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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Knuckleballers, knuckleballers everywhere

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A pair of knuckleballers took the mound for Rays affiliates on Saturday

Eddie Gamboa pitched in relief for Durham Saturday
Eddie Gamboa pitched in relief for Durham Saturday
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Some of the offenses have been slow to start, but with the talent Montgomery has, you have to figure they'll turn it around soon.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (2-1)

Durham rallied late for a 3-2 win over Charlotte. Down 2-1 in the eighth, the Bulls took advantage of former top prospect Phillippe Aumont's terrible control. Richie Shaffer led off with a single and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches, and Nick Franklin scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch later in the inning. Earlier in the game, Jaime Schultz cruised through four innings before allowing a pair of home runs in the fifth. He struck out seven in 4 1/3 innings and yielded just one walk.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (0-3)

Montgomery's offense continued to sputter in its 3-1 loss to Jackson. The Biscuits actually went ahead in the first on Johnny Field's RBI single, but only a handful of batters could reach base over the remaining eight innings. Back in the rotation, Ryne Stanek was able to get through the first four innings unscathed, but he couldn't survive the fifth and would be charged with three runs on five hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings with five strikeouts.

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (1-2)

Charlotte went up early but allowed five unanswered runs in its 5-1 loss to Palm Beach. Alec Sole drove in the initial run in the second inning, but the Stone Crabs bats were largely held in check the rest of the way. After Benton Moss completed his Florida State League debut with three runs allowed in five innings, Yonny Chirinos, Damion Carroll, Brian Miller and Brandon Koch each pitched an inning of relief.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (2-1)

Bowling Green fell behind early and could not catch up in its 7-2 loss to Dayton. A two-out homer in the first gave the Dragons a 2-0 lead, and they would be up four before the Hot Rods got on the board in the sixth on Brett Sullivan's RBI single. Starter Michael Velasquez allowed four runs in three innings, and Taylor Hawkins, a former catcher turned knuckleballer, allowed two runs in his second professional appearance on the mound.

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Notable performances

AAA IF Richie Shaffer: 2-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 BB
A+ IF Riley Unroe: 1-for-3, 2 BB, 1 K
A+ OF Thomas Milone: 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 BB
A+ IF Alec Sole: 2-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB
A IF Jake Cronenworth: 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B
AAA RHP Eddie Gamboa: 3 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K

AA SS Willy Adames: 0-for-4, 2 K
AA C Mike Marjama: 0-for-4, 2 K
A OF Angel Perez: 0-for-4, 2 K
A OF Zacrey Law: 0-for-4, 3 K
A+ RHP Brandon Koch: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
A LHP Michael Velasquez: 3 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
A RHP Taylor Hawkins: 2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K

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

Durham v. Charlotte 5:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Austin Pruitt (0-0, -.--) v. Jacob Turner (0-0, -.--)

Montgomery @ Jackson 3:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA v. Brett Ash (0-0, -.--)

Charlotte v. Palm Beach 12:35 PM (radio stream)
Greg Harris (0-0, -.--) v. Jacob Evans (0-0, -.--)

Bowling Green @ Dayton 2 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA v. Franderlyn Romero (0-0, -.--)

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
1-2 (3rd in IL South)
Offense: Will not have stats until next series
Pitching: Will not have stats until next series
Top 30 Prospects: Did not release roster in time

Jackson Generals (Seattle)
3-0 (1st in SL North)
Offense: Will not have stats until next series
Pitching: Will not have stats until next series
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Edwin Diaz (2), OF Tyler O'Neill (4), 1B D.J. Peterson (10), LHP Ryan Yarbrough (14), RHP Dan Altavilla (24)

Palm Beach Cardinals
2-1 (T-1st in FSL South)
Offense: Will not have stats until next series
Pitching: Will not have stats until next series
Top 30 Prospects: Did not release roster in time

Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati)
1-2 (T-5th in MWL East)
Offense: Will not have stats until next series
Pitching: Will not have stats until next series
Top 30 Prospects: C Tyler Stephenson (4), RHP Tanner Rainey (17)