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Rays prospects and minor leagues: McKay homers twice

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A day after returning to the mound for Charlotte, Brendan McKay had a great day at the plate.

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

Friday night, Bowling Green second baseman Vidal Brujan stole two bases to reach 40 for the season. That ties Cade Gotta’s organizational high from last season, and there are obviously still quite a few games left to play. No Ray — major or minor leaguer — has reached 50 in a season since Andrew Toles stole 62 in 2013.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (59-44)

Durham came up short in a 10-8 slugfest loss to Syracuse. Justin Williams and Jason Coats hit back-to-back RBI doubles in the three-run first, and Brandon Lowe’s two-run homer capped a four-run inning that gave the Bulls a 7-3 lead. However, the Chiefs continued to chip away and scored in six different innings to eventually take the lead. Jake Faria was charged with six runs in 4 23 innings.

3B Christian Arroyo: 3-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B
2B Brandon Lowe: 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K
RF Justin Williams: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
C Nick Ciuffo: 0-for-4, 2 K
SS Andrew Velazquez: 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB
1B Brandon Snyder: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI

RHP Jake Faria: 4 23 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
LHP Colin Poche: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Durham’s site offers this recap.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (20-15)

Brock Burke pitched Montgomery to a 2-1 win over Jacksonville. In six scoreless innings, the lefty set a season high with 10 strikeouts and gave up just four hits and a walk. Michael Russell’s RBI groundout in the seventh broke the scoreless tie, and his RBI single in the ninth added a crucial insurance run.

DH Nick Solak: 1-for-3
1B Nate Lowe: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
SS Jake Cronenworth: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K

LHP Brock Burke: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (18-14)

Brendan McKay had a big day at the plate in Charlotte’s 6-0 win over St. Lucie. He hit a two-run homer in the third and then did it again an inning later for his first professional two-homer game. On the mound, Blake Bivens had another strong outing, striking out five in seven scoreless innings.

SS Jermaine Palacios: 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB
DH Brendan McKay: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBi, 1 BB
RF Jesus Sanchez: 2-for-5
CF Josh Lowe: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
LF Jake Fraley: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K

RHP Blake Bivens: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (20-14)

A three-run first inning wasn’t enough in Bowling Green’s 5-3 loss to Great Lakes. Carl Chester hit an RBI single, and Ronaldo Hernandez hit a two-run homer. However, the Hot Rods’ offense dried up over the final eight innings. Resly Linares allowed all five Loons runs in three innings.

2B Vidal Brujan: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 K, 2 SB
SS Taylor Walls: 0-for-4, 1 K
C Ronaldo Hernandez: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K

LHP Resly Linares: 3 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (26-13)

Hudson Valley edged Williamsport by a 3-2 score. After the Crosscutters took an early 2-0 lead, the Renegades scored twice in the top of the third on a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly. The game remained tied until the top of the eighth when Chris Betts’ RBI double gave Hudson Valley its first lead. Starter Blake Pflughaupt struck out seven and allowed two runs in 4 13 innings.

SS Ford Proctor: 2-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB
CF Tanner Dodson: 0-for-3, 1 RBI

LHP Blake Pflughaupt: 4 13 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K

Rookie Princeton Rays (23-12)

Princeton bashed three home runs in an 8-2 win over Bluefield. In the second inning, Vincent Byrd his his first of two home runs and gave Princeton a 3-2 lead. Tony Pena led off the four-run fourth with his second home run of the season, and Byrd’s second home run of the day gave Princeton an insurance run in the fifth. Starter Cristopher Sanchez struck out seven and allowed two runs in five innings.

SS Wander Franco: 0-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K
2B Connor Hollis: 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 BB
RF Jordan Qsar: 0-for-0, 1 RBI, 3 BB
LF Tony Pena: 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
1B Vincent Byrd: 2-for-3, 3 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K

LHP Cristopher Sanchez: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (18-15)

The GCL Rays could not contain the GCL Orioles in their 8-2 loss to open the doubleheader. Kaleo Johnson’s two-run homer tied the game in the fourth, but the GCL Orioles closed the game with six unanswered runs. They scored in five of their six at-bats and outhit the GCL Rays, 10-2. Taj Bradley allowed three runs in 3 13 innings.

The GCL Rays pitched better in their 3-1 win in Game 2. Starter Jose Lopez was sharp, striking out five and allowing just a run in five innings, and Andrew Bernstein pitched two scoreless frames to close the game. Jelfry Marte’s seventh-inning RBI single gave them the lead, and Aldenis Sanchez drew a bases-loaded walk for insurance.

3B Kaleo Johnson (1): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
SS Jelfry Marte (2): 1-for-3, 1 RBI
LF K.V. Edwards (2): 2-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 CS

RHP Taj Bradley (1): 3 13 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
LHP Jose Lopez (2): 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
RHP Jhoanbert Cedeno (1): 1 23+ IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

CLICK HERE FOR ALL BOX SCORES

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

Durham vs. Syracuse 6:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Ryan Weber (6-4, 2.11) vs. Phillips Valdez (3-7, 3.25)

Montgomery vs. Jackson 7:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Sam McWilliams (4-6, 5.05) vs. TBA

Charlotte @ St. Lucie 6:30 p.m. ET (radio stream)
Kenny Rosenberg (8-1, 4.08) vs. Gabriel Llanes (4-9, 4.55)

Bowling Green vs. Fort Wayne 7:35 p.m. ET (radio stream)
TBA vs. Aaron Leasher (5-4, 3.39)

Hudson Valley @ Williamsport 7:05 p.m. ET (radio stream)
TBA vs. Colton Eastman (0-2, 9.00)

Princeton vs. Bluefield 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

Syracuse Chiefs (Washington)
42-62 (6th in IL North)
Offense: 401 R (11th) .688 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 4.03 ERA (10th) 1.35 WHIP (9th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Victor Robles (1), C Pedro Severino (14), 1B Jose Marmolejos (18), IF Drew Ward (19), RHP Jefry Rodriguez (24), RHP Austin Voth (26)

Jackson Generals (Arizona)
17-18
Offense: 514 R (2nd) .739 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 3.94 ERA (5th) 1.26 WHIP (2nd)
Top-30 prospects: IF Domingo Leyba (11), RHP Yoan Lopez (17), RHP Tommy Eveld (25)

St. Lucie Mets
13-20 (5th in FSL South)
Offense: 311 R (12th) .638 OPS (12th)
Pitching: 3.77 ERA (8th) 1.31 WHIP (7th)
Top-30 prospects: LHP David Peterson (2), OF Desmond Lindsay (8), LHP Anthony Kay (14), RHP Jordan Humphreys (15), IF Luis Carpio (26), C Ali Sanchez (27)

Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego)
15-18 (T-5th in MWL East)
Offense: 428 R (9th) .666 OPS (15th)
Pitching: 3.58 ERA (5th) 1.31 WHIP (6th)
Top-30 prospects: LHP MacKenzie Gore (2), SS Gabriel Arias (10), 2B Esteury Ruiz (15), C Luis Campusano (20), OF Jeisson Rosario (22), IF Luis Almanzar (24), RHP Mason Thompson (25), OF Tirso Ornelas (31)

Williamsport Crosscutters (Philadelphia)
15-24 (5th in NYPL Pinckney)
Offense: 161 R (7th) .683 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 4.12 ERA (13th) 1.41 WHIP (12th)
Top-30 prospects: SS Jonathan Guzman (15), RHP Francisco Morales (16), 3B Alec Bohm

Bluefield Blue Jays
23-14 (2nd in AL East)
Offense: 201 R (3rd) .778 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 4.75 ERA (6th) 1.36 WHIP (3rd)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Eric Pardinho (6), C Hagen Danner (28)

GCL Orioles
9-24 (4th in GCL South)
Offense: 99 R (18th) .564 OPS (18th)
Pitching: 4.56 ERA (13th) 1.55 WHIP (16th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Lamar Sparks (25), RHP Grayson Rodriguez

Daily news and links

Jalen Beeks ranked fourth on MiLB.com’s list of the top prospects traded so far this month.

MiLB.com also had coverage of nice outings Thursday from Genesis Cabrera and Brendan McKay.