Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday: Braves 3, Biscuits 2 (Game 2)

Mat Kennelly's two-run double highlighted a three-run second inning that gave the Mississippi Braves a 3-2 win over the Biscuits in the nightcap of Thursday's doubleheader.

Thursday: Biscuits 7, Braves 3 (Game 1)

Omar Luna hit a solo home run, walked twice and scored three runs to lead the Biscuits in a 7-3 win over the Mississippi Braves in the opening game of Thursday's doubleheader.

Acosta demoted to Biscuits; Wendt to Crabs

The Biscuits have added catcher Mayo Acosta from Triple-A Durham and sent catcher David Wendt to high-Class A Charlotte.

Acosta, who started the season with Charlotte, had a .190 average in nine games with Durham. Wendt had a .276 average in 18 games for Montgomery.

Dahl, Winston state's top draft possibilities

Oak Mountain outfielder David Dahl, Hueytown outfielder Jameis Winston and Faulkner right-hander Corey Black are the state's top draft possibilities, according to Baseball America.

The magazine has listed its top 500 draft prospects, of which 14 are from Alabama. Dahl, who has Montgomery ties, is the 12th overall prospect and has signed with Auburn. Winston, if you haven't heard, is a Florida State signee -- for football and baseball.

12. OF David Dahl, Oak Mountain HS
59. OF Jameis Winston, Hueytown HS
157. RHP Corey Black, Faulkner U.
169. OF Sam Gillikin, Hoover HS
183. OF Mikey White, Spain Park HS
201. OF Ryan Tella, Auburn U.
242. RHP Zach Lovvorn, Oxford HS
243. 2B Jalen Goree, Bibb Co. HS
253. LHP/OF Rock Rucker, Russell Co. HS
314. OF Brandon Miller, Samford U.
331. OF Taylor Dugas, U. Alabama
335. LHP Colton Freeman, Spain Park HS
396. RHP Trey Wingenter, Bob Jones HS
415. C/1B Bruce Maxwell, Birmingham-Southern

Ranking the Rays ... Glaesmann, Malm

For Wednesday ...
1. Todd Glaesmann, BWG: 2 HRs, 1b, 3 RBIs
2. Jeff Malm, BWG: 2 2b's, run, outfield assist
3. Jacob Partridge, BWG: 4 1/3 shutout innings, 1 hit, 1 walk, 6 K's
4. Phil Wunderlich, CHA: 3-run HR, 1b, 2 runs

5. Josh Sale, BWG: solo HR, walk

Today (times Central, p.m.) ...
DUR (Matt Torra 4-5, 5.01) at Indianapolis (Jeff Karstens 0-1, 6.23), 6:05
MGM (Jake Thompson 2-4, 5.40 ERA/Merrill Kelly 2-0, 3.34) at Mississippi (Luis Avilan 1-3, 2.22/Sean Gilmartin 2-5, 3.38), 5
CHA (Enny Romery 1-3, 3.67) vs. Jupiter (Robert Morey 1-0, 3.00), 5:30
BWG (Ryan Carpenter 5-2, 3.86) vs. Lansing (Justin Nicolino 2-0, 1.03), 7:05

M-Braves lose shortstop to A-Braves

Mississippi has lost its top prospect. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has been promoted to Atlanta.

My Southern League All-Star vote

Here's my initial Southern League All-Star vote. Feel free to point out where I'm mistaken, but there's a catch: You have to back it up. If you convince me, I'll change it. The positions listed are exactly as they are listed on the league's ballot. It's due Friday, so speak now or forever hold your peace.

C: Christian Bethancourt, Mississippi
C: Rossmel Perez, Mobile
1B: Joel Guzman, Pensacola
2B: Philip Gosselin, Mississippi
3B: Matt Davidson, Mobile
SS: Andrelton Simmons, Mississippi
OF: Marc Krauss, Mobile
OF: Josh Fellhauer, Pensacola
OF: Jake Smolinski, Jacksonville
OF: Alfredo Marte, Mobile
Utility IF: Omar Luna, Montgomery
Utility OF: Keenan Wiley, Mississippi
DH: Henry Rodriguez, Pensacola
Starter: Chase Anderson, Mobile
Starter: Tyler Skaggs, Mobile
Pitcher: A.J. Ramos, Jacksonville
Pitcher: Bobby Bramhall, Jacksonville
Pitcher: Frank De Los Santos, Montgomery
Reliever: Evan Reed, Jacksonville
Closer: Donnie Joseph, Pensacola

C: Jesus Sucre, Jackson
C: Damaso Espino, Birmingham
1B: Hunter Morris, Huntsville
2B: Scooter Gennett, Huntsville
3B: Pedro Baez, Chattanooga
SS: Nick Franklin, Jackson
OF: Jared Mitchell, Birmingham
OF: James Adduci, Tennessee
OF: Blake Smith, Chattanooga
OF: Denny Almonte, Jackson
Utility IF: Jake Lemmerman, Chattanooga
Utility OF: Johermyn Chavez, Jackson
DH: J.T. Wise, Chattanooga
Starter: Danny Hultzen, Jackson
Starter: Ethan Martin, Chattanooga
Pitcher: Tyler Thornburg, Huntsville
Pitcher: Kevin Rhoderick, Tennessee
Pitcher: Ryan Kussmaul, Birmingham
Reliever: Bobby LaFromboise, Jackson
Closer: Carter Capps, Jackson

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday's Rays roundup

Bulls 5, Indianapolis 4 (10)
Jeff Salazar
hit an inside-the-park home run in the 10th (off former Biscuit Evan Meek). Juan Miranda hit a two-run homer in the sixth (off former Biscuit Jose Diaz) and singled. Brandon Gomes struck out five in two shutout innings. Dane De La Rosa worked a perfect bottom of the 10th.

Jupiter 6, Stone Crabs 5
Phil Wunderlich
hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth, singled twice and scored twice. Mikie Mahtook tripled, singled twice and scored.

Lansing 6, Hot Rods 4 (10)
Todd Glaesmann
homered twice, singled and had three RBIs. He and Josh Sale hit consecutive homers in the ninth to tie it. Jeff Malm doubled twice, scored and threw out a runner at home. Jacob Partridge gave up one hit over 4 1/3 shutout innings. He walked one and struck out six.

Biscuits, Braves rained out

The Biscuits and Mississippi Braves were rained out tonight. They'll play a doubleheader at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Ranking the Rays ... Rivero, Buschmann, Archer

For Tuesday ...
1. Felipe Rivero, BWG: 6 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, no walks, 7 K's
2. Matt Buschmann, MGM: 7 innings, 1 run, 5 hits, 2 walks, 6 K's
3. Chris Archer, DUR: 6 innings, 2 earned runs, 6 hits, walk, 8 K's
4. Ty Morrison, MGM: 1b, 2 walks, 3 steals, run
5. Juniel Querecuto, BWG: 2b, 2 1b's, run, 2 RBIs

Today (times Central, p.m.) ...
DUR (Shane Dyer 0-1, 6.30) at Indianapolis (Justin Wilson 4-3, 3.46), 12:05
MGM (Jake Thompson 2-4, 5.40) at Mississippi (Luis Avilan 1-3, 2.22), 7
CHA (Grayson Garvin 2-3, 4.31) vs. Jupiter (Rett Varner 1-1, 3.47), 5:30
BWG (Parker Markel 1-2, 6.29) vs. Lansing (Marcus Walden 3-1, 2.56), 7:05

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday: Biscuits 4, Braves 1

Matt Buschmann gave up one run over a season-high seven innings to lead the Biscuits in a 4-1 win over the Mississippi Braves on Tuesday.

Buschmann (2-2) allowed five hits, walked two and struck out six. He has quality starts in four of his last five outings. Frank De Los Santos threw two perfect innings for his third save.

Montgomery scored four unearned runs in the fourth. With one out, Mississippi committed back-to-back errors that brought in the first run. Tyler Bortnick and Greg Sexton hit consecutive RBI singles before Brad Coon had an RBI groundout to make it 4-1.

Tuesday's Rays roundup

Indianapolis 3, Bulls 1
Reid Brignac
doubled twice and singled. Jeff Salazar homered. Chris Archer had a book-rule quality start (two earned) on six hits with a walk and eight strikeouts.

Stone Crabs 4, Jupiter 2
Mikie Mahtook
hit a two-run home run in the eighth and walked. Kevin Kiermaier singled, walked, RBI'd and scored. C.J. Riefenhauser threw five innings of one-run ball. Jimmy Patterson tossed two perfect innings.

Hot Rods 8, Fort Wayne 2
Felipe Rivero
worked six innings, giving up a run on four hits with nary a walk and seven strikeouts. Juniel Querecuto singled twice, doubled, had two RBIs and scored. Ryan Brett singled, tripled, RBI'd and scored. Jake Hager hit a two-run homer. Jeff Malm doubled twice and scored.

Hear ye, hear ye: Help with my All-Star vote

I at least hope I fret over my Southern League All-Star vote more than I should. At the end of it, I always think to myself that there are several other voters to overcome my incompetence.

I've compiled by initial ballot (20 players per division). I'll let it simmer for a few days before submitting it, just in case something catches my attention.

The ballot is due Friday, so let's hear from you. You have until Wednesday night to pitch your nominations and then I'll reveal my initial vote. You'll have another 24 hours to convince me where I'm wrong.

FYI: I currently have just two Biscuits listed, though I'm contemplating a third.
Also FYI: No Trevor Bauer votes allowed. The league's rule is a player has to be in the league on May 17 to be eligible. Bauer was gone.

Brave, Lookout lead Southern League's week

Mississippi shortstop Andrelton Simmons and Chattanooga right-hander Matt Magill won the Southern League's holiday-delayed weekly award winners today.

Simmons was 10-for-24 with eight runs scored, three home runs and five RBIs for the week that ended Sunday. After an 0-for-3 Monday vs. the Biscuits, he's hitting .299.

Magill fired seven shutout innings Thursday, giving up two hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts. That left him 4-2 with a 3.19 ERA and his second weekly SL award of the year.

Ranking the Rays, err, Rods ... Brett, Goeddel

For Monday ...
1. Ryan Brett, BWG: 4 1b's, walk, steal, RBI, 3 runs
2. Tyler Goeddel, BWG: 1b, walk, 2 HBPs, steal, 3 runs
3. Alejandro Segovia, BWG: 2 HRs, 1b, steal, 3 RBIs, 3 runs
4. Jake Hager, BWG: 3b, 2b, run, 5 RBIs
5. Justin Woodall, BWG: 3 shutout innings, 3 hits, 2 walks, 2 K's

Today (times Central, p.m.) ...
DUR (Chris Archer 3-5, 4.96) at Indianapolis (Rudy Owens 2-2, 2.40), 6:05
MGM (Matt Buschmann 1-2, 4.85) at Mississippi (Gary Moran 1-2, 3.27), 7
CHA (C.J. Riefenhauser 6-1, 2.36) vs. Jupiter (Edgar Olmos 1-3, 4.54), 5:30
BWG (Felipe Rivero 4-3, 1.94) at Fort Wayne (Cody Hebner 5-1, 3.28), 6:05

Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday: Braves 3, Biscuits 0

The Biscuits managed just three hits in Monday's 3-0 loss to the Mississippi Braves. Two of the hits were in the first inning against Mississippi starter Zeke Spruill (5-4), who lasted six.

The Biscuits failed to score for the second time this season. Both came at Mississippi in a game started by Joe Cruz. On April 13, Braves right-hander David Hale threw six no-hit innings in a 4-0 win. Montgomery totaled four hits.

Monday's Rays roundup

Indianapolis 7, Bulls 4
Henry Wrigley hit a three-run double. Leslie Anderson was 4-for-4 with a double, RBI, run scored and had an outfield outfield assist.

Hot Rods 14, Fort Wayne 7
Alejandro Segovia homered twice, doubled, stole, had three RBIs and scored thrice. Tyler Goeddel singled, walked, took two HBPs stole and scored thrice. Jake Hager knocked in five. Ryan Brett reached five times and scored thrice.

Biscuits voice going to Stanford regional

Biscuits broadcaster Joe Davis has his NCAA regional assignment from ESPN. He's headed to Stanford where the Cardinal will host Fresno State, Michigan State and Pepperdine. Davis is from just outside Lansing, Mich., home of MSU, so the usual performance from a Big Ten team -- 0-2, barbecue -- may be stinging. The regional will be on

Ranking the Rays ... Gomez, Pendleton, Lara

For Sunday ...

1. Roberto Gomez, BWG: 7 innings, 1 run, 5 hits, 0 walks, 2 K's
2. Lance Pendleton, DUR: 6 1/3 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 3 walks, 8 K's
3. Braulio Lara, CHA: 5 2/3 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 4 walks, 2 K's
4. Omar Luna, MGM: 4 1b's, 2 RBIs, caught stealing
5. Jeff Malm, BWG: solo HR, 2 RBIs

Today (times Central, p.m.) ...
DUR (Jim Paduch 2-2, 3.00) at Indianapolis (Daniel Cabrera 1-1, 3.14), 5:05
MGM (Joe Cruz 2-5, 6.05) at Mississippi (Zeke Spruill 4-4, 3.86), 7
CHA off
BWG (Jake Floethe 5-1, 3.04) at Fort Wayne (Cody Hebner 5-1, 3.28), 2:05

Morning reading: Luna's bat boils

Read about Omar Luna's recent hot streak, Alex Colome, Mark Thomas and a final installment of Marquis Fleming takes a swing in today's notebook. (Are you curious what hitting tips Fleming received? Where did he get his bat and batting gloves?) Plus, there's a few details on the Biscuits' 4-2 loss to Jackson on Sunday.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

SEC crowd 65 percent more than Riverwalk record

If anyone's curious, the SEC tournament championship game -- which featured non-local teams Vanderbilt and Mississippi State -- drew 12,526 to Hoover's Regions Park today. The largest crowd in Riverwalk Stadium history was 7,591.

Sunday: Generals 4, Biscuits 2

Chris Pettit hit a tiebreaking two-run home run in the sixth inning to lift the Jackson Generals to a 4-2 win over the Biscuits on Sunday.

The Biscuits had the tying run in scoring position with one out in the ninth. Emeel Salem struck out before Hak-Ju Lee walked to load the bases. Ty Morrison struck out looking to end it.

In the sixth, Steven Proscia hit a one-out double and Pettit homered on a 2-0 pitch from Biscuits reliever Marquis Fleming (3-1). Starter Kyle Lobstein gave up two runs on six hits in five innings.

Omar Luna was 4-for-4 for Montgomery with a two-run single in the fifth that tied it 2-2. Generals starter Taijuan Walker, Seattle's No. 1 prospect, lasted five innings Sunday. Walker (3-1) gave up six hits, three to Luna, with two walks and three strikeouts. The 19-year-old has a 2.23 ERA.

Sunday's Rays roundup

Bulls 3, Norfolk 1 (10)
Reid Brignac and Jeff Salazar each had RBI singles in the 10th. Salazar also doubled and finished with two RBIs. Brignac had two singles and scored twice. Bryan Augenstein threw two perfect innings. Starter Lance Pendleton gave up one run over 6 1/3 innings on three hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.

St. Lucie 2, Stone Crabs 1
Robby Price singled, walked twice, stole, was caught stealing and scored. Mikie Mahtook walked twice and RBI'd. Steve Tinoco was 3-for-4. Braulio Lara's 5 2/3 innings included one run on three hits, four walks and two strikeouts.

Updated: Fort Wayne 3, Hot Rods 2
Roberto Gomez
worked seven innings, allowing one run on five hits with no walks. Jeff Malm hit a solo home run and finished with two RBIs. Ryan Brett tripled, walked, stole and scored. Taylor Motter threw out a runner at home (and Drew Vettleson didn't (he didn't play)).

Sunday's lineups; Garko to catch

Ryan Garko makes his catching debut for the Biscuits today in the final game of their series with the Jackson Generals. Montgomery was already planning to have Garko catch today before Mark Thomas left Saturday's game after being hit by a pitch.

Hak-Ju Lee ss (left)
Ty Morrison cf (left)
Omar Luna 3b
Ryan Garko c
Kyeong Kang dh (left)
Mike Sheridan 1b (left)
Tyler Bortnick 2b
Brad Coon lf (left)
Emeel Salem rf (left)
Kyle Lobstein lhp

Francisco Martinez 3b
Nick Franklin 2b (switch)
Denny Almonte cf (switch)
Eric Campbell dh
Jesus Sucre c
Steven Proscia 1b
Chris Pettit lf
Kalian Sams rf
Gabriel Noriega ss (switch)
Taijuan Walker rhp

Ranking the Rays ... McEachern, Luna, Motter

For Saturday ...
1. Jason McEachern, BWG: 3 no-hit innings, walk, 3 K's
2. Omar Luna, MGM: 3 1b's, walk, 3 RBIs, 3 runs
3. Taylor Motter, BWG: 3b, 1b, 2 walks, steal, 3 RBIs, 2 runs, error
4. Ty Morrison, MGM: 3b, walk, 3 RBIs, 2 runs
5. Tyler Bortnick, MGM: 2b, 1b, 3 RBIs, run

Today (times Central) ...
DUR (Lance Pendleton 1-1, 3.58) at Norfolk (Jason Berken 0-1, 2.50), 12:15 p.m.
MGM (Kyle Lobstein 3-2, 2.57) vs. Jackson (Taijuan Walker 3-1, 2.06), 2:05 p.m.
CHA (Braulio Lara 3-3, 6.17) at St. Lucie (Erik Goeddel 2-1, 1.29), noon
BWG (Roberto Gomez 3-2, 3.50) at Fort Wayne (Matt Wisler 1-3, 3.18), 6:05 p.m.

Morning reading

Zach Quate doesn't think he'll need much DL time to recuperate and the Biscuits will have a change on the mike next week, as you'll read in today's notebook. The Biscuits also, if you couldn't surmise it from the 16-3 final score, had a banner day offensively Saturday, too.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday: Biscuits 16, Generals 3

Omar Luna knocked in three runs and scored three times to lead the Biscuits in a 16-3 win over the Jackson Generals on Saturday.

Ty Morrison and Tyler Bortnick also had three RBIs each for Montgomery, which tied a team record with a 10-run sixth inning. Luna hit a leadoff single and a one-out two-run single and scored twice in the inning. Bortnick capped it with a two-run, two-out double.

Every Biscuits starter scored at least once. All had at least one RBI except leadoff hitter Hak-Ju Lee, who scored twice.

Biscuits tie record with 10-run sixth

Tyler Bortnick's two-run double capped a record-tying 10-run sixth inning for the Biscuits tonight. Montgomery sent 14 batters to the plate, with six getting hits, three receiving walks, one getting hit, one reaching via error and, of course, three recording outs.

The Biscuits also scored 10 runs in the sixth inning of a 12-7 win at Carolina on Aug. 12, 2011.

Tonight, Omar Luna led off with a single and also hit a two-run single, while Ryan Garko walked and singled in the inning. Generals reliever Jandy Sena bore the brunt of it. He gave up six runs (five earned) on three hits and a walk without recording an out.

Saturday's Rays roundup

Bulls 5, Norfolk 1
Matt Torra threw five shutout innings, allowing six hits with two walks. Brandon Gomes struck out all three hitters he faced and has an 0.56 ERA. Shawn O'Malley singled, walked three times and scored. Henry Wrigley singled twice and walked.

St. Lucie 5, Stone Crabs 4
Brett Nommenson singled thrice, stole, was caught stealing, RBI'd and threw out a runner at home. Alejandro Torres singled twice, had two RBIs and scored. Jimmy Patterson gave up the tying run in the eighth and Chris Rearick the winning run in the ninth.

Hot Rods 11, Fort Wayne 2
Jason McEachern threw three no-hit innings with one walk. Taylor Motter tripled, singled, walked twice, stole, had three RBIs and scored twice. Jake Hager doubled twice, singled twice, was caught stealing, RBI'd and scored. Starter Ryan Carpenter gave up two runs on three hits in six innings.

Saturday's lineups; Generals add outfielder

Outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang has rejoined the Jackson Generals in time for today's fourth game of their series with the Biscuits. Chiang hit .111 in three games to start the year with Jackson before moving up to Triple-A Tacoma, where he hit .245.

Hak-Ju Lee ss (left)
Ty Morrison cf (left)
Omar Luna 3b
Ryan Garko dh
Kyeong Kang rf (left)
Tyler Bortnick 2b
Mike Sheridan 1b (left)
Mark Thomas c
Emeel Salem lf (left)
Alex Colome rhp

Francisco Martinez 3b
Nick Franklin 2b (switch)
Denny Almonte cf (switch)
Eric Campbell dh
Chih-Hsien Chiang rf
Steven Proscia 1b
Joe Dunigan lf (left)
Andrew Giobbi c
Gabriel Noriega ss (switch)
Brandon Maurer right

Quate's injury different than before

Zach Quate's return to the disabled list is for a different reason than why his season started late. Quate went on the shelf today with a shoulder injury. He made his season debut just Wednesday because of offseason elbow surgery.

Quate goes back on Biscuits' DL

Zach Quate, one appearance into the season, has gone back on Montgomery's disabled list.

Quate missed the first six weeks of the season while recovering from offseason elbow surgery and threw two shutout innings to win Wednesday. His return to the DL clears a roster spot so that Alex Colome can start tonight.

Ranking the Rays ... Gomes, Garko, Dietrich

For Friday ...

1. Brandon Gomes, DUR: 2 perfect innings, 4 K's, 3-0, 0.60 ERA
2. Ryan Garko, MGM: 2-run HR, 1b, walk, HBP, 3 RBIs, 2 runs
3. Derek Dietrich, CHA: solo HR, 2b, 2 RBIs, 2 runs
4. Jeff Malm, BWG: 2b, 1b, walk, RBI, 2 runs
5. Jake Thompson, MGM: 5 shutout innings, 3 hits, 3 walks, 8 K's

Today (times Central, p.m.) ...
DUR (Matt Torra 3-5, 5.51) at Norfolk (Chris Tillman 3-6, 5.01), 6:15
MGM (Alex Colome 1-1, 5.63) vs. Jackson (Brandon Maurer 2-1, 4.27), 7:05
CHA (Albert Suarez 3-2, 4.38) at St. Lucie (Angel Cuan 3-1, 2.37), 5:30
BWG (Ryan Carpenter 5-2, 3.97) at Fort Wayne (Colin Rea 0-3, 3.99), 6:05

Morning reading

Ryan Garko does more than provide offense for the Biscuits, like he did with three RBIs in Friday's 6-1 win over the Jackson Generals. Also, Generals pitcher James Paxton left with pain in his right knee.

Alex Colome is stoked to return to the mound today, too, while other Montgomery pitchers pine for some batting practice of their very own after Marquis Fleming's at-bat at Birmingham.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday: Biscuits 6, Generals 1

Jake Thompson pitched five shutout innings and Tyler Bortnick and Ryan Garko each had three RBIs in the Biscuits' 6-1 win over the Jackson Generals on Friday.

Thompson (2-4) won his second straight start and finished with a season-high eight strikeouts. He allowed three hits and walked three.

Bortnick hit a three-run home run to cap a four-run first inning for Montgomery. Garko, whose RBI single preceded Bortnick's homer, hit a two-run blast in the seventh.

Friday's Rays roundup

Bulls 4, Norfolk 3 (10)
Reid Brignac singled home Jesus Feliciano with the winning run. Brandon Gomes threw two perfect innings with four strikeouts. Dane De La Rosa tossed two no-hit innings. Henry Wrigley and Leslie Anderson both hit solo home runs. Hideki Matsui doubled, singled twice and walked.

St. Lucie 8, Stone Crabs 3
Derek Dietrich hit a solo home run, doubled, had two RBIs and scored twice. Alejandro Torres walked twice.

Great Lakes 9, Hot Rods 6
Jeff Malm doubled, singled, walked, RBI'd and scored twice. Taylor Motter singled twice and scored twice. Todd Glaesmann hit a three-run homer.

Friday's lineups

Omar Luna makes his third start in right field in the third game of Montgomery's series with the Jackson Generals.

Hak-Ju Lee ss (left)
Ty Morrison cf (left)
Omar Luna rf
Ryan Garko dh
Tyler Bortnick 2b
Mike Sheridan 1b (left)
Greg Sexton 3b
Brad Coon lf
David Wendt c
Jake Thompson rhp

Denny Almonte cf (switch)
Francisco Martinez 3b
Nick Franklin ss (switch)
Joe Dunigan lf (left)
Eric Campbell dh
Steven Proscia 1b
Jesus Sucre c
Chris Pettit rf
Gabriel Noriega 2b (switch)
James Paxton lhp

Ranking the Rays ... Seitzer, Vettleson, Archer

For Thursday ...
1. Cameron Seitzer, BWG: 2b, 1b, 2 walks, HBP, 2 RBIs, run
2. Drew Vettleson, BWG: solo HR, 2b, 1b, 3 runs, outfield assist
3. Chris Archer, DUR: 6 innings, 3 runs, 5 hits, 2 walks, 12 K's
4. Alejandro Segovia, BWG: 2b, walk, 2 RBIs, 2 runs, gidp
5. Jeff Malm, BWG: 1b, 2 walks, 2 runs, error, outfield assist
HM: Grayson Garvin, CHA: 4 no-hit innings, though rainout stats don't count

Today (times Central, p.m.) ...
DUR (Shane Dyer 0-1, 7.20) vs. Norfolk (Brad Bergesen 2-2, 5.03), 6:05
MGM (Jake Thompson 1-4, 6.10) vs. Jackson (James Paxton 3-2, 3.30), 7:05
CHA (Enny Romero 1-2, 3.00) at St. Lucie (Chris Young 0-0, 2.53), 5:30
BWG (Parker Markel 1-1, 4.91) at Great Lakes (Ryan O'Sullivan 3-3, 3.11), 6:05

Morning reading

Marquis Fleming's, ahem, swing at Biscuits history last week at Birmingham wasn't too shabby, so say the Biscuits. Also, starter Joe Cruz credits catcher Mark Thomas with his six shutout innings Wednesday, and Merrill Kelly will return to the bullpen when Alex Colome returns.

Speaking of the bullpen, Montgomery's has been a strength recently ... until Thursday's 5-4 loss to the Jackson Generals.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thursday: Generals 5, Biscuits 4

Eric Campbell singled home Francisco Martinez with the go-ahead run in the ninth inning Thursday, pushing the Jackson Generals to a 5-4 win over the Biscuits.
Biscuits starter Matt Buschmann gave up one earned run over six innings and left with a 3-2 lead.

Alex Koronis surrendered a game-tying home run to Denny Almonte in the seventh, though the Biscuits reclaimed the lead. Adam Liberatore gave up a tying run in the eighth and the go-ahead run in the ninth.

Ty Morrison hit his first Double-A home run and Ryan Garko hit his first in Double-A since 2004, helping Montgomery take a 3-1 lead after four innings.

Thursday's Rays roundup

Norfolk 4, Bulls 0
Chris Archer had a book-rule quality start with 12 strikeouts. Ryan Reid threw two shutout innings. Oh, the Bulls did get a hit.

Brevard County at Charlotte
Rained out in the bottom of the fourth. Grayson Garvin had thrown four no-hit innings.

Hot Rods 12, Great Lakes 3
Drew Vettleson singled, doubled, homered, scored three times and (yawn) threw out a runner at third base. Cameron Seitzer singled, doubled, walked twice, was hit by a pitch, had two RBIs and scored. Ryan Brett singled, homered and had three RBIs. Alejandro Segovia doubled, walked, scored twice and had two RBIs.

Durham barely avoids being no-hit

Matt Mangini's single in the ninth helped the Durham Bulls avoid being no-hit in Thursday's 4-0 loss to Norfolk. Mangini hit a line drive single to center field. The next hitter, Leslie Anderson, bounced into a game-ending double play. The Bulls mustered just three other baserunners, two via walk and one via error.

Thursday's lineups

Jackson's Daniel Carroll, after being hit by a pitch Wednesday, went on the disabled list today, while the Generals also lost catcher Ralph Henriquez to Triple-A Tacoma. Catcher Andrew Giobbi, formerly of Vanderbilt, has been activated. He's yet to play this year.

Hak-Ju Lee ss (left)
Ty Morrison cf (left)
Omar Luna 3b
Ryan Garko dh
Kyeong Kang rf (left)
Tyler Bortnick 2b
Mike Sheridan 1b (left)
Brad Coon lf (left)
Mark Thomas c
Matt Buschmann rhp

Denny Almonte cf (switch)
Francisco Martinez 3b
Nick Franklin ss (switch)
Joe Dunigan dh (left)
Eric Campbell 2b
Chris Pettit lf
Steven Proscia 1b
Jesus Sucre c
Kalian Sams rf
Steve Garrison lhp

Ranking the Rays ... Cruz, Vettleson, Floethe

For Wednesday ...
1. Joe Cruz, MGM: 6 shutout innings, 1 hit, 2 walks, 8 K's
2. Drew Vettleson, BWG: 2b, 2 walks, 2 runs, outfield assist
3. Jake Floethe, BWG: 7 innings, 2 earned runs, 7 hits, 6 K's
4. Omar Luna, MGM: 2 1b's, walk, 2 steals, run
5. Tyler Goeddel, BWG: 2-run HR, walk, steal

Today (times Central, p.m.) ...
DUR (Chris Archer 3-4, 5.01) vs. Norfolk (Miguel Gonzalez 1-1, 1.80), 6:05
MGM (Matt Buschmann 1-2, 5.45) vs. Jackson (Steve Garrison 2-1, 2.25), 7:05
CHA (Grayson Garvin 2-3, 4.31) vs. Brevard County (Brandon Williamson 1-2, 3.68), 5:30
BWG (Felipe Rivero 3-3, 1.76) at Great Lakes (Jose Dominguez 2-1, 3.00), 6:05

Morning reading

The late finish Wednesday meant a quoteless game story, but there's also a notebook with items on Zach Quate's return, Alex Colome's upcoming return and Isaias Velasquez's still-uncertain return.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday: Biscuits 2, Generals 1 (12)

Mike Sheridan led off the 12th inning with a home run to give the Biscuits a 2-1 win over the Jackson Generals on Wednesday. Sheridan hit a 1-0 pitch over the right-field wall to end it.

Starters Joe Cruz and Danny Hultzen each had dominating starts. Cruz threw six shutout innings, allowing just one hit. Hultzen's six innings included one run on five hits with 12 strikeouts.

Omar Luna led off the fourth inning with a bloop single and scored on Ryan Garko's double against Hultzen. Jackson tied it in the sixth off reliever Marquis Fleming. Chris Pettit walked, went to third on Eric Campbell's hit-and-run single and scored on a Jesus Sucre single.

Wednesday's Rays roundup

Brevard County 12, Stone Crabs 1
C.J. Riefenhauser
turned in his worst start of the year, allowing eight runs on 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings. His ERA soared from 0.70 to 2.36. Mikie Mahtook and Phil Wunderlich each singled twice.

Great Lakes 7, Hot Rods 5
Drew Vettleson
doubled, walked twice, scored twice and threw out a runner at home (yawn). Tyler Goeddel homered and walked. The Hot Rods committed seven errors (yikes).

Hultzen's Ks rank high on Biscuits list

Danny Hultzen totaled 12 strikeouts over six innings for the Jackson Generals against the Biscuits on Wednesday. He's just the sixth opposing starter to whiff at least 12 Biscuits.

14: West Tenn's Rich Hill in 7 innings April 25, 2005
13: Jacksonville's Scott Elbert in 7 innings July 27, 2006
12: Birmingham's Jack Egbert in 7 innings July 12, 2007
12: Mississippi's Dan Smith in 6 innings Aug. 8, 2006
12: Mobile's Jack Cassel in 7 innings Aug. 10, 2006
12: Jackson's Danny Hultzen in 6 innings May 23, 2012

Wednesday's lineups; Garko's home debut

Former major leaguer Ryan Garko makes his Riverwalk Stadium debut in the opening game of Montgomery's series with the Jackson Generals.

Hak-Ju Lee ss (left)
Ty Morrison cf (left)
Omar Luna 3b
Ryan Garko dh
Kyeong Kang rf (left)
Tyler Bortnick 2b
Mike Sheridan 1b (left)
Brad Coon lf (left)
Mark Thomas c
Joe Cruz rhp

Francisco Martinez 3b -- came to Mariners in 2011 trade with Detroit
Daniel Carroll rf -- 62 steals, 117 runs scored last year at high-A High Desert
Nick Franklin 2b (switch) -- MVP of Arizona Fall League's Rising Stars game
Denny Almonte cf (switch) -- 46 HRs last 2 years in hitter-haven Cal League
Chris Pettit lf -- started year with independent Bridgeport Bluefish
Eric Campbell 1b -- with third Southern League team (MIS '09, CAR '10)
Jesus Sucre c -- spent all of '11 in Southern League; first with Mississippi, then Generals
Kalian Sams dh -- once played for Dutch national team
Gabriel Noriega ss (switch) -- native Venezuelan
Danny Hultzen lhp -- one of Jackson's many-prized pitchers

Quate off DL, back with Biscuits

Reliever Zach Quate, who hasn't played this season while recovering from elbow surgery, has been activated by the Biscuits. The right-hander was 4-6 with 20 saves and a 4.68 ERA in 49 appearances last year for Montgomery.

Ranking the Rays ... none

With just two games, Tuesday fell below minimum standards for a Ranking the Rays. (It wasn't a strong day for Rays minor leaguers anyway.)

Today (times Central, p.m.) ...
DUR off
MGM (Joe Cruz 2-5, 7.07) vs. Jackson (Danny Hultzen 4-3, 1.81), 7:05
CHA (C.J. Riefenhauser 6-0, 0.70) vs. Brevard County (Jimmy Nelson 2-4, 2.40), 5:30
BWG (Jake Floethe 5-1, 3.11) at Great Lakes (Jarret Martin 2-3, 3.16), 6:05

Morning reading: Liberatore's look

Biscuits pitcher Adam Liberatore, though his college bio lists his major as electrical engineering, actually has a marketing degree from Tennessee Tech.

Liberatore, the subject of today's story kicking off this week's series with the Jackson Generals, also took a lot of finance classes and graduated in 2010.

He had good reason for skipping the graduation ceremony. Liberatore pitched the opening game of a doubleheader that day.

"I just hung out and rested for my start," Liberatore said. "My mom wanted me to walk, but I had to pitch the first game at 1 o'clock. I didn't want to worry about that in the morning. I have my diploma, so I can prove that I graduated."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday's Rays roundup

Charlotte 5, Bulls 2

Leslie Anderson hit a solo home run and singled. Shawn O'Malley walked, stole and scored. Bryan Augenstein, in his first appearance since April 7, threw two shutout innings and gave up a hit.

Brevard County 9, Stone Crabs 1
Phil Wunderlich homered. Robby Price singled twice. Braulio Lara's five-plus innings included four earned runs on eight hits.

Ranking the Rays ... Dietrich, Mahtook, Nommensen

For Monday ...

1. Derek Dietrich, CHA: 3-run HR, 2 2b's, steal, error, 5 RBIs, 2 runs
2. Mikie Mahtook, CHA: 3-run HR, 1b, walk, 4 RBIs, 2 runs
3. Brett Nommensen, CHA: 2 1b's, walk, steal, 3 runs
4. Cody Rogers, CHA: solo HR, 1b, walk, steal, 2 runs
5. Ryan Brett, BWG: 5 1b's, steal, run

Today (times Central, p.m.) ...
DUR (Jim Paduch 2-1, 2.74) vs. Charlotte (2-3, 3.66), 12:05
MGM off again
CHA (Braulio Lara 3-2, 6.00) vs. Brevard County (Taylor Jungmann 2-3, 3.15), 5:30
BWG off

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday's Rays roundup

Bulls 3, Charlotte 2 (10)
Promising youngster Hideki Matsui hit an RBI single to end it. Jesus Feliciano doubled, walked, RBI'd and scored twice. Lance Pendleton threw six innings of one-run, four-hit ball.

  Stone Crabs 11, Brevard County 7
Derek Dietrich
doubled twice, homered, stole, erred, had five RBIs and scored twice. Mikie Mahtook homered, singled, had four RBIs and scored twice. Brett Nommensen singled twice, walked, stole and scored three times.

Fort Wayne 4, Hot Rods 3 Ryan Brett was 5-for-5, all singles, with a steal, an error and a run scored. Drew Vettleson doubled, singled, walked twice, scored, had two RBIs and finally threw out another runner. Josh Sale left after two ABs. (???)

Lobaton moves to Bulls for more rehab

Rays catcher Jose Lobaton, after five days with the Biscuits, has moved on to Triple-A Durham as part of his rehab assignment for a spring shoulder injury.

Sutton to Rays in 2nd trade in 2 days

The Rays have added infielder Drew Sutton in a trade from the Pirates, who added him Sunday in a trade from the Braves.

Sutton, a switch-hitter, comes from the Pirates in exchange for a player to be named or cash considerations.

Lobstein, Riefenhauser snare league awards

Montgomery's Kyle Lobstein and Charlotte's C.J. Riefenhauser have been named their league's pitchers of the week.

Lobstein threw eight shutout innings Sunday after giving up just one run in six innings in his previous start Tuesday. He's 3-2 with a 4.57 ERA.

Riefenhauser, who is 6-0 with a Florida State League-leading 0.70 ERA, tossed six shutout innings Friday, allowing three hits with no walks and nine strikeouts. He hasn't allowed an earned run in a month, a span covering 25 2/3 innings.

Chattanooga right fielder Blake Smith was the Southern League's hitter winner. With back-to-back four-RBI games Saturday and Sunday, Smith was 8-for-18 with three runs scored, two home runs and 11 RBIs.

Ranking the Rays ... Lobstein, Gaub, Carpenter

For Sunday ...
1. Kyle Lobstein, MGM: 8 shutout innings, 4 hits, walk, 4 K's
2. John Gaub, DUR: 3 no-hit innings, walk, 5 K's
3. Ryan Carpenter, BWG: 5 shutout innings, 4 hits, no walks, 6 K's
4. Andrew Bellatti, BWG: 3 no-hit innings, 2 walks
5. Matt Torra, DUR: 6 shutout innings, 3 hits, walk, 3 K's

Today (times Central, p.m.) ...
DUR (Lance Pendleton 1-1, 4.15) vs. Charlotte (Charlie Leesman (3-4, 2.59), 6:05
MGM off
CHA (Albert Suarez 2-2, 4.24) vs. Brevard County (Brooks Hall 0-1, 2.41), 5:30
BWG (Roberto Gomez 3-1, 3.46) at Fort Wayne (Matt Wisler 1-3, 3.03), 6:05

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday's Rays roundup

Bulls 6, Charlotte 0
Matt Torra and John Gaub combined on a three-hitter. Torra worked six innings, giving up the three hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Gaub's only blemish was a walk. He struck out five. Mayo Acosta, who scored twice, and Cole Figueroa each hit their first Triple-A home runs. Leslie Anderson also homered.

Tampa 3, Stone Crabs 2
Phil Wunderlich homered and scored twice. Enny Romero went six innings with two runs on four hits. Theron Geith gave up the winning run in the ninth in his season debut.

Fort Wayne 2, Hot Rods 1
Ryan Carpenter tossed five shutout innings on four hits, no walks, three hit batsmen and six strikeouts. Andrew Bellatti threw three no-hit innings, soiled by only two walks. Austin Hubbard gave up two runs in the ninth. Juniel Querecuto singled, walked twice, was caught stealing and RBI'd.

Sunday: Biscuits 5, Barons 1

Kyle Lobstein threw eight shutout innings in the Biscuits' 5-1 win over the Birmingham Barons on Sunday.

Ranking the Rays ... Kelly, Garvin, Malm

For Saturday ...
1. Merrill Kelly, MGM: 5 shutout innings, 1 hit, no walks, 5 K's
2. Grayson Garvin, CHA: 6 shutout innings, 4 hits, no walks, 3 K's
3. Jeff Malm, BWG: 2 2b's, 2 walks, run, 3 RBIs
4. Josh Sale, BWG: 2 1b's, walk, run, 3 RBIs
5. Drew Vettleson, BWG: 3b, 2 1b's, 3 runs

Today (times Central) ...
DUR (Matt Torra 2-5, 6.25) vs. Charlotte (Matt Zaleski 1-1, 7.47), 4:05 p.m.
MGM (Kyle Lobstein 2-2, 5.54) at Birmingham (Jose Quintana 1-2, 2.51), 4 p.m.
CHA (Enny Romero 1-2, 3.00) at Tampa (Sean Black 0-2, 10.45), noon
BWG (Ryan Carpenter 5-2, 4.43) at Fort Wayne (Collin Rea 0-3, 4.81), 2:05 p.m.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday's Rays roundup

Charlotte 7, Bulls 1
Shane Dyer gave up four runs on eight hits over five innings in his debut.

Stone Crabs 5, Tampa 1
Grayson Garvin threw six shutout innings, allowing four hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Mikie Mahtook singled, doubled and scored twice.

Hot Rods 9, Fort Wayne 3
Jeff Malm and Josh Sale each had three RBIs and scored. Malm doubled twice and walked twice. Sale doubled, singled and walked. Drew Vettleson tripled, singled twice and scored thrice. Joel Caminero hit a two-run home run and doubled. Felipe Rivero threw five innings of one-run, three-hit ball.

Saturday: Biscuits 1, Barons 0 (11)

Ryan Garko's RBI double in the 11th inning gave the Biscuits a 1-0 win at Birmingham on Saturday. Merrill Kelly, Frank De Los Santos, Kirby Yates and Neil Schenk combined on a two-hitter.

Ranking the Rays ... Riefenhauser, Mateo

For Friday ...
1. C.J. Riefenhauser, CHA: 6 shutout innings, 3 hits, no walks, 9 K's
2. Victor Mateo, CHA: 3 perfect innings, 3 K's
3. Omar Luna, MGM: 3b, 1b, 2 RBIs, 2 runs
4. Jesus Feliciano, DUR: 3-run 3b, 3 1b's
5. Hak-Ju Lee, MGM: 1b, walk, 2 steals, run, RBI

Today (times Central, p.m.) ...
DUR (Shane Dyer 0-0, 0.00) vs. Charlotte (Charles Shirek 3-3, 4.13), 6:05
MGM (Merrill Kelly 1-0, 4.57) at Birmingham (Pedro Hernandez 5-1, 3.60), 6:30
CHA (Grayson Garvin 1-3, 5.08) at Tampa (Matt Tracy 0-0, 0.00), 5
BWG (Parker Markel 1-1, 4.95) at Fort Wayne (Frank Garces 1-3, 2.49), 6:05

Friday's Rays roundup

Bulls 6, Pawtucket 5
Jesus Feliciano hit a go-ahead, three-run triple in the eighth and finished 4-for-5. Chris Archer whiffed nine in 4 2/3 innings, but he also gave up four runs on seven hits and four walks.

Stone Crabs 2, Tampa 0
C.J. Riefenhauser improved to 6-0 with an 0.70 ERA, giving up three hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Victor Mateo tossed three perfect innings. Hector Guevara singled, doubled, stole and scored. Rehabbing Brandon Allen homered and walked.

Dayton 3, Hot Rods 2
Jacob Partridge worked four innings, allowing an unearned run on five hits and a walk. Justin Woodall tossed two no-hit innings. Josh Sale homered and walked.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Kelly moves into rotation

Merrill Kelly, who made a spot start in Sunday's doubleheader, will move into Montgomery's rotation (for now) with Shane Dyer's promotion to Triple-A Durham. Kelly is scheduled to start Saturday at Birmingham.

Ranking the Rays ... Paduch, Glaesmann, Wrigley

For Thursday ...
1. Jim Paduch, DUR: 6 shutout innings, 4 hits, 2 walks, 3 K's
2. Todd Glaesmann, BWG: 3b, 1b, walk, 2 runs, caught stealing
3. Henry Wrigley, DUR: 3-run HR, 1b
4. Josh Sale, BWG: 3-run HR, 1b
5. Jake Floethe, BWG: 5 innings, 1 earned run, 3 hits, walk, 3 K's

Today (times Central, p.m.) ...
DUR (Chris Archer 3-4, 4.71) vs. Pawtucket (Ross Ohlendorf 3-3, 4.91), 6:05
MGM (Jake Thompson 0-4, 6.68) at Birmingham (Nestor Molina 3-2, 4.40), 7:05
CHA (Wilking Rodriguez 0-4, 5.56) at Tampa (Nik Turley 2-1, 2.83), 6
BWG (Jake Partridge 4-0, 1.32) vs. Dayton (Dan Jensen 1-3, 2.28), 7:05

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday: Barons 5, Biscuits 3

Cameron Bayne worked seven innings to lead the Birmingham Barons in a 5-3 win over the Biscuits on Thursday. Mike Sheridan homered, while Tyler Bortnick and Ty Morrison had Montgomery's other RBIs. Matt Buschmann, the reigning Southern League pitcher of the week, gave up four runs on 12 hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Dyer's agent: He's been promoted to Bulls

Biscuits pitcher Shane Dyer has been promoted to Triple-A Durham, according to Full Circle Sports Management, which represents Dyer.

Dyer was Montgomery's opening day starter, is 4-2 and ranks fifth in the Southern League with a 2.03 ERA. In his last three starts, he's allowed just one earned run in 19 innings. That run came on a home run, which was the only hit he allowed in seven innings Monday.

Dyer was scheduled to start Saturday for the Biscuits. Alex Cobb is scheduled to start Saturday for Triple-A Durham. The Rays are in need of a starter Saturday after Jeff Niemann's injury.

An ode to pitcher's batting practice

With Marquis Fleming's hands-on-bat feat, let's remember the good ol' days when the Biscuits pitchers would enjoy the occasional round of batting practice.

It was usually as a reward for a shutout or a streak of finely pitched games. I enjoyed them, too. The banter and self-deprecating humor were always particularly entertaining.

The last-recorded session of Biscuits pitchers taking b.p. was July 28, 2006. The staff divided up on U.S. vs. World lines with the Americans -- USA-USA-USA -- taking honors. Left-hander Mike Prochaska was the individual medalist with six home runs, just ahead of Tony Peguero. As you can imagine, homers were the only thing that counted.

"I carried the team today," Prochaska cracked. "It gives me confidence that I can carry the team in something."

In May 2006, there were two sessions of pitchers b.p. Chuck Tiffany pulled an 0-fer in the first, which coaxed pitching coach Xavier Hernandez to say Tiffany had a "high school hack." Tiffany availed himself two weeks later.

"He got it up in the wind and the wind caught it," Hernandez said. "He did show a little something. It may have been a junior college hack."

Tiffany's retort: "By the end of the year, it will be a major league hack."

Ranking the Rays ... Kang, Suarez, Gomez

For Wednesday ...
1. Kyeong Kang, MGM: 3b, 2 2b's, walk, 2 RBIs, run
2. Albert Suarez, CHA: 6 innings, 6 hits, unearned run, walk, K
3. Roberto Gomez, BWG: 6 innings, 3 hits, unearned run, 3 walks, 6 K's
4. Robi Estrada, CHA: 2-run HR, 2b, walk
5. Tyler Bortnick, MGM: 2b, 1b, 2 RBIs, 2 runs

Today (times Central, p.m.) ...
DUR (Jim Paduch 1-1, 3.71) vs. Pawtucket (Daisuke Matsuzaka 0-0, 4.50), 6:05
MGM (Matt Buschmann 1-1, 5.02) at Birmingham (Cameron Bayne 3-2, 4.95), 7:05
CHA (Braulio Lara 3-1, 5.13) at Tampa (Vidal Nuno 1-1, 3.38), 6
BWG (Jake Floethe 5-1, 3.27) vs. Dayton (TBA), 6:35

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday's Rays roundup

Pawtucket 5, Bulls 4
Hideki Matsui singled, doubled, GIDP'd and had two RBIs. Matt Mangini singled, walked and scored twice.

Stone Crabs 3, Fort Myers 1
Robi Estrada hit a two-run homer in the second inning, doubled and walked. Albert Suarez surrendered an unearned run on six hits in six innings.

Hot Rods 4, Dayton 1
Cameron Seitzer singled, doubled, scored and knocked in two runs. Ryan Brett singled twice, walked and was caught stealing. Alejandro Segovia singled and walked twice. Roberto Gomez's six innings included an unearned run on three hits and three walks.

Wednesday: Biscuits 8, Barons 5 (10)

Brad Coon's RBI single started the scoring in a three-run 10th inning that gave the Biscuits an 8-5 win over the Birmingham Barons on Wednesday. Mark Thomas and Ty Morrison added RBI singles after Coon.

Fleming marks a first in Biscuits history

Reliever Marquis Fleming became the first pitcher in Biscuits history to bat in a game tonight. He, of course, struck out in the ninth inning of a 5-5 tie at Birmingham. Four pitches -- called strike, ball, foul, swinging strike.

The Biscuits lost their DH when Mark Thomas went to catch in the seventh inning. Rehabbing major leaguer Jose Lobaton left after two at-bats (no surprise), but David Wendt left for unknown reasons after bunting into an out in the top of the seventh. (I covered a high school game tonight, so I wasn't listening to the radio broadcast.)

Traded to Rays, Thompson goes to majors

Outfielder Rich Thompson, acquired from the Philadelphia organization today, is headed to the major leagues with the Rays. Tampa Bay put outfielder Brandon Guyer on the 15-day disabled list to create a spot on the active roster for Thompson. Pitcher Jeff Niemann went on the 60-day DL to create room on the 40-man roster for Thompson.

Thompson, 33, played in six major league games in 2004 with Kansas City and made one at-bat. That was April 20 in a 15-5 win at Cleveland. Thompson grounded into a double play.

Lobaton with Biscuits on rehab

Rays catcher Jose Lobaton, who played for the Biscuits in 2009-10, is rejoining the team for a rehab stay. He's been out with a shoulder injury and was 0-for-5 in two rehab games at high-Class A Charlotte.

UPDATE: Lobaton will be with the Biscuits for the entire five-game series at Birmingham.

Rays, Phils swap Triple-A outfielders

The Rays and Phillies have traded Triple-A outfielders, reports (and which I saw on

Kyle Hudson goes from Durham, where he was hitting .291, to the Phillies, while the Rays pick up 33-year-old Rich Thompson. Thompson was hitting .307 at Lehigh Valley.

Dyer, Wrigley tied halfway through May BCS/RPI

Biscuits pitcher Shane Dyer and Durham slugger Henry Wrigley are tied for the lead at the halfway point of the May BCS/RPI race, one point ahead of Bowling Green pitcher Jake Floethe. Outfielder Josh Sale is coming on strong after just recently joining the Hot Rods. He's third.

Who will win the month's Biscuit Crumbs Standings/Rays Performance Indicator race?

11 -- Shane Dyer, Henry Wrigley

10 -- Jake Floethe
9 -- Josh Sale
8 -- Matt Buschmann
7 -- Derek Dietrich, Jesus Feliciano, Ty Morrison

Ranking the Rays ... Bortnick, Sale, Lobstein

For Tuesday ...
1. Tyler Bortnick, MGM: solo HR, 2 1b's, 2 RBIs
2. Josh Sale, BWG: solo HR, 2 walks
3. Kyle Lobstein, MGM: 6 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 3 walks, 6 K's
4. Jake Hager, BWG: 2 2b's, 2 RBIs
5. Enny Romero, MGM: 6 innings, 2 runs, 7 hits, 2 walks, 4 K's

Today (times Central, p.m.) ...
DUR (Lance Pendleton 1-1, 4.15) vs. Pawtucket (Doug Mathis 2-2, 5.01), 6:05
MGM (Joe Cruz 2-5, 7.04) at Birmingham (Simon Castro 3-1, 3.60), 7:05
CHA (Albert Suarez 1-2, 4.98) at Fort Myers (Jhon Garcia 0-4, 3.77), 6:05
BWG (Roberto Gomez 2-1, 4.04) vs. Dayton (Stalin Gerson 1-3, 4.66), 6:35

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday's Rays roundup

Pawtucket 8, Bulls 2
Matt Mangini and Leslie Anderson homered. Mayo Acosta singled and walked in his Durham debut. Hideki Matsui wore a size-4 collar in his.

Stone Crabs 3, Fort Myers 2
Phil Wunderlich's ninth-inning groundball brought in the go-ahead run. Enny Romero twirled six innings of two-run ball. Steve Tinoco singled twice, sac flied, GIDP'd and threw out a runner at home. C.J. Riefenhauser recorded a one-out win and is 5-0 with an 0.84 ERA. 

Hot Rods 5, South Bend 4
Jake Hager doubled twice and had two RBIs. Josh Sale and Drew Vettleson hit solo homers. Ryan Carpenter moved to 5-2 with a two-run, five-inning exertion.

Tuesday: Suns 5, Biscuits 4

Jake Jefferies hit a three-run home run in the ninth inning to push the Jacksonville Suns to a 5-4 win over the Biscuits on Tuesday.

Jefferies, who played for the Biscuits last season, hit a 1-2, one-out pitch from Kirby Yates over the right-field wall for his first homer of the season. It gave Jacksonville a 5-3 lead.

Jefferies entered Tuesday with a .158 average and failed to get a ball out of the infield on his first three at-bats.

Mike Sheridan's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth pulled the Biscuits to within one run. David Wendt followed with a deep fly ball that left fielder Jake Smolinski caught on the warning track.

Tyler Bortnick hit his first home run in the fourth inning and added an RBI single in the sixth for Montgomery. Both came with two outs.

Kyle Lobstein threw six innings of one-run, three-hit ball. Lobstein, who served up a one-out homer in the first to Ryan Patterson, walked three and struck out six.

Tuesday's bright and early, 10:30 lineups

BISCUITS: Lee ss, Morrison cf, Luna 3b, Kang rf, Bortnick 2b, Sheridan 1b, Wendt c, Coon dh, Salem lf, Lobstein lhp

SUNS: Smolinski lf (yes, Smolinski is leading off), Patterson cf, Jensen rf, Bowman 3b, Mitchell 1b, Dominguez 2b, Jefferies c, Smith dh, Gutierrez ss, Poveda rhp

Ranking the Rays ... Rogers, Dietrich, Dyer

A tough Monday ...

1. Cody Rogers, CHA: 2-run 1b + sac fly + 3-run 3b = team-record 6 RBIs
2. Derek Dietrich, CHA: 2-run HR, 2 3b's, 3 RBIs, 3 runs
3. Shane Dyer, MGM: 7 innings, 1 run, 1 hit, 1 plunking, 1 walk, 5 K's
4. Nate Garcia, CHA: 4 shutout innings, 1 hit, 1 plunking, 0 walks, 4 K's
5. Grayson Garvin, CHA: 5 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 2 walks, 6 K's

Today (times Central) ...
DUR (Matt Torra 2-4, 5.63) at Pawtucket (Brandon Duckworth 4-0, 4.10), 6:05 p.m.
MGM (Kyle Lobstein 2-2, 6.32) vs. Jacksonville (Omar Poveda 3-1, 5.16), 10:35 a.m.
CHA (Enny Romero 1-2, 3.00) at Fort Myers (Miguel Munoz 1-1, 2.77), 6:05 p.m.
BWG (Ryan Carpenter 4-2, 4.54) vs. South Bend (John Pedrotty 1-2, 5.80), 6:35 p.m.

Morning reading

Shane Dyer says a mechanical change has led to his recent success, as you can read in the main story from Montgomery's 3-2 win over Jacksonville on Monday. Don't forget the notebook.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday's Rays roundup

Bulls 1, Empire State 0
Alex Cobb and three relievers combined on a five-hitter. Cobb gave up three hits, walked three and struck out eight in five innings. Juan Miranda homered in the seventh inning and singled. Craig Albernaz walked twice.

Stone Crabs 13, Fort Myers 1
Cody Rogers set a team record with six RBIs. Derek Dietrich tripled twice, hit a two-run homer, had three RBIs and scored three times. Mikie Mahtook doubled twice, walked and scored twice. Grayson Garvin notched his first pro win, allowing one run over five innings. Nate Garcia allowed one hit over the final four innings.

South Bend 2, Hot Rods 0 (Game 1)
Drew Vettleson doubled for Bowling Green's only hit. Felipe Rivero's six innings included two runs on four hits.

Hot Rods 3, South Bend 2 (Game 2)
Ryan Brett singled, walked, stole twice, was nabbed once, RBI'd and scored. Jeff Malm homered and doubled. Trevor Shull, Jacob Partridge and Charlie Cononie combined on a two-hitter. Partridge is 4-0 with a 1.32 ERA.

Monday: Biscuits 3, Suns 2

Hak-Ju Lee's bases-loaded single in the ninth inning gave the Biscuits a 3-2 win over the Jacksonville Suns on Monday.

Lee singled in Mike Sheridan, whose error in the top of the ninth allowed Jacksonville to tie it 2-2. Sheridan singled to start the bottom of the ninth and moved to second on a Greg Sexton sacrifice.

The Suns intentionally walked Brad Coon before a wild pitch put two runners in scoring position. After Mark Thomas unintentionally walked, Lee singled.

Starter Shane Dyer was dominant, allowing just one hit over seven innings with one walk and one hit batsman. The hit was a Kyle Jensen home run in the second inning.

Former big leaguer headed to Biscuits

Former major leaguer Ryan Garko has been signed by the Rays and will report to the Biscuits, according to the Long Island Ducks, the independent team that Garko was with this year.

Garko played in the majors from 2005-10 with the Indians, Giants and Rangers. His best years were 2007 and '08 with Cleveland. Garko hit .289 with 21 home runs in '07 and .273 with 90 RBIs in '08.

The 31-year-old was hitting .450 with four home runs and 16 RBIs in 16 games this year for Long Island. He's primarily been the designated hitter with some time at first base and catcher. He played part of the 2011 season in Korea.

He's expected to make his Biscuits debut in the upcoming road series with Birmingham.

Monday's lineups

Kyeong Kang makes his first start in right field today in the fourth game of Montgomery's five-game series with the Jacksonville Suns.

Hak-Ju Lee ss (left)
Ty Morrison cf (left)
Omar Luna 3b
Kyeong Kang rf (left)
Tyler Bortnick 2b
Mike Sheridan 1b (left)
Greg Sexton dh
Brad Coon lf (left)
Mark Thomas c
Shane Dyer rhp

Paul Gran 2b
Donnie Webb cf (switch)
Jake Smolinski lf
Kyle Skipworth c (left)
Kyle Jensen rf
Shawn Bowman 3b
Jeff Dominguez 1b
Curt Smith dh
Chris Gutierrez ss
Graham Taylor lhp

Acosta sent from Stone Crabs to Bulls

Mayo Acosta, the primary catcher at high-Class A Charlotte the past few weeks, has been assigned to Triple-A Durham and Bowling Green's Alejandro Torres has taken his place with the Stone Crabs.

Acosta has a .278 average in 22 games at Charlotte in place of the injured Luke Bailey. The Hot Rods replaced Torres, who was hitting .150 in six games, by activating Alejandro Segovia. Segovia last played May 5 and has a .250 average in 14 games.

Also, the Stone Crabs have activated outfielder Brett Nommensen, who hasn't played this season while recovering from surgery on a hamstring he hurt last year.

Buschmann, Archer best in leagues

Montgomery's Matt Buschmann and Durham's Chris Archer won their league's pitcher of the week awards.

Buschmann gave up one hit and struck out a career-high 12 over 6 2/3 innings Friday in his only start of the week to win the Southern League award. Archer was 2-0, gave up one earned run in 12 innings, allowed seven hits and totaled 14 strikeouts to land International League honors.

Archer won the nightcap of a doubleheader at Syracuse on Tuesday, giving up a run on four hits in six innings. On Sunday at Empire State, the right-hander also went six innings, allowing an unearned run on three hits with a season-high nine strikeouts to outduel Manny Banuelos, the Yankees' top prospect. Banuelos, who didn't factor in the decision, also gave up just an unearned run in six innings on five hits, no walks and seven strikeouts.

Buschmann, who threw six innings of one-run ball in his previous start, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning Friday against Jacksonville. His 12 strikeouts were three more than his previous career high.

Mobile third baseman Matt Davidson was the Southern League's hitter of the week. He hit .333 with seven RBIs and four runs scored, including a two-homer, four-RBI game Sunday.

Ranking the Rays ... none

Events conspired against Chris Archer for today's Ranking the Rays. Only two Tampa Bay minor league teams played and there's a longstanding three-team minimum.

Archer gave up just an unearned run on three hits in six innings in Durham's win Sunday over Empire State. Montgomery's David Wendt would have been a likely high pick as well.

Today (times Central, p.m.) ...
DUR (Alex Cobb 1-4, 4.71) at Empire State (Adam Warren 2-1, 5.34), 6:05
MGM (Shane Dyer 4-2, 2.18) vs. Jacksonville (Graham Taylor 2-3, 4.81), 7:05
CHA (Grayson Garvin 0-3, 5.65) vs. Fort Myers (Madison Boer 0-2, 14.09), 5:30
BWG (Felipe Rivero 2-2, 1.50/Trevor Shull 0-1, 4.84) vs. South Bend (Archie Bradley 4-1, 2.57/Jeff Shields 0-4, 3.89), DH, 5:35

Morning reading includes injury update

David Wendt's three-run, three-hit, triple effort in the Sunday's finale is the focus of the game story in today's paper. In the notebook, there's an update on the injured Isaias Velasquez and Alex Colome.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday: Biscuits 7, Suns 1 (Game 2)

David Wendt was 3-for-3 with three runs scored to help the Biscuits beat the Jacksonville Suns 7-1 and salvage a split of Sunday's doubleheader at Riverwalk Stadium.

Wendt hit his third triple of the season -- and just the fourth of his career -- and scored in the third inning to put Montgomery ahead 1-0. He singled and scored as part of a five-run fifth and singled and scored in the sixth.

Merrill Kelly, Alex Koronis and Kirby Yates combined on a seven-inning three-hitter. Jacksonville scored in the sixth off Yates without benefit of a hit.

Sunday's Game 2 lineups

Quick lineups for today's second game ...

BISCUITS: Lee ss, Morrison cf, Luna 3b, Kang lf, Bortnick 2b, Sheridan 1b, Coon dh, Wendt c, Salem rf, Kelly rhp
SUNS: Gran 2b, Bowman dh, Smolinski lf, Skipworth c, Jensen rf, Patterson cf, Smith 1b, Mitchell 3b, Dominguez ss, Neal rhp

Sunday: Suns 6, Biscuits 2 (Game 1)

Former Biscuit Jake Jefferies scored twice, including the go-ahead run, to lead the Jacksonville Suns in a 6-2 win over Montgomery in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader.

Kyle Jensen homered and finished with two RBIs for Jacksonville, which trailed 2-1 after four innings. The Suns scored twice in the fifth, with Jefferies hitting a ground-rule double. Jensen led off the three-run sixth with his fourth homer.

Ty Morrison had two hits for the Biscuits, who scored in the fourth. Greg Sexton and Brad Coon hit consecutive two-out RBI singles.

Sunday's Rays roundup

Bulls 3, Empire State 1
Chris Archer gave up an unearned run on three hits in six innings. He walked four and whiffed nine. Ryan Reid's two hitless innings included four strikeouts. Kyle Hudson singled twice, walked and scored twice. Stephen Vogt tripled, singled and RBI'd. Shawn O'Malley singled thrice, stole and RBI'd.

South Bend at Hot Rods
Rained out. DH at 5:35 p.m. Monday.

Suns to swing pink bats

Though the Biscuits have no pink gear for their stadium pinkout, the Jacksonville Suns will show some. The Suns, like many major league teams, are using pink bats today.

Sunday's Game 1 lineups

The Biscuits and Suns have a doubleheader today that's supposed to start at 1:05 p.m. It's bright and sunny at the moment at the stadium, but, due to showers in the area and ominous clouds on the horizon, the tarp is out and the start time is in jeopardy.

1:10: Tarp is off the field. Grounds crew is starting to work.
1:15: They're looking at a 1:35 start.

Hak-Ju Lee ss (left)
Ty Morrison cf (left)
Omar Luna rf
Kyeong Kang dh (left)
Tyler Bortnick 2b
Mike Sheridan 1b (left)
Greg Sexton 3b
Brad Coon lf (left)
Mark Thomas c
Jake Thompson rhp

Donnie Webb cf (switch)
Dallas Poulk 2b (left)
Jake Smolinski lf
Shawn Bowman 3b
Kyle Jensen dh
Ryan Patterson rf
Russell Mitchell 1b
Jake Jefferies (left)
Chris Gutierrez ss
Bryan Evans rhp

Ranking the Rays ... Floethe, Sanchez, Wrigley

For Saturday ...
1. Jake Floethe, BWG: 5 shutout innings, 2 hits, 2 walks, 5 K's
2. Romelo Sanchez, DUR: 3 shutout innings, 1 hit
3. Henry Wrigley, DUR: solo HR, 2 1b's
4. C.J. Riefenhauser, CHA: 2 shutout innings, 1 hit, now 0.84 ERA
5. Steve Tinoco, CHA: 2 1b's, RBI

Today (times Central, p.m.) ...
DUR (Chris Archer 2-4, 5.50) at Empire State (Mannu Banuelos (0-2, 4.50), 12:05
MGM (Jake Thompson 0-3, 6.83/Merrill Kelly 1-0, 5.30) vs. Jacksonville (Bryan Evans 0-2, 4.70/Zach Neal 2-4, 4.65), 1:05
CHA off
BWG (Felipe Rivero 2-2, 1.50) vs. South Bend (Archie Bradley 4-1, 2.57), 2:05

Morning reading

Here's the notebook from today's paper with items on the Biscuits' planned pinkout today for breast cancer awareness, the tarp-sliding skills of Scott Shuman and Alex Koronis and about how giving up a hit relaxed Matt Buschmann on Friday. Oh, by the way, Friday's win marked the 300th home victory for the Biscuits.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saturday's Rays roundup

Empire State 3, Bulls 2 (10)
Henry Wrigley hit his first Triple-A home run and singled twice. Leslie Anderson homered. Romulo Sanchez gave up a hit in three shutout innings.

Fort Myers 3, Stone Crabs 1
C.J. Riefenhauser threw two shutout innings to trim his ERA to a skeletal 0.84.

Hot Rods 4, South Bend 3 (6, rai
Jake Floethe tossed five shutout innings with two hits, two walks and a plunking. Josh Sale hit a three-run homer in the fourth to snap a scoreless tie.

Saturday's game rained out

Tonight's game has been rained out. The Biscuits and Suns will play a doubleheader starting at 2:05 p.m. Sunday. Both games will be scheduled for seven innings.

UPDATE: Make that 1:05 p.m.

Alex Koronis tarp slide

Scott Shuman tarp slide

Jefferies returns to Riverwalk

Jake Jefferies, who spent the first month of last season with the Biscuits, is back at Riverwalk Stadium. Jefferies joined the Jacksonville Suns today from Triple-A New Orleans. He was traded to the Marlins in the offseason for major league reliever Burke Badenhop. Jefferies was 5-for-19 in six games for Montgomery last season. He finished the year at high-Class A Charlotte, where he hit .235 in 59 games.

Saturday's lineup, same as Friday's

The Biscuits have the same lineup as Friday. Because of a company's "fantasy day" at Riverwalk, the Suns couldn't use their clubhouse until, I believe, 5 p.m., so their lineup isn't ready yet.


Hak-Ju Lee ss (left)
Ty Morrison cf (left)
Omar Luna rf
Kyeong Kang dh (left)
Tyler Bortnick 2b
Mike Sheridan 1b (left)
Greg Sexton 3b
Brad Coon lf (left)
Mark Thomas c
Jake Thompson rhp

Donnie Webb cf (switch)Bryan Evans rhp

Paul Gran 2b
Jake Smolinski lf
Shawn Bowman 3b
Kyle Jensen dh
Ryan Patterson rf
Russell Mitchell 1b
Jake Jefferies c (left)
Chris Gutierrez ss

Richard De Los Santos released by Rays

Richard De Los Santos, the opening day starter at Triple-A Durham last year who was with the Biscuits for parts of three seasons, has been released by the Rays.

De Los Santos made just two starts at Durham before going down with an arm injury. The 27-year-old right-hander was 14-5 with a 3.52 ERA for the Bulls in 2010.

He was with the Biscuits for much of 2007 and 2008 and made one relief appearance for them in 2010.

Matsui hits Durham next week

Hideki Matsui is scheduled to join Triple-A Durham at some point Tuesday, though he may not play Tuesday night.

The longtime major league slugger signed a minor league contract with the Rays last month. He's been working out at extended spring training.

Ranking the Rays ... Glaesmann, O'Malley

For a top-heavy Friday ...

1. Todd Glaesmann, BWG: 5-for-5, 3b, 4 runs
2. Shawn O'Malley, DUR: 1b, 2 runs, 5 steals, including one of home
3. Matt Buschmann, MGM: 6 2/3 shutout innings, 1 hit, 1 walk, 12 K's
4. Craig Albernaz, DUR: 3 1b's, walk, run, steal
5. Roberto Gomez, BWG: 6 innings, 1 earned run, 5 hits, 2 walks, 3 K's

Today (times Central, p.m.) ...
DUR (Jim Paduch 1-1, 3.46) at Empire State (Nelson Figueroa 1-1, 6.35), 6:05
MGM (Jake Thompson 0-3, 6.83) vs. Jacksonville (Bryan Evans 0-2, 4.70), 7:05
CHA (Braulio Lara 3-1, 5.04) vs. Fort Myers (Pat Dean 1-2, 3.40), 5:30
BWG (Jake Floethe 4-1, 3.72) vs. South Bend (J.R. Bradley 2-2, 4.78), 7:05

Morning reading

Here's the game story on Montgomery's 1-0 win over Jacksonville on Friday, plus a truncated notebook with items on Ty Morrison and the on-field autograph session today that starts at 5:30 p.m.