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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Wendle starts rehab with homer

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A key Rays moved a step closer toward returning Thursday.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We’re about a month away from Futures Game rosters being announced. Who will represent the Rays? As the game’s top prospect, Wander Franco belongs there. It would also be fun to see Brendan McKay hit and pitch.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (34-26)

Durham didn’t get a lot of offense in a 6-1 loss to Gwinnett. Jason Coats homered in the second, but that was it for the Bulls. After Cole Sulser opened with two scoreless innings, Aaron Slegers was charged with all six runs — five earned — in 3 13 innings.

2B Nick Solak: 0-for-4 (.863)
1B Nate Lowe: 0-for-3, 1 K (.819)
DH Brendan McKay: 1-for-3, 1 K (.701)
LF Jason Coats: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K (.867)

RHP Aaron Slegers: 3 13 IP, 8 H, 6 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 1 K (7.28)

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (36-23)

Robbie Tenerowicz was the hero in Montgomery’s 11-inning, 9-8 win over Tennessee. After the teams traded runs in the 10th, the Biscuits held the Smokies off the scoreboard in the top of the 11th. With runners on the corners and one out, Tenerowicz’s RBI single won the game. Josh Fleming allowed six runs — five earned — in five innings.

CF Josh Lowe: 3-for-6, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K, 1 CS (.784)
SS Lucius Fox: 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 BB, 2 SB, 1 CS (.692)
3B Kevin Padlo: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 3 BB (.759)

LHP Josh Fleming: 5 IP, 10 H, 6 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 4 K (3.94)

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (31-29)

Joey Wendle got off to a strong start on his rehab assignment, but it wasn’t enough in Charlotte’s 8-7 loss to Dunedin. As the Stone Crabs’ second baseman, he had four plate appearances, including a first-inning home run. They had leads of 3-0 and 4-3, but a five-run Blue Jays seventh put them ahead for good. Tobias Myers allowed three runs in 3 13 innings.

2B Joey Wendle: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB
DH Moises Gomez: 1-for-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K (.690)
LF Garrett Whitley: 1-for-5, 3 K (.723)
RF Carl Chester: 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB (.694)

RHP Tobias Myers: 3 13 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K (3.18)

Charlotte’s site offers this recap.

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (34-26)

Bowling Green didn’t get a lot of offense in its 4-1 loss to South Bend. Wander Franco singled and scored on Grant Witherspoon’s RBI groundout in the fourth, but that was it for the Hot Rods. Alan Strong allowed three runs — two earned — in seven innings.

SS Wander Franco: 1-for-4, 1 R (.909)

RHP Alan Strong: 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K (2.47)

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

Durham @ Gwinnett 7:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Patrick Weigel (0-0, 2.63)

Montgomery @ Jacksonville 7:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Jordan Yamamoto (3-5, 3.58)

Charlotte @ Palm Beach 6:30 p.m. ET (radio stream)
Stephen Woods Jr. (3-1, 3.10) vs. TBA

Bowling Green vs. West Michigan 7:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Hugh Smith (0-2, 5.87)

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Gwinnett Stripers (Atlanta)
35-25 (1st in IL South)
Offense: 339 R (1st) .844 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 4.18 ERA (1st) 1.32 WHIP (1st)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Kyle Wright (4), RHP Bryse Wilson (6), LHP Luiz Gohara (10), RHP Patrick Weigel (13), LHP Kolby Allard (14), RHP Huascar Ynoa (19), RHP Chad Sobotka (22), C Alex Jackson (23), RHP Wes Parsons (24)

Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Miami)
23-36
Offense: 172 R (10th) .594 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 3.43 ERA (6th) 1.22 WHIP (4th)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Sixto Sanchez (1), RHP Jorge Guzman (7), OF Brian Miller (14), RHP Jordan Yamamoto (18), RHP Robert Dugger (22), SS Joe Dunand (23), SS Bryson Brigman (26)

Palm Beach Cardinals
33-26 (3rd in FSL South)
Offense: 221 R (10th) .666 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 2.58 ERA (1st) 1.17 WHIP (1st)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Griffin Roberts (18), 1B Luken Baker (23)

West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit)
20-40
Offense: 254 R (9th) .671 OPS (12th)
Pitching: 4.49 ERA (14th) 1.47 WHIP (14th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Parker Meadows (7), SS Wenceel Perez (11), C Sam McMillan (27), RHP Wilkel Hernandez (30)

Daily news and links

At MLB.com, Jim Callis identified the Rays’ draft as one of the best in the league.

ESPN subscribers can read Keith Law’s thoughts on the Rays’ draft.