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Rays prospects and minor leagues 7/22: Motter, Robertson, Shaffer all homer

Montgomery and Charlotte both blew ninth-inning leads in their losses

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Chih-Wei Hu hurled another gem for the Biscuits, tossing seven scoreless innings. However, the bullpen failed him as Montgomery ultimately lost.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (45-55)

In what could've became another lopsided loss for the Bulls, Durham ended up coming out on top in a 8-4 win over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Justin Marks allowed four runs in the second inning, which on most days would be enough to put Durham away. However, Marks came out with his fourth win of the year after Durham's offense showed up in full force. Taylor Motter and Daniel Robertson each hit two-run home runs with Richie Shaffer adding a solo shot. Johnny Field also had two RBIs and Dayron Varona added another.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (15-12)

Montgomery wasted a gem from Chih-Wei Hu in a 3-2 loss to the Birmingham Barons. Hu allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out six in seven shutout innings for the Biscuits. Granden Goetzman hit a RBI double and Kean Wong hit a sacrifice fly to give the Biscuits a two-run lead in the seventh. Kyle Winkler threw a scoreless eight to hold the lead, but Jaye Chapman took his first loss with  the Biscuits as he allowed three runs in the bottom of the ninth, blowing the save opportunity.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (13-13)

Despite rallying to tie the game in the ninth, the Stone Crabs lost 3-2 in ten innings to the Brevard County Manatees. Brad Boxberger started in his second rehab appearance for the Stone Crabs, throwing a perfect first inning while striking out two. Greg Harris threw the next 5.2 innings, striking out seven but walking four and allowing two runs. Jace Conrad brought the Stone Crabs within one on a RBI double in the fifth, and Ian Gibaut held the Manatees scoreless in 2.1 innings of work. The Stone Crabs could've taken the game home in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded, but Conrad lined into a double play. However, Charlotte was able to tie the game when Alec Sole scored on a wild pitch. Unfortunately, Jose Alvarado quickly blew the lead in the tenth for his first loss of the year.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (17-9)

An early deficit eventually became a 3-1 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels for Bowling Green. Blake Bivens allowed one run in the first to the Kernels, but soon settled down and kept the opponent off the board from then on. Yoel Espinal picked up his third win of the year with 3.1 hitless innings to finish off the game. Dereck Rodriguez allowed just one hit to the Hot Rods through the first five innings, but ended up with his eleventh loss of the year as Bowling Green's offense came alive late. Peter Maris hit a triple and was driven in on a Brandon Lowe single in the sixth to tie the game, and Manny Sanchez hit a solo home run - his ninth of the year - to give Bowling Green the lead. Lowe hit a RBI double in the eighth to tack on an insurance run.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (18-15)

Hudson Valley traded blows with the Vermont Lake Monsters but in the end lost, 4-3. The Renegades quickly got on the board with a RBI double from Jake Fraley in the first, but Brock Burke allowed his first run in the bottom of the inning. Ryan Boldt hit his first professional home run in the third, and Fraley hit a RBI single in the fifth to give Hudson Valley a two-run lead. However, Burke allowed two more runs in the bottom of the fifth to let Vermont tie the game back up. Jose Alonzo allowed the winning run in the sixth, taking his second loss of the year.

Rookie Princeton Rays (16-10)

Princeton couldn't pull off a sweep of the Burlington Royalsdropping the series finale 8-5. Rays starter Orlando Romero lasted just 1.1 innings in his first loss this season, allowing three runs. Each Rays pitcher allowed at least one run, with Sandy Brito allowing two. A two-run home run from Eleardo Cabrera brought the Rays within two in the fourth, but the gap was extended all the way to five runs by the ninth inning. An RBI each from Blake Butera, Oscar Rojas, and Juan Rodriguez gave the Rays some hope in the bottom of the ninth, but the rally ultimately went for nothing.

Rookie GCL Rays (11-13)

It took 12 innings for the Rays secure a 4-3 win over the GCL Twins after blowing a one-run lead in the ninth. Eric Diomartich allowed two runs - one earned - in his four innings of work, but the Rays scored two in the fourth to tie the game back up. The Rays got back on the board in the ninth, scoring on a passed ball-strikeout. Mikey York went into his second inning of relief hoping to earn a save, but instead allowed the Twins to tie the game back up. The Rays took the lead again in the 12th on a bases-loaded walk from Gilbert Marrero. Tyler House pitched from the tenth on, receiving his second win of the season in the process.


Notable Performances


OF Dayron Varona: 1-for-5, R, 2B (26), RBI (47), K
UTIL Taylor Motter: 1-for-4, R, HR (7), 2 RBI (20), BB, K
C J.P. Arencibia: 2-for-5, 2B (12), 2 K
1B/OF Jake Goebbert: 1-for-5, R, 2B (9), K
1B/3B Richie Shaffer: 1-for-4, R, HR (8), RBI (37), 3 K
OF Jaff Decker: 1-for-3, 2 R, 2B (12), BB
IF Daniel Robertson: 3-for-4, 2 R, HR (4), 2 RBI (34)
OF Johnny Field: 2-for-3, 2 RBI (14)

RHP Parker Markel: H (3), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
LHP Dana Eveland: H (3), 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K


1B/OF Jake Bauers: 2-for-4, R, 2B (18)
OF Granden Goeztman: 1-for-4, R, RBI (25), K
2B Kean Wong: 1-for-2, RBI (36), SF

RHP Chih-Wei Hu: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K
RHP Kyle Winkler: H (1), 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Class-A Advanced

OF Joe McCarthy: 2-for-4, BB, K
IF Andrew Velazquez: 1-for-4, 2B (4), K
OF Jace Conrad: 2-for-4, 2B (10), RBI (26), K

RHP Brad Boxberger: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
RHP Ian Gibaut: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K


2B Brandon Lowe: 2-for-4, 2B (10), RBI (30)
OF Manny Sanchez: 1-for-4, R, HR (9), RBI (22), K
IF Peter Maris: 2-for-3, 2 R, 2B (4), 3B (2)

RHP Yoel Espinal: W (5-0), 3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K


OF Ryan Boldt: 2-for-4, 3 R, HR (1), RBI (10), BB, 2 SB (7)
OF Jake Fraley: 2-for-5, 2B (2), 2 RBI (4)
1B Nathaniel Lowe: 1-for-3, BB, K

RHP Spencer Jones: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Rookie (Princeton)

SS/3B Blake Butera: 1-for-4, 3B (1), RBI (16), K
OF Isaac Bernard: 2-for-4, BB, K
OF Oscar Rojas: 2-for-5, R, 2B (5), RBI (9)
OF Eleardo Cabrera: 1-for-5, R, HR (3), 2 RBI (14), 2 K
3B Juan Rodriguez: 1-for-3, R, 2B (1), RBI (3), BB, K

Rookie (GCL)

2B Vidal Brujan: 2-for-6, R, 2B (6)
3B Michael Brosseau: 2-for-4, 2 BB, K
1B Gilbert Marrero: 2-for-5, R, 2 2B (4), RBI (2), BB, 3 K
OF Moises Gomez: 1-for-5, 2B (3), BB, 3 K
C David Parrett: 2-for-5, R, 2B (1), RBI (2), 2 K

LHP Kenny Rosenberg: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
LHP Tyler House: W (2-0), 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K

Today's probables (All probables courtesy

Durham @ Scranton/WB 7:05 PM ET (
Jaime Schultz (5-4, 3.39) v. Brady Lail (3-2, 3.86)

Montgomery @ Birmingham 8:05 PM ET (
Brent Honeywell (0-0, 2.38) v. TBA

Charlotte v. Brevard County 6:35 PM ET

Bowling Green @ Cedar Rapids 7:35 PM ET (
TBA v. Sam Gibbons (3-3, 6.09)

Hudson Valley @ Vermont 7:05 PM ET
TBA v. A.J. Puk (0-0, 0.00)

Princeton @ Danville 7:00 PM ET
TBA v. Kolby Allard (3-0, 1.32)

GCL Rays @ GCL Orioles 12:00 PM ET

Scouting the opposition

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Yankees)
61-38, 1st in IL North
Offense: 464 R (1st) .740 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 2.98 ERA (1st) 1.19 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: C Gary Sanchez (2), OF Aaron Judge (3), RHP Luis Cessa (18), OF Mason Williams (19), OF Ben Gamel (21), LHP James Pazos (29), RHP Kirby Yates

Birmingham Barons (White Sox)
12-14, 4th in SL North
Offense: 429 R (3rd) .698 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 4.54 ERA (10th-Last) 1.44 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Trey Michalczewski (6), LHP Jordan Guerrero (11), OF Courtney Hawkins (12), LHP Brian Clark (14), RHP Brandon Brennan (25), C Alfredo Gonzalez (26), SS Eddy Alvarez (28), 1B Keon Barnum (31), OF Michael Jordan, RHP Zack Burdi

Brevard County Manatees (Milwaukee)
10-17, 5th in FSL North
Offense: 316 R (12th-Last) .609 OPS (12th)
Pitching: 3.92 ERA (10th) 1.38 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Kodi Medeiros (6), OF Clint Coulter (8), RHP Cody Ponce (9), RHP Bubba Derby (12), RHP Freddy Peralta (15), RHP Marcos Diplan (18), OF Corey Ray, 2B Wendell Rijo

Cedar Rapids Kernels (Minnesota)
15-12, T-2nd in MWL West
Offense: 439 Runs (3rd) .685 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 3.46 ERA (8th) 1.27 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Jermaine Palacios (19)

Vermont Lake Monsters (Oakland)
16-17, 4th (Last) in NYPL Stedler
Offense: 120 R (11th) .648 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 3.01 ERA (5th) 1.24 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Dakota Chalmers (16), OF Jhonny Rodriguez (30), LHP A.J. Puk, C Sean Murphy

Danville Braves
14-13, 3rd in AL East
Offense: 122 R (T-9th) .693 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 4.07 ERA (5th) 1.29 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Koby Allard (3), LHP Joey Wentz (CBA Pick), C Brett Cumberland (CBB Pick), LHP Drew Harrington (3rd Round Pick), RHP Jeremy Walker (5th Round Pick)

GCL Orioles
14-10, 1st in GCL South
Offense: 111 R (6th) .652 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 2.21 ERA (1st) 1.04 WHIP (1st)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Brennan Hanifee (2016 4th Round Pick), SS Alexis Torres (2016 5th Round Pick)