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Rays down on the farm August 28: Princeton clinches playoff berth

A doubleheader sweep helped Princeton get a rare chance to play for a championship

Humberto Cota was the star player last time Princeton was in the playoffs
Humberto Cota was the star player last time Princeton was in the playoffs

It's Princeton's first time in the playoff since 1998 and just their third in team history since they started play in 1991.

The GCL regular season wraps up today, and since I really have nothing to comment on from last night's games, I'll ask two simple questions: Who was the Rays' best minor league hitter, and who was the Rays' best minor league pitcher?  The players don't have to be prospects.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (71-67- clinched postseason)

Durham was crushed for the second straight night in an 8-1 loss to GwinnettAlex Colome was not sharp, and the Braves scored against him in four straight innings.  He exited after 5.2 innings, charged with seven runs (five earned) on nine hits and two walks with three strikeouts.  Brandon Gomes and C.J. Riefenhauser both struck out two in relief.

The Bulls only had four hits, and their lone run of the game came when they were already down 7-0.  Mikie Mahtook's solo home run, his 10th of the year, broke up the shutout.  Cole Figueroa had two hits.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (29-36- eliminated)

Montgomery was off.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (32-30- eliminated)

After coming back from a 2-0 hole, Charlotte lost their lead late in a 4-3 loss to St. Lucie.  Right after a Mets error on a ball put in play by Patrick Leonard allowed the Stone Crabs go ahead 3-2 in the ninth, Leonard returned the favor.  With two outs and two runners in scoring position, his fielding error led to a walkoff St. Lucie win, and Colton Reavis was charged with the loss and two unearned runs.

Blake Snell made a solid start, and he retired 10 out of the last 11 batters he faced.  He left with the game tied after allowing two runs on six hits and two walks in six innings with six strikeouts.  The only earned run for Charlotte came in the fifth on Tommy Coyle's RBI single.  Ariel Soriano and Granden Goetzman had two hit games, and David DeJesus reached base three times.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (29-35- eliminated)

A five run sixth inning led Bowling Green to a 6-2 win over South Bend.  Down 2-1, Willy Adames led off with a single, stole a base and scored on Kean Wong's single.  A couple batters later, Alexander Simon's two run home run gave them their first lead at 4-2.  Armando Araiza added two more runs with a single later in the inning.  Four Hot Rods had two hit games.

Jacob Faria allowed two runs in the first inning, and he wasn't at his best.  The first three batters of the game reached base against him, and the two runs were scored while recording two outs.  He exited with those runs allowed on four hits and three walks in four innings with four strikeouts.  Stone Speer was great in long relief though, striking out four and only allowing one hit in four scoreless innings.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (45-26- M# for division is 1)

Hudson Valley's offense was pretty unproductive in their 3-1 loss to Aberdeen.  They outhit the IronBirds 9-8, but none of those hits were with runners in scoring position.  They scored their only run of the game in the seventh already down 3-0, and it was conceded on a groundout with two runners in scoring position.  Coty Blanchard, Casey Gillaspie and Wilmer Dominguez had two hit games.

Jose Alonzo pitched the bare minimum quality start.  Aberdeen got all the offense they needed in the second inning with a two run home run, and they added an unearned run an inning later.  He finished with three runs (two earned) allowed on six hits and a walk in six innings with four strikeouts.  Eli Echarry struck out three in two innings.

Rookie Princeton Rays (38-28- M# for division is 3, I think)

A big inning late helped Princeton win the suspended game over Burlington 6-2.  Tied at two in the seventh, the go-ahead run scored on an error.  Patrick Grady's two run double after that made them pay for their mistake, and Manny Sanchez topped off the inning with a two out run-scoring single.  Hyrum Formo started the suspended game originally, and he came back with five more innings for an odd complete game effort, allowing two runs over nine innings with seven strikeouts.

In game two, Princeton battled back from a 2-0 deficit to top Burlington 4-3.  In his Princeton debut, Henry Centeno allowed two first inning runs, but he settled in after that to finish with those runs allowed on six hits in five innings with four strikeouts and no walks.  The offense responded right away with three runs in the second inning, including two on a double by Enmanuel Paulino.  Sanchez and Hec Montes had two hit games.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (31-28- eliminated)

The GCL Rays' pitching shut down the GCL Twins with a 5-2 win.  Four pitchers combined to limit the Twins to three hits and two walks, and three of those baserunners came against Cristopher Crisostomo.  Brock Burke struck out four in two hitless innings, and Orlando Romero struck out three in two innings.  Luis Nunez would get the win with two scoreless innings.

The Rays used a pair of two run innings to put some distance between them and the Twins.  Already holding a 3-2 lead in the ninth, Isias Alcantar singled home two runs to put the game away.  Alcantar was one of three Rays to have multi-hit games.  David Rodriguez had three hits, and he was a home run shy of the cycle.


Star of the day- Princeton joins Durham and Hudson Valley in the post-season.

Goat of the day- Durham needs to wake up though.

Today's games (probables courtesy of

Durham @ Norfolk 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Mike Montgomery (7-12, 4.60) v. Steve Johnson (0-1, 6.88)

Montgomery v. Jackson 8:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Mike Colla (7-12, 4.60) v. Tyler Pike (3-4, 8.37)

Charlotte v. Bradenton 6:30 PM (Radio stream)
Jaime Schultz* (2-0, 3.50) v. Tyler Glasnow* (12-5, 1.67)

Bowling Green @ South Bend 7:05 PM (Radio stream)
Bruedlin Suero (5-3, 4.03) v. Ryan Doran (3-0, 3.33)

Hudson Valley v. Connecticut 7:05 PM (Radio stream)

Princeton @ Burlington 7 PM (Radio stream)
Yonny Chirinos (3-0, 2.13) v. TBA

GCL Rays v. GCL Twins 12 PM

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Norfolk Tides (Baltimore)
63-75 (2nd in IL South)
Offense: 618 R (6th) .712 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 4.48 ERA (12th) 1.41 WHIP (9th)
Top 30 Prospects: DH Henry Urrutia (7), RHP Mike Wright (8), OF Dariel Alvarez (15), 1B Christian Walker (18), LHP Chris Jones (27), RHP Josh Stinson (28)

Jackson Generals (Seattle)
29-36 (3rd in SL North)
Offense: 578 R (8th) .721 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 4.19 ERA (9th) 1.35 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B D.J. Peterson (2), RHP Victor Sanchez (7), C Tyler Marlette (8), 3B Patrick Kivlehan (12), LHP Tyler Pike (16), OF Jabari Blash (19)

Bradenton Marauders (Pittsburgh)
39-27 (T-1st in FSL South)
Offense: 542 R (8th) .670 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 3.30 ERA (2nd) 1.25 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Tyler Glasnow (3), OF Barrett Barnes (13), C Jin-De Jhang (24)

South Bend Silver Hawks (Arizona)
38-27 (2nd in MWL East)
Offense: 659 R (2nd) .717 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 3.54 ERA (7th) 1.26 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Jose Martinez (6), OF Justin Williams (14), 1B Daniel Palka (17), C Michael Perez (20), RHP Geordy Parra (22), SS Joe Munoz (26), 2B Jamie Westbrook (27), 2B Andrew Velasquez (28), LHP Anthony Banda

Connecticut Tigers
38-33 (2nd in Stedler)
Offense: 321 R (3rd) .680 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 3.08 ERA (4th) 1.20 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Steven Fuentes (28), OF Derek Hill, 3B Joey Pankake

Burlington Royals
28-38 (5th in APP East)
Offense: 260 R (10th) .642 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 4.04 ERA (9th) 1.42 WHIP (8th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Marten Gasparini (20), LHP Foster Griffin, C Chase Vallot, RHP Scott Blewett

GCL Twins
23-36 (4th in GCL South)
Offense: 217 R (14th) .606 OPS (16th)
Pitching: 3.67 ERA (10th) 1.37 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Amaurys Minier (24)