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Rays prospects and minor leagues 9/4: Montgomery clinches division, Durham eliminated

Princeton was blown out in their playoff opener

MLB: Spring Training-Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays
Taylor Guerrieri threw seven strong innings in Montgomery’s win
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Bowling Green and Hudson Valley geared up for the playoffs with wins, and the already-eliminated Charlotte Stone Crabs suffered a walk-off loss.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (63-79)

Durham’s big inning early carried them to a 7-3 win over the first-place Gwinnett Braves. Despite their win, Durham was eliminated from playoff contention as second-place Charlotte won their game. Richie Shaffer opened up the scoring in the second with a two-run double. Two more scored on a Hank Conger single later in the inning in part due to a fielding error by the Gwinnett outfielder. Casey Gillaspie tacked on a RBI single to put the Bulls up 5-0. Justin Marks took home his seventh win of the year, lasting 6.1 scoreless innings while striking out six. Durham collected two more runs in the seventh. Ryne Stanek’s Triple-A ERA grew to 5.92 as he allowed three runs in the eighth.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (41-27)

Montgomery clinched a playoff berth as the second-half division champs with their 3-2 win over the Tennessee Smokies.

Montgomery scored two runs early on a sacrifice fly from Juniel Querecuto in the second and a RBI single from Cade Gotta in the third. Taylor Guerrieri made another strong start, tossing seven innings while allowing his only run on a solo home run in the seventh. Jaye Chapman blew his fourth save of the season when he gave up the tying run in the top of the ninth. However, pinch-runner Thomas Coyle scored on a throwing error to get the walk-off win in the bottom of the inning.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (31-34)

Charlotte blew a three-run lead as they fell 6-5 to the Palm Beach Cardinals. The Cardinals got on the board first as Greg Maisto surrendered two runs before being pulled after 2.2 innings. Mike Franco kept Palm Beach from scoring in his 4.1 relief innings. Charlotte took the lead with a four-run sixth, including a two-run single from Cristian Toribio. After taking a 5-2 lead in the seventh, Nick Sawyer and Diego Castilla allowed Palm Beach to tie the game and eventually win in the tenth inning.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (45-23)

Bowling Green revved up for the playoffs with an all-around 7-0 win over the Fort Wayne TinCaps. The Hot Rods spread out their seven runs throughout the game, with Brett Sullivan and Landon Cray each driving in two. Sullivan and Kewby Meyer each hit home runs in the win. Blake Bivens gave up just two hits but also walked three in his six shutout innings. Fernando Baez struck out four in two relief innings, and Tim Ingram threw a scoreless ninth.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (47-25)

Hudson Valley rallied for a 4-3 walk-off win over the Vermont Lake Monsters. Spencer Moran gave up two runs in the opening innings before Angel Perez tied up the game with his two-run home run in the fifth. Vermont took the lead back the next inning as Porter Clayton gave up one run. The Renegades hit four straight singles in the bottom of the ninth as Jake Fraley tied the game and Garrett Whitley finished it off.

Rookie Princeton Rays (0-1)

Princeton fell behind in their playoff series as they sloppily lost a 20-5 blowout to the Burlington Royals. The Rays made six errors in total, leading to 11 unearned runs. First-round pick Joshua Lowe made three errors alone, with Jesus Sanchez committing two more. The real damage came in the eighth, with the Royals scoring nine runs in the inning to add insult to injury. Adrian Rondon hit a solo home run and Sanchez went 5-for-5 with two doubles and a RBI.

Rookie GCL Rays (28-31)

The GCL Rays’ season is finished.

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: 1-for-3, R, BB, K
1B Casey Gillaspie: 2-for-5, 2 RBI (22), K
UT Taylor Motter: 0-for-2, R, RBI (46), BB, K, SF
OF Jaff Decker: 1-for-3, R, BB
1B/3B Richie Shaffer: 3-for-4, R, 2B (26), 2 RBI (47)
C Hank Conger: 1-for-3, R, RBI (11), BB

LHP Justin Marks: W (7-11), 6.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K
RHP Neil Wagner: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
RHP Casey Coleman: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

Double-A

OF Cade Gotta: 1-for-4, RBI (33), 2 K, 2 SB (21)
SS Willy Adames: 0-for-2, 2 BB
1B/3B Patrick Leonard: 2-for-4, R, 2B (24), K
OF Justin Williams: 1-for-4, 2B (6)
IF Juniel Querecuto: 1-for-3, RBI (27)
OF Braxton Lee: 1-for-3, R, SB (13)

RHP Taylor Guerrieri: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 K, 1 HR
RHP Kyle Winkler: H (9), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Class-A Advanced

SS Andrew Velazquez: 2-for-4, R, RBI (14), BB
1B/OF Joe McCarthy: 0-for-3, 2 BB, 3 K
3B Cristian Toribio: 3-for-5, R, 2 RBI (19)
2B Riley Unroe: 0-for-2, RBI (31), BB, K
OF Nathan Lukes: 1-for-5, 2B (1), RBI (4), K
C Jonah Heim: 1-for-3, R, 2B (1), BB

RHP Mike Franco: 4.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K

Class-A

SS Jake Cronenworth: 1-for-3, 2 BB, K
OF David Olmedo-Barrera: 2-for-4, R, BB, K, 2 SB (13)
C Brett Sullivan: 1-for-3, R, HR (13), 2 RBI (78)
1B Kewby Meyer: 2-for-4, 2 R, HR (3), RBI (35), K
2B Brandon Lowe: 1-for-2, 2 R, 2 BB
OF Landon Cray: 1-for-4, 2B (6), 2 RBI (11)

RHP Blake Bivens: W (8-4), 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K
RHP Fernando Baez: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K

Short-Season

OF Jake Fraley: 2-for-4, RBI (18), BB, K
OF Garrett Whitley: 1-for-4, RBI (31), BB, 2 K
2B Miles Mastrobuoni: 1-for-3, BB
C Jose Rojas: 2-for-4, R
OF Angel Perez: 2-for-4, 2 R, HR (1), 2 RBI (15)
SS Bill Pujols: 3-for-4, R, 2B (13), K

RHP Spencer Jones: W (3-0), 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Rookie (Princeton)

OF Eleardo Cabrera: 3-for-3, R, 2B (1), 2 BB
OF Jesus Sanchez: 5-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B (2), RBI (1)
1B Bobby Melley: 1-for-4, 2B (1), 2 RBI (2)
SS Adrian Rondon: 1-for-5, R, HR (1), RBI (1), 2 K
C Rafelin Lorenzo: 1-for-4, 2B (1)

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

Durham v. Norfolk 5:05 PM ET (milb.tv, radio stream)
TBA v. Joe Gunkel (8-10, 3.75)

Montgomery v. Tennessee 6:35 PM ET (milb.tv, radio stream)
Chase Whitley (2-0, 1.50) v. Michael Wagner (2-1, 3.58)

Charlotte @ Palm Beach 10:30 AM ET (radio stream)
TBA v. Jacob Evans (3-7, 3.95)

Bowling Green v. Fort Wayne 7:35 PM ET (radio stream)
TBA v. Logan Allen (3-4, 2.98)

Hudson Valley @ Aberdeen 7:05 PM ET (milb.tv, radio stream)
TBA v. Travis Seabrooke (1-7, 3.82)

Princeton @ Burlington 6:00 PM ET (radio stream)
TBA v. TBA

Game two of a best-of-three series (Princeton trails, 1-0)

Scouting the opposition

Norfolk Tides (Baltimore)
61-81, 4th (Last) in SL South
Offense: 522 R (12th) .687 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 3.75 ERA (9th) 1.31 WHIP (8th)
Top 30 Prospects: C Chance Sisco (3), 1B Trey Mancini (8), RHP Mike Wright (10), OF Dariel Alvarez (13), 1B/OF Christian Walker (14), RHP Parker Bridwell (22), OF Mike Yastrzemski (25)

Tennessee Smokies (Cubs)
29-38, 4th in SL North
Offense: 565 R (4th) .701 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 4.04 ERA (9th) 1.40 WHIP (9th)
Top 30 Prospects: 2B Ian Happ (3), RHP Jen-Ho Tseng (20), RHP Brad Markey (23), C Victor Caratini (24), OF Jacob Hannemann (26), RHP Andury Acevedo (29), RHP David Berg (30)

Palm Beach Cardinals
25-43, 6th (Last) in FSL South
Offense: 454 R (T-12th) .623 OPS (13th)
Pitching: 3.46 ERA (6th) 1.31 WHIP (9th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Jack Flaherty (3), SS Edmundo Sosa (7), RHP Junior Fernandez (9), RHP Sandy Alcantara (19), SS Oscar Mercado (26), RHP Derian Gonzalez (27), RHP Dakota Hudson

Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego)
26-42, T-7th (Last) in MWL East
Offense: 528 R (12th) .665 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 3.70 ERA (12th) 1.32 WHIP (12th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Ruddy Giron (4), LHP Logan Allen (8), RHP Austin Smith (9), RHP Jacob Nix (11), OF Jose Carlos Urena (24), RHP Emmanuel Ramirez (30), 1B Brad Zunica (31), RHP Anderson Espinosa, RHP Chris Paddack, RHP Cal Quantrill, LHP Eric Lauer

Aberdeen IronBirds (Baltimore)
30-43, 4th (Last) in NYPL McNamara
Offense: 238 R (13th) .606 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 3.28 ERA (8th) 1.26 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Cody Sedlock (1st Round Pick), LHP Keegan Akin (2nd Round Pick), RHP Matthias Diaz (3rd Round Pick), OF Austin Hays (4th Round Pick)

Burlington Royals
42-26, won AL East
Offense: 373 R (T-2nd) .749 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 3.38 ERA (1st) 1.22 WHIP (1st)
Top 30 Prospects: None, but they are managed by Scott Thorman