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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Franklin maintains groove

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Nick Franklin didn't skip a beat in his return to the field

I had forgotten about Nick Franklin's awful tattoo until I came across this photo in the editor
I had forgotten about Nick Franklin's awful tattoo until I came across this photo in the editor
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

A struggling player right now is shortstop Adrian Rondon. Since his foot injury, including the game he came back but had to leave, he has just three singles in 26 at-bats with 11 strikeouts and four walks. I don't know if it's the injury, but an 18-year-old player is probably going to go through slumps once in a while.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (57-77)

Durham's comeback came up short in its 11-1 loss to Gwinnett. Down 10-0, Richie Shaffer scored on Jake Goebbert's single in the eighth. Austin Pruitt allowed eight runs in five innings.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (35-25)

After not accomplishing anything offensively through six innings, Montgomery exploded for a 6-0 win over Birmingham. The Biscuits had just one hit in those innings, but Cade Gotta's leadoff single in the seventh started a rally. The Barons conceded the first run on Patrick Leonard's groundout, and RBI hits from Justin Williams and Juniel Querecuto added to the lead. An inning later, Gotta's RBI single capped another three-run frame. Starter Chris Kirsch struck out five in six scoreless innings, and Yonny Chirinos picked up the win with three no-hit innings out of the bullpen.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (30-29)

A three-run ninth left Charlotte on the winning end of a 9-7 slugfest against Bradenton. Several lead changes and a pair of ties led to a 6-6 score after eight innings. With two outs and a runner on second, a pair of walks loaded the bases for Nick Ciuffo, who promptly cleared them with his eighth double. Nick Sawyer allowed a run in the ninth, but he recorded the last two outs of the game to keep the potential-tying run off base. Starter Benton Moss allowed two runs in five innings. Nick Franklin had three hits.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (40-21)

Bowling Green fell behind 9-0 and could not catch up in its 9-0 loss to Dayton. After clinching a playoff spot Thursday, the Hot Rods were not competitive Friday. Starter Michael Velasquez struck out seven in five innings but allowed seven runs -- five earned. The Hot Rods hit four singles.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (42-22)

Hudson Valley used a six-run seventh to win its 10th straight game with a 7-4 triumph over Aberdeen. Trailing 2-1, Jim Haley struck out to lead off the inning, and he struck out to end it. In between those at-bats, the Renegades tied the game on a groundout and then scored five runs with two outs. Angel Perez, Bill Pujols and Miles Mastrobuoni all hit RBI doubles. Starter Adrian Navas allowed two runs and struck out five in six innings.

Rookie Princeton Rays (33-27)

Isaac Benard's three-run home run was crucial in Princeton's 5-1 win over Kingsport. A couple errors gave Princeton a 1-0 lead in the first, and Benard's third home run of the season gave Princeton a 4-0 lead. It scored another two-out run after Eleardo Cabrera was hit by a pitch and scored on Bobby Melley's single. Hector Lopez struck out eight and didn't allow a run, but five walks left him an out short of being eligible for the win. Sandy Brito followed with four punchouts in two scoreless innings of relief.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (26-29)

A trio of pitchers limited the GCL Orioles to two hits in the GCL Rays' 4-0 win Friday. After allowing a one-out single in the first, starter Nicholas Padilla retired 14 straight to end his outing, striking out five in five scoreless innings. The GCL Orioles would not get another hit until there were two outs in the eighth. Their staff was having a great game too, but the GCL Rays finally broke the deadlock with back-to-back two-out RBI singles from Michael Brosseau and Alexander Alvarez. Rehabbing outfielder Bralin Jackson reached base twice.

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

2B Daniel Robertson: 3-for-4, 2 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
1B Casey Gillaspie: 0-for-3, 2 BB
UT Taylor Motter: 0-for-4, 1 K
3B Richie Shaffer: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB

RHP Austin Pruitt: 5 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
RHP Neil Wagner: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Double-A

SS Willy Adames: 1-for-4, 1 K
1B Jake Bauers: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K
OF Justin Williams: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI

LHP Chris Kirsch: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K
RHP Yonny Chirinos: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K

Class A-Advanced

3B Andrew Velazquez: 1-for-5, 1 R, 2 K, 1 SB
UT Nick Franklin: 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI
OF Joe McCarthy: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB
C Nick Ciuffo: 1-for-5, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 K
UT Jace Conrad: 3-for-4, 1 RBI
OF Nathan Lukes: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 K
OF Thomas Milone: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 K

RHP Benton Moss: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
RHP Brad Schreiber: 2 2/3 IP, 1 H, 4 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 3 K

Class-A

2B Brandon Lowe: 0-for-4, 3 K

LHP Michael Velasquez: 5 IP, 7 H, 7 R (5 ER), 3 BB, 7 K
RHP Bryan Bonnell: 2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Short-season

OF Jake Fraley: 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K, 2 SB
OF Garrett Whitley: 0-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
3B Jim Haley: 0-for-4, 4 K
OF Angel Perez: 3-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB
SS Bill Pujols: 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI

RHP Adrian Navas: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

Rookie (Princeton)

OF Isaac Benard: 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 K
SS Adrian Rondon: 0-for-3, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 SB
3B Joshua Lowe: 0-for-4, 1 BB, 3 K
OF Jesus Sanchez: 0-for-5, 3 K

RHP Hector Lopez: 4 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 8 K
RHP Sandy Brito: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K

Rookie (GCL Rays)

OF Bralin Jackson: 1-for-3, 1 BB
3B Michael Brosseau: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI

RHP Nicholas Padilla: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K

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

Durham v. Gwinnett 6:35 PM ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA v. Chris Ellis (4-5, 6.35)

Montgomery @ Mobile 8:05 PM ET (radio stream)
Hunter Wood (5-2, 3.55) v. Josh Taylor
(3-3, 4.04)

Charlotte @ Bradenton 6:30 PM ET (radio stream)
Benton Moss (7-9, 3.80) v. Buddy Borden (1-4, 6.91)

Bowling Green v. Dayton 7:35 PM ET (radio stream)
Roel Ramirez (5-8, 4.95) v. Tony Santillan (2-2, 7.97)

Hudson Valley @ Connecticut 7:05 PM ET (radio stream)
TBA v. TBA

Princeton @ Bristol 7 PM ET (radio stream)
TBA v. TBA

GCL Rays @ GCL Orioles 10 AM

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Gwinnett Braves
61-72, 1st in IL South
Offense:
525 R (7th) .695 OPS (8th)
Pitching:
3.98 ERA (12th) 1.47 WHIP (14th)
Top 30 Prospects:
RHP Aaron Blair (2), RHP Chris Ellis (13), RHP Tyrell Jenkins (14), 3B Rio Ruiz (17), RHP Jason Hursh (21), RHP Shae Simmons (22), RHP Steve Janas (30), SS Daniel Castro (31), IF Reid Brignac

Mobile BayBears (Arizona)
30-29, 3rd in SL South
Offense: 531 R (4th) .702 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 3.61 ERA (4th) 1.34 WHIP (8th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Gabriel Guerrero (11), IF Domingo Leyba (13), RHP Taylor Clarke (14), C The Oscar (22), RHP Adam Miller (23), 2B Jamie Westbrook (30)

Bradenton Marauders (Pittsburgh)
29-32
Offense: 598 R (2nd) .719 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 3.55 ERA (7th) 1.30 WHIP (7th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Cole Tucker (7), OF Jordan Luplow (14), RHP Yeudy Garcia (16), LHP Stephen Tarpley (17), IF Kevin Kramer (28), RHP Buddy Borden

Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati)
24-37
Offense: 451 R (15th) .627 OPS (16th)
Pitching: 4.29 ERA (16th) 1.43 WHIP (16th)
Top 30 Prospects: C Tyler Stephenson (4), RHP Tony Santillan (13), RHP Tanner Rainey (17), OF Narisco Crook (28), 3B Nick Senzel, C Chris Okey

Aberdeen IronBirds (Baltimore)
27-38
Offense: 205 R (14th) .606 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 3.27 ERA (8th) 1.26 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Cody Sedlock, LHP Keegan Akin, RHP Matthias Dietz

Bristol Pirates
24-38
Offense: 250 R (10th) .637 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 4.78 ERA (10th) 1.42 WHIP (8th)
Top 30 Prospects: None

GCL Orioles
24-31
Offense: 233 R (6th) .615 OPS (15th)
Pitching: 3.06 ERA (4th) 1.25 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: None