We are closing in on the final weeks of the regular season, but that does not mean the end of the action for some Rays affiliates.
- Durham is probably out. Its elimination number for the division is down to seven, and the wild card isn't looking any better.
- Montgomery is riding a nine-game winning streak and sits in first place for the second-half division title. Birmingham is in second place with Tennessee and first-half winner Chattanooga in the weeds.
- Charlotte's elimination number for the half is down to one, but at least the Stone Crabs aren't Lakeland, which is 10-37 in the second half.
- Bowling Green sits 3 1/2 games behind playoff position in the second-half standings. The Hot Rods have to finish in the top two to reach the postseason.
- The leader in Hudson Valley's division has not deviated from the .500 mark much this season. The Renegades are 1 1/2 games out of first, and the league's lone wild card spot is in reach too.
- Princeton has fallen three games behind first-place Pulaski, but second place still makes the postseason.
- The GCL Rays hold a 5 1/2-game lead on the GCL Astros for the top spot in the GCL Draft Lottery, which quite obviously is not an actual thing.
Triple-A Durham Bulls (59-66)
Durham's bullpen could not patch together a nine-inning game in its 4-2 loss to Louisville. After Matt Andriese was scratched, Everett Teaford got the spot start and contributed three scoreless innings. Andrew Bellatti allowed a run in the fourth, but the Bats broke a 1-1 tie with three runs off Robert Zarate in the sixth. Joey Butler's solo home run pulled the Bulls within two, but they would not get closer.
Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (30-19)
Montgomery was postponed.
Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (18-31)
Buddy Borden could not get a shutdown inning in Charlotte's 4-1 loss to Fort Myers in game one. After the Miracle conceded the tying run in the top of the fifth, they loaded the bases against Borden with no outs in the bottom half of the inning. With one out, a single and error by Yoel Araujo allowed all three runs to score. Borden was charged with all four runs -- three earned -- in five innings.
Charlotte's 2-0 lead was not enough in its 5-2 loss in game two. Back-to-back doubles in the third by Mike Marjama and Granden Goetzman gave the Stone Crabs a 2-0 lead, but a sacrifice fly and another error, this time from Justin Williams, allowed the Miracle to tie the game. Starter Greg Harris was charged with two runs -- one earned -- in 3 1/3 innings, but Steve Ascher allowed them to move in front.
Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (25-25)
Bowling Green fell in an early 3-0 hole and could not catch up in its 8-3 loss to Fort Wayne. Yonny Chirinos finally struggled, allowing four runs -- including three in the first -- on nine hits and two walks in five innings. Thomas Milone homered in the fifth, but the Hot Rods' bullpen let the game continue to get away.
Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (27-28)
Hudson Valley's All-Stars were on the winning side in a 4-2 decision in the New York-Penn League's All-Star Game. Joe McCarthy and Jake Cronenworth each went 0-for-2, and Roel Ramirez and Angel Yepez each tossed a scoreless inning each.
A sixth-run fifth lifted Princeton to a 10-5 win over Kingsport. Down 1-0, David Olmedo-Barrera led off with a double and tied the game on Angel Perez's single before the Kingsport defense fell apart. After a runner reached on an error, Peter Maris' single put Princeton in front, and four runs scored after a second error later in the inning. Princeton would get seven unearned runs total. Alexis Tapia allowed four runs -- three earned -- in four-plus innings, and the win went to Bryan Bonnell with a scoreless inning of relief.
Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (12-37)
The GCL Rays' offense woke up too late in their 5-2 loss to the GCL Red Sox. After eight innings without much going on, Juan Carlos Arias hit a two-run, inside-the-park home run with the GCL Rays down to their last out. They had the potential tying run up at the plate after a pair of hits, but Juan Rodriguez struck out to end the game. Starter Adrian Navas allowed two runs in 2 2/3 innings.
AAA OF Joey Rickard: 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 K
A UT Coty Blanchard: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
A OF Cade Gotta: 3-for-4
R+ C Jose Rojas: 3-for-5, 1 2B, 5 RBI
R+ DH David Olmedo-Barrera: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 BB
R 3B Juan Carlos Arias: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
R C Rafelin Lorenzo: 2-for-4, 2 2B
A+ OF Yoel Araujo: 0-for-3, 3 K
R 1B Gilbert Marrero: 0-for-3, 3 K
A RHP Yonny Chirinos: 5 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
A LHP Ryan Pennell: 2 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 0 K
R+ RHP Alexis Tapia: 4+ IP, 7 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 4 K
R RHP Adrian Navas: 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
Today's games (probables courtesy of milb.com)
Both games will be seven innings
Charlotte v. Fort Myers 7 PM (radio stream)
TBA v. TBA
Bowling Green v. Fort Wayne 8:05 PM (radio stream)
Brad Wallace (2-3, 5.14) v. Dinelson Lamet (4-6, 3.18)
Hudson Valley v. Connecticut 7:05 PM (radio stream)
Benton Moss (1-2, 2.33) v. Matt Hall (0-0, 2.57)
Princeton is off
GCL Rays v. GCL Red Sox 12 PM
*Listed as TBA on milb.com
Scouting the opposition
Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit) (updated through 8/15)
51-72 (4th in IL West)
Offense: 491 R (9th) .690 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 4.72 ERA (14th) 1.46 WHIP (14th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Steven Moya (1), SS Dixon Machado (10), RHP Drew VerHagen (16), RHP Jose Valdez (17), RHP Angel Nesbitt (21), OF Daniel Fields (26)
Tennessee Smokies (Cubs) (updated through 8/16)
24-25 (3rd in SL North)
Offense: 539 R (3rd) .718 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 3.64 ERA (4th) 1.32 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Billy McKinney (6), OF Albert Almora (7), RHP Pierce Johnson (9), LHP Rob Zastryzny (14), RHP Corey Black (16), OF Jacob Hannemann (17), OF Bijan Rademacher (21), 3B Jeimer Candelario (24), 1B Dan Vogelbach (25)
Fort Myers Miracle (Minnesota) (updated through 8/14)
30-23 (3rd in FSL South)
Offense: 424 R (7th) .634 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 2.68 ERA (2nd) 1.21 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Kohl Stewart (4), LHP Stephen Golsalves (14), RHP Jake Reed (19), SS Engelb Vielma (22), RHP Zach Jones (25), LHP Tyler Jay
Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego) (updated through 8/16)
33-17 (1st in MWL East)
Offense: 476 R (8th) .680 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 3.44 ERA (7th) 1.30 WHIP (9th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Michael Gettys (13), SS Franchy Cordero (19)
Connecticut Tigers (updated through 8/15)
26-27 (3rd in Stedler)
Offense: 207 R (10th) .643 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 3.15 ERA (3rd) 1.19 WHIP (1st)
Top 30 Prospects: IF Steven Fuentes (15), RHP Sandy Baez (23), LHP Tyler Alexander
GCL Red Sox (updated through 8/15)
34-16 (1st in GCL South)
Offense: 217 R (2nd) .668 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 2.28 ERA (1st) 1.23 WHIP (7th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Yoan Aybar (31)