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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Franklin gets a shot in CF

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The infielder looks to add versatility to get back to the majors

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

As far as I can tell, Wednesday marked Nick Franklin's first professional experience in center field. I would guess he's not going to displace Kevin Kiermaier any time soon, but having the ability to play the position can't hurt him.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (48-58)

A four-run sixth lifted Durham to a 5-2 win over Toledo. Nick Franklin led off the inning with a double and tied the game on an error, and Richie Shaffer's sacrifice fly gave the Bulls the lead. Daniel Robertson singled home another run, and Jake Goebbert's sacrifice fly capped the scoring. Goebbert drove in another run in the eighth. Neil Wagner got the win despite being charged with a run after Jaime Schultz struck out seven and walked four in 5 2/3 one-run innings.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (19-13)

Pat Blair's first Double-A home run was the only offense Montgomery could muster in its 3-1 loss to Pensacola. That homer led off the sixth inning and cut the Biscuits' deficit to two runs, and they even had the potential go-ahead run come to the plate later that inning. However, Jake Bauers and Granden Goetzman couldn't come through, but Blue Wahoos pitching retired 11 straight to end the game. Chih-Wei Hu allowed three runs in six innings.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (17-14)

Charlotte closed with seven unanswered runs in an 8-3 win over Jupiter. After the Hammerheads went to their bullpen in the seventh inning, the Stone Crabs pounced on their mistakes. Wild pitches allowed three runs to score, another came home on an error, and Jake Cronenworth also drove one in with a single. Joe McCarthy and Mac James singled in insurance runs in the ninth. Greg Harris allowed three runs in six innings, and Brad Boxberger relieved him with a strikeout and walk.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (19-12)

Home runs from Kevin Padlo and Brandon Lowe helped Bowling Green to a 4-1 win over Lansing. Padlo's two-run shot in the first gave the Hot Rods a quick 2-0 lead, and after Lowe's homer in the third, Padlo singled and scored their final run of the game. With the early run support, Michael Velasquez turned in one of his better starts of the season, striking out a career-high nine batters and only allowing a run over seven innings.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (22-16)

Hudson Valley was off.

Rookie Princeton Rays (19-13)

Adrian Rondon homered again, but it wasn't enough in Princeton's 5-3 loss to Greeneville. His seventh home run of the season cut Greeneville's edge to two runs with two outs in the ninth, and Isaac Benard's single would bring the potential tying run to the plate. However, according to the log, he made some kind of out on the bases to end the game. Jose Disla started and threw three scoreless innings, and the loss was charged to Orlando Romero, who allowed three runs in 1 2/3 innings.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (13-16)

The GCL Rays manged just four hits in a 1-0 loss to the GCL Red Sox. However, the organization did have at least one positive takeaway from the game -- Nick Ciuffo returned to the lineup, albeit with an 0-for-4 day that included a pair of strikeouts. Eric Diomartich fell to 0-4 this season despite allowing just a run in five innings, and Matt Vogel struck out three in three perfect innings of relief.

The preceding stories were not generated by the Associated Press computer using data from and in cooperation with MLBAM.

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Notable Performances

Triple-A

OF Johnny Field: 0-for-5, 2 K
CF Nick Franklin: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K
SS Taylor Motter: 0-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB
1B Casey Gillaspie: 3-for-4, 1 R
3B Richie Shaffer: 0-for-2, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
2B Daniel Robertson: 4-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI

RHP Jaime Schultz: 5 2/3 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K

Double-A

SS Willy Adames: 1-for-2, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
1B Jake Bauers: 1-for-4
OF Granden Goetzman: 0-for-4, 2 K
OF Justin Williams: 0-for-3, 1 K
SS Juniel Querecuto: 0-for-3, 3 K

RHP Chih-Wei Hu: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Class A-Advanced

UT Grant Kay: 2-for-4, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
OF Joe McCarthy: 2-for-5, 1 RBI
2B Andrew Velazquez: 0-for-3, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
OF Thomas Milone: 0-for-4, 1 K

RHP Greg Harris: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
RHP Brad Boxberger: one-third IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Class-A

2B Brandon Lowe: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
3B Kevin Padlo: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K

LHP Michael Velasquez: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K

Rookie (Princeton)

OF Eleardo Cabrera: 0-for-4, 4 K
OF Emilio Gustave: 0-for-4, 3 K
SS Adrian Rondon: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 K

RHP Jose Disla: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
RHP Orlando Romero: 1 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

Rookie (GCL Rays)

OF Jesus Sanchez: 1-for-4, 1 K
C Nick Ciuffo: 0-for-4, 2 K
3B Joshua Lowe: 0-for-4, 1 K
C Chris Betts: 0-for-3

LHP Eric Diomartich: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
RHP Matt Vogel: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

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

Durham is off

Montgomery v. Pensacola 8:05 PM ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Brent Honeywell (1-0, 1.56) v. Jackson Stephens (6-9, 3.35)

Charlotte @ Jupiter 12 PM ET (radio stream)
TBA v. Dillon Peters (9-6, 2.79)

Bowling Green v. Lansing 7:35 PM ET (radio stream)
Blake Bivens (4-2, 3.06) v. TBA

Hudson Valley v. Staten Island 7:05 PM ET (radio stream)
TBA v. TBA

Princeton v. Danville 7 PM ET (radio stream)
TBA v. Luis Mora (1-5, 8.06)

GCL Rays v. GCL Red Sox 12 PM

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Cincinnati)

16-16
Offense: 394 R (6th) .673 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 3.17 ERA (1st) 1.23 WHIP (1st)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Rookie Davis (6), 2B/SS Alex Blandino (6), RHP Nick Travieso (7), RHP Sal Romano (9), RHP Tyler Mahle (10), OF Phillip Ervin (12), 3B Eric Jagielo (13), 3B Taylor Sparks (14), SS Carton Daal (23), RHP Jackson Stephens (31)

Jupiter Hammerheads (Miami)
20-13, 1st in FSL North
Offense: 371 R (9th) .634 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 3.48 ERA (7th) 1.22 WHIP (1st)
Top 30 Prospects: 2B Avery Romero (23), LHP Michael Mader (24), RHP Jose Adames (30)

Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto)
17-15, 3rd in MWL East
Offense: 427 R (9th) .670 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 3.69 ERA (11th) 1.30 WHIP (8th)
Top 30 Prospects: C Max Pentecost (8), RHP Justin Maese (9), LHP Ryan Borucki (14), RHP Tom Robson (21), 3B Carl Wise (25), LHP Angel Perdomo (26)

Staten Island Yankees
21-17, 2nd in NYPL McNamara
Offense: 150 R (7th) .635 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 2.90 ERA (3rd) 1.18 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Drew Finley (24), RHP Austin DeCarr (28), 2B Nick Solak

Danville Braves
17-16, 3rd in AL East
Offense: 157 R (7th) .707 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 4.02 ERA (4th) 1.32 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Koby Allard (3), LHP Joey Wentz, C Brett Cumberland, LHP Drew Harrington

GCL Red Sox
15-14, 2nd in GCL South
Offense: 99 R (14th) .625 OPS (15th)
Pitching: 3.85 ERA (12th) 1.34 WHIP (12th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS C.J. Chatam