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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Sanchez homers again in Stone Crabs win

For the second time in his career, Jesus Sanchez homered in consecutive games.

MLB: Spring Training-Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

There are slow starts, and there is Jake Cronenworth’s 2018 season. He doesn’t have a hit in his first 28 at-bats so far. He played pretty well in Double A last season, so there’s no reason to believe he won’t turn it around. Still, he put himself in quite a hole through the first week and a half.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (4-5)

Durham’s game was postponed.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (3-7)

Montgomery was edged by a 2-1 score in Game 1 of its doubleheader against Birmingham. Jake Cronenworth’s sacrifice fly in the second gave the Biscuits the lead, but the Barons’ first hitter half an inning later tied the game with a home run. Benton Moss allowed just a run in six innings, and Birmingham earned a walk-off win against Kyle Bird in the seventh.

The Biscuits’ bats broke out in a 9-2 win in Game 2. Brandon Lowe homered in the first to give Montgomery a 1-0 lead, and Jermaine Palacios and Andrew Velazquez later followed with homers. Starter Eduar Lopez allowed two runs in five innings.

LF Nick Solak (1): 1-for-3, 1 3B, 1 K
2B Brandon Lowe (1): 0-for-3, 1 K
LF Brandon Lowe (2): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K
RF Ryan Boldt (1): 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 K, 1 SB
DH Ryan Boldt (2): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
3B Jake Cronenworth (1): 0-for-2, 1 RBI
2B Jake Cronenworth (2): 0-for-4, 1 RBI, 2 K
SS Jermaine Palacios (1): 0-for-2, 1 K
SS Jermaine Palacios (2): 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 SB
CF Andrew Velazquez: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K, 1 SB

RHP Benton Moss (1): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
RHP Eduar Lopez (2): 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (4-7)

Charlotte hammered Lakeland for 19 hits in a 9-6 win. For the second straight game, Jesus Sanchez and a Lowe brother homered, but on Sunday, it was Nate going deep for the first time this season. Sanchez’s homer capped a four-run third inning. After starter J.D. Busfield allowed three runs in four innings, Ivan Pelaez earned a win in relief with three scoreless innings in his season debut.

SS Lucius Fox: 3-for-6, 1 R, 1 2B
CF Josh Lowe: 2-for-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 CS
RF Jesus Sanchez: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K
1B Nate Lowe: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
C David Rodriguez: 4-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI
2B/LF Miles Mastrobuoni: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB

RHP J.D. Busfield: 4 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Charlotte’s site offers this recap.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (5-6)

Brendan McKay pitched 50 percent longer in Bowling Green’s 5-3 win over Fort Wayne in Game 1 of their doubleheader. The two-way star pitched three innings, striking out four and allowing a two-run homer. The Hot Rods went ahead with a four-run fifth that was capped by RBI doubles from Ronaldo Hernandez and Zach Rutherford.

The Hot Rods’ bats backed a solid Alex Valverde in a 7-1 win in Game 2. Bowling Green scored in each of the first four innings, including a three-run first that featured the first of two RBI doubles by Moises Gomez. Valverde allowed just a run in five innings and struck out four.

2B Vidal Brujan (1): 2-for-4, 1 SB
2B Vidal Brujan (2): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 SB, 1 CS, 1 HBP
C Ronaldo Hernandez (1): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
DH Ronaldo Hernandez (2): 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B
CF Carl Chester (1): 3-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 SB
LF Moises Gomez (2): 2-for-3, 1 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K

LHP Brendan McKay (1): 3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
RHP Alex Valverde (2): 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K

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Monday’s games (probables courtesy of milb.com)

Durham @ Toledo 6:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Chih-Wei Hu (0-1, 6.00) vs. Warwick Saupold (0-0, 7.71)

Montgomery v. Tennessee 7:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Genesis Cabrera (0-1, 2.70) vs. TBA

Charlotte is off.

Bowling Green is off.

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit)
6-3 (1st in IL West)
Offense: 44 R (2nd) .753 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 3.76 ERA (10th) 1.18 WHIP (2nd)
Top-30 prospects: IF Dawel Lugo (8), OF Christin Stewart (9), OF Mike Gerber (14), RHP Bryan Garcia (16), OF Mikie Mahtook, LHP Ryan Carpenter

Tennessee Smokies (Cubs)
3-6 (4th in SL North)
Offense: 35 R (5th) .650 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 4.96 ERA (10th) 1.46 WHIP (8th)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Adbert Alzolay (2), RHP Oscar De La Cruz (6), RHP Thomas Hatch (8), RHP Trevor Clifton (17), RHP Dakota Mekkes (21), OF Charcer Burks (24), 3B Jason Vosler (25), RHP Michael Rucker (26), RHP Jake Stinnett (30)

Daily news and links

MiLB.com covered Sanchez’s big game Saturday.