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Rays down on the farm August 7: O'Conner promoted, homers

It didn't take long for Justin O'Conner to get used to the Southern League

After throwing out 50% of attempted base stealers with Charlotte, Justin O'Conner is already 1/2 with Montgomery
After throwing out 50% of attempted base stealers with Charlotte, Justin O'Conner is already 1/2 with Montgomery
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

There was a bit of player movement in the organization.  In addition to Justin O'Conner getting bumped up to catch Montgomery's staff, Jaime Schultz was added to Charlotte's rotation.  Schultz only pitched 6.1 innings in two starts after spending a month on the DL with Bowling Green, so it would certainly appear they were just waiting to get him up a level.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (61-55)

Durham was off.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (22-24)

Justin O'Conner homered in his Biscuits debut, but Chattanooga rallied late in Montgomery's 5-3 lossMike Colla pitched very well, but he allowed a solo home run to lead off the eighth that tied the game.  Andrew Bellatti relieved him, and in the ninth, he allowed three runs, including a two run homer, that gave the Lookouts a 5-2 lead.  Colla allowed two runs on five hits and a walk in 7+ innings with nine strikeouts.

O'Conner's home run came in his first at-bat in the third inning.  Taylor Motter's seventh inning home run gave Montgomery a 2-1 lead, and Chattanooga conceded their third run in the ninth.  They still had the tying run in scoring position, but Willie Argo flew out to end the game.  Luke Maile had two hits and reached base three times.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (22-21)

Jaime Schultz was wild, but he still threw five scoreless innings in Charlotte's 6-1 win over Palm Beach.  He walked five, but he only allowed two hits and struck out four.  The Cardinals had opportunities to score, but they were hitless with runners in scoring position.  Jordan Harrison allowed their only run in two innings, and Zach Cooper and Colton Reavis each threw a scoreless inning.

Tommy Coyle singled home the first run of the game in the fourth, and they added insurance late.  Johnny Field and Patrick Leonard each doubled home runs in the sixth, and Ariel Soriano's two run homer the next inning broke the game open.  Field, Coyle and Leonard had two hit games, and Tim Beckham was 1/4 with a walk and strikeout in his first Stone Crabs rehab game.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (20-25)

Bowling Green's pitching staff shut down South Bend in their 3-0 win.  They limited the Silver Hawks to just two hits, but they were supplemented by five walks.  German Marquez struck out six and only allowed a hit with two walks.  The win went to Andrew Hanse though with four strikeouts in three innings of relief.

The Hot Rods weren't able to score until the sixth, but that's when they picked up all three of their runs.  They opened the inning with four straight singles to go up 1-0, and South Bend conceded the second to turn a double play.  After that, Elias Torres singled home the third run of the game.  Torres had three hits, and Ty Young reached base three times.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (37-15)

Hudson Valley's steady offense led them to a 6-2 win over Williamsport.  Braxton Lee led off the first inning with a single, stole second and came home to score on a throwing error, and the Renegades would go on to score in four more separate innings, continuing to take advantage of Crosscutter mistakes.  Lee, Jace Conrad and Wilmer Dominguez each had two hits, and Casey Gillaspie stole his first professional base.

Five Renegade pitchers combined to dominate Williamsport and strike out 13 batters.  Chris Pike allowed one run on five hits in five innings with six strikeouts and no walks.  Four relievers would throw an inning each after that, led by Ryan Pennell with three strikeouts in his inning of work.  Eli Echarry and Gerardo Reyes each struck out two.

Rookie Princeton Rays (24-20)

Princeton was off.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (24-17)

One run was far from enough in the GCL Rays' 6-1 game one loss to the GCL Red Sox.  David Rodriguez doubled to lead off the second and would score on Bill Pujols' double, but that would be it.  The Red Sox retired eight straight Rays to end the game.  Blake Bivens struck out five and only allowed two hits in four scoreless innings, and Brock Burke was hit for all six Red Sox runs over two innings.

Two runs wasn't much better in their 4-2 loss in game two.  Matt Reida generated the first run on his own in the first inning by hitting a double, stealing third and coming home to score on a throwing error.  A wild pitch later in the inning made it a 2-0 game, and the offense checked out for the afternoon, although Reida did reach base three times and steal a base.  After starter Angel Yepez struck out four in four scoreless innings, Junior Feliz came in and allowed a pair of home runs in the fifth to make it a 4-2 game.


Star of the day- Good for O'Conner in his breakout season.

Goat of the day- The GCL Rays can't afford days like that in a playoff chase.

Today's games (probables courtesy of

Durham v. Buffalo 6:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream) DOUBLEHEADER
Enny Romero (4-11, 5.31) v. Brad Mills* (1-0, 3.86)

Both games will be seven innings

Montgomery v. Chattanooga 8:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Dylan Floro (9-10, 3.49) v. Nick Struck (2-6, 6.57)

Charlotte @ Palm Beach 6:35 PM (Radio stream)
Jared Mortensen* (0-0, 2.57) v. Luke Weaver* (0-1, 27.00)

Bowling Green v. Dayton 8:05 PM (Radio stream)
D.J. Slaton* (0-2, 8.76) v. Dan Langfield (3-2, 3.88)

Hudson Valley v. Williamsport 7:05 PM (Radio stream)
Hunter Wood (1-3, 3.02) v. Ricardo Pinto (0-3, 2.86)

Princeton @ Bluefield 7:05 PM (Radio stream)
Freddy Alvarez (2-4, 4.03) v. Jesus Tinoco (1-5, 5.94)

GCL Rays @ GCL Red Sox 12 PM

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Buffalo Bisons (Toronto)
61-55 (4th in IL North)
Offense: 478 R (12th) .718 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 3.60 ERA (3rd) 1.30 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Sean Nolin (10), C A.J. Jimenez (14), OF Kevin Pillar (20), RHP John Stilson (21)

Chattanooga Lookouts (Los Angeles)
19-25 (5th in SL North)
Offense: 481 R (9th) .716 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 4.35 ERA (9th) 1.49 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Corey Seager (2), LHP Chris Reed (8), OF Scott Schebler (17), IF Darnell Sweeney (25)

Palm Beach Cardinals
27-18 (2nd in FSL South)
Offense: 533 R (2nd) .715 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 3.45 ERA (5th) 1.29 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Tyrell Jenkins (17), RHP Luke Weaver

Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati)
22-23 (3rd in MWL East)
Offense: 480 R (10th) .668 OPS (13th)
Pitching: 3.46 ERA (5th) 1.26 WHIP (5th)
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

Williamsport Crosscutters (Philadelphia)
24-28 (T-2nd in Pinckney)
Offense: 206 R (12th) .663 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 3.46 ERA (6th) 1.28 WHIP (7th)
Top 30 Prospects: C Deivi Grullon (14), OF Cord Sandberg (21), RHP Mitch Gueller (24), OF Aaron Brown

Bluefield Blue Jays
22-24 (4th in APP East)
Offense: 205 R (5th) .673 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 3.74 ERA (6th) 1.35 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Matt Smoral (13), 1B Rowdy Tellez (18), SS Richard Urena (24)

GCL Red Sox
25-16 (1st in GCL South)
Offense: 204 R (3rd) .660 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 2.57 ERA (1st) 1.16 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Rafael Devers (20), SS Javier Guerra (27), RHP Michael Kopech, RHP Jake Cosart