Tanner Murphy (21)