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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Boxberger goes back-to-back

The Rays' closer pitched on consecutive games for the first time

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I know there has been a lot of talk about Casey Gillaspie lately. Some respected analysts online have encouraged fans to be cautious about the stats he's putting up so far because he may not have the tools to sustain that production. It's always said that Double A is the level where weaknesses really start to be exploited, and my take on it is so far, it doesn't seem like many pitchers are taking advantage of him.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (18-27)

Brad Boxberger took a big step toward his major league return in Durham's 3-2 loss to Rochester. For the first time on his rehab assignment, he pitched on back-to-back days, and it was his most effective outing yet, retiring all three batters he faced with a pair of strikeouts. He was in relief of Austin Pruitt, who allowed just a run in six innings of work. The Red Wings erased a 2-1 deficit in the ninth against Neil Wagner, and the Bulls couldn't muster a comeback.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (23-19)

Casey Gillaspie's one big swing was not nearly enough in Montgomery's 8-3 loss to Birmingham. The first baseman's eighth home run was a three-run shot, but the Barons were already up 4-0 and added on an insurance run a half inning later. After retiring the first nine he faced, Taylor Guerrieri allowed an unearned run in the fourth due to his throwing error and finished with five runs -- four earned -- allowed on six hits and two walks in six innings with four strikeouts.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (22-23)

A pitchers' duel ended up getting away from Charlotte in its 3-1 loss to Lakeland. After 5 1/2 combined scoreless innings, the Flying Tigers hit a pair of home runs in the sixth to go up by two. A half inning after Alec Sole singled home Thomas Milone to cut the deficit in half, Lakeland tacked on two insurance runs. Greg Harris struck out 10 in six innings but was saddled with the loss after the two home runs.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (23-20)

A six-run second inning helped Bowling Green to a 9-7 win over Dayton. Already up 2-0, Brandon Lowe scored on a Zacrey Law double, and David Rodriguez drove in Law for a four-run lead. Brett Sullivan then capped the scoring with a grand slam. Joe McCarthy added on with a solo shot in the third, and the Hot Rods held off the Dragons from there. Starter Jose Mujica allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings, and Yoel Espinal picked up the win with 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief.

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Notable Performances

AAA IF Daniel Robertson: 0-for-4
AAA IF/OF Richie Shaffer: 0-for-4, 3 K
AAA C J.P. Arencibia: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI

AAA RHP Austin Pruitt: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
AAA RHP Brad Boxberger: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
AAA RHP Neil Wagner: two-thirds IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K

AA IF Kean Wong: 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 BB
AA OF Jake Bauers: 0-for-4
AA SS Willy Adames: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB
AA 1B Casey Gillaspie: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K

AA RHP Taylor Guerrieri: 6 IP, 6 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 4 K

A+ IF Andrew Velazquez: 0-for-4, 1 K
A+ OF Justin Williams: 2-for-4, 1 K
A+ C Nick Ciuffo: 2-for-4
A+ OF Thomas Milone: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B

A+ RHP Greg Harris: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K
A+ RHP Ian Gibaut: 2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

A 1B Joe McCarthy: 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
A 3B Kevin Padlo: 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 BB
A SS Michael Russell: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 BB, 1 K
A C Brett Sullivan: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI
A OF Manny Sanchez: 1-for-3, 2 BB
A OF Zacrey Law: 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 2B

A RHP Jose Mujica: 4 2/3 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
A RHP Yoel Espinal: 2 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K

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

Durham is off

Montgomery @ Birmingham 8:05 PM ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Jacob Faria (1-4, 3.89) v. Blair Walters (1-1, 1.96)

Charlotte @ Lakeland 10:30 AM ET (radio stream)
Chris Pike (1-4, 3.50) v. Jairo Labourt (3-2, 3.34)

Bowling Green @ Dayton 7 PM ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA v. Jose Lopez (3-4, 3.61)

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Birmingham Barons (White Sox)
20-24 (T-3rd in SL North)
Offense: 189 R (1st) .710 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 4.51 ERA (9th) 1.45 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Carson Fulmer (2), 3B Trey Michalczewski (6), RHP Tyler Danish (9), LHP Jordan Guerrero (11), OF Courtney Hawkins (12), LHP Brian Clark (14), 2B Jake Peter (22), RHP Robinson Leyer (24), SS Eddy Alvarez (28), RHP Matt Lollis

Lakeland Flying Tigers
24-19 (3rd in FSL North)
Offense: 165 R (T-5th) .674 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 3.52 ERA (8th) 1.27 WHIP (7th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Mike Gerber (3), OF Christin Stewart (4), RHP Joe Jiminez (7), 3B Zac Shepherd (13), SS A.J. Simcox (14), LHP Jairo Labourt (16), RHP Jeff Ferrell (21), RHP Austin Kubitza (25), 2B Joey Pankake (27), LHP Tyler Alexander (28), RHP Adam Ravenelle (29)

Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati)
13-30 (8th in MWL East)
Offense: 122 R (16th) .576 OPS (16th)
Pitching: 4.14 ERA (16th) 1.45 WHIP (16th)
Top 30 Prospects: C Tyler Stephenson (4), RHP Tanner Rainey (17), 3B Gavin LaValley (24), OF Narisco Crook (28)