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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Liberatore signs

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The Rays did not waste any time locking up their top pick from this year’s draft.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Tampa Bay Rays Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

After taking advantage of Matthew Liberatore’s surprising fall on draft day, the Rays quickly signed him to a $3.5 milllion bonus, a little below the recommended value for the pick. Be sure to check in with our draft signing tracker to keep up with the latest news.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (36-26)

Durham’s offense was quiet in a 6-2 loss to Charlotte. Over the first eight innings, the Bulls were held scoreless on three hits, but after Brandon Snyder singled with two outs in the ninth, Justin Williams hit his seventh home run of the season. Andrew Moore was charged with two runs — one earned -- in 4 13 innings.

LF Brandon Lowe: 0-for-4, 2 K
DH Justin Williams: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
C Nick Ciuffo: 0-for-3, 1 K
2B Kean Wong: 2-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 CS

RHP Andrew Moore: 4 13 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 5 K
LHP Kyle Bird: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 1 K
RHP Ian Gibaut: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 1 K

Durham’s site offers this recap.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (35-30)

The Biscuits stayed hot with a 2-1 win over Chattanooga. In the bottom of the third, Peter Maris hit his first home run since being promoted to Montgomery. After the Lookouts tied the game, the Biscuits went ahead for good in the fifth on Brett Sullivan’s sacrifice fly. Dalton Moats opened with 2 13 scoreless innings, and Brandon Lawson struck out seven and allowed a run in 4 23 innings.

SS Jake Cronenworth: 0-for-4, 2 K
RF Ryan Boldt: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB
LF Nick Solak: 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
2B Peter Maris: 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 CS

RHP Brandon Lawson: 4 23 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (29-32)

Despite Kevin Kiermaier’s best efforts, Charlotte fell to Dunedin by a 2-1 score. Starting his rehab assignment with the Stone Crabs, Kiermaier acted as their DH and reached base three times as their leadoff hitter. However, he didn’t come around to score, and Charlotte left 10 runners on base. In his first outing since April 30, Benton Moss struck out eight and allowed a run in four innings.

DH Kevin Kiermaier: 2-for-4, 1 BB
SS Lucius Fox: 0-for-5, 2 K
3B Jermaine Palacios: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
RF Miles Mastrobuoni: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 CS

RHP Benton Moss: 4 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K

Charlotte’s site offers this recap.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (42-21)

Bowling Green received more strong pitching in a 2-1 win over Fort Wayne. Aside from a solo home run, the TinCaps could not get anything going against Josh Fleming, who gave up just two hits and struck out two in seven innings. Taylor Walls’ RBI single in the sixth tied the game, and Devin Davis’ third homer of the season gave the Hot Rods the lead in the seventh.

2B Vidal Brujan: 0-for-4, 1 K
SS Taylor Walls: 1-for-2, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB, 1 HBP
C Ronaldo Hernandez: 0-for-4
1B Devin Davis: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI

LHP Josh Fleming: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

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

Durham vs. Charlotte 7:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Ryan Weber (2-2, 2.40) vs. Donn Roach (6-2, 3.25)

Montgomery @ Tennessee 7 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
J.D. Martin (4-7, 4.80) vs. TBA

Charlotte @ Dunedin 6:30 p.m. ET (radio stream)
Blake Bivens (2-0, 1.35) vs. Angel Perdomo (1-3, 3.14)

Bowling Green vs. Fort Wayne 7:35 p.m. ET (radio stream) DOUBLEHEADER
TBA vs. TBA
TBA vs. TBA

Teams will complete a suspended game and play a seven-inning game.

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
28-35 (3rd in IL South)
Offense: 222 R (12th) .665 OPS (13th)
Pitching: 4.26 ERA (13th) 1.36 WHIP (12th)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Michael Kopech (2), RHP Zack Burdi (11), RHP Spencer Adams (12), RHP Carson Fulmer (13), RHP Jordan Stephens (16), RHP Thyago Vieira (20), IF Jake Elmore, 1B Casey Gillaspie, 3B Patrick Leonard

Tennessee Smokies (Cubs)
33-31 (4th in SL North)
Offense: 276 R (7th) .697 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 3.69 ERA (1st) 1.26 WHIP (1st)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Oscar De La Cruz (6), RHP Thomas Hatch (8), OF Charcer Burks (24), 3B Jason Vosler (25), RHP Michael Rucker (26), RHP Jake Stinnett (30)

Dunedin Blue Jays
27-35
Offense: 239 R (8th) .673 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 3.59 ERA (6th) 1.29 WHIP (6th)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Nate Pearson (4), SS Logan Warmoth (8), C Riley Adams (21), IF Kevin Smith (26), RHP Yennsy Diaz (30)

Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego)
28-35
Offense: 278 R (10th) .670 OPS (15th)
Pitching: 4.22 ERA (12th) 1.40 WHIP (13th)
Top-30 prospects: LHP MacKenzie Gore (2), SS Gabriel Arias (10), 2B Esteury Ruiz (15), RHP Andres Munoz (19), C Luis Campusano (20), OF Jeisson Rosario (22), IF Luis Almanzar (24), RHP Mason Thompson (25), OF Tirso Ornelas (31)

Daily news and links

Tyler Kepner wrote about Brendan McKay in the New York Times.

MiLB.com wrote about Brandon Lowe and Nick Solak. Thanks to scharms for bringing it to my attention.

Also at MiLB.com: the challenges of being a pitcher on the Triple A-Majors shuttle.

Colin Poche represented the Rays on this week’s Hot Sheet at Baseball America.

Bowling Green’s Tommy Romero was added to the Midwest League All-Star Game.