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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Hu, Bulls take series lead

Durham is on the verge of its second straight championship.

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

While Durham took a 2-1 series lead in the International League, Memphis is tied with Fresno at one game apiece in the Pacific Coast League. Justin Williams could get a crack at his old club in the Triple-A National Championship if the Redbirds are able to win that series.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (5-2)

Behind Chih-Wei Hu’s best outing of the season, Durham topped Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 3-0, and took a 2-1 series lead. Over seven scoreless innings, Hu gave up just six singles, struck out six, and didn’t walk anyone. The Bulls also benefited from some early offense. Kean Wong singled and scored on Austin Meadows’ groundout in the first. Brandon Snyder led off the second with a homer, and Jake Cronenworth doubled in a run later in the inning.

CF Austin Meadows: 0-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB
LF Joe McCarthy; 1-for-4, 1 2B, 2 K
1B Nate Lowe: 0-for-3, 1 BB
SS Jake Cronenworth: 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI

RHP Chih-Wei Hu: 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K

Durham’s site offers this recap.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (5-1)

Bowling Green fell to Peoria, 2-1, losing a game for the first time this postseason. For 6 12 innings, neither team could get on the scoreboard, but the Chiefs finally broke through in the bottom of the seventh. Tommy Romero began the inning, but three straight singles, including one that got Peoria on the board, knocked him out of the game. He struck out six and was charged with two runs in six-plus innings. The Hot Rods then loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the eighth, but they could only get one run on Vidal Brujan’s sacrifice fly.

2B Vidal Brujan: 0-for-3, 1 RBI, 2 K
SS Taylor Walls: 1-for-2, 2 BB
C Ronaldo Hernandez: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 K

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

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

Durham vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 6:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. TBA

Best-of-five championship in Moosic, Pa. (Durham leads, 2-1)

Bowling Green is off.

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Yankees)
4-3
Offense: 578 R (7th) .729 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 3.71 ERA (5th) 1.26 WHIP (4th)
Top-30 prospects: LHP Justus Sheffield (3), RHP Chance Adams (5), SS Thairo Estrada (8), RHP Domingo German (16)

Daily news and links

Pitcher Jose Lopez and infielders Kaleo Johnson and Russ Olive represented the GCL Rays on the postseason Gulf Coast League All-Star team.

At MLB.com, Jim Callis tried to guess which prospects will be ranked in the top 10 a year from now.

Second baseman Vidal Brujan, catcher Ronaldo Hernandez, and pitcher Colin Poche all made the cut for Jeff Passan’s minor league team of the year.