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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Kiermaier begins rehab assignment

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The Rays hope to get a boost from the return of their center fielder this week.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Sandy Gaston struck out a career-high seven for the GCL Rays Saturday. He’s been inconsistent so far, as one would expect from one of just 10 17-year-old pitchers in the league. He has 10 walks in 16 innings, and it may take some time for him to get that walk rate down. He’s also shown promise with 19 strikeouts.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (61-45)

Durham rallied for a 10-inning, 5-4 win over Buffalo. After the Bisons plated their free runner in the top of the 10th, Dalton Kelly drove in the Bulls’ with a triple. A pair of walks loaded the bases, and Jason Coats hit a walk-off sacrifice fly. Earlier in the game, Daniel Robertson homered. Jose De Leon allowed a run in three innings.

SS Daniel Robertson: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
RF Joe McCarthy: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 3 K (.724)
DH Brendan McKay: 0-for-4, 2 K (.913)
PR Lucius Fox: 0-for-0 (.472)
PH Jesus Sanchez: 0-for-1, 1 K (.599)
3B Kean Wong: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB (.877)

RHP Jose De Leon: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K (3.43)

Durham’s site offers this recap.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (25-11)

Montgomery topped Birmingham in 10 innings, 8-7, to earn its seventh straight win. After the Barons scored three in the top of the first, Tristan Gray hit a two-run double in the bottom half of the inning, the first two of six straight runs scored by the Biscuits, capped by Gray’s two-run homer in the fifth. Birmingham scored in the top of the 10th, but Brett Sullivan tied the game with a sacrifice fly before Carl Chester hit a walk-off single. Matt Krook opened, and Brian Shaffer was charged with two runs in 4 13 innings.

SS Taylor Walls: 0-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB (.733)
RF Josh Lowe: 1-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K (.751)
1B Tristan Gray: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB (.662)

LHP Matt Krook: 1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K (4.57)
RHP Brian Shaffer: 4 13 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K (2.42)

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (28-10)

Shane McClanahan struck out 10 in Charlotte’s 6-3 win over Clearwater. The lefty’s strikeout rate has been down slightly since his promotion to the Florida State League, but he tied a career high Saturday. He struck out the first four batters of the game and didn’t run into trouble until the sixth, when he allowed three runs. Kevin Kiermaier drove in three runs, including the go-ahead run on a two-run double in the ninth.

DH Kevin Kiermaier: 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 2 K
SS Wander Franco: 2-for-5, 1 K (.965)
RF Moises Gomez: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 K (.687)
LF Garrett Whitley: 0-for-0, 2 R, 4 BB, 1 SB, 1 CS (.751)
PH Ronaldo Hernandez: 0-for-0, 1 BB (.734)

LHP Shane McClanahan: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 10 K (1.42)

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (22-12)

Bowling Green fell to Lake County in 10 innings, 7-5. The Hot Rods held early leads of 1-0 and 3-1 but were unable to put the Captains away. After erasing a 5-3 deficit to force extra innings, Bowling Green was unable to produce any offense in the 10th. Alan Strong was charged with five runs — two earned — in six innings.

C Chris Betts: 1-for-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 3 K (.744)
3B Ford Proctor: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB (.774)

RHP Alan Strong: 6 IP, 5 H, 5 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 5 K (3.06)

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (23-17)

Hudson Valley didn’t get enough offense in a 5-2 loss to Aberdeen. The Renegades didn’t have a hit until the sixth, when they already trailed by four, and they didn’t score until the eighth, when they already trailed by five. Both runs scored on Hill Alexander’s triple. Daiveyon Whittle allowed four runs — two earned — in 4 13 innings.

SS Greg Jones: 0-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K (.891)

RHP Daiveyon Whittle: 4 13 IP, 7 H, 4 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K (0.89)

Rookie Princeton Rays (18-19)

Princeton didn’t get enough offense in a 3-1 loss to Burlington. The Rays had just two hits, one of which was Diego Infante’s RBI triple. Jayden Murray struck out six and allowed a run in 3 23 innings.

CF Nick Schnell: 0-for-3, 1 K (.723)

RHP Jayden Murray: 3 23 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (2.30)

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (13-13)

The GCL Rays crushed the GCL Braves, 19-4. The Braves scored first in the top of the first, but the Rays responded with two in the bottom half of the inning and six in the second. In the fifth, they scored six more runs, and two innings later, they put up five more. Johan Lopez doubled three times. Drew Strotman continued his rehab with a run allowed in 2 23 innings, and Sandy Gaston struck out seven in three, one-run innings.

C Zacrey Law: 2-for-3, 3 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB
3B Johan Lopez: 3-for-4, 2 R, 3 2B, 1 RBI, 1 HBP (.988)
1B Freddvil Chevez: 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB (1.314)

RHP Drew Strotman: 2 23 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
RHP Sandy Gaston: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K (3.94)

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

Durham vs. Buffalo 5:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Thomas Pannone (3-0, 1.65)

Montgomery vs. Birmingham 6:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Josh Fleming (9-4, 3.52) vs. TBA

Charlotte @ Clearwater 1 p.m. ET (radio stream)
TBA vs. TBA

Bowling Green vs. Lake County 3:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Matt Turner (0-0, 1.59)

Hudson Valley @ Aberdeen 4:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. TBA

Princeton vs. Burlington 2 p.m. ET (radio stream)
TBA vs. TBA

The GCL Rays are off.

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Buffalo Bisons (Toronto)
54-51 (2nd in IL North)
Offense: 481 R (12th) .765 OPS (12th)
Pitching: 4.89 ERA (8th) 1.41 WHIP (6th)
Top-30 prospects: SS Bo Bichette (2), RHP Sean Reid-Foley (10), OF Anthony Alford (13), RHP David Paulino (29)

Birmingham Barons (White Sox)
20-13 (2nd in SL North)
Offense: 379 R (7th) .687 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 4.10 ERA (8th) 1.37 WHIP (8th)
Top-30 prospects: 2B Nick Madrigal (5), OF Micker Aldofo (6), OF Blake Rutherford (8), OF Luis Gonzalez (9), 1B Gavin Sheets (14), SS Laz Rivera (16), RHP Alec Hansen (17), RHP Zack Burdi (18), RHP Codi Heuer (26), OF Joel Booker (27), RHP Tyler Johnson (29), LHP Kodi Medeiros (30)

Clearwater Threshers (Philadelphia)
18-21 (4th in FSL North)
Offense: 400 R (5th) .686 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 3.60 ERA (8th) 1.24 WHIP (6th)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Spencer Howard (7), RHP Colton Eastman (11), LHP Zach Warren (17), SS Nick Maton (19), C Rodolfo Duran (20), 2B Daniel Brito (21), OF Jhailyn Ortiz (22), OF Matt Vierling (27)

Lake County Captains (Cleveland)
19-15
Offense: 462 R (2nd) .715 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 3.62 ERA (7th) 1.32 WHIP (10th)
Top-30 prospects: C Bo Naylor (4), RHP Luis Oviedo (8), OF Quentin Holmes (27)

Aberdeen IronBirds (Baltimore)
25-17 (T-1st in NYPL McNamara)
Offense: 159 R (5th) .688 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 2.49 ERA (1st) 1.13 WHIP (2nd)
Top-30 prospects: OF Kyle Stowers (22)

Burlington Royals
20-18 (2nd in AL East)
Offense: 179 R (4th) .716 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 3.80 ERA (2nd) 1.30 WHIP (3rd)
Top-30 prospects: LHP Rylan Kaufman (25)

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