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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Mujica dominates in Durham win

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After a tough start the first time through the rotation, Jose Mujica has adjusted nicely to Triple A.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays-Media Day Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Mujica has kind of become a forgotten man in the organization. He signed for $1 million in 2012 and has advanced steadily through the system despite some injuries early in his career. He was added to the 40-man roster in the offseason, but because of his extremely low strikeout rate in 2017 (13.5 percent), he didn’t generate much buzz.

In four starts this season, his strikeout rate is 25 percent, which would be his highest since 20 innings in the Appalachian League in 2015.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (8-9)

Jose Mujica was sharp in Durham’s 5-1 win over Buffalo. In his best start of the season so far, the righty struck out six in six-plus scoreless innings and only allowed four hits and a walk. Jake Bauers doubled and scored in the two-run third, and the Bulls successfully added two insurance runs against Taylor Guerrieri.

1B Jake Bauers: 3-for-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 SB
SS Willy Adames: 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 SB
2B Jake Cronenworth: 0-for-4
C Curt Casali: 4-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI
CF Andrew Velazquez: 3-for-5, 1 K, 1 SB
DH Adam Moore: 2-for-2, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB

RHP Jose Mujica: 6+ IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K
RHP Diego Castillo: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Durham’s site offers this recap.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (6-13)

A bad inning sunk Montgomery in a 9-5 loss to Biloxi. The Biscuits took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first and lead 3-1 through three innings, but the game fell apart in the fourth. The Shuckers sent 11 batters to the plate and totaled seven runs against Eduar Lopez and Austin Wright. Lopez was charged with six runs in 3 2/3 innings.

2B Nick Solak: 1-for-2, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 BB
LF Brandon Lowe: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K
SS Jermaine Palacios: 0-for-4, 1 K

RHP Eduar Lopez: 3 23 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (9-10)

A Jesus Sanchez home run was not enough in Charlotte’s Game 1, 5-3 loss to St. Lucie. Sanchez’s fourth homer in nine games gave the Stone Crabs the lead, but Brandon Lawson promptly allowed a three-run home run in the bottom of the third that put St. Lucie ahead for good. He allowed four runs in three innings.

The Stone Crabs were edged, 6-5, in eight innings in Game 2 of their doubleheader. In his return to the lineup, Josh Lowe singled and scored in the first, and Charlotte quickly went up 3-0. It could not hold that lead, but Sanchez’s RBI single in the eighth put it back in front. However, Yoel Espinal’s wild pitch in the bottom half of the inning allowed St. Lucie to score the winning run. Starter J.D. Busfield allowed a run in 4 1/3 innings.

SS Lucius Fox (1): 1-for-4, 1 K
SS Lucius Fox (2): 0-for-4, 1 K
DH Jesus Sanchez (1): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K
CF Jesus Sanchez (2): 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 K
DH Josh Lowe (2): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB, 1 CS

RHP Brandon Lawson (1): 3 IP, 7 H,4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
RHP J.D. Busfield (2): 4 1/3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
RHP Curtis Taylor (2): 1 13 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (10-9)

Bowling Green edged South Bend in eight innings, 2-1, in Game 1 of their doubleheader. Offensively, Moises Gomez was the hero, hitting a solo home run in the fifth and singling home Brendan McKay for the walk-off win in the eighth. Drew Strotman pitched his second straight start with one earned run in six innings.

The Hot Rods hammered South Bend by a 9-2 score in Game 2. Vidal Brujan led off with a walk, stole two bases, and scored on a wild pitch before Ronaldo Hernandez drove in two with a double. Bowling Green then scored five in the second, and the rout was on. In his first start of the season, Jhonleider Salinas struck out six and allowed two runs in 3 2/3 innings.

DH Vidal Brujan (1): 0-for-3
2B Vidal Brujan (2): 1-for-3, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
1B Brendan McKay (1): 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 K
DH Brendan McKay (2): 0-for-2, 1 BB, 1 K
C Ronaldo Hernandez (2): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI
LF Moises Gomez (1): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
SS Taylor Walls (2): 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 1 K

RHP Drew Strotman (1): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
RHP Jhonleider Salinas (1): 3 2/3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
RHP Tyler Zombro (2): 3 13 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

CLICK HERE FOR ALL BOX SCORES

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

Durham vs. Buffalo 10:35 a.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Vidal Nuno (1-0, 3.45) vs. Ryan Borucki (0-2, 2.63)

Montgomery @ Biloxi 11:35 a.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Benton Moss (1-1, 3.24) vs. Thomas Jankins (3-0, 2.41)

Charlotte @ St. Lucie 6:30 p.m. ET (radio stream)
TBA vs. Gabriel Llanes (2-1, 4.50)

Bowling Green v. South Bend 7:35 p.m. ET (radio stream)
TBA vs. Erich Uelmen (0-2, 11.57)

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Buffalo Bisons (Toronto)
4-6 (5th in IL North)
Offense: 41 R (14th) .791 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 3.14 ERA (6th) 1.42 WHIP (10th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Anthony Alford (3), C Danny Jansen (7), SS Richard Urena (9), LHP Ryan Borucki (10), C Reese McGuire (15), RHP Carlos Ramirez (19), 1B Rowdy Tellez (21)

Biloxi Shuckers (Milwaukee)
12-7 (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

St. Lucie Mets
9-9 (4th in FSL South)
Offense: 58 R (11th) .634 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 3.41 ERA (3rd) 1.39 WHIP (8th)
Top-30 prospects: SS Andres Gimenez (1), RHP Justin Dunn (3), OF Desmond Lindsay (8), RHP Jordan Humphreys (15), IF Luis Carpio (26)

South Bend Cubs
7-9 (6th in MWL East)
Offense: 57 R (9th) .699 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 3.35 ERA (5th) 1.26 WHIP (4th)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Jose Albertos (3), LHP Brendon Little (7), RHP Cory Abbott (16), C Miguel Amaya (22), RHP Javier Assad (23), RHP Erich Uelmen (27)

Daily news and links

A pair of Rays landed on this week’s Baseball America Hot Sheet.

Kyle Glaser chatted about prospects and the Hot Sheet on Tuesday.

Also at BA, Bill Mitchell wrote about baseball in the Bahamas. He wasn’t mentioned in the article, but Charlotte shortstop Lucius Fox is looking to join the group of six Bahamians to play in the majors.

MLB.com released its list of the top-30 international prospects for this year’s signing period. The Rays are favored to sign the No. 22 player, shortstop Alejandro Pie.

Bowling Green’s postponement on Monday was the 33rd of the season in the Midwest League.