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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Lucky 14th for Stone Crabs

Charlotte scores six in the 14th to earn a comfortable win

Benton Moss turned in the best start of his professional career Wednesday
Benton Moss turned in the best start of his professional career Wednesday
Jim Donten

Players have good months and bad months over the course of a long season. Who are some players sad to say May go, and who are some happy to flip the calendar to June?

Willy Adames had a very good April, but his bat was on fire in May. After going hitless in his first four May games, the Biscuits star tore up Southern League pitching, posting a .928 OPS with 15 extra-base hits and five steals in as many tries. His strikeout rate in the month was a more modest 21.7 percent.

After playing 82 games in the majors in 2015 and starting 2016 on the Opening Day roster, Tim Beckham might've thought his days riding the bus were behind him. However, he was optioned to Durham late in the month and went 2 for his first 16 with seven strikeouts in his return to the Bulls.

Along with Adames, Casey Gillaspie provides a potent middle of the lineup for Montgomery. The first baseman is putting a sometimes difficult 2015 season behind him. His six home runs were tied for the organizational lead in May (with Bowling Green's Brett Sullivan), and he controlled the strike zone with 21 strikeouts and 20 walks.

Taylor Guerrieri started May with a pair of decent starts, but in 2016, he's facing some of his first struggles as a professional. He limited extra-base hits like usual, but in two of his five starts, he struck out just one batter, issuing an uncharacteristic six walks in one of them.

Not long after Beckham rejoined Durham, Patrick Leonard found himself moving the wrong way on the organizational ladder himself. For the season with Durham, Leonard posted just a .528 OPS in 42 games and reached base multiple times in a game just once in his last 11 with the Bulls.

Hunter Wood earned a promotion to Double-A Montgomery after continued strong performances with Charlotte. All five starts he made were of the quality variety, and he struck out 33 (26.6 percent) with 11 walks (8.9 percent) in 32 innings.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (22-32)

Vintage Jaime Schultz made a return Wednesday, but he was still good enough in Durham's 4-3 win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Despite walking a season-high five batters, he held the RailRiders to just one run in six innings of work and punched out six. Already up 3-1, J.P. Arencibia's solo home run in the seventh provided insurance that proved quite valuable.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (24-27)

Chih-Wei Hu left with a lead, but the bullpen couldn't hold it in Montgomery's 7-4 loss to Jacksonville. Patrick Leonard's sacrifice fly and Kean Wong's RBI single in the fourth put the Biscuits ahead 2-0, but Hu allowed an unearned run in his final inning of work, the fifth. He struck out three and allowed five hits with three walks. That tally started a stretch of seven straight runs from the Suns, with Jared Mortensen and Brad Schreiber each allowing three runs.

The second game of the scheduled doubleheader was postponed.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (27-27)

Charlotte exploded for six runs in the 14th in its 8-3 win over Jupiter. Having not scored since the second inning, Alec Sole led off the big inning with a single, and after a sacrifice bunt, Bralin Jackson was intentionally walked to set up a double-play opportunity. Thomas Milone blew that plan up with an RBI double, and the Stone Crabs went on to score five more times before Cristian Toribio made his second out of the inning. Starter Benton Moss led an outstanding effort from the pitching staff with six strikeouts in seven one-hit, scoreless innings.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (26-26)

Bowling Green snoozed through a 6-1 loss to Lake County. After facing the minimum through three innings, Roel Ramirez allowed a pair of runs in the fourth and was tagged with three unearned runs in the sixth. He allowed five runs -- two earned -- in 5 2/3 innings with three strikeouts. Brandon Lowe's bases-loaded walk in the ninth was too little, too late.


Notable Performances

AAA SS Daniel Robertson: 0-for-4, 1 K
AAA 2B Nick Franklin: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 K
AAA C J.P. Arencibia: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI

AAA RHP Jaime Schultz: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 6 K
AAA RHP Dylan Floro: 1 2/3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

AA IF Jake Hager: 0-for-5, 1 K
AA 1B Casey Gillaspie: 2-for-4, 1 R
AA SS Willy Adames: 1-for-4, 1 R
AA OF Jake Bauers: 1-for-4, 1 K
AA 3B Kean Wong: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI

AA RHP Chih-Wei Hu: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 3 K
AA RHP Jared Mortensen: one-third IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
AA RHP Brad Schreiber: 1 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

A+ SS Andrew Velazquez: 1-for-7, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K
A+ C Nick Ciuffo: 3-for-7, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
A+ OF Justin Williams: 2-for-7
A+ UT Jace Conrad: 2-for-6, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB
A+ 3B Cristian Toribio: 0-for-6
A+ OF Bralin Jackson: 0-for-3, 2 R, 3 BB
A+ OF Thomas Milone: 3-for-6, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K

A+ RHP Benton Moss: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K
A+ LHP Jose Alvarado: 2 BF, 0 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
A+ RHP Brian Miller: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K
A+ RHP Ian Gibaut: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K

A IF Michael Russell: 1-for-2, 2 BB, 2 SB
A 3B Kevin Padlo: 0-for-4

A RHP Roel Ramirez: 5 2/3 IP, 6 H, 5 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K

Today's games (probables courtesy

Durham v. Gwinnett 7:05 PM ET (, radio stream)
Austin Pruitt (3-3, 2.80) v. Casey Kelly (2-1, 2.63)

Montgomery @ Jacksonville 5:05 PM ET (, radio stream) DOUBLEHEADER
Jacob Faria (1-5, 4.71) v. Matt Tomshaw (0-0, -.--)

Both games will be seven innings

Charlotte @ Jupiter 6:30 PM ET (radio stream)
TBA v. Luis Castillo (5-2, 2.13)

Bowling Green @ Lake County 6:30 PM ET (radio stream)
Michael Velasquez (0-6, 7.82) v. TBA

Scouting the opposition

Gwinnett Braves
25-28 (2nd in IL South)
Offense: 215 R (3rd) .685 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 3.76 ERA (12th) 1.45 WHIP (14th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Ozzie Albies (4), RHP Lucas Sims (11), LHP Manny Banuelos (12), RHP Tyrell Jenkins (14), RHP John Gant (16), 3B Rio Ruiz (17), IF Reid Brignac

Jacksonville Suns (Miami)
25-26 (3rd in SL South)
Offense: 212 R (T-5th) .665 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 4.24 ERA (8th) 1.32 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Jarlin Garcia (3), OF Austin Dean (7), RHP Jake Esch (13), RHP Austin Brice (14), SS J.T. Riddle (22), 2B Avery Romero (23)

Jupiter Hammerheads (Miami)
27-26 (2nd in FSL South)
Offense: 183 R (10th) .621 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 3.79 ERA (10th) 1.25 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Brian Anderson (6), 1B K.J. Woods (15), LHP Tim Berry (16), LHP Michael Mader (24), RHP Jose Adames (30)

Lake County Captains (Cleveland)
31-22 (3rd in MWL East)
Offense: 253 R (2nd) .720 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 3.95 ERA (15th) 1.32 WHIP (11th)
Top 30 Prospects: C Francisco Mejia (10), IF Tyler Krieger (20), IF Willi Castro (26), OF Ka’ai Tom (31)