Last year, three of the four Rays full-season affiliates reached the playoffs. This year, it looks like only Durham will, although Charlotte is still lurking in the weeds. All three short-season affiliates remain in the hunt though. Hudson Valley should be in barring a monumental screw-up, and Princeton is in a tight three team race for two spots. The GCL Rays are two games behind the GCL Red Sox competing for the division title, and they play four games against each other next week.
Triple-A Durham Bulls (65-61)
A close game blew open late in Durham's 9-0 win over Rochester. Merrill Kelly went head to head with Twins prospect Alex Meyer, and he came out on top. In his first quality start since mid-June (with several relief appearances in between), Kelly struck out five and allowed just two hits and one walk in six scoreless innings. C.J. Riefenhauser and Josh Lueke each struck out three to wrap up the shutout.
The Bulls got on the board with a home run from an unlikely source, a solo home run by Hak-Ju Lee to start the third inning. Mikie Mahtook's RBI single soon after that made it a 2-0 game, but Durham didn't start piling on the runs until the eighth. Wilson Betemit hit another home run to lead off an inning in the eighth, and Mahtook's second RBI hit later in the inning completed a three run frame. Betemit's double an inning later started a four run ninth. Mahtook and Mike Fontenot each had four hits, and Ray Olmedo reached base five times. Tim Beckham's 1/5 night caused his average to plummet to .455.
Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (22-31)
Montgomery ran their losing streak to double digits with a 4-1 loss to Mississippi. A first inning home run allowed by Albert Suarez gave the Braves a quick 1-0 lead, and they added two more in the second. Suarez would allow all four Mississippi runs on eight hits and two walks in five innings with two strikeouts. Matt Lollis and Jim Patterson combined to strike out three in three scoreless innings.
After squandering a couple chances with runners in scoring position earlier in the game, the Biscuits finally got on the board in the fifth. Ryan Brett doubled with two outs, and Jake Hager followed that with a run scoring single. Brett, Taylor Motter and Jeff Malm had two hit games.
Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (26-25)
An eighth inning rally fell short in Charlotte's 5-4 loss to Palm Beach. After the Cardinals had just scored three runs in the top half of the inning to take a 5-1 lead, the Stone Crabs responded with two outs in the bottom half. Patrick Leonard's single with two runners on scored a run, and Tyler Goeddel followed with a two run double. Unfortunately, they went down 1-2-3 in the ninth. Granden Goetzman reached base three times, and Johnny Field hit his third home run.
Austin Pruitt pitched very well again, but he still took the loss. After he allowed two runs in the second inning, Pruitt retired 16 of the next 17 batters he faced to finish with two runs allowed on one hit and three walks in seven innings with six strikeouts. Zach Cooper was charged with the three eighth inning Palm Beach runs.
Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (24-28)
An eight run first inning hurt Bowling Green in their 12-1 loss to Great Lakes. All eight of those runs (seven earned) were charged to starter D.J. Slaton, and he was only able to record one out. The Loons extended their lead with a run against Josh Kimborowicz in the second, and Andrew Hanse would later give up three. James Harris' solo home run provided the only offense for the Hot Rods. Harris and Kean Wong had two hits each.
Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (40-20)
Hudson Valley could've used more than one hit in their 6-0 loss to Tri-City. That hit belonged to Casey Gillaspie when he led off the seventh inning with a single. Jose Alonzo threw five scoreless innings with four strikeouts, but the ValleyCats got it done against the Renegade bullpen. Trevor Dunlap allowed two runs in two innings of work, and Mike Franco was charged with four without recording an out.
Rookie Princeton Rays (30-22)
After tying the game in the sixth, Princeton let Bluefield run away with it in their 7-2 loss to the Blue Jays. Bluefield scored in each of the final three innings, including two in both the eighth and ninth. Bret Dahlson was charged with three of those five runs, including what proved to be the game-winner in the seventh. Rafael Cordova allowed the two in the ninth.
Princeton's offense didn't provide much support with only five hits. They were able to string together two of them along with three walks in the sixth inning to score both of the runs. Angel Moreno's single scored the first run, and after Hec Montes singled to load the bases, Patrick Grady walked to tie the game. Starter Freddy Alvarez allowed two runs on five hits and two walks in five innings with two strikeouts.
Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (27-21)
Three ninth inning runs decided the game in the GCL Rays' 5-3 win over the GCL Twins. Entering the ninth, the game was tied at two. With two outs and runners on the corners, Oscar Sanay singled home the go-ahead run, and Matt Reida followed him with a two run double. That was Reida's third hit of the game and fourth time on base. Sanay, Chris DeMorais and Bill Pujols had two hit games.
After two middling starts, Henry Centeno pitched the way he had been for most of the season. He cruised through four innings but finally allowed a run in his last inning of work. He exited with that run allowed on five hits and a walk in five innings with four strikeouts. Deivi Mendez allowed two runs over the final four innings.
Star of the day- Maybe Mahtook's four hit game can get him out of his slump.
Goat of the day- Slaton has not been good since getting promoted to Bowling Green.
Today's games (probables courtesy of milb.com)
Durham v. Charlotte 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Nathan Karns (9-6, 4.67) v. Andre Rienzo (1-2, 3.60)
Montgomery @ Mississippi 8 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Grayson Garvin (0-7, 4.00) v. Ryan Weber (5-5, 4.63)
Charlotte @ Jupiter 6:35 PM (Radio stream)
Blake Snell* (5-5, 4.05) v. Matt Milroy (1-7, 8.05)
Bowling Green @ Dayton 7 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Jacob Faria (7-7, 3.70) v. Nick Travieso (10-5, 3.33)
Hudson Valley v. Lowell 7:05 PM (Radio stream)
Enderson Franco* (6-1, 3.02) v. Jake Drehoff (1-3, 4.44)
Princeton v. Bluefield 7:05 PM (Radio stream)
Hyrum Formo (2-0, 4.18) v. Joey Aquino (1-2, 2.62)
GCL Rays @ GCL Orioles 12 PM
TBA v. TBA
*Listed as TBA on milb.com
Scouting the opposition
Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
56-71 (T-3rd in IL South)
Offense: 620 R (1st) .777 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 4.99 ERA (14th) 1.54 WHIP (14th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Erik Johnson (2), 3B Matt Davidson (4), 2B Marcus Semien (5), 2B Micah Johnson (6), RHP Chris Beck (8), 2B Carlos Sanchez (12), OF Jared Mitchell (13), LHP Scott Snodgress (16), OF Michael Taylor (27)
32-21 (T-1st in SL South)
Offense: 529 R (6th) .703 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 3.48 ERA (3rd) 1.25 WHIP (1st)
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)
Jupiter Hammerheads (Miami)
17-35 (6th in FSL South)
Offense: 470 R (9th) .673 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 4.27 ERA (10th) 1.38 WHIP (9th)
Top 30 Prospects: 2B Avery Romero (9), RHP Trevor Williams (11), OF Jesus Solorzano (13), RHP Colby Suggs (17), RHP Austin Brice (27)
Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati)
25-27 (T-4th in MWL East)
Offense: 515 R (10th) .668 OPS (14th)
Pitching: 3.51 ERA (5th) 1.28 WHIP (6th)
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), 3B Tanner Rahier (27), RHP Dan Langfield (30), SS Alex Blandino
Lowell Spinners (Boston)
28-31 (3rd in Stedler)
Offense: 259 R (5th) .694 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 4.51 ERA (14th) 1.42 WHIP (14th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Karsten Whitson
Bluefield Blue Jays
25-29 (4th in APP East)
Offense: 229 R (7th) .661 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 3.73 ERA (6th) 1.32 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Matt Smoral (13), 1B Rowdy Tellez (18), SS Richard Urena (24)
22-25 (3rd in GCL South)
Offense: 141 R (16th) .582 OPS (16th)
Pitching: 3.01 ERA (2nd) 1.17 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: C Jonah Heim (26)