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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Behind Fleming, Bulls take 2-0 lead

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Josh Fleming was backed by a pair of home runs in Durham’s win Friday.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Despite quite a bit of roster turnover due to September promotions, Durham finds itself a game away from returning to the International League Championship — and beating Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the playoffs — for the third straight season.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (2-0)

Josh Fleming pitched Durham to a 4-2 win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, giving the Bulls a commanding 2-0 series lead. The lefty wasn’t great in three of his four regular season appearances with Durham, but he dominated Friday night, striking out five in eight scoreless innings. He was backed by two-run home runs by Nathan Lukes and Jake Cronenworth in the second inning.

SS Jake Cronenworth: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB (1.067)
DH Dylan Cozens: 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K (1.000)
CF Nathan Lukes: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI (1.750)

LHP Josh Fleming: 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K (0.00)

Durham’s site offers this recap.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (1-2)

Montgomery was shut out by Jackson, 4-0, and is one game away from elimination. The Biscuits had just four hits. Joe Ryan struck out five and allowed three runs in five innings, all of which came on a pair of home runs in the third inning. All four Generals runs scored on homers.

DH Lucius Fox: 0-for-3, 1 BB (.675)
SS Taylor Walls: 0-for-2, 2 BB, 2 K (.250)
CF Josh Lowe: 0-for-4, 1 K (.282)
2B Vidal Brujan: 0-for-3, 1 K (.000)

RHP Joe Ryan: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (5.40)
RHP Brian Shaffer: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K (0.00)

Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (81-58)

Bowling Green’s season is over.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (1-2)

Hudson Valley’s season ended with a 4-3 loss to Brooklyn. Hill Alexander homered in the first, and the Renegades got all their offense early, scoring a run in each of the first three innings. However, they only had two hits over the final six innings. John Doxakis allowed three runs — two earned — in 3 23 innings, and the Cyclones got a walk-off win off Eleardo Cabrera.

SS Greg Jones: 0-for-4, 3 K (.833)
RF Hill Alexander: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB (.964)

LHP John Doxakis: 3 23 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K (4.91)

CLICK HERE FOR ALL BOX SCORES

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

Durham @ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 6:35 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Nick Nelson (1-1, 4.71)

Best-of-five semifinal (Durham leads, 2-0)

Montgomery vs. Jackson 7:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. TBA

Best-of-five semifinal (Montgomery trails, 2-1)

Hudson Valley’s season is over.

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Yankees)
0-2
Offense: 745 R (T-4th) .831 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 4.87 ERA (8th) 1.40 WHIP (4th)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Deivi Garcia (1), RHP Michael King (13), C Erik Kratz

Jackson Generals (Arizona)
2-1
Offense: 604 R (3rd) .714 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 3.38 ERA (5th) 1.27 WHIP (6th)
Top-30 prospects: C Daulton Varsho (3), RHP J.B. Bukauskas (6), 1B Seth Beer (11), RHP Josh Green (19)

Daily news and links

Josh Lowe’s strong finish was the organization’s storyline from August, according to MiLB.com.