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Rays down on the farm August 2: Bivens pitches Princeton to win

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The Rays' fourth-round pick in 2014 is having a solid season

Princeton holds a narrow lead over Pulaski in the Appy East division
Princeton holds a narrow lead over Pulaski in the Appy East division
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Since allowing four runs in his first start of the season, Blake Bivens has allowed no more than two earned runs in six straight starts. In that period, he owns a 2.54 ERA in 28 2/3 innings with a 23.3% strikeout rate and 7.5% walk rate.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (52-55)

Durham could not push across the tying run in its 3-2 loss to Gwinnett. Ryan Brett doubled with one out in the ninth and came home to score on a pair of errors to pull the Bulls within 3-2. With Taylor Motter on second, though, Corey Brown and J.P. Arencibia struck out to end the game. Starter Scott Diamond allowed three runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (20-14)

A four-run third was not enough in Montgomery's 5-4 loss to Tennessee. Already down 3-0, Joey Rickard doubled home a pair of runs, and Cameron Seitzer later hit a two-run homer to give the Biscuits the lead. However, Jared Mortensen could not hold the lead and finished with five runs allowed on 10 hits in five innings with six strikeouts and no walks.

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (16-18)

Charlotte was postponed.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (19-17)

Bowling Green wasted a solid start from Chris Pike in its 3-1 loss to Lansing. Pike allowed two runs on six hits and a walk in 6 2/3 innings with six strikeouts, but the Hot Rods bats could not get anything going despite outhitting the Lugnuts, 8-7. Hunter Lockwood drove in Bowling Green's only run with a two-out single in the sixth.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (20-20)

Benton Moss took a tough loss in Hudson Valley's 1-0 defeat at the hands of Auburn. The Renegades did not have a hit until there were two outs in the fifth, and they would only end up with three total. Moss allowed just one run on four hits and two walks in six innings with four strikeouts.

Rookie Princeton Rays (23-15)

Blake Bivens had a fine outing in Princeton's 3-1 win over Pulaski. Although he allowed a solo home run that put Princeton in a 1-0 hole, he settled in and finished with just the run allowed on four hits and two walks in five innings with five strikeouts. Peter Maris drove in Princeton's first run in the third inning and scored what proved to be the winning run on Landon Cray's groundout.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (8-26)

The GCL Rays' offense forgot to show up in their 2-0 loss to the GCL Orioles in game one. Oscar Rojas' double in the fifth was their first hit, and Garrett Whitley singled an inning later for their second. Starter Abrahan Rodriguez allowed both runs.

The GCL Rays' pitching and defense forgot to stick around for the second game, an 11-4 loss to the GCL Orioles. Bases-loaded walks by Adrian Rondon and Samm Wiggins and an RBI single from Blake Grant-Parks gave them a 3-0 lead in the first, but the game collapsed in the fourth when the GCL Orioles scored five times. Starter Ty Nichols allowed six runs -- two earned -- on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. The GCL Rays committed five errors, leading to six unearned runs.

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Notable performances

AA 1B Cameron Seitzer: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
R+ OF Angel Perez: 2-for-4-, 1 R, 2 2B
R OF Ryan Caldwell: 3-for-4, 1 R
AAA RHP Jhan Marinez: 2 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
A RHP Chris Pike: 6 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
A- RHP Benton Moss: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
R+ RHP Blake Bivens: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
R+ RHP Noel Rodriguez: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K

AAA C Mayo Acosta: 0-for-4, 3 K
AA OF Dayron Varona: 0-for-4, 2 K
AA 1B Jake Bauers: 0-for-4, 2 K
A- OF Angel Moreno: 0-for-4, 2 K
R+ DH David Olmedo-Barrera: 0-for-4, 2 K
AA RHP Jared Mortensen: 5 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
R RHP Ty Nichols: 4 1/3 IP, 8 H, 6 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K
R RHP Tyler Brashears: 1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K

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

Durham v. Gwinnett 5:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Bradin Hagens (1-2, 3.10) v. Greg Smith (3-4, 2.53)

Montgomery @ Mississippi 6 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Jared Mortensen (6-3, 3.09) v. Greg Ross (4-9, 4.63)

Charlotte @ Lakeland 12 PM (radio stream) DOUBLEHEADER
Greg Harris (1-0, 3.86) v. Locke St. John (2-10, 5.00)
TBA v. TBA

Both games will be seven innings

Bowling Green v. Lansing 3:05 PM (radio stream)
Jose Mujica (0-0, 3.00) v. Starlyn Suriel (6-6, 3.76)

Hudson Valley @ Auburn 2:05 PM (radio stream)
Cameron Varga (1-2, 3.33) v. Jefry Rodriguez (1-4, 5.15)

Princeton @ Pulaski 7 PM (radio stream)
Brock Burke (2-1, 3.90) v. TBA

GCL Rays are off

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Gwinnett Braves (updated through 7/29)
55-51 (3rd in IL South)
Offense: 408 R (9th) .645 OPS (14th)
Pitching: 3.17 ERA (4th) 1.27 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: C Christian Bethancourt (3), OF Mallex Smith (16), RHP Williams Perez (19),OF Todd Cunningham (23), IF Elmer Reyes (29), RHP Mike Foltynewicz, RHP Tyrell Jenkins

Mississippi Braves (updated through 7/31)
19-16 (3rd in SL South)
Offense: 367 R (9th) .642 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 3.54 ERA (5th) 1.37 WHIP (7th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Lucas Sims (2), RHP Jason Hursh (6), 3B Rio Ruiz (10), RHP Mauricio Cabrera (14), RHP Zack Bird, OF KD Kang

Lakeland Flying Tigers (updated through 7/28)
8-25 (6th in FSL North)
Offense: 336 R (11th) .626 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 3.53 ERA (9th) 1.33 WHIP (9th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Kevin Ziomek (4), 2B Javier Betancourt (20), C Grayson Greiner (24), RHP Endrys Briceno (31)

Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto) (updated through 7/29)
18-18 (4th in MWL East)
Offense: 526 R (1st) .741 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 3.65 ERA (10th) 1.35 WHIP (14th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Dawel Lugo (15), C Dan Jansen (20), OF D.J. Davis (21)

Auburn Doubledays (Washington) (updated through 7/29)
19-21 (T-4th in Pinckney)
Offense: 181 R (1st) .699 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 4.24 ERA (13th) 1.39 WHIP (11th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Erick Fedde (4), C Jackson Reetz (14), RHP Jefry Rodriguez (19), OF Victor Robles (25), RHP Robbie Dickey (29), RHP Mariano RIvera

Pulaski Yankees (updated through 7/29)
22-17 (2nd in APP East)
Offense: 199 R (1st) .794 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 3.87 ERA (4th) 1.32 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: None