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Rays prospects and minor leagues 7/24: Joshua Lowe hits first professional home run

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Chris Kirsch dominated in a complete-game shutout for Montgomery

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After a rough patch to the start of the year, Rays first-round pick Joshua Lowe has reached base in 11 straight games in the GCL. Things finally look like they're turning around as the third baseman raised his average from .083 on July 12 to .239 after yesterday's game.

Following his third rehab appearance, Bryan Levine of the Charlotte Sun said Brad Boxberger felt "100%" and "is likely to re-join team in LA vs. Dodgers." Marc Topkin of the Tampa-Bay Times said Cash won't make a decision on Boxberger until today.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (45-57)

A runaway fifth inning put the Bulls away in their 5-4 loss to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Durham held a 3-1 lead at one point with RBIs from Dayron Varona and J.P. Arencibia. Then Austin Pruitt allowed four runs in the bottom of the fifth, putting the Bulls in a hole they couldn't climb out of. Richie Shaffer walked with the bases loaded, scoring a run and giving Durham a golden chance to take the lead with no outs. Back-to-back strikeouts from Johnny Field and Hank Conger and a groundout from Jaff Decker blew the Bulls' best chance to come back.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (17-12)

Chris Kirsch hurled a complete-game shutout in Montgomery's 5-0 win over the Birmingham Barons. Kirsch struck out seven, going the distance for the first time in his minor-league career. Montgomery backed him up with 10 hits, and Kean Wong led the team with three hits and one RBI. Jake Bauers drove in four runs with a two-run single and double. Willy Adames raised his average to .279 this year, going 2-for-4 with two runs and a double.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (15-13)

Charlotte's game Friday night was postponed to last night, and in turn the Stone Crabs swept their doubleheader with the Brevard County Manatees. Game One saw the lead change four times with the Stone Crabs coming out on top, 5-4. Brad Boxberger allowed another run on two hits in his third rehab appearance with Charlotte. Chris Pike followed him up with five one-run innings while punching out four batters. Joe McCarthy knocked a two-run home run in the sixth to give the Stone Crabs a 4-2 lead. Diego Castilla blew his first save of the year and allowed the Manatees to tie the game at four in the top of the seventh, but Thomas Milone's sacrifice fly gave the Stone Crabs a walk-off win.

In a much quieter Game Two, Charlotte picked up a 3-2 win. Benton Moss allowed two runs in 6.1 innings, picking up his fifth win of the year. After Moss allowed a run in the first inning, Joe McCarthy and Grant Kay drove in back-to-back runs with a sacrifice fly and single, respectively, to give Charlotte the lead, which they held the rest of the way. Riley Unroe plated one more run on a groundout in the third before Moss allowed a solo home run in the fourth. Schreiber relieved Moss with two outs left in the seventh inning, shutting down the Manatees with two strikeouts to get his second save with Charlotte.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (17-11)

Bowling Green was smoked in a 9-3 loss to the Quad Cities River Bandits. Roel Ramirez finished with a game score of just three, allowing three home runs and eight runs total in just three innings. Brandon Lowe hit a RBI double in the sixth and Kewby Meyer hit a two-run home run in the ninth to give the Hot Rods their offense.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades

Hudson Valley also had to complete their game from Friday night before starting their scheduled game tonight in a doubleheader with the Vermont Lake Monsters. In Game One, Hudson Valley lost 3-2 despite racking up 10 hits. Noel Rodriguez went five innings in his start, outdueling first-rounder A.J. Puk with just one run allowed compared to Puk's two. The Renegades picked up their runs on an Angel Perez RBI single in the second and a Jim Haley sacrifice fly in the third. Jayson McKinley was dealing in his first two innings of relief, but allowed a home run in his third to let Vermont tie the game. After the game was resumed, J.D. Busfield allowed the winning run in the eleventh, taking his first loss of the year with Hudson Valley.

Game Two ended with another 3-2 finish, but Hudson Valley came out on top this time around. Jonathan Popadics hit a RBI double and Miles Mastrobuoni knocked a sacrifice fly to give Hudson Valley an early 2-0 lead. Spencer Moran threw five one-hit innings, but he ended up with a no-decision after Brandon Lawson allowed Vermont to tie the game in the sixth. Lawson ended up winning the game after the Renegades plated a run in the top of the seventh on an error, and Joe Serrapica earned his fifth save of the year, tying the lead in the New-York Penn League for saves.

Rookie Princeton Rays (17-11)

The game got out of hand quickly in Princeton's 9-3 loss to the Danville Braves. Emilio Gustave gave the Rays a first-inning lead on a two-run double, but Hector Lopez allowed four runs in the bottom of the inning. Lopez struggled in his second loss of the year, allowing six runs on seven hits, two walks, and two strikeouts in four innings. Eleardo Cabrera tripled and scored on an error in the third, but Princeton's offense went quiet after that. Reign Letkeman allowed three more runs in his three innings of relief, but Sam Long threw a scoreless eighth.

Rookie GCL Rays (12-14)

The GCL Rays bounced back from their loss Friday night in a 5-2 win over the GCL Orioles. Jesus Sanchez opened the scoring for the Rays with a two-run double in the third, and the team held the lead the rest of the way. Rays first round pick Joshua Lowe picked up his first professional home run on a solo shot in the eighth inning. Nicholas Padilla made his professional debut after being selected in the 13th round last year, hurling a scoreless inning to start the game. Zack Trageton allowed two unearned runs in the sixth for the only Orioles runs in Trageton's first win. Bryce Zak threw two perfect innings with four strikeouts to pick up his second save.

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Notable Performances

Triple-A

OF Jaff Decker: 1-for-5, R, 3B (2)
IF Daniel Robertson: 1-for-4, 2 R, 2B (13), BB
OF Dayron Varona: 2-for-5, RBI (48), 2 K
C J.P. Arencibia: 3-for-5, R, RBI (24)
UTIL Taylor Motter: 1-for-2, 2 BB
1B/3B/OF Richie Shaffer: 0-for-2, RBI (38), 2 BB, 2 K

RHP Parker Markel: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Double-A

2B Kean Wong: 3-for-4, 2 R, RBI (38)
SS Willy Adames: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B (26), K
1B/OF Jake Bauers: 2-for-4, 2B (19), 4 RBI (59)
OF Braxton Lee: 2-for-4, R, K

LHP Chris Kirsch: W (5-4), 9.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K

Class-A Advanced

Game 1

1B/OF Joe McCarthy: 1-for-3, R, HR (2), 2 RBI (13)
OF Jace Conrad: 1-for-3, R, SB (17)
OF Thomas Milone: 1-for-2, RBI (19), SF

RHP Chris Pike: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Game 2

SS Jake Cronenworth: 0-for-1, R, 2 BB
SS Andrew Velazquez: 2-for-3, R
IF Alec Sole: 1-for-2, R, 2B (12), BB, SB (13)
1B/OF Joe McCarthy: 0-for-1, RBI (14), BB, K, SF
OF Grant Kay: 1-for-2, RBI (35)

RHP Brad Schreiber: S (2), 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Class-A

2B Brandon Lowe: 1-for-4, 2B (11), RBI (31), K
C Brett Sullivan: 2-for-4, R, 2B (25)
1B Kewby Meyer: 2-for-4, R, HR (2), 2 RBI (19)
2B/3B Matt Eureste: 1-for-2, R, 3B (1)

RHP Tim Ingram: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Short-Season

Game 1

OF Jake Fraley: 1-for-5, 2B (3)
C Daniel De La Calle: 2-for-5, R, K
OF Angel Perez: 2-for-4, 3B (4), RBI (9), BB, K

RHP Noel Rodriguez: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Game 2

1B Nathaniel Lowe: 2-for-4, R, 3B (1)
IF Jonathan Popadics: 1-for-3, 2B (4), RBI (4), K
2B Miles Mastrobuoni: 1-for-1, RBI (8)
C Joe Olson: 2-for-3, K

RHP Spencer Moran: 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
RHP Joe Serrapica: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Rookie (Princeton)

OF Eleardo Cabrera: 3-for-5, R, 3B (2), K
OF Emilio Gustave: 1-for-4, 2B (6), 2 RBI (19), K

LHP Sam Long: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Rookie (GCL)

2B Vidal Brujan: 1-for-4, 2 R, 3B (3), BB, K
OF Jesus Sanchez: 2-for-4, 2B (4), 2 RBI (17)
3B Joshua Lowe: 2-for-3, R, HR (1), RBI (11), BB
C Alexander Alvarez: 2-for-4

RHP Nicholas Padilla: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
RHP Austin Sweet: H (1), 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
RHP Bryce Zak: S (2), 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K

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

Durham @ Scranton W/B 1:05 PM ET (milb.tv)
Eddie Gamboa (4-2, 2.13) v. Kyle Haynes (3-4, 4.65)

Montgomery @ Birmingham 4:00 PM ET (milb.tv)
Yonny Chirinos (3-1, 3.31) v. James Dykstra (4-4, 4.70)

Charlotte v. Brevard County 12:35 PM ET
TBA v. TBA

Bowling Green @ Quad Cities 6:15 PM ET (milb.tv)
Jose Mujica (5-3, 4.15) v. Hector Perez (0-0, -.--)

Hudson Valley v. Aberdeen 5:05 PM ET
TBA v. TBA

Princeton @ Danville 2:00 PM ET
TBA v. Jhon Martinez (2-1, 2.36)

GCL Rays are off

Scouting the opposition

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Yankees)
63-38, 1st in IL North
Offense: 471 R (1st) .736 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 3.00 ERA (1st) 1.20 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)
13-16, 4th in SL North
Offense: 434 R (3rd) .696 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 4.53 ERA (10th-Last) 1.43 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)
10-19, 5th in FSL North
Offense: 322 R (12th-Last) .610 OPS (12th)
Pitching: 3.94 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

Quad Cities River Bandits (Houston)
16-13, 3rd in MWL West
Offense: 369 R (11th) .664 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 3.76 ERA (14th) 1.31 WHIP (11th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Kyle Tucker (4), RHP Albert Abreu (12), RHP Franklin Perez (21)

Aberdeen IronBirds (Baltimore)
15-20, 4th (Last) in NYPL McNamara
Offense: 132 R (8th) .665 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 3.39 ERA (8th) 1.26 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Cody Sedlock (1st Round Pick), LHP Keegan Akin (2nd Round Pick)

Danville Braves
15-14, 3rd in AL East
Offense: 139 R (T-7th) .700 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 4.06 ERA (4th) 1.31 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)