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Rays down on the farm August 26: Durham clinches division

The Bulls will have a chance to defend their International League title

Durham Bulls Athletic Park will be hosting more postseason action
Durham Bulls Athletic Park will be hosting more postseason action

August has easily been Richie Shaffer's best month.  His .263 average, .345 OBP, .553 SLG, seven doubles and five home runs are all single month highs.  I don't know if he's getting himself back on top 30 lists with one hot month, but at least he's finishing on a high note.

Meanwhile with Bowling Green, German Marquez had anther great start.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (71-65- clinched postseason)

Durham clinched their seventh division title in eight years with a 4-2 win over GwinnettSteve Geltz provided nice middle relief after Matt Andriese was knocked out with two outs in the sixth.  He retired all seven batters he faced, including three with strikeouts.  He bridged the gap to Josh Lueke who finished the game with a 1-2-3 inning.  Andriese was charged with two runs (one earned) on five hits and three walks in 5.2 innings with four strikeouts.

The Bulls took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on a Mike Fontenot groundout and Cole Figueroa single.  With three hits each out of nine total for Durham, they would be at the center of the offense the whole night.  Mikie Mahtook grounded into a run-scoring double play in the sixth to score the eventual winning run, and he singled two innings later to add insurance.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (29-35- eliminated)

A pair of home runs led Montgomery to a 4-3 win over Pensacola.  Richie Shaffer homered for the third time in five games to put the Biscuits up 2-0 in the first, and Taylor Motter's solo shot in the third made it 3-1.  Jeff Malm's bases loaded walk in the fifth scored what proved to be the winning run.  Motter reached base three times, and all five Biscuit hits belonged to the top four hitters in their lineup.

Making the spot start, Jim Patterson wasn't awful.  He allowed all three Blue Wahoo runs, but he managed to get through five innings, allowing six hits and a walk with five strikeouts.  Matt Lollis, Santiago Garrido and Bryce Stowell combined to pitch four scoreless innings.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (32-28- E# is 1)

Johnny Field's ninth inning grand slam was huge in Charlotte's 8-5 win over St. Lucie.  With two outs to go, the grand slam erased a 5-4 deficit, and Zach Cooper didn't let the tying run come to the plate to end the game.  That was the second four run inning of the game for the Stone Crabs.  They tied the game at four in the fifth that included a two run double by Jake DePew.  Field and Granden Goetzman had two hit games.

Reinaldo Lopez wasn't good, but the bullpen made up for that.  He allowed all five Mets runs, and the fifth came immediately after Charlotte tied the game.  Those runs came on five hits and three walks in five innings with a strikeout.  Four relievers, Ryan Garton, Jose Alberto Molina, Nick Sawyer and Cooper, combined to only allow three hits and no walks in four innings.

Charlotte clings to their playoff hopes with an elimination number of one.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (28-34- eliminated)

German Marquez was as good as ever in Bowling Green's 6-2 win over Fort Wayne.  With one out in the first, he allowed a solo home run, and that would be it.  He retired 17 straight batters after that and finished with just that run and hit allowed in six innings with seven strikeouts and no walks.

That home run tied the game at one, and Bowling Green went ahead for good with a four run sixth.  All four runs scored on a bases loaded single by Alexander Simon that was aided by a pair of errors.  Simon had plenty of runners on base in front of him with five hits, including two triples, coming from Willy Adames and Kean Wong.  Spencer Edwards, batting ninth, also had two hits.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (44-25- M# is 2)

Hudson Valley couldn't hold a late 6-4 lead in their 7-6 loss to Aberdeen.  Justin McCalvin allowed a solo home run in the eighth that cut the deficit to one, and Gerardo Reyes could only get one out before allowing a two run single that gave Aberdeen the lead.  Starter Oscar Armenta wasn't particularly sharp himself, allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks in 4.2 innings with five strikeouts.

A half inning before the IronBirds started their comeback, the Renegades added two insurance runs.  Alec Sole and Chris Talley hit back to back doubles to score one run, and Talley later scored on a wild pitch.  They also scored two runs in the first inning thanks to a Coty Blanchard triple and Casey Gillaspie run-scoring groundout.  Blanchard, Sole and Talley had two hits each, and Jace Conrad hit a solo home run.

Rookie Princeton Rays (36-27- M# is 5, I think)

Cameron Varga was okay in Princeton's 4-1 win over Danville.  In his short pro career to date, he threw a season high five innings and only allowed one run.  He ended his outing strong with his only 1-2-3 inning, finishing with the run allowed on eight hits in five innings with a strikeout and no walks.  Freddy Alvarez and Ruben Paredes combined to strike out five in four innings.

Down 1-0 in the fourth inning, the Rays scored three runs to go ahead.  Hec Montes singled home Thomas Milone to tie the game, and Carter Burgess' double later in the inning scored two runs.  Milone, Burgess and Cristian Toribio had two hits each, and Riley Unroe got on base twice.  Angel Moreno struck out four times.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (30-27- E# is 1)

A nine run fifth inning propelled the GCL Rays to a rain-shortened 12-3 win over the GCL Twins.  The Rays jumped out to a 3-0 lead through three innings before the fifth inning rout was on.  Cade Gotta led off the inning with his second solo home run of the game, and Gotta's walk later in the inning marked the 10th straight batter in the inning to reach base.  Eight of the nine Rays to start the game reached base multiple times led by Gotta, David Rodriguez, Jose Rojas and Bill Pujols getting on three times.  Rodriguez was a home run shy of the cycle.  Andrew Toles had two hits and stole three bases.

Another rehabber, Eduar Quinonez, threw two perfect inning and struck out two to start the game.  Deivy Mendez relieved him, and he started out pretty well, only allowing one batter to reach in his first three innings, but the Twins got to him in the sixth.  After two singles to start the sixth, Mendez got two outs before allowing a three run home run.  He started the seventh inning, but after allowing two baserunners, the game was called.

Because of the GCL Red Sox doubleheader split with the GCL Orioles, the Rays' elimination number is down to one.


Star of the day- Charlie Montoyo has done another good job with Durham.

Goat of the day- Hudson Valley will still clinch pretty easily, but allowing seven runs to the league's worst offense isn't god.

Today's games (probables courtesy of

Durham @ Gwinnett 6:35 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Nate Karns (9-7, 4.56) v. Zach Stewart* (6-4, 4.94)

Montgomery @ Pensacola 7:30 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Victor Mateo (12-9, 3.61) v. Michael Lorenzen (4-6, 3.09)

Charlotte @ St. Lucie 6:30 PM (Radio stream)
Austin Pruitt* (9-5, 3.62) v. Matt Koch (8-4, 5.03)

Bowling Green @ Fort Wayne 7:05 PM (Radio stream)
Ben Griset (2-7, 3.98) v. Jeffery Enloe (4-6, 4.64)

Hudson Valley v. Aberdeen 7:05 PM (Radio stream)
Chris Pike (3-1, 3.06) v. TBA

Princeton v. Danville 7:05 PM
Roel Ramirez (6-1, 1.68) v. Max Povse (3-2, 3.05)

GCL Rays v. GCL Twins 12 PM

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Gwinnett Braves
60-76 (4th in IL South)
Offense: 572 R (10th) .716 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 4.44 ERA (10th) 1.49 WHIP (12th)
Top 30 Prospects: C Christian Bethancourt (2), RHP Cody Martin (11), 3B Edward Salcedo (12), OF Joey Terdoslavich (15), RHP Shae Simmons (16), OF Todd Cunningham (23), RHP Aaron Northcraft (25), RHP Juan Jaime (27), RHP James Hoyt (30)

Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Cincinnati)
25-39 (5th in SL South)
Offense: 548 R (9th) .699 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 4.03 ERA (7th) 1.39 WHIP (8th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Robert Stephenson (1), OF Jesse Winker (4), OF Yorman Rodriguez (5), RHP Michael Lorenzen (6), RHP Ben Lively (9), RHP Daniel Corcino (13), 3B Seth Mejias-Brean (21)

St. Lucie Mets
31-32 (5th in FSL South)
Offense: 620 R (2nd) .728 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 4.23 ERA (10th) 1.40 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Gavin Cecchini (9), RHP Michael Fulmer (14), RHP Domingo Tapia (19), RHP Matt Koch (24)

Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego)
27-36 (T-7th in MWL East)
Offense: 645 R (2nd) .711 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 4.63 ERA (16th) 1.49 WHIP (16th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Max Fried (3), RHP Ronald Herrera (17), Dustin Peterson (22), SS Trea Turner

Aberdeen IronBirds (Baltimore)
23-45 (4th in McNamara)
Offense: 225 R (14th) .624 OPS (14th)
Pitching: 3.67 ERA (9th) 1.33 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Stephen Tarpley (21), C Jonah Heim (21), C Alex Murphy (31)

Danville Braves
35-29 (T-2nd in APP East)
Offense: 298 R (5th) .705 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 3.31 ERA (3rd) 1.20 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Carlos Salazar (17), C Tanner Murphy (21)

GCL Twins
22-35 (4th in GCL South)
Offense: 211 R (14th) .609 OPS (15th)
Pitching: 3.66 ERA (9th) 1.38 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Amaurys Minier (24)