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Rays prospects and minor leagues: McKay drives in career-high 4 runs

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Friday, Brendan McKay was a key contributor at the plate. Saturday, he’ll be on the mound.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Louisville vs TCU Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Hours after I wrote that the Rays’ minor league affiliates ranked just 21st in runs per game, they combined to score 27 runs. Charlotte only scored four, but the Stone Crabs have three injured everyday players. Hopefully Lucius Fox and Josh Lowe return soon. Durham and Montgomery have also been affected by injuries.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (5-8)

Durham scored seven unanswered runs in an 8-2 win over Lehigh Valley. Curt Casali’s three-run homer in the fourth put the Bulls up 4-2, and extra-base hits from Willy Adames and Joe McCarthy helped tack on four more runs in the eighth. Starter Vidal Nuno struck out five and allowed two runs in five innings.

1B Jake Bauers: 0-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 SB
SS Willy Adames: 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
LF Joe McCarthy: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 K
DH Justin Williams: 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 K
3B Jake Cronenworth: 0-for-3, 1 K
RF Jason Coats: 3-for-4, 3 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 K
C Curt Casali: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 K

LHP Vidal Nuno: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
RHP Jaime Schultz: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
RHP Ian Gibaut: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Durham’s site offers this recap.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (4-11)

Montgomery piled up seven runs in the fifth in a 7-2 win over Tennessee. In that big inning, the Biscuits sent 11 batters to the plate. Brandon Lowe reached base twice and had one of their four extra-base hits. Brett Sullivan drove in two with a triple and scored himself on the play thanks to an error. Benton Moss allowed two solo home runs, but that was all the Smokies could manage against him in seven innings of work.

RF Ryan Boldt: 1-for-5, 1 2B
2B Nick Solak: 0-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K
LF Brandon Lowe: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB
CF Thomas Milone: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB

RHP Benton Moss: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (7-8)

Charlotte scored four in the first and held on for a 4-3 win over Palm Beach. Despite missing regulars Lucius Fox, Josh Lowe, and David Olmedo-Barrera, the Stone Crabs were able to get off to a hot start with three straight singles to open the game. Kevin Padlo drove in two and then scored the fourth run. Despite walking a career-high five, Mikey York limited Palm Beach to two runs in five-plus innings.

RF Jesus Sanchez: 0-for-4

RHP Mikey York: 5+ IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 5 K

Charlotte’s site offers this recap.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (7-8)

Bowling Green closed its game with six straight runs, earning a 7-2 win over Lake County. Adrian Rondon’s sixth-inning RBI single gave the Hot Rods the lead for good, and Brendan McKay drove in three insurance runs over the next two innings. Tobias Myers pitched just four innings and allowed two runs on four hits and four walks.

2B Vidal Brujan: 1-for-2, 2 R, 3 BB
DH Brendan McKay: 2-for-4, 4 RBI, 1 BB

RHP Tobias Myers: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K

CLICK HERE FOR ALL BOX SCORES

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

Durham vs. Lehigh Valley 6:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Enyel De Los Santos (0-0, 2.25) vs. Anthony Banda (2-1, 2.40)

Montgomery @ Biloxi 7:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Genesis Cabrera (0-2, 2.25) vs. Cody Ponce (1-0, 3.48)

Charlotte vs. Palm Beach 6:05 p.m. ET (radio stream)
Willy Ortiz (1-0, 5.63) vs. Ian Oxnevad (1-1, 2.53)

Bowling Green @ Lake County 6:35 p.m. ET (radio stream)
Brendan McKay (0-0, 3.60) vs. Grant Hockin (1-1, 6.00)

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia)
6-7 (6th in IL North)
Offense: 57 R (T-2nd) .728 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 3.48 ERA (9th) 1.28 WHIP (8th)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Enyel De Los Santos (10), OF Roman Quinn (14), RHP Jose Taveras (24), RHP Tom Eshelman (28), RHP Steve Geltz

Biloxi Shuckers (Milwaukee)
9-5 (1st in SL South)
Offense: 61 R (3rd) .728 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 2.39 ERA (1st) 1.28 WHIP (2nd)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Luis Ortiz (6), 3B Lucas Ecreg (8), OF Corey Ray (10), 1B Jake Gatewood (14), OF Trent Grisham (15), RHP Cody Ponce (18), RHP Adrian Houser (31), C Nick Franklin, SS Jake Hager

Palm Beach Cardinals
9-6 (T-2nd in FSL South)
Offense: 61 R (5th) .689 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 2.43 ERA (1st) 1.12 WHIP (1st)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Junior Fernandez (21)

Lake County Captains (Cleveland)
6-7 (6th in MWL East)
Offense: 67 R (3rd) .715 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 4.35 ERA (11th) 1.45 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Nolan Jones (4), OF Will Benson (10), OF Oscar Gonzalez (20), IF Ernie Clement (24), RHP Eli Morgan (29)

Daily news and links

ESPN subscribers can see Keith Law’s updated 2018 MLB draft rankings. If every team outsources its draft scouting to Law, the Rays will be drafting high school lefty Ryan Weathers with the No. 16 pick. Weathers is the son of 19-year veteran David Weathers. Tampa Bay is the only franchise he did not pitch for in his career.

I’m not sure if either player will be available to the Rays — right now, it seems unlikely — but top draft prospects Matthew Liberatore and Nolan Gorman faced off Thursday.

Durham announced a postponed game against Charlotte will be made up as part of a doubleheader on June 27.