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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Lowe recovers from slow start

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After a wretched opening week to the season, Josh Lowe may be returning to form

Josh Lowe will likely be just fine
Josh Lowe will likely be just fine
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I wonder how much of Josh Lowe's start had to do with playing a new position. Intuitively, it makes sense that a player might struggle in one area of the game (offense) when he's focusing on a new area, which is in this case, center field. It's generally accepted that catchers aren't going to hit as much because the defensive responsibilities of the position are so great, so I don't see why it wouldn't apply to a player moving to a different spot on the diamond.

Lowe didn't reach base in four of his first five games and didn't get a hit until his sixth. He now has four hits over his last two games.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (7-2)

Just one poor inning cost Durham in its 6-4 loss to Gwinnett. In addition to five hits, including three for extra bases, three Bulls errors helped Gwinnett score five runs off Ryan Yarbrough and knock the lefty out of the game. After Adam Walker's two-run double tied the game, Lane Adams singled home another run to put Gwinnett back in front. Yarbrough struck out nine in 5 1/3 innings, but he allowed all six runs -- three of which were earned. Curt Casali's three-run homer in the fourth broke what was then a 1-1 tie.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (5-3)

A passed ball allowed the go-ahead run to score in Montgomery's 3-2 win over Birmingham. Nick Ciuffo walked to lead off the ninth, and he eventually reached third base with two outs. With Alec Sole at the plate, Ciuffo took advantage of the miscue to score what would be the winning run. Ciuffo was finally rewarded in a game that saw him reach base four times. Starter Yonny Chirinos allowed two runs on three hits and four walks in seven innings, and Jose Alvarado was credited with a win thanks to two strikeouts in a scoreless inning of relief.

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (2-7)

A late comeback helped make it two in a row for Charlotte in a 3-2 win over Lakeland. Aside from having a runner thrown out at home in the third inning, the Stone Crabs' offense was nowhere to be found most of the game, and it took a throwing error in the seventh that allowed two runs to score for them to tie the game. With the bases loaded and one out in the eighth, the Flying Tigers tried to turn a double play on Brett Sullivan's ground ball to end the threat, but they couldn't, which allowed the go-ahead run to score. Starter Michael Velasquez allowed two runs on nine hits and four walks in five-plus innings, and Tyler Brashears and Ian Gibaut combined for four scoreless frames out of the bullpen.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (6-3)

A five-run third inning lifted Bowling Green to a 6-1 win over Fort Wayne. A half inning after the TinCaps tied the game at one, they allowed a run before they could even record an out. A wild pitch and passed ball scored another, and Adrian Rondon singled home the first run of the inning. Josh Lowe's two-out single scored two more. Starter Peter Bayer struck out nine and only allowed a run in 4 2/3 innings, but his night was cut short by an ejection. Porter Clayton and Dalton Moats combined to throw the remaining 4 1/3 innings.

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 Willy Adames: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB
OF Jake Bauers: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B
1B Casey Gillaspie: 0-for-4, 1 K
OF Dayron Varona: 0-for-4, 3 K
3B Patrick Leonard: 0-for-4, 4 K
C Curt Casali: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI
2B Kean Wong: 0-for-4, 2 K

LHP Ryan Yarbrough: 5 1/3 IP, 10 H, 6 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 9 K
RHP Ryne Stanek: 1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Double-A

OF Justin Williams: 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB
C Nick Ciuffo: 1-for-1, 1 R, 3 BB
OF Joe McCarthy: 1-for-2, 2 RBI, 2 BB
OF Braxton Lee: 0-for-4, 2 K

RHP Yonny Chirinos: 7 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K
LHP Jose Alvarado: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Class A-Advanced

OF Jake Fraley: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K
OF Ryan Boldt: 0-for-3, 1 K
C David Rodriguez: 1-for-2, 1 BB, 1 K

LHP Michael Velasquez: 5+ IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 1 K
RHP Tyler Brashears: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Class-A

OF Jesus Sanchez: 1-for-4, 1 R
3B Adrian Rondon: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 SB
CF Joshua Lowe: 2-for-2, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB
OF Garrett Whitley: 0-for-2, 1 BB, 1 K
C Rene Pinto: 0-for-4, 3 K

RHP Peter Bayer: 4 2/3 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K

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

Durham v. Gwinnett 6:35 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Chase Whitley (0-0, 3.00) v. TBA

Montgomery @ Birmingham 7:30 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Greg Harris (1-0, 1.50) v. Thaddius Lowry (0-1, 24.55)

Charlotte v. Lakeland 6:05 PM (radio stream)
Eduar Lopez (0-1, 5.79) v. Matt Hall (0-1, 10.80)

Bowling Green v. Fort Wayne 3:05 PM (radio stream)
Travis Ott* (0-0, 1.59) v. Jerry Keel (0-0, 1.42)

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Gwinnett Braves
5-4 (2nd in IL South)
Offense: 46 R (2nd) .736 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 3.60 ERA (6th) 1.29 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: 2B Ozzie Albies (2), LHP Sean Newcomb (8), RHP Lucas Sims (14), 3B Rio Ruiz (20), RHP Luke Jackson (28), OF Adam Walker

Birmingham Barons (White Sox)
1-7 (5th in SL North)
Offense: 17 R (T-7th) .680 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 8.57 ERA (10th) 2.05 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Michael Kopech (5), RHP Spencer Adams (9), 3B Trey Michalczewski (13), 2B Jake Peter (16), RHP Connor Walsh (27), 1B Cameron Seitzer

Lakeland Flying Tigers
3-6 (6th in FSL North)
Offense: 16 R (12th) .620 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 3.15 ERA (7th) 1.03 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Beau Burrows (3), OF Jose Azocar (12), RHP Sandy Baez (13), RHP Mark Ecker (15), RHP Spencer Turnbull (19), RHP Drew Smith (24), C Arvicent Perez (27), LHP Matt Hall (28), LHP Jairo Labourt (29)

Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego)
2-7 (T-7th in MWL East)
Offense: 22 R (10th) .582 OPS (12th)
Pitching: 3.94 ERA (10th) 1.25 WHIP (9th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Jorge Ona (12), 3B Hudson Potts (14), SS Fernando Tatis Jr. (17), LHP Logan Allen (19)