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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Lowes dominate

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Brandon Lowe and Nate Lowe each went deep again, and Josh Lowe couldn’t be kept off the bases.

Minor League Baseball: Arizona Fall League-All Star Game
Brandon Lowe now has nine Triple-A home runs
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Marc Topkin reported Thursday that the Rays appeared unlikely to sign No. 31 pick Shane McClanahan. The deadline to sign this year’s draft picks is 5 p.m. Friday. If he doesn’t sign, the Rays will get the No. 32 pick in the 2019 draft.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (50-35)

Brandon Lowe ended his lengthy homereless streak in Durham’s 6-3 win over Charlotte. After not homering since June 29, Lowe went deep to give the Bulls two insurance runs in the ninth. He also walked and scored in the first and doubled and scored in the third. Andrew Moore allowed three runs on five hits and four walks in five innings.

2B Brandon Lowe: 3-for-4, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB
RF Justin Williams: 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB
3B Brandon Snyder: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 K
SS Andrew Velazquez: 1-for-2, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 HBP

RHP Andrew Moore: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K
RHP Ian Gibaut: 1 13 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (9-5)

A Nate Lowe home run and solid pitching gave Montgomery an 8-2 win over Pensacola. Already up 2-0, the Biscuits scored six times in the fourth, capped by Lowe’s two-run homer. After Brandon Lawson threw three scoreless innings, Curtis Taylor was effective in relief, tossing four hitless frames with one strikeout.

CF Nick Solak: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
1B Nate Lowe: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
SS Jake Cronenworth: 1-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB
2B Peter Maris: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K

RHP Brandon Lawson: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
RHP Curtis Taylor: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (6-8)

Charlotte allowed three unanswered runs in its 5-4 loss to Florida in Game 1 of their doubleheader. Zacrey Law’s sacrifice fly and Robbie Tenerowicz’s RBI single in the fifth gave the Stone Crabs a 4-2 lead, but the bullpen couldn’t hang on. Reece Karalus was charged with three runs — one earned — in 2 13 innings. Hunter Schryver and Kenny Rosenberg pitched two innings apiece.

The Stone Crabs scored eight in the fifth in a 13-4 blowout win in Game 2. They already led 5-1 and went 12 to the plate in the big inning. Sadly, Jermaine Palacios made two outs, but Josh Lowe walked twice. With all the run support, Brock Burke was very good, striking out nine in six innings of two-run ball.

SS Lucius Fox (1): 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K
CF Josh Lowe (1): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
CF Josh Lowe (2): 1-for-2, 2 R, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
RF Jesus Sanchez (1): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
RF Jesus Sanchez (2): 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB
2B Jermaine Palacios (1): 0-for-4, 1 K
SS Jermaine Palacios (2): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K
2B Miles Mastrobuoni (2): 2-for-4, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
LF Jake Fraley (2): 4-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 SB

LHP Kenny Rosenberg (1): 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
LHP Brock Burke (2): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 9 K
RHP Reece Karalus (1): 2 13 IP, 2 H, 3 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 1 K

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (9-6)

Bowling Green was shut down in a 3-0 loss to South Bend. All but one of the Hot Rods’ seven hits were singles, and they struck out 13 times. Alex Valverde allowed two runs in five innings.

2B Vidal Brujan: 0-for-5, 1 K
SS Taylor Walls: 1-for-4, 1 K

RHP Alex Valverde: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
RHP Mikey York: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 6 K

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (13-7)

Hudson Valley couldn’t stop a late rally in an 8-6 loss to Staten Island. In the bottom of the sixth, Erik Ostberg’s two-run, inside-the-park home run gave the Renegades a 6-4 lead, but they managed just one hit in the final three innings. Staten Island scored two in the eighth to tie the game and two more in the ninth to win. Michael Mercado allowed four runs in five innings.

DH Tanner Dodson: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
SS Ford Proctor: 1-for-5, 2 K
C Erik Ostberg: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K

RHP Michael Mercado: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
RHP Jack Labosky: 1 23 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K

Rookie Princeton Rays (10-6)

Princeton rallied for an 11-inning, 11-10 win over Burlington in Game 1 of their doubleheader. After falling behind 7-1, Princeton scored six straight to tie the game, and it erased another deficit in the ninth on Carlos Vargas’ sacrifice fly. Wander Franco tripled and scored in the three-run 11th, and that proved to be enough. Starter Joe Peguero was charged with seven runs — four earned — in 2 23 innings.

Princeton dunked on Burlington again in Game 2, earning an 11-9 win in 10 innings. Burlington led this one 7-0 before Princeton tallied four straight multi-run innings to complete the comeback and win the game. Jordan Qsar hit his sixth home run of the season in the comeback, and back-to-back dingers from Connor Hollis and Franco tied the game in the ninth. Starter Wanderson Linares was charged with six runs in 2 13 innings.

DH Wander Franco (1): 3-for-5, 2 R, 2 3B, 3 RBI, 1 BB
SS Wander Franco (2): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB
1B Carlos Vargas (1): 1-for-5, 2 RBI, 1 K
RF Jordan Qsar (1): 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB
RF Jordan Qsar (2): 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 K
2B Connor Hollis (2): 4-for-6, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI

RHP Joe Peguero (1): 2 23 IP, 5 H, 7 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 0 K
RHP Wanderson Linares (2): 2 13 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
RHP Christopher Gau (1): 2 13 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
RHP Connor Hollis (2): 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (7-8)

The GCL Rays didn’t hit or field in a 4-1 loss to the GCL Red Sox. They scored just one run on four hits, and their five errors led to a pair of unearned runs. GCL Rays pitching combined to strike out 12 batters, including starter Rodolfo Sanchez with six in 4 13 innings. He was charged with two runs — one earned.

CF Nick Schnell: 0-for-4, 3 K
SS Jelfry Marte: 1-for-3, 1 K

RHP Rodolfo Sanchez: 4 13 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 6 K

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

Durham vs. Norfolk 7:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Forrest Snow (5-4, 3.67) vs. Asher Wojciechowski (4-4, 4.13)

Montgomery vs. Pensacola 7:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. TBA

Charlotte @ Clearwater 6:15 p.m. ET (radio stream)
Blake Bivens (5-1, 1.75) vs. TBA

Bowling Green @ Fort Wayne 7:05 p.m. ET (radio stream)
Tommy Romero* (6-3, 2.10) vs. Mason Thompson (6-4, 5.02)

Hudson Valley vs. Staten Island 7:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. TBA

Princeton @ Burlington 6 p.m. ET (radio stream)
TBA vs. Randy Acevedo (0-1, 4.76)

GCL Rays vs. GCL Orioles 12 p.m. ET

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Norfolk Tides (Baltimore)
44-40 (2nd in IL South)
Offense: 391 R (2nd) .718 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 4.02 ERA (10th) 1.37 WHIP (10th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Cedric Mullins (9), LHP Chris Lee (10), OF DJ Stewart (16), C Austin Wynns (29)

Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Cincinnati)
10-4 (1st in SL South)
Offense: 319 R (9th) .683 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 3.93 ERA (5th) 1.22 WHIP (1st)
Top-30 prospects: OF Jose Siri (7), 2B Shed Long (8), RHP Vladimir Gutierrez (9), OF TJ Friedl (17), 1B Gavin LaValley (21), RHP Keury Mella (22)

Clearwater Threshers (Philadelphia)
9-4 (2nd in FSL North)
Offense: 377 R (2nd) .728 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 4.10 ERA (10th) 1.28 WHIP (6th)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Sixto Sanchez (2), RHP Adonis Medina (4), OF Adam Haseley (5), OF Mickey Moniak (9), SS Arquimedes Gamboa (19), RHP JD Hammer (26), RHP Mauricio Llovera (30)

Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego)
11-4 (1st in MWL East)
Offense: 368 R (7th) .671 OPS (15th)
Pitching: 3.70 ERA (4th) 1.32 WHIP (4th)
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)

Staten Island Yankees
8-12 (4th in NYPL McNamara)
Offense: 47 R (14th) .589 OPS (14th)
Pitching: 3.23 ERA (3rd) 1.26 WHIP (4th)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Matt Sauer (11), RHP Juan De Paula (21)

Burlington Royals
2-14 (5th in AL East)
Offense: 39 R (10th) .552 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 6.22 ERA (8th) 1.66 WHIP (8th)
Top-30 prospects: LHP Daniel Lynch

GCL Orioles
5-10 (4th in GCL South)
Offense: 45 R (18th) .575 OPS (18th)
Pitching: 5.28 ERA (15th) 1.63 WHIP (17th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Lamar Sparks (25), RHP Grayson Rodriguez

Daily news and links

The Rays had two prospects named to Baseball America’s midseason All-Star team.

Bandbox News had a couple interesting stories recently: first, one focused on the ZOOperstars, which you’ve probably seen if you attend enough minor league games. Next, on the potential demise of the Triple-A National Championship, which Durham has won twice, including last season.