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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Liberatore makes Princeton debut

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Like Shane McClanahan days before him, Matthew Liberatore had little troubling adjusting to the Appalachian League.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

There probably aren’t many hitters in the minors hotter than Moises Gomez right now. He has homers in three straight games, four in his last five, six in his last nine, seven in his last 11, and eight in his last 13. For the season, he has 18 dingers, two shy of Ronaldo Hernandez’s league-leading 20.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (73-58)

Jake Faria pitched Durham to a 7-3 win over Norfolk. After opener Hoby Milner allowed two runs in the first, Faria entered and threw six solid innings, allowing just an unearned run with four strikeouts. A half inning after the Tides evened the score at three, Micah Johnson’s two-run homer gave the Bulls the lead for good in the top of the seventh.

CF Joe McCarthy: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
3B Christian Arroyo: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 K, 1 SB
PH Nate Lowe: 0-for-0, 1 R, 1 BB
LF Micah Johnson: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI

RHP Jake Faria: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 4 K

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (37-26)

Sam McWilliams pitched well in Montgomery’s 3-1 win over Tennessee. After a string of rough outings, McWilliams allowed just a run on four hits and a walk in six innings with seven strikeouts against the Smokies. After they tied the game in the top of the fourth, the Biscuits went ahead for good on Jesus Sanchez’s RBI double in the bottom half of the inning.

3B Jake Cronenworth: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB
SS Lucius Fox: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 K
RF Jesus Sanchez: 1-for-4, 1 2B

RHP Sam McWilliams: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
RHP Curtis Taylor: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (36-25)

A pair of first-inning home runs was not enough in Charlotte’s Game 1, 3-2 loss to Clearwater. Vidal Brujan led off with a homer, and Jake Fraley soon followed with his third of the season, but the offense dried up after that. The rehabbing Vidal Nuno allowed a run in 2 23 innings.

The Stone Crabs rebounded for a nine-inning, 3-2 win in Game 2. After the teams traded runs in the eighth, Fraley started the ninth as the team’s free baserunner. He advanced to third on a balk and scored on a wild pitch. Brendan McKay allowed a run on seven hits in four innings.

2B Vidal Brujan (1): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K
DH Vidal Brujan (2): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 K
CF Josh Lowe (1): 0-for-3
SS Jermaine Palacios (1): 0-for-2, 1 K
SS Jermaine Palacios (2): 0-for-4, 1 K
DH Jake Fraley (1): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K
3B Kevin Padlo (2): 1-for-2, 2 BB, 1 K

LHP Vidal Nuno (1): 2 23 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
LHP Brendan McKay (2): 4 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
RHP Riley O’Brien (1): 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K

Charlotte’s site offers this recap.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (39-24)

Moises Gomez stayed hot in Bowling Green’s 5-3 win over Lake County. His third-inning home run helped the Hot Rods get out to a 5-0 lead early in the game. They scored two in the second, and Gomez capped a two-run fourth with an RBI double. Tommy Romero allowed a run in six innings.

SS Taylor Walls: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB
C Ronaldo Hernandez: 1-for-4
RF Moises Gomez: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
2B Zach Rutherford: 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 CS

RHP Tommy Romero: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (40-27)

Zack Trageton, B.J. Myers, and Trey Cumbie shut down Staten Island in a 2-0 Hudson Valley win. In his second start with the Renegades, Trageton struck out three in six scoreless innings, giving up just two hits with no walks. Myers followed with five strikeouts in two innings, and Cumbie pitched the ninth to complete the shutout. Jacson McGowan hit RBI singles in the sixth and eighth innings.

CF Tanner Dodson: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B

RHP Zack Trageton: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
RHP B.J. Myers: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K

Rookie Princeton Rays (41-22)

Matthew Liberatore pitched well in his Princeton debut, a 3-2 win over Danville. His first four innings were scoreless before he allowed two in the fifth. He struck out five in five innings and gave up five hits and two walks. Connor Hollis, Jake Palomaki, and Carlos Vargas each hit a solo home run.

DH Wander Franco: 0-for-4, 1 K
1B Carlos Vargas: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
2B Jake Palomaki: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB
3B Connor Hollis: 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB

LHP Matthew Liberatore: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
RHP Joe Peguero: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (33-23)

The GCL Rays’ season is over.

CLICK HERE FOR ALL BOX SCORES

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

Durham @ Norfolk 7:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Luis Ortiz (2-1, 3.43)

Montgomery vs. Tennessee 7:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Michael Rucker (9-6, 3.82)

Charlotte vs. Daytona 6:35 p.m. ET (radio stream)
Kenny Rosenberg (9-2, 4.99) vs. TBA

Bowling Green vs. Lake County 3:05 p.m. ET (radio stream)
TBA vs. Juan Hillman (5-12, 5.51)

Hudson Valley vs. Staten Island 5:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Frank German (1-2, 2.01)

Princeton @ Greeneville 7 p.m. ET (radio stream)
TBA vs. Josiah Gray (2-1, 2.55)

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Norfolk Tides (Baltimore)
68-64 (2nd in IL South)
Offense: 557 R (T-4th) .704 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 3.90 ERA (9th) 1.37 WHIP (12th)
Top-30 prospects: C Chance Sisco (3), OF DJ Stewart (16), RHP Jimmy Yacabonis (23), IF Steve Wilkerson (30), C Armando Araiza, OF Joey Rickard

Tennessee Smokies (Cubs)
28-33
Offense: 529 R (7th) .686 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 3.85 ERA (4th) 1.28 WHIP (3rd)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Oscar De La Cruz (6), RHP Thomas Hatch (8), RHP Keegan Thompson (14), LHP Justin Steele (18), OF Charcer Burks (24), RHP Michael Rucker (26), RHP Jake Stinnett (30)

Daytona Tortugas (Cincinnati)
28-34
Offense: 562 R (5th) .711 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 4.08 ERA (10th) 1.36 WHIP 9th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Taylor Trammell (3), C Tyler Stephenson (10), LHP Scott Moss (29)

Lake County Captains (Cleveland)
25-37
Offense: 511 R (14th) .688 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 4.07 ERA (12th) 1.33 WHIP (9th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Will Benson (10), OF Oscar Gonzalez (20), RHP Luis Oviedo (22), LHP Brady Aiken (28)

Staten Island Yankees
34-31 (3rd in NYPL Stedler)
Offense: 222 R (13th) .618 OPS (13th)
Pitching: 2.41 ERA (1st) 1.12 WHIP (1st)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Matt Sauer (11), RHP Clarke Schmidt (14), RHP Juan De Paula (21), C Josh Breaux

Greeneville Reds
28-37
Offense: 342 R (7th) .735 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 5.57 ERA (8th) 1.64 WHIP (10th)
Top-30 prospects: LHP Jacob Heatherly (15), RHP Lyon Richardson, RHP Josiah Gray

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