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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Hernandez homers, reaches base 4 times

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Ronaldo Hernandez had his third game with three extra-base hits this month.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

There is still one game to play, but it’s hard to imagine anyone topping Ronaldo Hernandez’s month of June. He’s played 21 games this month and has hits in 17 of them. He’s batting .367 with a .400 on-base percentage and .848 slugging percentage. He homered 10 times and only struck out 10 times.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (45-34)

Brandon Lowe homered again in Durham’s 5-3 win over Norfolk. His eighth homer puts him one shy of the team lead despite playing in just 20 games, and his first home run came on June 21. It led off the sixth and gave the Bulls the lead for good. Ryan Weber turned in another nice start, striking out five and allowing two runs in 6 13 innings. He hasn’t been charged with more than two earned runs in eight straight appearances.

LF Brandon Lowe: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
RF Justin Williams: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 K
C Nick Ciuffo: 0-for-4, 3 K
2B Kean Wong: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
CF Jason Coats: 2-for-5, 2 2B, 1 RBI

RHP Ryan Weber: 6 13 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
LHP Colin Poche: 1 23 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (4-4)

A two-run sixth was the difference in Montgomery’s 2-0 win over Jacksonville in the resumption of their suspended game. Nick Solak and Nate Lowe each delivered two-out, run-scoring singles. After J.D. Martin threw 4 13 scoreless innings before the suspension, Travis Ott picked him up with three strikeouts in 2 23 innings.

The Biscuits swept the doubleheader with a 5-4 win in the regularly scheduled game. A half inning after falling behind for the first time, they went ahead for good in the top of the fifth. Jake Cronenworth tied the game with a sacrifice fly, and David Rodriguez’s two-out single gave them the lead. Benton Moss allowed two runs in three innings.

RF Ryan Boldt (1): 1-for-4, 1 K, 1 SB
2B Nick Solak (1): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
LF Nick Solak (2): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 SB
1B Nate Lowe (1): 1-for-4, 1 RBI
1B Nate Lowe (2): 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 K
SS Jake Cronenworth (1): 2-for-4
SS Jake Cronenworth (2): 1-for-3, 1 RBI
3B Peter Maris (1): 1-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 SB, 1 CS
CF Thomas Milone (2): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
3B Michael Brosseau (2): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI

RHP J.D. Martin (1): 4 13 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K
RHP Benton Moss (2): 3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
LHP Matt Krook (2): 2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
RHP Curtis Taylor (2): 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (3-5)

Charlotte used a pair of four-run innings to earn a 10-4 win over Tampa. Kevin Padlo, Zacrey Law, and Lucius Fox each had extra-base hits in the second inning that gave the Stone Crabs a 4-2 lead, and Law tripled again to start the scoring in the four-run eighth. After striking out 10 following an opener in his last time out, Kenny Rosenberg returned to the rotation and allowed four runs in 5 23 innings.

SS Lucius Fox: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K
RF Jesus Sanchez: 1-for-5, 2 RBI, 2 K
CF Josh Lowe: 3-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB
3B Kevin Padlo: 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 BB, 1 K
C Zacrey Law: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 3B, 3 RBI

LHP Kenny Rosenberg: 5 23 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

Charlotte’s site offers this recap.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (5-4)

For the second straight game, Bowling Green tallied 13 runs off West Michigan, cruising to a 13-2 win. In five June games against the Whitecaps, the Hot Rods are 5-0 and scoring 11 runs per game. Ronaldo Hernandez’s two-run homer capped the three-run first inning, and they continued rolling from there, totaling five multi-run innings out of the first six. Alex Valverde allowed two runs in six innings.

2B Vidal Brujan: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
DH Taylor Walls: 0-for-6, 2 K
C Ronaldo Hernandez: 3-for-4, 4 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB
CF Carl Chester: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 4 RBI, 1 BB

RHP Alex Valverde: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 0 K
RHP Mikey York: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (11-3)

A pair of wild pitches gave Hudson Valley a 4-3 win over Tri-City. Marvin Malone led off the ninth with a single, but it was the Renegades’ last hit of the inning. After a walk, an error loaded the bases, and wild pitches later allowed the tying and go-ahead runs to score. Michael Mercado allowed just a run in five innings, and Trey Cumbie struck out four in two perfect innings of relief.

SS Ford Proctor: 2-for-4, 1 K
2B Tyler Frank: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 CS
CF Michael Smith: 2-for-4, 1 BB
C Chris Betts: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K

RHP Michael Mercado: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
RHP Tanner Dodson: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 0 K
LHP Trey Cumbie: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K

Rookie Princeton Rays (5-5)

Princeton pitching shut down Bristol in a 4-1 win. A night after allowing 12 runs, Wanderson Linares and two Princeton relievers limited Bristol to just a run on four hits. Linares allowed that run and struck out four in five innings. That run came in the first inning, and Princeton took the lead in the fifth when Wander Franco and Grant Witherspoon drove in runs with RBI singles.

SS Wander Franco: 1-for-4, 1 RBI
1B Carlos Vargas: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K

RHP Wanderson Linares: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (5-5)

The GCL Rays scored seven unanswered runs in a 7-2 win over the GCL Orioles. The GCL Orioles scored twice on four hits in the first inning, but they were limited to three hits the rest of the game. Starter Rodolfo Sanchez allowed both of those runs and struck out four in six innings. After taking the lead in the seventh, the GCL Rays added three insurance runs in the eighth, including two on Russ Olive’s two-out single.

SS Jelfry Marte: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB
CF Aldenis Sanchez: 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
1B Russ Olive: 2-for-3, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
3B Kaleo Johnson: 0-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 HBP
RF Raider Brito: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB

RHP Rodolfo Sanchez: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

CLICK HERE FOR ALL BOX SCORES

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

Durham @ Norfolk 7:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Chris Tillman (rehab)

Montgomery @ Jacksonville 6:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Genesis Cabrera (6-4, 3.62) vs. Merandy Gonzalez (0-2, 5.40)

Charlotte vs. Tampa 6:35 p.m. ET (radio stream)
Brock Burke (2-5, 4.24) vs. Garrett Whitlock (3-1, 1.80)

Bowling Green @ West Michigan 7:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Tommy Romero (6-3, 2.30) vs. Brad Bass (4-5, 5.66)

Hudson Valley @ Tri-City 7 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. TBA

Princeton vs. Bristol 7 p.m. ET (radio stream)
TBA vs. TBA

GCL Rays vs. GCL Orioles 10 a.m.

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Norfolk Tides (Baltimore)
41-37 (2nd in IL South)
Offense: 356 R (2nd) .714 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 3.88 ERA (8th) 1.35 WHIP (9th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Cedric Mullins (9), LHP Chris Lee (10), OF DJ Stewart (16), C Austin Wynns (29), OF Joey Rickard

Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Miami)
3-5 (4th in SL South)
Offense: 282 R (10th) .660 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 4.13 ERA (7th) 1.38 WHIP (7th)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Nick Neidert (5), OF Brian Miller (12), SS Joe Dunand (14), RHP Merandy Gonzalez (15), RHP Robert Dugger (23), RHP Jeff Brigham (28)

Tampa Tarpons (Yankees)
4-4 (T-4th in FSL North)
Offense: 325 R (4th) .723 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 3.22 ERA (1st) 1.26 WHIP (3rd)
Top-30 prospects: OF Estevan Florial (2), RHP Albert Abreu (6), RHP Freicer Perez (13), RHP Clarke Schmidt (14), IF Diego Castillo (27), OF Isiah Gilliam (31)

West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit)
5-4 (T-3rd in MWL East)
Offense: 332 R (8th) .666 OPS (15th)
Pitching: 3.69 ERA (5th) 1.37 WHIP (9th)
Top-30 prospects: C Joey Morgan (31)

Tri-City ValleyCats (Houston)
7-7 (2nd in NYPL Stedler)
Offense: 65 R (T-4th) .749 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 3.23 ERA (4th) 1.21 WHIP (6th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Gilberto Celestino (19), RHP Luis Garcia (31)

Bristol Pirates
6-4 (3rd in AL West)
Offense: 60 R (2nd) .787 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 5.83 ERA (7th) 1.65 WHIP (7th)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Shane Baz (3), RHP Steven Jennings (11), OF Conner Uselton (15), 1B Mason Martin (18)

GCL Orioles
4-6 (4th in GCL South)
Offense: 33 R (17th) .636 OPS (15th)
Pitching: 5.31 ERA (16th) 1.47 WHIP (9th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Lamar Sparks (25), RHP Grayson Rodriguez

Daily news and links

If you missed it, Adam Sanford covered the all the Rays on Baseball America’s updated top-100 list.