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Rays down on the farm August 7: Tapia sharp in Rays debut

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After Chih-Wei Hu's debut Wednesday, another new Rays arm impresses

Alexis Tapia already has Appy League experience
Alexis Tapia already has Appy League experience
Jim Donten

Some starters have been making appearances out of the bullpen lately, including Ryne Stanek and Greg Harris. The Rays added some pitching depth at the deadline which means some roles have to change. I'm not sure if there is anything to read into here, or if they are just making decisions to distribute innings over the final month of the season.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (54-58)

Luke Maile's two-run home run capped Durham's comeback in its 8-5 win over Indianapolis. Down 4-1, the Bulls tied the game with a three-run fifth. Joey Rickard scored on a wild pitch, and Ryan Brett and Hak-Ju Lee contributed RBI singles. Corey Brown singled home two an inning later, and Maile's seventh-inning home run put Durham up 8-4. In his third rehab appearance, Drew Smyly allowed four runs on six hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings with five strikeouts. Scott Diamond allowed a run over the final four innings.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (21-18)

Jake Bauers' three-run home run off former USF ace Andrew Barbosa was not enough in Montgomery's 7-4 loss to Mississippi. After the first base prospect gave the Biscuits a 4-3 lead in the sixth, Kyle McPherson stumbled in the eighth, allowing a tying single to KD Kang and then a three-run home run. Jaime Schultz struck out seven and allowed three runs on five hits and two walks in five innings, and Ryne Stanek came out of the bullpen with two scoreless innings.

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (16-21)

Hunter Wood settled in after a rough start, but Charlotte blew a lead late in its 4-3 loss to Palm Beach. The Stone Crabs found themselves in a 2-0 hole after an inning, but Wood only allowed two runners to reach base in his final four innings. He allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in five innings with three strikeouts. Granden Goetzman's two-run homer capped a three-run sixth for Charlotte, but Kyle McKenzie allowed a pair of runs over the seventh and eighth innings.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (19-21)

Bowling Green's offense was nowhere to be found in its 2-0 loss to Quad Cities. The Hot Rods had just three singles against one of the minors' best teams. Henry Centeno struck out six and allowed two runs -- one earned -- on eight hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (22-23)

Hudson Valley went up early and held on late in its 4-3 win over Staten Island. The Renegades scored two runs in both the first and second innings with Cade Gotta picking up an RBI in each inning. Aside from allowing a second-inning run, starter Angel Yepez was solid, allowing just that run on six hits in five innings with four strikeouts and no walks. After a 1-2-3 eighth, Hudson Valley stuck with Diego Castillo for a two-run save but needed to strike out three in a row to end the game and strand the potential tying run in scoring position after allowing two runs.

Rookie Princeton Rays (25-17)

Alexis Tapia's Rays debut could not have been better in Princeton's 12-1 win over Danville. Princeton's new righty struck out eight and scattered just three hits over six scoreless innings with no walks. While he was dominating, Princeton's offense hammered Danville pitching, capping the night with a five-run ninth. With Danville down 11 runs, they actually tried delaying the game because of rain in the bottom of the ninth before realizing how pointless that was and just ending it early.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (8-30)

The GCL Rays lost 7-4 to the GCL Red Sox. Garrett Whitley's sacrifice fly in the third gave them a 1-0 lead, but the GCL Red Sox then scored six straight runs, effectively ending the game. Ty Nichols was charged with the first four runs in 4 2/3 innings. Whitley and Adrian Rondon each reached base three times.

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Notable performances

AAA OF Joey Rickard: 1-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 SB
AAA UT Taylor Motter: 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
AAA SS Hak-Ju Lee: 1-for-1, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SB
A+ OF Granden Goetzman: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K
A- IF Jake Cronenworth: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 SB
R+ OF Zacrey Law: 3-for-6, 3 R, 1 2B
R+ OF Landon Cray: 3-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
R+ 3B Brett Sullivan: 3-for-6, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI
R+ DH David Olmedo-Barrera: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
R+ C David Rodriguez: 3-for-6, 1 R, 5 RBI, 1 K
R OF Garrett Whitley: 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB
R SS Adrian Rondon: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB
AA RHP Ryne Stanek: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
R+ RHP Alexis Tapia: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K

AAA 1B J.P. Arencibia: 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 4 K
AA 2B Tommy Coyle: 0-for-4, 4 K
AA OF Tyler Goeddel: 0-for-4, 2 K
A OF Hunter Lockwood: 0-for-4, 2 K
AA RHP Kyle McPherson: one-third IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
R RHP Sandy Brito: 3 BF, 0 H, 2 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 0 K

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

Durham v. Louisville 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Matt Moore (0-2, 4.35) v. Robert Stephenson (4-0, 2.25)

Montgomery v. Jacksonville 8:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Austin Pruitt (6-5, 3.10) v. TBA

Charlotte v. Bradenton 7 PM (radio stream)
TBA v. TBA

Bowling Green @ Cedar Rapids 7:35 PM (radio stream)
Chris Pike (8-5, 3.18) v. TBA

Hudson Valley v. Staten Island 7:05 PM (radio stream)
Benton Moss (1-2, 3.04) v. Derek Callahan (3-2, 4.66)

Princeton @ Burlington 7 PM (radio stream)
Deivy Mendez (1-2, 5.48) v. TBA

GCL Rays @ GCL Orioles 12 PM

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Louisville Bats (Cincinnati) (updated through 8/5)
57-57 (3rd in IL West)
Offense: 429 R (10th) .694 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 3.99 ERA (12th) 1.42 WHIP (12th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Robert Stephenson (1), OF Yorman Rodriguez (10), OF Kyle Waldrop (13), RHP Carlos Contreras (30), LHP Brandon Finnegan, 1B Adam Duvall

Jacksonville Suns (Miami) (updated through 8/5)
14-26 (5th i SL South)
Offense: 389 R (6th) .666 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 4.04 ERA (8th) 1.34 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Trevor Williams (8), LHP Jarlin Garcia (10), IF J.T. Riddle (17), 1B Viosergy Rosa (23), RHP Austin Brice (29), RHP Jake Esch (31)

Bradenton Marauders (Pittsburgh) (updated through 8/5)
24-15 (2nd in FSL South)
Offense: 470 R (1st) .705 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 3.70 ERA (11th) 1.26 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Austin Meadows (3), C Reese McGuire (5), OF Harold Martinez (10), RHP Clay Holmes (20), 3B Wyatt Mathisen (22), LHP Cody Dickson (24), RHP Luis Heredia (26)

Cedar Rapids Kernels (Minnesota) (updated through 8/5)
23-17 (4th in MWL West)
Offense: 480 R (4th) .662 OPS (12th)
Pitching: 3.10 ERA (3rd) 1.25 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Nick Gordon (6), RHP Michael Cederoth (23), RHP Felix Jorge (28)

Staten Island Yankees (updated through 8/4)
23-21 (1st in McNamara)
Offense: 196 R (7th) .673 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 3.17 ERA (2nd) 1.25 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Thairo Estrada (21), SS Kyle Holder

Burlington Royals (updated through 8/5)
20-22 (3rd in APP East)
Offense: 212 R (3rd) .719 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 4.93 ERA (9th) 1.50 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Ashe Russell

GCL Orioles (updated through 8/5)
22-17 (3rd in GCL South)
Offense: 148 R (9th) .637 OPS (14th)
Pitching: 2.57 ERA (4th) 1.15 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Ofelky Peralta (29), SS Ryan Mountcastle