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Rays down on the farm May 4: Honeywell set for tough matchup

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Brent Honeywell is scheduled to face 2014 first-rounder Justus Sheffield

The Midwest League hosts a top pitching matchup on Monday
The Midwest League hosts a top pitching matchup on Monday
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

After a slow start to the season, all of the affiliates are starting to play better. In 2014, it felt like they could never play over .500 as a group.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (14-11)

Mikie Mahtook's first home run with Durham contributed to a six-run inning in the Bulls' 8-2 win over Pawtucket. Just two batters after the Red Sox went up on a home run, Mahtook's homer gave Durham a 3-2 lead. Later in the inning, for some reason J.P. Arencibia was able to score on an infield fly, and Eugenio Velez capped the inning with a two-out single. After allowing Pawtucket's home run, Scott Diamond had no problem getting through six innings, allowing just those runs on four hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (12-12)

Justin O'Conner's grand slam opened up a big lead in Montgomery's 7-2 win over Mississippi. Already up 3-0, O'Conner's home run, his fourth of the season, with two outs blew the game open. The offense backed an interesting outing from Jared Mortensen. He only allowed four hits in three scoreless innings, but he walked three and did not record a strikeout.

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (16-8)

Charlotte took a late lead in its 5-2 win over Fort Myers. Willy Adames broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth with an RBI single, and Jake Bauers and Joey Rickard also contributed to what became a three-run inning. In the ninth, Juniel Querecuto added an insurance run. Chris Kirsch rebounded after a rough start and allowed a run on five hits and a walk in six innings with three strikeouts.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (15-9)

A five-run seventh inning lifted Bowling Green to a 6-5 win over Lansing. Trailing 5-1, Jace Conrad got the Hot Rods a run closer with a leadoff home run. Casey Gillaspie walked and Grant Kay doubled before Bralin Jackson's single cut their deficit to two, and Mac James hit a three-run home run to put Bowling Green up. Enderson Franco got the win despite being hit hard, allowing five runs on 10 hits and six innings, but Damion Carroll followed him with four strikeouts in two scoreless innings.

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Notable performances

AAA UT Eugenio Velez: 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
AAA OF Mikie Mahtook: 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
A+ OF Marty Gantt: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 BB
A+ IF Juniel Querecuto: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
AAA LHP Scott Diamond: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
A RHP Damion Carroll: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K

A RHP Enderson Franco: 6 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Today's games (probables courtesy of milb.com)

Durham is off

Montgomery @ Mississippi 12 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Bradin Hagens (1-1, 1.61) v. Victor Mateo (0-1, 6.30)

Charlotte @ Jupiter 6:35 PM (radio stream)
Jacob Faria (4-0, 1.19) v. TBA

Bowling Green v. Lake County 7:35 PM (radio stream)
Brent Honeywell (2-1, 0.82) v. Justus Sheffield (2-1, 2.60)

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Mississippi Braves (updated through 4/28)
10-12 (3rd in SL South)
Offense: 74 R (4th) .689 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 3.83 ERA (7th) 1.39 WHIP (7th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Jason Hursh (6), 3B Rio Ruiz (10), OF Mallex Smith (16), SS Daniel Castro (25), RHP Tyrell Jenkins, OF KD Kang

Jupiter Hammerheads (Miami) (updated through 5/2)
10-14 (5th in FSL South)
Offense: 80 R (10th) .624 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 3.13 ERA (5th) 1.30 WHIP (8th)
Top 30 Prospects: 2B Avery Romero (5), 2B Brian Anderson (9), LHP Jarlin Garcia (10), OF Austin Dean (11), IF J.T. Riddle (17), 1B Felix Munoz (26), LHP Miguel Del Pozo (27)

Lake County Captains (Cleveland) (updated through 5/2)
11-13 (6th in MWL East)
Offense: 68 R (15th) .584 OPS (16th)
Pitching: 3.39 ERA (10th) 1.23 WHIP (7th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Justus Sheffield (4), C Francisco Mejia (7), IF Yu-Cheng Chang (13), RHP Dace Kime (20), OF Dorssys Paulino (26)