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Rays down on the farm September 8: Princeton coughs up big lead in loss

The Princeton Rays' season will come down to one game after melting down late in Game 2

David Rodriguez and Princeton's bats have been around all postseason, but they will need some pitching Tuesday
David Rodriguez and Princeton's bats have been around all postseason, but they will need some pitching Tuesday
Jim Donten

Smaller schedules from now on. There are just two games Tuesday, and there will not be more than two on any day until 2016.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (74-70)

Taylor Motter closed his season with a pair of home runs in Durham's 6-0 win over Norfolk. His 13th homer of the season gave the Bulls a 1-0 lead in the first, and his 14th extended that edge to 2-0 in the fourth. In the sixth, Motter was hit by a pitch to lead off the sixth, and the Bulls would score four runs and bat around. Meanwhile, Jared Mortensen dominated on the mound, striking out seven and scattering seven hits and two walks over 7 2/3 scoreless frames.

Steven Souza was 0-for-2.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (43-27)

Chris Kirsch finished the regular season with a strong start in Montgomery's 3-1 win over Birmingham. After being tagged with eight runs in consecutive starts, Kirsch turned in his best effort since being promoted, allowing just a run on four hits and a walk in six innings with nine strikeouts. Tyler Goeddel led off the game with a single and scored on Dayron Varona's RBI hit, and Varona drove in two more in the fifth.

The Biscuits will start the Southern League playoffs on Thursday against Chattanooga.

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (24-41)

Charlotte was off.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (32-36)

Bowling Green closed its season with an embarrassing 17-0 loss to Fort Wayne. Brad Wallace allowed seven runs -- six earned -- in five innings, and the game got further out of hand in the eighth when the TinCaps piled on eight runs in the eighth. After falling behind so quickly, the Hot Rods' offense essentially checked out, tallying just four hits.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (39-37)

Hudson Valley closed its season with a 7-1 win over Aberdeen. The Red Scare opened the game with a double and scored one of two first-inning runs. Michael Russell homered in the third, and Taylor Hawkins' grand slam in the fifth blew the game open. Starter Roel Ramirez pitched four no-hit innings, and three Renegades relievers limited the IronBirds to two hits the rest of the way.

Rookie Princeton Rays (3-2)

Princeton was forced into a decisive Game 3 with a 10-8 loss to Greeneville. Kewby Meyer's two-run double capped a three-run first inning, and David Rodriguez extended the advantage to 4-0 with a home run in the third. Rodriguez singled in another run in the sixth to give Princeton a 8-3 lead, but the game fell apart. Bryan Bonnell allowed a grand slam in the seventh, and Greeneville completed the comeback in the ninth when Andrew Woeck inherited the bases loaded from Ty Jackson and allowed all three runners to score before getting the last out of the inning.

Starter Blake Bivens allowed two solo home runs in four innings and struck out five batters.


Notable performances

AAA UT Taylor Motter: 2-for-3, 3 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
A- SS Michael Russell: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB
A- C Taylor Hawkins: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI
R+ C David Rodriguez: 3-for-5, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
AAA RHP Jared Mortensen: 7 2/3 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K
AA LHP Chris Kirsch: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
A- RHP Tyler Brashears: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

A OF Thomas Milone: 0-for-4, 2 K
A OF Hunter Lockwood: 0-for-4, 2 K
A- OF Garrett Whitley: 0-for-4, 3 K
R+ SS Peter Maris: 0-for-5, 1 R, 1 K
R+ OF Angel Perez: 0-for-4, 2 K
A RHP Brad Wallace: 5 IP, 11 H, 7 R (6 ER), 0 BB, 4 K
A LHP Ryan Pennell: 1 2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
A RHP Luis Urena: two-thirds IP, 5 H, 7 R (6 ER), 1 BB, 1 K
R+ RHP Bryan Bonnell: 2+ IP, 5 H, 5 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 0 K
R+ RHP Ty Jackson: 2 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K

Today's games (probables courtesy of

Durham's season is over

Montgomery is off

Charlotte @ Palm Beach 6:35 PM (radio stream)
Brent Honeywell* (5-2, 3.44) v. Corey Littrell* (9-9, 2.69)

Game one of a best-of-three series (Series tied, 0-0)

Bowling Green's season is over

Hudson Valley's season is over

Princeton v. Greeneville 7 PM
Eduar Lopez* (2-2, 4.13) v. Erasmo Pinales* (1-0, 1.93)

Game three of a best-of-three championship (Series tied at one)

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Palm Beach Cardinals
Offense: 471 R (10th) .629 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 2.65 ERA (1st) 1.17 WHIP (1st)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Luke Weaver (12), C Carson Kelly (13), SS Juan Herrera (17), OF C.J. McElroy (28), RHP Nick Petree (31), IF Danny Diekroeger

Greeneville Astros
Offense: 308 R (6th) .684 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 3.18 ERA (2nd) 1.23 WHIP (1st)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Kyle Tucker, OF Daz Cameron