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Rays prospects and minor leagues 8/23: Gillaspie smacks two home runs

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Meanwhile, Alex Cobb struggled in his rehab start

Jim Donten

Jesus Sanchez was promoted to Princeton Saturday after batting .323 with a .872 OPS in 42 GCL games. Still just 18 years old, Sanchez is one of the youngest players on Princeton’s roster.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (57-73)

Durham came out on the winning end of a 10-6 slugfest with the Norfolk Tides. Casey Gillaspie doubled his Triple-A home run total, hitting two home runs for four total with the Bulls. Gillaspie plated four runs, and Taylor Motter was close behind with three more. Alex Cobb struggled in his four innings of work, giving up five runs and nine hits without striking out a single batter. Parker Markel picked up the win, while Dana Eveland and Steve Geltz combined for three perfect relief innings.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (31-25)

Montgomery eked out a run in the 11th inning to take home a 3-2 win over the Birmingham Barons. Chase Whitley gave up two solo home runs over six innings in his first start since coming off the disabled list. However, the Biscuits’ bullpen was lights-out, walking just one batter and giving up one hit over five innings. Patrick Leonard evened up the game in the sixth with a two-run double, but he got cheeky and was thrown out trying to advance to third on the throw. The winning run came off the bat of Braxton Lee, who plated the winning run on a single in the 11th. Lee went 4-for-5 with four singles on the day.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (28-27)

Charlotte was off.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (36-20)

Bowling Green moved within half a game of first place in their division with their 4-1 win over the Lake County Captains. Blake Bivens allowed a lone run in the bottom of the third, but was overall effective in his 5.2 innings as he earned his seventh Class-A win this year. The Hot Rods finally scored thanks to a two-run double from Zacrey Law. They scored two more runs in the ninth to pad their lead, and Fernando Baez struck out the side in order to record his second save this season.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (38-22)

Hudson Valley swept the Tri-City ValleyCats in their doubleheader, as Hudson Valley won a 1-0 pitcher’s duel in the first game. Spencer Moran managed to keep the ValleyCats scoreless despite giving up four hits and three walks with just one strikeout in six innings. The Renegades scored the only run of the game when Jonathan Popadics scored Nathaniel Lowe on his sixth double of the season. Tri-City got a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh, but Jayson McKinley stranded him on third as he earned his sixth save of the 2016 campaign.

The Renegades got a bit more offense in the second game as they secured a 3-1 win. Jake Fraley led the charge with a two-run home run, and Nathaniel Lowe tacked on a RBI groundout. Brock Burke threw 5.1 shutout innings with five strikeouts, but allowed four hits and four walks. Brandon Lawson earned the save with 1.2 innings, but he surrendered a run in the ninth.

Rookie Princeton Rays (32-25)

Princeton played their second doubleheader in a row with the Pulaski Yankees, with each team winning one game. Princeton took home the victory in the first game by a 5-1 score. The teams remained scoreless through the first three innings before Jesus Sanchez hit a solo home run in the fourth, his first Appalachian League home run since his promotion August 20. The Rays put four runs on the board on the fifth, thanks in part to a two-run single from Sanchez. Ethan Clark kept Pulaski off the board through four innings, but allowed a run in the fifth and was removed after recording just one out. Alex Estrella got the win since Clark couldn’t last five innings, with Estrella striking out five batters in 2.2 innings.

Princeton didn’t fare as well in the second game, falling to Pulaski by a 3-2 margin. Sam Long let the Yankees on the board first, yielding two runs in the second. The Rays managed to tie the game later on with a sacrifice fly from Bobby Melley and RBI double from Rene Pinto. Unfortunately, the Yankees hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh off Reign Letkeman

Rookie GCL Rays (24-27)

Despite striking first, the GCL Rays couldn’t pull out the win as they lost 6-3 to the GCL Red Sox. A wild pitch and RBI groundout from Joey Roach put the Rays up by two in the third inning. That lead evaporated as Jesus Ortiz allowed three runs in the fourth and six overall in his 3.1 innings of work. Vidal Brujan tripled and scored an error in the ninth, but the Rays couldn’t put together any more offense. They went 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position.

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

SS Daniel Robertson: 2-for-4, 3 R, K
1B Casey Gillaspie: 4-for-5, 3 R, 2 HR (4), 4 RBI (12)
UT Taylor Motter: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B (16), HR (12), 3 RBI (39), BB, SB (17)
OF Jaff Decker: 2-for-4, 2 R, HR (12), RBI (30), BB
OF Dayron Varona: 1-for-5, 2 RBI (54), K
OF Johnny Field: 2-for-4, 2 2B (20), K

LHP Dana Eveland: H (5), 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
RHP Steve Geltz: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Double-A

SS Willy Adames: 1-for-4, 2 R, BB, K
1B Jake Bauers: 1-for-4, R, BB, 2 K
1B/3B Patrick Leonard: 1-for-4, 2B (21), 2 RBI (39), K
OF Braxton Lee: 4-for-5, RBI (19), K

LHP Kyle Bird: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
RHP Mark Sappington: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
RHP Kyle Winkler: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
RHP Jeff Ames: W (5-2), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Class-A

OF Zacrey Law: 1-for-4 2B (20), 2 RBI (44), K
2B Brandon Lowe: 1-for-3, BB, K
C Brett Sullivan: 1-for-3, R, 2B (31), BB
IF Peter Maris: 1-for-3, R, RBI (35), 2 K, SB (4)
OF Manny Sanchez: 1-for-3, R, BB

RHP Blake Bivens: W (7-4), 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
RHP Elias Torres: H (2), 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K
RHP Fernando Baez: S (2), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Short-Season

(1) 3B Jim Haley: 3-for-4, 2B (5)
(1) IF Jonathan Popadics: 1-for-3, 2B (6), RBI (8)
(1) C Joe Olson: 2-for-3
(2) OF Jake Fraley: 1-for-3, R, HR (1), 2 RBI (14), BB, K
(2) OF Garrett Whitley; 1-for-3, BB, K
(2) 2B Miles Mastrobuoni: 1-for-3, R, 2B (6), BB, K
(2) SS Bill Pujols: 0-for-1, R, 2 BB, SB (8)

(1) RHP Spencer Moran: W (4-1), 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K
(2) LHP Brock Burke: W (2-3), 5.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 5 K

Rookie (Princeton)

(1) OF Eleardo Cabrera: 2-for-4, R, RBI (34), 2 K
(1) OF Jesus Sanchez: 3-for-3, R, 2B (1), HR (1), 3 RBI (4)
(2) OF Jesus Sanchez: 2-for-3, 2 R
(2) C Rene Pinto: 2-for-3, 2 2B (6), RBI (9)
(2) 1B Bobby Melley: 0-for-1, RBI (26), SF

(1) LHP Alex Estrella: W (1-1), 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K

Rookie (GCL)

2B Vidal Brujan: 2-for-4, R, 2B (11), 3B (4)
IF Michael Brosseau: 1-for-4, 2B (10), 2 K
1B Jonathon Arrowood: 2-for-4, 2B (8), K
C Alexander Alvarez: 1-for-3, R, 2B (1), BB
OF Ryan Caldwell: 1-for-3, R, BB, K

RHP Thomas LeBron: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

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

Durham @ Charlotte 7:05 PM ET (milb.tv, radio stream)
Jacob Faria (3-4, 4.06) v. Carson Fulmer (0-1, 54.00)

Montgomery v. Birmingham 8:05 PM ET (milb.tv, radio stream)
Taylor Guerrieri (12-6, 4.08) v. Blair Walters (4-5, 4.41)

Charlotte @ St. Lucie 6:30 PM ET (radio stream)
TBA v. Casey Delgado (7-2, 3.18)

Bowling Green @ Lake County 5:30 PM ET (radio stream) DOUBLEHEADER
Eduar Lopez (3-2, 3.76) v. TBA
Yoel Espinal (5-0, 1.63) v. TBA

*Both games will be seven innings*

Hudson Valley v. Connecticut 7:05 PM ET (radio stream)
TBA v. Kyle Funkhouser (0-1, 2.48)

Princeton @ Pulaski 7:00 PM ET (radio stream)
TBA v. TBA

GCL Rays v. GCL Red Sox 12:00 PM ET

Scouting the opposition

Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
58-72, 1st in IL South
Offense: 518 R (6th) .696 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 4.47 ERA (14th-Last) 1.39 WHIP (13th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Carson Fulmer (2), OF Jacob May (7), RHP Tyler Danish (9), OF Adam Engel (10), OF Slade Heathcott (18), 2B Jake Peter (22), SS Eddy Alvarez (28), 1B Danny Hayes (29), 1B Jerry Sands

Birmingham Barons (White Sox)
18-38, 5th (Last) in SL North
Offense: 520 R (5th) .679 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 4.60 ERA (10th-Last) 1.43 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Spencer Adams (4), 3B Trey Michalczewski (6), LHP Jordan Guerrero (11), OF Courtney Hawkins (12), LHP Brian Clark (14), RHP Brandon Brennan (25), C Alfredo Gonzalez (26), 1B Keon Barnum (31)

St. Lucie Mets
30-25, 1st in FSL South
Offense: 521 R (7th) .692 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 3.37 ERA (4th) 1.30 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Wuilmer Becerra (10), 3B Jhoan Urena (11), SS Luis Guillorme (12), RHP Chris Flexen (26), OF John Mora (28)

Lake County Captains (Cleveland)
26-30, 5th in MWL West
Offense: 525 R (7th) .692 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 3.78 ERA (14th) 1.24 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Triston McKenzie (8), IF Willi Castro (26)

Connecticut Tigers
35-27, 2nd in NYPL Stedler
Offense: 250 R (6th) .633 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 3.03 ERA (4th) 1.24 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Kyle Funkhouser

Pulaski Yankees
24-33, 5th (Last) in AL East
Offense: 247 R (8th) .716 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 4.56 ERA (8th) 1.38 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Wilkerman Garcia (9), LHP Jeff Degano (23), SS Dermis Garcia (31), OF Blake Rutherford

GCL Red Sox
28-23, T-1st in GCL South
Offense: 182 R (14th) .615 OPS (15th)
Pitching: 3.50 ERA (10th) 1.28 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Jason Groome, RHP Shaun Anderson