Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday's Rays roundup

Bulls 6, Toledo 3
Leslie Anderson
doubled, singled twice, had two RBIs and scored. Vince Belnome singled twice, walked and scored twice. Evan Frey doubled twice and RBI'd. Matt Buschmann posted a book-rule quality start on eight hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.

Stone Crabs at Lakeland
Rained out.

Hot Rods 5, Dayton 0
Dylan Floro
gave up six hits in seven innings to improve to 9-2 with a 1.56 ERA. Marcus Jensen finished a seven-hitter. Justin O'Conner hit a solo home run and a two-run double. Leonardo Reginatto singled thrice, walked, was caught stealing, RBI'd and scored.

Vermont 5, Renegades 2
Ben Griset's
six innings included one run on seven hits. Julian Ridings walked four times and scored once. Oscar Hernandez singled twice, walked twice and RBI'd.

P-Rays 10, Johnson City 9
Yoel Araujo
homered twice, singled and had four RBIs. Travis Flores doubled, had four RBIs and scored. Spencer Edwards singled twice, walked, RBI'd and scored twice.

GCL Twins 3, Rays 0
Jose Paez
and Nick Ciuffo each singled twice. Freddy Alvarez gave up one run and two hits in four innings.

Wednesday: Biscuits 3, Braves 2

The Biscuits endured some late-inning suspense to end a five-game losing streak with Wednesday's 3-2 win over the Mississippi Braves.

The Braves loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth against Juan Sandoval. Edward Salcedo, after fouling off three straight two-strike pitches, grounded out to end it.

Center fielder Mikie Mahtook cut down the potential tying run at home to end the eighth inning.

Montgomery snapped a season-long five-game losing streak and avoided its longest skid in almost two years.

Jake Thompson, who has posted quality starts in his last five starts, gave up two runs over seven innings. With his seven wins last year, Thompson (9-9) is just the seventh pitcher in Biscuits history to reach 16 wins with the team.

Frey promoted back to Durham

Center fielder Evan Frey, a week after joining the Biscuits, has been promoted back to Triple-A Durham. Frey was 3-for-18 in four games with Montgomery.

Frey was hitting .224 in 19 games for the Bulls when he was sent to the Biscuits a week ago. The Bulls were in need after infielder Ryan Roberts was promoted to the Rays, who were in need after putting pitcher Matt Moore on the disabled list.

Today's Rays pitchers

Bowling Green's Dylan Floro is 5-0 with a 1.09 ERA in his eight-game quality-start streak.

DUR (Matt Buschmann 5-0, 3.23) at Toledo (Jair Jurrjens debut), 6
MGM (Jake Thompson 8-9, 4.74) at Mississippi (Michael Lee 5-7, 4.24), 7
CHA (?) at Lakeland (Wilsen Palacios 5-7, 3.42), 5:30
BWG (Dylan Floro 8-2, 1.68) at Dayton (Amir Garrett 0-1, 5.63), 6

HV (**Ben Griset 1-2, 3.94) vs. Vermont (Lou Trivino 1-2, 3.49), 6:05
PRI (Nolan Gannon 1-3, 4.88) at Johnson City (Will Anderson 0-1, 5.24), 6
GCL vs. Twins, 11 a.m.

?--Once again, no projected starter listed by Minor League Baseball for the Stone Crabs. Rays reliever Brandon Gomes started five games ago on a rehab.
**--Renegades listed a starter in their release about Tuesday's game, but Minor League Baseball once again did not.

Ranking the Rays ... Casali, Duncan, Griffin

For Tuesday ...

1. Curt Casali, MGM: 2b, 2 1b's, walk, 2 RBIs, run
2. Shelley Duncan, DUR: solo HR, walk, 3 runs
3. Andrew Toles, BWG: 3b, 2 1b's, run, caught stealing, outfield assist
4. Merrill Kelly, DUR: 5 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 3 walks
5. Joey Rickard, BWG: 3b, 1b, walk, RBI, steal

1. Aaron Griffin, HV: 6 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, 6 Ks
2. Alexander Simon, GCL: 2b, 1b, walk, steal, picked off, RBI
3. Jose Mujica, GCL: 3 shutout, 1 hit, 2 Ks, 5 GBO

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday: Braves 7, Biscuits 4

Three Mississippi Braves celebrated their birthdays with big games in Tuesday's 7-4 win over the sliding Biscuits.

Edward Salcedo came within a home run of a cycle, had two RBIs and scored. Barrett Kleinknecht and Christian Marrero both homered. Marrero turned 27 years old, Kleinknecht 25 and Salcedo 22.

Curt Casali finished 3-for-4 with a walk, two RBIs and a run scored to lead the Biscuits, who drew a season-high nine walks. Montgomery has lost five straight for the first time since last August.

Tuesday's Rays roundup

Bulls 6, Toledo 2
Shelley Duncan
hit a solo home run, singled, walked and scored three times. Kevin Kiermaier doubled and singled. Merrill Kelly gave up one run on four hits over five innings. (Former Biscuit Kyle Lobstein allowed three earned runs in six innings for the Mud Hens.)

Lakeland 8, Stone Crabs 4
Drew Vettleson
doubled, singled, was caught stealing, RBI'd, scored and threw out a runner. Willie Argo singled twice and RBI'd. Richie Shaffer doubled and walked.

Dayton 6, Hot Rods 2
Andrew Toles
tripled, singled twice, was caught stealing, scored and threw out a runner. Joey Rickard tripled, singled and RBI'd. Blake Snell's six innings featured just one run on four hits.

Renegades 4, Vermont 2
Aaron Griffin
allowed two runs on four hits in six innings. Derek Loera threw three shutout innings. Ariel Soriano singled, walked and had two RBIs. James Harris walked and scored twice.

P-Rays 8, Johnson City 7
Spencer Edwards
doubled, singled, erred, RBI'd and scored three times. Bralin Jackson had a single, two RBIs and two runs scored. Nolan Gannon gave up one run on three hits in five innings.

GCL Rays 3, Red Sox 1
Kean Wong
had three singles, an RBI and a run scored. Alexander Simon doubled, singled, walked, stole, was picked off and RBI'd. Grayson Garvin and Jose Mujica each tossed three shutout innings. Jose Castillo gave up one run in three innings.

Tino Martinez: Actions of Ruggiano, Dietrich to blame

Tino Martinez says the actions of former Biscuits Justin Ruggiano and Derek Dietrich, among others, are at the heart of why he's no longer the hitting coach for the Miami Marlins.

Martinez, Fox Sports reports, says the two refused (at separate times) to pick up baseballs in the batting cage, which is standard procedure, and Martinez confronted them about it.

Martinez admits physically assaulting Dietrich -- though not to grabbing Dietrich by the neck -- and used vulgarities with each. Martinez resigned Sunday when the incidents became public.

Ruggiano, who is still in the majors, told Fort Lauderdale's Sun Sentinel that he and Martinez "never had an issue about picking up baseballs." Dietrich is back in the minors at Double-A Jacksonville.

Biscuits' Timmons going to Arizona Fall League

Biscuits hitting coach Ozzie Timmons is headed to the Arizona Fall League.

Timmons will be the hitting coach for the Salt River Rafters, who will be made up of prospects from the Rays, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Cardinals and Blue Jays.

Timmons, 42, is in his fifth season with the Biscuits, seventh as a coach and 23rd in baseball.

Auburn hires former Biscuit

Auburn added a former Biscuit to its baseball coaching staff today.

Hunter Vick, a Thomasville native who played in two games for the Biscuits at the end of the 2005 season, was hired as Auburn's volunteer assistant coach.

Vick finished his playing career in 2009 and has coached at junior colleges the last four years, including this spring at national champion Central Alabama.

In 2005, Vick jumped from Rookie-level Princeton to the Biscuits, who were shorthanded due to players going to an international tournament. The infielder was 0-for-4 in two games.

Recently hired Auburn hitting coach Greg Norton played for Tampa Bay in 2006-07. Norton took a rehab assignment with the Biscuits and hit .280 in seven games in May 2007.

Today's Rays pitchers: Bulls to face Lobstein

Toledo's Kyle Lobstein takes on his former organization for the first time when he faces the Bulls. Durham's Merrill Kelly is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in five July starts.

DUR (Merrill Kelly 5-1, 2.63) at Toledo (Kyle Lobstein 2-1, 3.34), 6
MGM (Michael Colla 4-1, 3.16) at Mississippi (Mitch Atkins 2-1, 2.54), 7
CHA (*Roberto Gomez 5-8, 4.53) at Lakeland (?), 5:30
BWG (Blake Snell 3-7, 4.14) at Dayton (Nick Travieso 5-3, 5.24), 6

HV (*Aaron Griffin 2-0, 2.61) vs. Vermont (Jose Torres 3-2, 3.04), 6:05
PRI (D.J. Slaton 0-2, 3.38) at Johnson City (Luis Perdomo 1-3, 4.74), 6
GCL at Red Sox, 11 a.m.

*--Expected starter based on recent rotation. Once again, no projected starter listed by Minor League Baseball for the Stone Crabs or Renegades.

Ranking the Rays ... Segovia, Rivero, Alonzo

For Monday ...

1. Alejandro Segovia, CHA: solo HR, 3b, 2b
2. Felipe Rivero, CHA: 7 1/3 innings, run, 3 hits, 2 walks, 4 Ks
3. Andrew Toles, BWG: 1b, walk, 2 steals, 2 runs
4. Mike Fontenot, DUR: solo HR, 1b, 3 RBIs
5. Vince Belnome, DUR: solo HR, walk, 2 runs

1. Jose Alonzo, GCL: 5 shutout, 3 hits, 2 walks, 3 Ks
2. German Marquez, PRI: 5 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 2 Ks, 7 GBO
3. Adderly Rosa, GCL: 3 walks, steal, run

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday: Braves 4, Biscuits 2

Robby Hefflinger's three-run third-inning double propelled the Mississippi Braves to a 4-2 win over the Biscuits on Monday. Hefflinger capped a four-run rally that gave Mississippi a 4-0 lead.

Mikie Mahtook homered in the sixth inning -- his first home run since May 26 -- and Robi Estrada singled home Kyeong Kang in the ninth for the Biscuits. Marquis Fleming, making just his third career start, threw a career-high six innings. He gave up four runs on eight hits.

Mahtook has five homers this season.

Rays add reliever Crain from White Sox

The Rays have picked up right-handed reliever Jesse Crain in trade from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for players to be named or cash considerations.

Crain is currently on Chicago's disabled list, but he was an All-Star this season. The 32-year-old has an 0.47 ERA in 38 games this year.

He has a career 3.05 ERA in 532 major league games with the Minnesota Twins (2004-10) and White Sox (2011-13).

To make 40-man roster space for Crain, the Rays moved reliever Brandon Gomes to the 60-day disabled list. Gomes, who hasn't pitched for the Rays since May 7 due to a shoulder injury, made a rehab appearance Friday for high-Class A Charlotte.

Barons sweep Southern League awards

The Birmingham Barons swept the Southern League player of the week awards.

Infielder Marcus Semien was 14-for-24 with four home runs, 12 runs scored and 11 RBIs for the week. He's hitting .288 with 82 walks and 88 runs scored for the season.

Left-hander Scott Snodgress threw 14 1/3 shutout innings with five hits allowed and seven walks for the week. In his last four starts, he's 3-0 with an 0.33 ERA. Snodgress is 11-7 with a 3.88 ERA for the season.

The Barons have had five weekly award winners this year. This is the third time one team has swept a week's awards.

Braves trade Cory Rasmus for Angels' Downs

Cory Rasmus, a Russell County High graduate, has been traded from the Atlanta Braves to the Los Angeles Angels, according to reports.

The Braves get left-handed reliever Scott Downs, who is 2-3 with a 1.84 ERA in 43 games.

This season, Rasmus was 3-1 with 14 saves and a 1.72 ERA at Triple-A Gwinnett and made his major league debut in late May. The right-hander had an 8.10 ERA in three appearances for Atlanta.

Rasmus was an All-State player at Russell County in 2005 and 2006.

Durham's Martin honored by International League

Durham's J.D. Martin was the International League's top pitcher for the week.

The right-hander gave up two runs (one earned) over 14 innings for the week with 10 hits allowed and two walks. Martin is 13-4 with a 2.76 ERA this season and has won his last three starts and his last four decisions.

Martin, who leads the entire minor leagues in wins and is fourth in the IL in ERA, is a two-time winner and the Bulls have totaled six winners this season.

Today's Rays pitchers

Montgomery's Marquis Fleming makes his third career start. His first was in September 2008 for short-season Hudson Valley. The second was Thursday against Jacksonville. With two recent doubleheaders, the Biscuits needed another spot starter.

The Charlotte Stone Crabs and Hudson Valley Renegades, once again, didn't have a probable starter listed by Minor League Baseball. For a second straight day, German Marquez is listed as Princeton's starter.

DUR (Mike Montgomery 5-4, 4.15) at Columbus (Daisuke Matsuzaka 2-6, 3.97), 6:05
MGM (Marquis Fleming 2-4, 4.81) at Mississippi (Gus Schlosser 6-3, 2.45), 7
CHA (?) at Lakeland (Jeff Ferrell 4-5, 3.57), 5:30
BWG (Matt Spann 3-1, 2.20) at Lansing (Ben White 6-6, 3.57), 6:05

HV (?) at Brooklyn (?), 6
PRI (German Marquez 1-3, 4.00) at Johnson City (Alexander Reyes 2-3, 3.96), 6
GCL vs. Red Sox, 11 a.m.

Ranking the Rays ... Odorizzi, Coyle, Linsky

For Sunday ...

1. Jake Odorizzi, DUR: 7 shutout, 2 hits, 2 walks, 7 Ks
2. Tommy Coyle, BWG: 2b, 1b, 2 walks, 2 steals, RBI, 2 runs
3. Lenny Linsky, CHA: 3 2/3 shutout, 1 hit, 1 walk, 3 Ks, 7 GBO
4. Jordan Harrison, BWG: 5 shutout, 5 hits, 3 walks, 4 Ks, 8 GBO
5. Kes Carter, CHA: 2 1b's, walk, RBI, 2 runs

1. Kevin Brandt, HV: 6 innings, 3 runs, 5 hits, 7 Ks
2. John Alexander, HV: 2 1b's, RBI, run, caught stealing
3. Jesus Araiza, PRI: 3 1b's, walk in DH

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday's Rays roundup

Bulls 4, Columbus 1
Jake Odorizzi
fired seven shutout innings with two hits allowed, two walks and seven strikeouts. Ryan Roberts singled twice, walked, RBI'd and scored. Jason Bourgeois singled twice and had two RBIs.

Stone Crabs 8, Tampa 2
Kes Carter
singled twice, walked, RBI'd and scored twice. Ryan Brett doubled, singled, RBI'd and scored twice. Jeff Malm walked three times. Alejandro Segovia hit a three-run homer. Lenny Linsky threw 3 2/3 shutout innings on one hit.

Hot Rods 7, Lansing 1
Marty Gantt
hit a solo homer, doubled and had four RBIs. Tommy Coyle doubled, singled, walked twice, stole twice and scored twice. Andrew Toles doubled, singled thrice and was picked off twice. Jordan Harrison threw five shutout innings.

Brooklyn 4, Renegades 2
John Alexander
singled twice, RBI'd, scored and was caught stealing. Kevin Brandt posted a book-rule quality start with five hits, no walks and seven strikeouts.

Bluefield 6, P-Rays 0 (Game 1)
Jesus Araiza
singled twice and walked. Yoel Araujo was plunked. Every other batter combined: two singles, two walks.

Bluefield 2, P-Rays 0 (Game 2)
Johnny Eierman
doubled, Jesus Araiza singled and Elias Torres was plunked. No other hits or walks. Hunter Wood gave up a run on three hits in four innings.

Sunday: Braves 12, Biscuits 6

Mississippi's Aaron Northcraft didn't allow an earned run over six innings, while the Biscuits issued a dozen walks in the Braves' 12-6 victory Sunday.

Northcraft (5-8) gave up three hits and an unearned run with one walk and four strikeouts.

Omar Luna, who won the Southern League batting championship for Montgomery last season, doubled twice, singled twice, knocked in a run and scored three times to lead Mississippi. Robby Hefflinger doubled, walked twice, had three RBIs and scored twice.

The Braves showered Biscuits starter Jake Floethe (1-6) with five earned runs on 11 hits and five walks in 4 2/3 innings. Robi Estrada had two RBIs and Robby Price scored twice for Montgomery.

The Biscuits' 12 walks were one shy of a team record set in a 9-6 home loss to Mississippi on June 18, 2008.

Report: Dietrich initially silent over assault

Derek Dietrich initially stayed quiet over Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez grabbing him, according to Fort Lauderdale's Sun Sentinel.

The incident happened less than a week after Dietrich arrived in the major leagues. Dietrich told manager Mike Redmond about it only at Redmond's request.

The incident wasn't a first-time thing, the Sun Sentinel reported, citing an unnamed source. Martinez "berated" minor league infielder Matt Downs after taking offense that Downs was working with then-minor league hitting coordinator Greg Norton. Martinez had incidents with several other players.

Norton, who played for Tampa Bay in 2006-07 and had an injury rehab assignment with the Biscuits in 2007, in is now the hitting coach at Auburn.

Report: Marlins coach resigns after Dietrich accusation

Former Biscuits infielder Derek Dietrich is also in the middle of a major league controversy.

Miami Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez resigned today for allegedly physically assaulting a player, identified as Dietrich by the Miami Herald, citing two unnamed sources.

Dietrich, promoted from Double-A Jacksonville to the majors in May, was demoted back to the Suns last week.

Martinez grabbed Dietrich by his neck and neck chain "several months ago," the Herald reported, and Dietrich notified the Marlins about it through his agent.

Dietrich had a .214 average with nine home runs, 23 RBIs and 56 strikeouts in 57 games for the Marlins. Martinez is in his first year as the Marlins' hitting coach and was a 16-year major league player, including for Tampa Bay in 2004.

Here's the story I wrote on Dietrich from Friday's editions and the video I took of him on Thursday at Riverwalk Stadium before he played the Biscuits (and before the allegations became public). Dietrich and Biscuits pitcher Enny Romero also had a confrontation Friday.

Today's Rays pitchers

Bowling Green left-hander Jordan Harrison posted his first quality start in his last game, giving up one run on four hits in six innings.

DUR (Jake Odorizzi 7-4, 3.64) at Columbus (Danny Salazar 3-2, 3.28), 5:05
MGM (Jake Floethe 1-5, 5.48) at Mississippi (Aaron Northcraft 4-8, 3.99), 5
CHA (?) at Tampa (Scottie Allen 8-4, 3.77), noon
BWG (Jordan Harrison 1-2, 3.42) at Lansing (Javier Avendano 7-6, 4.24), 1:05

HV (?) at Brooklyn (John Gant 1-2, 2.76), 4
PRI (Jorge Rodriguez 0-4, 5.27/German Marquez 1-3, 4.00) at Bluefield (Jairo Labourt 1-1, 1.54/Adonys Cardona 0-1, 6.11), DH, 3:05
GCL off

Ranking the Rays ... Malm, Martin, Quinonez

For Saturday ...
1. Jeff Malm, CHA: 2-run HR, 1b, walk, caught stealing, 5 RBIs, 3 runs
2. J.D. Martin, DUR: 6 innings, 1 earned run, 6 hits, 2 walks, 4 Ks
3. Jonathan Quinonez, CHA: 2 2b's, 4 RBIs, run
4. Austin Pruitt, BWG: 2 1/3 perfect innings, K
5. Willie Argo, CHA: 1b, 2 walks, 2 runs

Quorum not present.

Morning reading: Romero vs. Dietrich

Biscuits pitcher Enny Romero says it was an accident, but Suns infielder Derek Dietrich said he's confident it was on purpose. Romero plunked Dietrich with the first pitch of Friday's doubleheader finale, which led to Montgomery's Mikie Mahtook being hit and Suns pitcher Matt Neil being ejected.

Romero and Dietrich were teammates for much of the last two seasons in the Tampa Bay organization. File this one away for an interleague matchup, perhaps in the near future.

Oh, there was Saturday's game, too, in which Dietrich hit the first of three straight homers for the Suns in a 5-1 series-ending victory. Montgomery's Victor Mateo, on his 24th birthday, took a no-hitter into the seventh inning.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday's Rays roundup

Bulls 4, Columbus 2
J.D. Martin
picked up his 13th win, giving up one earned run over six innings. Jason Bourgeois singled twice, RBI'd and scored. Cole Figueroa singled, walked and had two RBIs.

Stone Crabs 11, Tampa 6
Jeff Malm
hit a two-run homer, singled, walked, had five RBIs and scored three times. Jonathan Quinonez doubled twice, had four RBIs and scored. Willie Argo singled, walked twice and scored twice. Andrew Bellatti threw 3 1/3 shutout innings.

Lansing 4, Hot Rods 1
Joey Rickard
doubled, singled, walked and RBI'd. Jeff Ames gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings. Austin Pruitt retired all seven men he faced.

Renegades 4, Aberdeen 3
Granden Goetzman
singled, walked, stole twice, RBI'd and scored. Johnny Field doubled, singled, stole and scored. Jaime Schultz threw four shutout innings, giving up one hit.

P-Rays at Bluefield
Rained out.

GCL Rays at Orioles
Suspended in third inning.

Saturday: Suns 5, Biscuits 1

Derek Dietrich, Mark Canha and Zack Cox all homered to begin the seventh inning and spark the Jacksonville Suns to a 5-1 win over the Biscuits on Saturday.

Dietrich's homer was the first hit off Montgomery starter Victor Mateo (4-9).

After issuing two first-inning walks, Mateo retired 16 straight batters before Dietrich. After the homers, Mateo recorded two outs before two straight singles and a two-run Isaac Galloway double ended his night.

Suns starter Bryan Evans threw a dominant seven innings. He carried a perfect game into the fifth before hitting Curt Casali with a two-out pitch. He had a no-hitter until Robi Estrada homered with one out in the sixth.

The Biscuits last gave up three straight home runs June 27, 2008. The Mobile BayBears did it in the fifth inning against Jeremy Hellickson, who was making his Double-A debut. Hellickson surrendered five homers that night.

Saturday's lineups

Tonight is the finale of a five-game series between the Biscuits and Jacksonville Suns. First pitch at 6:35 p.m. For in-game updates, check Twitter @AStacyLong.

Right-hander Bryan Evans starts for the Suns, who had not announced a starter as of Friday night. Evans (2-3, 4.50 ERA) is making just his third start since June 1. His last decision was a win July 11 against Mobile in which he threw five shutout innings.

Evans gave up two unearned runs in two relief innings against Montgomery on June 16. In four starts last year vs. the Biscuits, he was 2-0 with an 0.93 ERA.

Kyeong Kang lf (left)
Robby Price 2b (left)
Mikie Mahtook cf
Cameron Seitzer 1b (left)
Todd Glaesmann rf
Curt Casali dh
Hector Guevara 3b
Mayo Acosta c
Robi Estrada ss (switch)
Victor Mateo rhp

Isaac Galloway cf
Chris Gutierrez lf
Derek Dietrich 2b (left)
Mark Canha 1b
Zack Cox dh (left)
Audy Ciriaco 3b
J.T. Realmuto c
Danny Pertusati lf
Danny Black ss (left)
Bryan Evans rhp

System check

International League South

(67-40, first place, 11.5 GA)
1B/LF Leslie Anderson, who has nine RBIs in his last six games, is hitting .321 with 13 home runs and 61 RBIs. He has a .400 on-base percentage.
OF Brandon Guyer, according to reports, will likely miss the rest of the season after breaking a finger Thursday. He has a .300 average with 70 runs scored in 90 games.
RHP Merrill Kelly is 5-1 with a 2.63 ERA.
RHP Josh Lueke has 13 saves, an 0.60 ERA and a .174 average against.

Florida State League South

(18-15, tied for third, 2 GB)
1B Alejandro Segovia has a .325 average with 12 walks in July.
RF Drew Vettleson has a .276 average, four home runs and 43 RBIs. He's scored 41 times.
RHP Lenny Linsky, in his last three appearances, has three wins and 8.1 shutout innings.

Midwest League Eastern

(23-11, first place, 2 GA)
2B Tommy Coyle, 11-for-28 in his seven-game hitting streak, has a .282 average and a .400 on-base percentage.
RHP Dylan Floro is 8-2 with a 1.68 ERA and eight straight quality starts.

New York-Penn League McNamara

(22-17, first place, 2.5 GB)
IF Darryl George is hitting .305.
RHP Aaron Griffin is 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA in 41.1 innings.

Appalachian League East

(7-27, fifth place, 15 GB)
RHP Isaac Gil has given up one run on 10 hits in 17.1 innings.
LF Elias Torres is hitting .263.

Gulf Coast League South

(14-17, tied for third, 4 GB)
RHP Andres Gonzalez, with nine straight scoreless innings, has a 3.32 ERA.
OF Jose Paez is hitting .304.

Those who strayed from the Rays

RHP Dane De La Rosa is 4-1 with a 3.42 ERA in 46 appearances for the Los Angeles Angels.
RHP Angel Castro is 6-2 with a 3.73 ERA at Triple-A Albuquerque (Dodgers).
2B Tyler Bortnick is hitting .270 with Triple-A Reno (Diamondbacks).
LHP Darin Downs has a 5.18 ERA in 26 games for the Detroit Tigers.
1B Wes Bankston has a .377 average for Oaxaca of the Mexican League.
OF Justin Ruggiano has a .201 average for the Miami Marlins.
LHP Kyle Lobstein is 2-1 with a 3.34 ERA at Triple-A Toledo (Tigers).
2B Elliot Johnson is hitting .201 for the Kansas City Royals.
OF Fernando Perez was released Tuesday by independent Lancaster.
IF Brandon Chaves has a .247 average at independent Bridgeport.
LHP Justin Dowdy is 2-3 with two saves and a 3.85 ERA for independent Grand Prairie.

Today's Rays pitchers

Durham's J.D. Martin is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in his last four starts and has a 16-inning scoreless streak. Montgomery's Victor Mateo is 2-0 with an 0.43 ERA in his last three starts.

DUR (J.D. Martin 12-4, 2.82) at Columbus (Trevor Bauer 5-2, 3.84), 6:05
MGM (Victor Mateo 4-8, 4.97) vs. Jacksonville (?), 6:35
CHA (Ryan Carpenter 7-6, 4.49) at Tampa (Dietrich Enns 0-3, 2.93), 4:30
BWG (Jeff Ames 7-2, 2.43) at Lansing (Taylor Cole 5-9, 3.95), 6:05

HV (Jaime Schultz 1-1, 2.89) vs. Tri-City (Mitch Horacek 3-1, 1.90), 6:05
PRI (Jorge Rodriguez 0-4, 5.27) at Bluefield (Jairo Labourf 1-1, 1.54), 6:05
GCL at Orioles, 9 a.m.

Ranking the Rays ... Leonard, Kiermaier, Wong

For Friday ...

1. Patrick Leonard, BWG: 2b, 2 1b's, 3 RBIs, run, error
2. Kevin Kiermaier, DUR: 2b, 1b, steal, 2 runs
3. Enny Romero, MGM: 5 innings, unearned run, 2 hits, 3 walks, 8 Ks
4. Matt Buschmann, DUR: 6 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 4 walks, 8 Ks
5. Jake Thompson, MGM: 6 2/3 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 2 walks, 2 Ks, 10 GBO

1. Kean Wong, GCL: 2 3b's, 1b, RBI, 2 runs
2. Ben Griset, HV: 6 shutout, 4 hits, no walks, 7 Ks, error
3. Andres Gonzalez, GCL: 4 shutout, 3 hits, no walks, 2 Ks

Morning reading

The Biscuits aren't planning to follow high-Class A Charlotte's lead and have a themed road trip. The Stone Crabs recently celebrated Ugly Tie July.

Otherwise, Jake Thompson was pleased to come within one out of his first complete game (and shutout), but also frustrated to come within one out of his first complete game (and shutout).

Friday, July 26, 2013

VIDEO: Biscuits pitcher Jake Thompson

Biscuits pitcher Jake Thompson wishes he could have had one more batter to try for his first career complete game (and shutout). But he said after Montgomery's 5-1 win over Jacksonville in the first game of Friday's doubleheader that he understood that 107 pitches was plenty.

See video here.

Friday, Game 2: Suns 1, Biscuits 0

Danny Black scored on a fifth-inning error and the Jacksonville Suns beat the Biscuits 1-0 in the finale of Friday's doubleheader.

With the bases loaded and two outs, J.T. Realmuto hit a groundball that shortstop Robi Estrada juggled. Realmuto beat the play at first, allowing Black to score from third.

The Biscuits finished with just four hits and one walk against five Jacksonville pitchers.

Montgomery starter Enny Romero allowed just one hit with three walks and eight strikeouts in five innings. Reliever Jimmy Patterson threw two perfect innings.

Friday's Rays roundup

Columbus 3, Bulls 2
Kevin Kiermaier
doubled, singled, stole and scored twice. Tim Beckham singled twice, stole and had two RBIs. Matt Buschmann gave up one run on four hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out eight.

Tampa 5, Stone Crabs 4 (resumption of suspension)
Richie Shaffer
doubled twice, RBI'd and scored. Willie Argo doubled, singled and had two RBIs. Alejandro Segovia singled, walked twice and scored.

Tampa 4, Stone Crabs 3 (regularly scheduled game)
Kes Carter
hit a solo homer and singled. Drew Vettleson singled twice, walked and scored.

Hot Rods 7, Great Lakes 3
Patrick Leonard
doubled, singled twice, had three RBIs, scored and erred. Marty Gantt singled twice, walked and scored twice. Joey Rickard doubled, walked, stole and scored twice. Justin O'Conner homered. Reinaldo Lopez struck out 10 and gave up two runs in six innings.

Renegades 3, Aberdeen 1
Ben Griset
threw six shutout innings with four hits allowed, no walks and seven strikeouts. Eli Echarry gave up one run on three hits in three innings. Johnny Field doubled, singled and RBI'd.

Bluefield 6, P-Rays 3
Yoel Araujo
doubled, walked and had two RBIs. Hunter Lockwood singled, walked and scored. Enmanuel Paulino singled, walked and was plunked.

GCL Orioles 4, Rays 3
Kean Wong
tripled twice, had an RBI and scored twice. Nick Ciuffo singled twice and RBI'd. Andres Gonzalez threw four shutout innings.

Friday's Game 2 lineups

It's Game 2 of Friday's doubleheader between the Biscuits and Jacksonville Suns. For in-game updates, check Twitter @AStacyLong.

Kyeong Kang lf (left)
Robby Price 2b (left)
Mikie Mahtook cf
Cameron Seitzer 1b (left)
Todd Glaesmann lf
Keith Castillo dh (switch)
Hector Guevara 3b
Mayo Acosta c
Robi Estrada ss (switch)

Derek Dietrich 2b (left)
Isaac Galloway cf
Taylor Krick c
Zack Cox 3b (left)
J.T. Realmuto dh
Danny Pertusati lf
Noah Perio 1b (left)
Michael Main rf
Danny Black ss (left)
Matt Neil rhp

Friday, Game 1: Biscuits 5, Suns 1

Jake Thompson came within one out his first career shutout in the Biscuits' 5-1 victory over the Jacksonville Suns in the first game of Friday's doubleheader.

Game 2 should begin around 8:10 p.m.

Thompson (8-9), after giving up two hits in the first six innings, exited after the Suns singled twice in the seventh. He walked two, struck out two and tied a season high with 107 pitches.

The Suns scored on a strikeout/wild pitch after Thompson left.

Robby Price homered in the first inning and Montgomery added four runs in the sixth. Kyeong Kang and Hector Guevara each hit two-run singles.

Frey sits with sore left knee

Biscuits center fielder Evan Frey did not participate in batting practice today and is unlikely to play in tonight's doubleheader due to a sore left knee.

Frey hurt himself trying to make a diving play during Thursday's doubleheader, his first action since being demoted from Triple-A Durham. Manager Billy Gardner said Frey is "day-to-day."

Friday's Game 1 lineups

Biscuits third baseman Hector Guevara hits leadoff for the first time this season in the opening game of a doubleheader with the Jacksonville Suns. It will be just his 25th career game as the leadoff hitter (20 last year for high-Class A Charlotte, three in 2010 for Rookie-level Princeton and one in 2009 in Venezuela).

Center fielder Isaac Galloway makes his Double-A debut for the Suns. The 23-year-old was hitting .271 in 89 games at high-Class A Jupiter. He was an eighth-round draft pick in 2008 from a California high school.

For in-game updates, check Twitter @AStacyLong.

Hector Guevara 3b
Robby Price 2b (left)
Mikie Mahtook cf
Cameron Seitzer 1b (left)
Todd Glaesmann rf
Curt Casali c
Kyeong Kang dh (left)
Steve Tinoco lf
Robi Estrada ss (switch)

Jake Thompson rhp

Derek Dietrich 2b (left)
Isaac Galloway cf
Mark Canha 1b
J.T. Realmuto c
Zack Cox dh (left)
Audy Ciriaco 3b
Danny Pertusati lf
Chris Gutierrez ss
Michael Main rf
Justin Nicolino lhp

Today's Rays pitchers

Durham is 10-0 in games where Matt Buschmann has pitched. The Bulls overcame his seven-run, four-inning effort in his last start for a 14-13 win.

Bowling Green's Reinaldo Lopez is 3-0 with an 0.72 ERA in his last four starts.

DUR (Matt Buschmann 5-0, 3.44) at Columbus (?), 6:15
MGM (Jake Thompson 7-9, 4.96/Enny Romero 9-4, 2.87) vs. Jacksonville (Justin Nicolino 0-1, 12.00/Matt Neil 1-2, 4.02), DH, 5:40
CHA at Tampa, resumption of suspension, 4:30
CHA (?) at Tampa (Dietrich Enns 0-3, 2.93), 6
BWG (Reinaldo Lopez 5-4, 2.30) at Great Lakes (Brandon Martinez 1-0, 3.68), 6:05

HV (Eli Echarry 3-2, 2.30) vs. Aberdeen (?), 6:05
PRI (Jorge Rodriguez 0-4, 5.27) at Bluefield (Tim Mayza 1-1, 9.53), 6:05
GCL vs. Orioles, 11 a.m.

Ranking the Rays ... Floro, Colla, Griffin

For Thursday ...

1. Dylan Floro, BWG: 6 2/3 shutout, 6 hits, 2 walks, 4 Ks, 10 GBO
2. Michael Colla, MGM: 6 innings, 1 run, 5 hits, 4 Ks
3. Merrill Kelly, DUR: 6 innings, 2 runs, 6 hits, 3 walks, 6 Ks
4. Robi Estrada, MGM: 3 1b's, 3 RBIs, run, error in DH
5. Jason Bourgeois, DUR: 2 1b's, 2 RBIs, run

1. Aaron Griffin, HV: 6 shutout, 3 hits, walk, 7 Ks
2. Jeremy Hadley, GCL: 3b, 1b, 3 RBIs, 2 runs
3. D.J. Slaton, PRI: 6 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, walk, 2 Ks

Morning reading

Derek Dietrich called the trade that sent him from the Rays to the Marlins "the best thing that ever happened" to him. Since the offseason deal, he's spent 2 1/2 months in the major leagues.

In the notebook, there are a few details on the Biscuits' doubleheader sweep of Jacksonville on Thursday, plus a major surprise from last week's Southern League All-Star Game. Specifically, who knew that Montgomery first baseman Cameron Seitzer would bring home a home run championship?

VIDEO: Juan Sandoval makes Biscuits history

Juan Sandoval became the first pitcher in Biscuits history to appear in both ends of a doubleheader Thursday.

Sandoval threw 14 pitches in the final inning of Montgomery's 6-1 opening victory and 15 pitches in the Biscuits' 4-2 final win over Jacksonville.

Sandoval didn't give up a hit -- the only runner to reach did so via error -- and had three strikeouts. This year, the right-hander has 14 saves and a 2.98 ERA for Montgomery.

See video here.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday, Game 2: Biscuits 4, Suns 2

The Biscuits used a three-run fourth inning to take the lead in a 4-2 win over the Jacksonville Suns in the second game of Thursday's doubleheader.

Montgomery won the opener 6-1.

Robi Estrada was 2-for-3, including an RBI single and a run scored in the fourth inning, a rally that started with two outs. The Biscuits had six straight players single with two outs. Estrada singled in the first run and scored the final run.

Thursday's Rays roundup

Bulls 3, Gwinnett 2
Kevin Kiermaier
walked, stole, scored and threw out a runner at home. Jason Bourgeois singled twice, had two RBIs, scored and threw out a runner at home. Merrill Kelly gave up two runs in six innings. Brandon Guyer broke a finger on his right hand.

Stone Crabs at Tampa
Suspended in ninth inning with 4-4 tie.

Hot Rods 2, Great Lakes 0
Dylan Floro gave up six hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings. He's 8-2 with a 1.68 ERA. Marcus Jensen allowed one hit with five strikeouts over the final 2 1/3. Leonardo Reginatto singled twice, RBI'd and scored. Tommy Coyle singled twice and walked.

Tri-City 1, Renegades 0
Aaron Griffin
threw six shutout innings with three hits allowed, one walk and seven strikeouts. The Renegades mustered two singles and a walk.

Pulaski 2, P-Rays 1
Enmanuel Paulino
doubled, walked and RBI'd. Isaac Gil threw two no-hit frames.

GCL Rays 8, Red Sox 3
Jeremy Hadley
tripled, singled, hd three RBIs and scored twice. Tommy Milone singled, had two RBIs and scored twice. Cristian Toribio singled, walked and scored twice.

Thursday's Game 2 lineups

Game 2 lineups for Thursday's doubleheader between the Biscuits and Jacksonville Suns. For in-game updates, check Twitter @AStacyLong.

Biscuits first baseman Cameron Seitzer, after missing his first game of the year Monday at Mobile, is sitting out tonight's nightcap.

Evan Frey cf (left)
Robby Price 2b (left)
Mikie Mahtook rf
Kyeong Kang lf (left)
Mayo Acosta c
Keith Castillo dh (switch)
Hector Guevara 3b
Steve Tinoco 1b
Robi Estrada ss (switch)
Marquis Fleming rhp

Derek Dietrich dh (left)
Chris Gutierrez lf
Mark Canha 1b
Zack Cox 3b (left)
Danny Pertusati rf
Taylor Krick c
Noah Perio 2b (left)
Michael Main cf
Danny Black ss (left)
Robert Morey rhp

Thursday, Game 1: Biscuits 6, Suns 1

Michael Colla threw six strong innings and Curt Casali was 3-for-3 in his Double-A debut to lead the Biscuits in a 6-1 win over the Jacksonville Suns in the first game of Thursday's doubleheader.

The nightcap should begin about 9 p.m.

Casali, promoted this week from high-Class A Charlotte, hit an RBI single to cap Montgomery's three-run first inning. His two-out single stoked a three-run sixth. Hector Guevara followed with an RBI double and Robi Estrada a two-run single.

Colla (4-1) gave up five hits with no walks and four strikeouts to win for the first time in four starts. He's 6-of-9 on quality starts since joining the Biscuits in early June.

Chris Gutierrez homered with one out in the sixth inning off Colla, who threw 56 of 79 pitches for strikes. Juan Sandoval worked a perfect seventh, and final, inning.

VIDEO: Former Biscuits infielder Derek Dietrich

Former Biscuits second baseman Derek Dietrich returned to Riverwalk Stadium today.

He's back with the Jacksonville Suns after spending the last 2 1/2 months in the major leagues with the Miami Marlins. Dietrich went to the Marlins in an offseason trade that sent shortstop Yunel Escobar to the Rays.

See video here.
See story in Friday's editions.

Thursday's Game 1 lineups

And the Biscuits and Jacksonville Suns make a third try at beginning their five-game series. After two days of rainouts, they're supposed to start a doubleheader at 6:05 p.m. today. For in-game updates, check Twitter @AStacyLong.

Montgomery catcher Curt Casali is supposed to make his Double-A debut, while Evan Frey makes his Biscuits debut. Former Biscuit Derek Dietrich is in Jacksonville's lineup for his first game since being demoted from the majors.

Evan Frey cf (left)
Robby Price 2b (left)
Mikie Mahtook rf
Cameron Seitzer 1b (left)
Todd Glaesmann lf
Kyeong Kang dh (left)
Curt Casali c
Hector Guevara 3b
Robi Estrada ss (switch)
Michael Colla rhp

Derek Dietrich 2b (left)
Chris Gutierrez 3b
Mark Canha 1b
J.T. Realmuto c
Zack Cox dh (left)
Audy Ciriaco lf
Danny Pertusati rf
Michael Main cf
Danny Black ss (left)
Anthony DeSclafani rhp

Time for Friday DH changed

The start time for Friday's doubleheader between the Biscuits and Jacksonville Suns has been moved up.

They'll now start at 5:40 p.m.

Today's Rays pitchers

Bowling Green right-hander Dylan Floro's quality-start streak is up to seven games, during which time he's 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA.

DUR (Merrill Kelly 4-1, 2.57) vs. Gwinnett (Cody Martin 2-1, 2.94), 6:05
MGM (Michael Colla 3-1, 3.38/Marquis Fleming 2-4, 5.00) vs. Jacksonville (Robert Morey 4-6, 4.43/Anthony DeSclafani 2-1, 5.01), 6:05
CHA (Roberto Gomez 5-8, 4.62) at Tampa (?), 6
BWG (Dylan Floro 7-2, 1.80) at Great Lakes (Miguel Sulbaran 6-2, 3.20), 6:05

HV (Aaron Griffin 2-0, 3.06) vs. Tri-City (Zach Morton 1-1, 1.33), 6:05
PRI (D.J. Slaton 0-1, 3.48) at Pulaski (Jose Flores 2-0, 4.09), 6
GCL vs. Red Sox, 5:30

Ranking the Rays ... Guyer, Montgomery, Paez

For Wednesday ...
1. Brandon Guyer, DUR: 2 1b's, walk, 3 steals, RBI
2. Mike Montgomery, DUR: 5 2/3 shutout, 3 hits, walk, 6 Ks
3. Josh Lueke, DUR: 2 perfect, 3 Ks, has 0.60 ERA
4. Ryan Brett, CHA: 2b, 1b, 2 steals, RBI, run
5. Kes Carter, CHA: 2b, 1b, 2 runs, outfield assist

1. Jose Paez, GCL: 3b, 2 1b's, steal, RBI, 2 runs
2. Johnny Eierman, PRI: 2b, 1b, walk, RBI, run
3. Edgar Gomez, PRI: 4 1/3 shutout, 2 hits, 3 Ks, 5 GBO

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday's Rays roundup

Bulls 3, Gwinnett 1
Mike Montgomery
threw 5 2/3 shutout innings and Josh Lueke finished with two perfect innings. Cole Figueroa singled twice and scored twice. Brandon Guyer had two singles, a walk, three steals and an RBI.

Dunedin 8, Stone Crabs 5
Ryan Brett
doubled, singled, stole twice, RBI'd and scored. Kes Carter doubled, singled and scored twice.

Great Lakes 5, Hot Rods 1
Justin O'Conner
doubled and singled. Tommy Coyle singled twice and stole.

Tri-City 4, Renegades 0
Julian Ridings'
double, five players' singles and Ariel Soriano's walk were the entire offense. Chris Kirsch gave up four unearned runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Pulaski 7, P-Rays 2
Johnny Eierman
doubled, singled, walked, RBI'd and scored. Jesus Araiza doubled and singled. Bralin Jackson singled and walked. Edgar Gomez threw 4 1/3 shutout innings of relief.

GCL Rays 9, Red Sox 6
Erick Vasquez's
two-run single capped a five-run ninth. Jose Paez tripled, singled twice, stole, RBI'd and scored twice. Riley Unroe singled twice, walked, RBI'd and scored twice.

Bang: Biscuits-Suns rained out; DHs Thursday, Friday

The Biscuits' game with the Jacksonville Suns has been rained out.

They'll play a doubleheader at 6:05 p.m. Thursday and, despite a usual prohibition against back-to-back doubleheaders, another at 6:05 p.m. Friday.

The Biscuits said they had to get Southern League approval for back-to-back doubleheaders and did secure it.

Biscuits pull tarp off infield

Here's the infield as the Biscuits' front office pulled the tarp. Judge for yourself ...

Bosman: Guerrieri surgery was sudden decision

Rays minor league pitcher Taylor Guerrieri's Tommy John surgery was a sudden decision, minor league pitching coordinator Dick Bosman said, and he's confident Guerrieri will return as strong, if not stronger.

Guerrieri went to see Dr. James Andrews today and Andrews advised him that "rehab was not an option" because of where the soreness was, Bosman said.

"Dr. Andrews said, 'I'll see you in surgery in two hours,'" Bosman said. "'Let's go.'"

Bosman, who is with the Biscuits this week, had surgery in 2004 from Andrews and raves about him.

Bosman said that Guerrieri had "some arm slot issues" early in the season and his velocity had been diminished at times, but that he regularly told Bowling Green pitching coach Kyle Snyder that he was healthy.

Guerrieri's season has had "mixed reviews for me," Bosman said, "but then you start thinking about this. How long has this been bothering him, really?"

Biscuits-Suns to play 1 tonight, DH Thursday

The Biscuits and Jacksonville Suns' planned doubleheader tonight has been nixed.

They'll try to play one game tonight, a nine-inning game hopefully starting at 7:05 p.m., and have a doubleheader beginning at 6:05 p.m. Thursday.

O'Malley away after father's death

Biscuits shortstop Shawn O'Malley has gone home to Washington after his father's death. Rich O'Malley died Sunday. He was 55. Visitation is Friday and the funeral Saturday in Richland, Wash. Rich and wife, Karla, have been married for 33 years and had three children, including Shawn, according to his obituary.

Wednesday's Game 1 lineups

Catcher Curt Casali makes his Double-A debut today in the opening game of a doubleheader between the Biscuits and Jacksonville Suns. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m. For in-game updates, check Twitter @AStacyLong.

Kyeong Kang lf (left)
Robby Price 2b (left)
Mikie Mahtook cf
Cameron Seitzer 1b (left)
Todd Glaesmann rf
Curt Casali c
Hector Guevara 3b
Keith Castillo dh (switch)
Robi Estrada ss (switch)
Michael Colla rhp

Noah Perio 2b (left)
Chris Gutierrez 3b
J.T. Realmuto c
Mark Canha 1b
Zack Cox dh (left)
Audy Ciriaco lf
Danny Pertusati rf
Michael Main cf
Danny Black ss (left)
Robert Morey rhp

Guerrieri having Tommy John surgery

Taylor Guerrieri, an elite pitching prospect for the Tampa Bay Rays who has played this year at low-Class A Bowling Green, is having Tommy John surgery today, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Guerrieri went on the Hot Rods' disabled list Sunday after leaving his last start July 15 following two innings. He's 6-2 with a 2.01 ERA in 67 innings this season, including a streak of 24 consecutive scoreless innings.

The Rays had carefully limited his innings this season. He pitched on at least five days' rest every start this year and his July 15 appearance was his first since July 1. Though the Futures Game picked Guerrieri, the Rays held him out.

Tommy John recovery time for a pitcher is normally around one full year.

Guerrieri was the 24th overall pick in the 2011 draft and debuted last year with 52 innings at short-season Class A Hudson Valley. Baseball America named him the top prospect last year in the New York-Penn League and ranked him third in the Tampa Bay organization before this season.

Frey demoted to Montgomery

Outfielder Evan Frey has been demoted to the Biscuits from Triple-A Durham, a move that makes room on the Bulls' roster for the promoted Kevin Kiermaier.

Frey was hitting .224 in 19 games for the Bulls. He began the year in the Arizona organization and had a .282 average in 61 games at Triple-A Reno. The Diamondbacks released him June 24 and he signed with the Rays on July 1.

The 27-year-old, in his previous six minor league seasons, was a .280 hitter and spent most of the last four years with the Mobile BayBears.

Southern League starting Hall of Fame

Billy Hitchcock, whose name is synonymous with Auburn University athletics and who spent nine years as president of the Southern League, will be part of the inaugural Southern League Hall of Fame induction class.

Don Mincher and Jimmy Bragan, also former league presidents, will be inducted with Hitchcock.

The Southern League announced the creation of a Hall of Fame today. It will be part of the league's 2014 celebration of the 50th season of its modern era. The league moved up to Double-A status in 1964.

Hitchcock, who died in April 2006, was the Southern League president from 1971-80 and the league's championship trophy is named in his honor. He lived in Opelika.

Auburn's baseball field is named for Hitchcock and his late brother, Jimmy, the school's first All-American in both baseball and football. The Auburn men's golf team annually hosts the Billy Hitchcock Intercollegiate.

Bragan, who was born in Birmingham, succeeded Hitchcock as league president and was involved in baseball for more than 40 years. Mincher, a Huntsville native who helped the Stars move to town in 1985, was league president from 2000-11. Mincher was enshrined in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

Today's Rays pitchers

Montgomery's Marquis Fleming is scheduled to start the finale of a doubleheader with Jacksonville. It will be just the second start of Fleming's six-year career.

On Sept. 5, 2008, Fleming made his final appearance with short-season Hudson Valley. He gave up seven earned runs on six hits, including three home runs, in three innings of a 17-0 loss at Staten Island.

DUR (Mike Montgomery 4-4, 4.52) vs. Gwinnett (Brandon Beachy 1-3, 3.38), 6:05
MGM (Michael Colla 3-1, 3.38/Marquis Fleming 2-4, 5.00) vs. Jacksonville (Robert Morey 4-6, 4.43/Matt Neil 1-2, 4.02), DH, 6:05
CHA (Felipe Rivero 6-6, 3.71) vs. Dunedin (Austin Bibens-Dirkx 6-3, 2.61), 5:30
BWG (Blake Snell 3-6, 3.91) at Great Lakes (Tom Windle 1-0, 1.89), 6:05

HV (Chris Kirsch 1-1, 4.00) vs. Tri-City (Chris Cotton 2-1, 0.73), 6:05
PRI (Nolan Gannon 0-2, 3.97) vs. Pulaski (Edwin Diaz 3-0, 0.84), 6:05
GCL at Red Sox, 5:30

Ranking the Rays ... Brandt, Marquez, Narvaez

For Tuesday ...

Quorum not present.

1. Kevin Brandt, HV: 6 shutout, 4 hits, 2 walks, 6 Ks, 9 GBO
2. German Marquez, PRI: 5 shutout, 3 hits, 2 walks, 2 Ks, 7 GBO
3. Omar Narvaez, HV: 2 1b's, 2 RBIs, run

Morning reading

Reviewing Tuesday's Biscuits news: Catcher Mark Thomas was suspended 50 games for a positive test for a drug of abuse, while center fielder Kevin Kiermaier has been promoted to Triple-A Durham.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday's Rays roundup

Gwinnett 4, Bulls 1
Cole Figueroa
singled twice, stole and scored. Jake Odorizzi gave up three earned runs on seven hits in four-plus innings.

Stone Crabs 6, Dunedin 5
Jake DePew
hit a two-run double and scored to cap a four-run ninth. Richie Shaffer hit a leadoff home run in the ninth. Alejandro Segovia doubled, singled and scored twice. Willie Argo doubled, walked and scored. Drew Vettleson doubled, singled, RBI'd and threw out a runner at home. Jake Partridge gave up two runs in five innings. Rehabbing Alex Cobb left after two pitches due to a blister.

Renegades 4, Tri-City 3
Omar Narvaez
singled twice, had two RBIs and scored. Johnny Field singled, walked, stole and scored. James Harris knocked in two runs. Kevin Brandt threw six shutout innings on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts.

Pulaski 6, P-Rays 1
Jesus Araiza
singled twice and scored. German Marquez threw five shutout innings, giving up three hits with two walks.

GCL Rays 3, Twins 1
Alexander Simon
singled twice and had two RBIs. Clayton Henning tripled, singled and scored. Taylor Hawkins homered. Jose Alonzo's four innings included just one run.

Kiermaier promoted to Bulls

Biscuits center fielder Kevin Kiermaier has been promoted to Triple-A Durham and said he's scheduled to debut with the Bulls on Wednesday.

“I want to stay healthy and finish 2013 on a good note,” Kiermaier said.

The 23-year-old was second in the Southern League with a .307 average and 65 runs scored. He played in his first All-Star Game last week.

In his fourth professional season, Kiermaier has never been promoted in the middle of a season. He did jump from high-Class A Charlotte to the Bulls for the final week of last season to help Durham finish the season. The Bulls were depleted after Tampa Bay's roster expanded Sept. 1.

Due to injuries, he played in just 63 games last year.

After the regular season, Kiermaier came to the Biscuits for the Southern League playoffs.

“It's a surreal feeling getting called up now,” said Kiermaier, who drove to Durham on Tuesday. “I've put so much time and effort into baseball, to finally get my first midseason promotion is such an honor.”

Thomas suspended for drug of abuse

Biscuits catcher Mark Thomas has drawn a 50-game suspension after a second positive test for a drug of abuse.

Major League Baseball announced the suspension a few minutes ago. Thomas' locker has been cleared out of Riverwalk Stadium and his suspension will last the rest of this season and the first 10 games of 2014.

"It's really unfortunate," Biscuits manager Billy Gardner said. "They have these random drug tests in place and you would hope it would deter players whether it's (performance-enhancing drugs) or recreational drugs, but they're kids.

"Sometimes, they make poor decisions and, when they make bad choices, they have to own up to them," Gardner said. "I think Mark did that. He didn't make any excuses. He was very disappointed and felt he let himself and his family down.

"We're very supportive of Mark, and so is the Tampa Bay Rays organization and the players. At the end of the day, it may be a blessing in disguise for him."

Thomas is the seventh Rays minor leaguer to serve a drug suspension this year.

Josh Sale, Ryan Brett and Charlie Cononie still had time to serve due to suspensions late last season. Sale drew a further suspension from the Rays for his conduct just after his drug suspension ended. Brett has returned, while Cononie was released. (Four others were also due to serve suspensions this year but were released in the offseason.)

Catcher David Wendt drew a 50-game suspension in January, though he was released before appearing in a game. Jose Disla, a pitcher in the Dominican, started a 50-game suspension in late April. Angel Yepez, a pitcher in Venezuela, started one in May.

The Rays have had 12 minor leaguers suspended since the start of 2012, according to Minor League Baseball.

Thomas' locker cleared out

Mark Thomas' locker has been cleared out of Montgomery's clubhouse.

Bang: Biscuits-Suns rained out

Tonight's game between the Biscuits and Jacksonville Suns has been rained out. The teams will play a doubleheader starting at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday.

Biscuits put Thomas on restricted list

Biscuits catcher Mark Thomas has been put on the restricted list for unknown reasons.

With the addition of catcher Curt Casali from high-Class A Charlotte, the Biscuits list their roster at the Southern League limit of 25 players. However, the roster at Minor League Baseball still lists 24 active players (with Thomas and without Casali).

Thomas has a career-worst .151 average in 53 games in his second season with Montgomery. After starting the year as the priority catcher, he has been equally sharing catching duties with Mayo Acosta. However, Acosta started six straight games before Thomas caught Monday.

The Stone Crabs have also switched out infielders. They've added Jonathan Quinonez from short-season Class A Hudson Valley and demoted Enmanuel Paulino to Rookie-level Princeton. Paulino was hitting .261 in eight games for Charlotte.

Quinonez had a .337 average in 25 games for the Renegades. Paulino was hitting .261 in eight games with Charlotte.

Today's Rays pitchers

Biscuits right-hander Michael Colla is winless in his last four starts, but Montgomery is 6-2 when he takes the hill.

DUR (Jake Odorizzi 7-3, 3.49) at Gwinnett (Yohan Flande 4-6, 5.29), 5:05
MGM (Michael Colla 3-1, 3.38) vs. Jacksonville (Robert Morey 4-6, 4.43), 7:05
CHA (Alex Cobb rehab) vs. Dunedin (Aaron Sanchez 2-4, 3.26), 5:30
BWG off

HV (Kevin Brandt 3-2, 2.42) vs. Tri-City (Michael Feliz 3-1, 1.27), 6:05
PRI (German Marquez 1-3, 4.91) vs. Pulaski (Ramire Cleto 1-2, 4.13), 6:05
GCL vs. Twins, 11 a.m.

Ranking the Rays ... Martin, Paez, Garcia

For Monday ...

1. J.D. Martin, DUR: 8 shutout, 4 hits, no walks, 6 Ks
2. Brandon Guyer, DUR: solo HR, 3b, 1b, walk, 2 runs
3. Ryan Garton, BWG: 4 no-hit innings, walk, 4 Ks
4. Austin Pruitt, BWG: 3 no-hit innings, walk, 4 Ks
5. Joey Rickard, BWG: 5 walks, steal, 2 runs in DH

1. Jose Paez, GCL: 3b, 2b, 4 1b's, RBI, 3 runs in DH
2. David Garcia, PRI: solo HR, 2 walks, steal, 2 RBIs, 2 runs
3. Jhefferson Hurtado: GCL: 3 no-hit innings, unearned run, walk, 2 Ks, 5 GBO

Morning reading

The Biscuits start a home series tonight with the Jacksonville Suns, while the city of Montgomery is honoring its professional baseball past at Wednesday's game. With that, here's a look at Hall of Famer Norman "Turkey" Stearnes, who made his pro debut for the Montgomery Grey Sox in 1921.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday's Rays roundup

Bulls 7, Gwinnett 0
J.D. Martin
gave up four hits with no walks and six strikeouts over eight innings. Brandon Guyer hit a solo homer, triples, singled, walked and scored twice. Cole Figueroa singled twice and had three RBIs.

Dunedin 9, Stone Crabs 2
Jeff Malm
singled thrice and scored. Luke Bailey hit a two-run single in the seventh. After starter Parker Markel gave up three earned runs over two innings, Ryan Carpenter allowed four over six in his first relief appearance since the season opener.

Hot Rods 4, Beloit 1 (14, completion of Sunday suspension)
Ryan Dunn
hit a three-run, game-ending home run. Joey Rickard walked thrice and scored. Jordan Harrison gave up one run over six innings. Ryan Garton tossed four no-hit innings and Austin Pruitt hung three no-hit frames.

Beloit 9, Hot Rods 7 (regularly scheduled game)
Marty Gantt
tripled, doubled, singled, had three RBIs and scored. Leonardo Reginatto hit four singles, walked, RBI'd and scored twice. The Hot Rods surrendered a touchdown in the ninth inning.

Tri-City 4, Renegades 3
Julian Ridings
hit three singles, stole, was caught stealing and scored.

P-Rays 9, Kingsport 3
Jesus Araiza
doubled, singled twice, RBI'd and scored twice. David Garcia hit a solo homer, walked twice, stole, had two RBIs and scored twice. Travis Flores cracked a two-run homer.

GCL Twins 5, Rays 4 (completion of Thursday suspension)
Jose Paez
tripled, singled, stole, RBI'd and scored. Taylor Hawkins singled twice, stole twice and scored. Jhefferson Hurtado gave up an unearned run over three no-hit innings.

GCL Rays 13, Twins 6 (regularly scheduled game)
Jose Paez
doubled, singled thrice and scored twice. Kean Wong singled twice, had two RBIs and scored three times. Nick Cuiffo singled thrice, walked, RBI'd twice and scored twice.

Vogt, Meek lauded by Pacific Coast League

Former Biscuits swept this week's Pacific Coast League awards: Sacramento catcher Stephen Vogt and Round Rock right-hander Evan Meek.

Vogt was 11-for-18 with three homers and 11 RBIs in four games since the All-Star break. That includes a Friday with five hits, two homers, six RBIs and four runs scored. Vogt has a .325 average, 12 homers, 57 RBIs and 50 runs in 72 games with the River Cats.

Meek threw eight shutout innings Sunday to win his third straight start for the Express. He gave up four hits. Meek is 5-4 with a 3.65 ERA at Round Rock. Since moving into the rotation a month ago, he's 5-1 with a 3.06 ERA in eight starts.

Seitzer snaps Biscuits-record streak

Biscuits first baseman Cameron Seitzer, by not playing in Monday's loss at Mobile snapped a team-record streak.

Seitzer had played in 99 straight games -- Montgomery's first 99 games of the season -- to set the Iron Man record for a Biscuit. Gabriel Martinez, also primarily a first baseman, played in 84 straight games from May 31-Sept. 1, 2008.

Monday: BayBears 6, Biscuits 1 (7, rain)

Andrew Chafin threw a rain-shortened five-hitter to lead the Mobile BayBears in a 6-1 win over the Biscuits. The game ended with one out in the bottom of the seventh.

Chafin (7-5) issued no walks and recorded five strikeouts.

Nick Evans hit his 16th home run, a two-run blast in the fourth inning, while Dustin Martin doubled twice and had two RBIs for Mobile. Hector Guevara doubled and singled for the Biscuits.

Casali sent from Stone Crabs to Biscuits

Hearing that catcher Curt Casali has been promoted from Charlotte to the Biscuits. Casali, picked up in a spring trade from the Detroit Tigers, was hitting .267 in 46 games for the Stone Crabs. He had five home runs and 22 RBIs.

Update: Confirmed. Casali is driving to Montgomery today, manager Billy Gardner said. The Biscuits will activate him in time  for Tuesday's game with Jacksonville. The Biscuits currently have 24 active players, according to Minor League Baseball, one less than the Southern League limit.

Mark Thomas and Mayo Acosta have equally shared Montgomery's catching duties this year. However, Acosta caught six straight games before Thomas played today.

Stars' Rogers, Barons' Arroyo best in Southern League's week

Huntsville first baseman Jason Rogers and Birmingham left-hander Spencer Arroyo won the Southern League's weekly awards.

Rogers clubbed three home runs and had six RBIs Friday at Pensacola and, in his first three games after the All-Star break, was 6-for-12 with four homers, seven RBIs and five runs scored. He's tied for third in the league with 14 homers and is hitting .243 with 60 RBIs this year.

Arroyo threw seven shutout innings Thursday against Chattanooga, allowing four hits with no walks and five strikeouts. He's 7-4 with a 3.34 ERA this year.

The Stars have won an award the last three weeks, though the previous two were pitchers. Arroyo is the third Baron to win this season.

Today's Rays pitchers

Durham's J.D. Martin can wrest the organizational lead for wins and relegate teammate Matt Buschmann to second place. Martin had met quality-start minimums in seven of his last eight games before throwing only five shutout innings July 14 in his last start.

DUR (J.D. Martin 11-4, 3.02) at Gwinnett (?), 5:05
MGM (Jake Floethe 1-4, 5.27) at Mobile (Andrew Chafin 6-5, 2.94), 12:05
CHA (Parker Markel 4-6, 6.19) vs. Dunedin (Kyle Drabek 0-1, 4.38), 5:30
BWG vs. Beloit, continuation of suspension, 12:05
BWG (Matt Spann 3-1, 2.25) vs. Beloit (Andres Avila 4-1, 2.92)

HV (Jaime Schultz 1-0, 2.30) at Tri-City (Tanner Bushue 2-1, 2.03), 6
PRI (Luis Cabrera 0-3, 4.50) vs. Kingsport (Andres E. Perez 0-0, 3.27), 10:05 a.m.
GCL at Twins, continuation of Friday suspension, 10 a.m.
GCL at Twins

Ranking the Rays ... Bellatti, Mateo, George

For Sunday ...
1. Andrew Bellatti, CHA: 5 innings of relief, unearned run, 3 hits, walk, 5 Ks, 6 GBO
2. Victor Mateo, MGM: 8 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 3 walks, 4 Ks, 8 GBO
3. Jason Bourgeois, DUR: 3 1b's, walk, 2 RBIs, 3 runs, error
4. Vince Belnome, DUR: 2 2b's, walk, 2 RBIs, 3 runs
5. Leslie Anderson, DUR: 2b, 1b, walk, 3 RBIs, 2 runs

1. Darryl George, HV: 4 1b's, run, error, pitched final 2 outs
2. Jonathan Quinonez, HV: 4 1b's, caught stealing, RBI
3. Wilmer Dominguez, PRI: 2 1b's, RBI, error

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday's Rays roundup

Bulls 14, Pawtucket 13
Vince Belnome
doubled twice, walked, had two RBIs and scored three times. Leslie Anderson doubled, singled, walked, had three RBIs and scored twice. Jason Bourgeois singled thrice, walked, had two RBIs and scored thrice.

Stone Crabs 9, Dunedin 6
Ryan Brett
hit four singles with a steal, a caught stealing, two RBIs and two runs scored. Richie Shaffer homered, doubled and had three RBIs. Jesse Hahn gave up three runs in two innings. Andrew Bellatti's five innings included an unearned run.

Beloit at Hot Rods
Suspended after 10.

Tri-City 9, Renegades 3
Jonathan Quinonez
and Darryl George each hit four singles. Quinonez added a caught stealing and an RBI. George added a run scored and an error.

Kingsport 8, P-Rays 1
Wilmer Dominguez
singled twice and RBI'd. Johnny Eierman walked and scored.

Sunday: Biscuits 2, BayBears 1 (11)

Kyeong Kang homered twice, including in the 11th inning, to give the Biscuits a 2-1 win over the Mobile BayBears. Kang hit the tying homer in the seventh off former Biscuit Matt Gorgen and the go-ahead blast with two outs in the 11th.

Biscuits starter Victor Mateo threw eight innings, giving up one run on three hits. Braulio Lara threw two innings for the win and Juan Sandoval survived a two-hit 11th for his 13th save.

Kang is the first Biscuit to homer twice in a game since Henry Wrigley did it at Pensacola on April 9, 2012. He's the 29th in team history.

Today's Rays pitchers

Durham, which has tied a season high with three straight losses, is 9-0 in games where Matt Buschmann has pitched.

DUR (Matt Buschmann 5-0, 2.36) vs. Pawtucket (Allen Webster 5-2, 3.41), 4:05
MGM (Victor Mateo 4-8, 5.29) at Mobile (Archie Bradley 6-4, 2.37), 5:05
CHA (Jesse Hahn 2-1, 1.74) vs. Dunedin (?), 4:30
BWG (Jordan Harrison 1-2, 4.08) vs. Beloit (Dakota Bacus 8-3, 4.04), 5:05

HV (Ben Griset 0-2, 4.94) at Tri-City (Evan Grills 2-0, 3.27), 4
PRI (Jorge Rodriguez 0-3, 4.76) vs. Kingsport (Chris Flexen 2-1, 2.57), 1:05
GCL off

Ranking the Rays ... Bierman, Rivero, Goetzman

Got home halfway through the night and found out the Charlotte Stone Crabs almost did the same. Since Friday's game was suspended after six innings, they had to finish that one today ... and played 13. Then, they played 15 innings in the finale without a winner. It hit the curfew and, since they don't play Daytona again, it goes as a 2-2 tie. Stats count.

Felipe Rivero's efforts Thursday before the suspension go in the rankings for Friday. We count the games for the day the game ends.

For Saturday ...
1. Sean Bierman, CHA: 5 shutout in relief, 4 hits, 2 Ks, 8 GBO
2. Felipe Rivero, CHA: 6 shutout, 1 hit, walk, 11 GBO
3. Mikie Mahtook, MGM: 2 1b's, walk, steal, RBI, 2 runs
4. Luke Maile, BWG: 2b, 1b, walk, 2 RBIs
5. Jeff Ames, BWG: book-rule quality start, 4 hits, 2 walks

1. Granden Goetzman, HV: 3b, 2b, 1b, steal, 2 RBIs, 2 runs
2. Ruben Paredes, GCL: 4 shutout in relief, 2 hits, walk, K, 9 GBO
3. Jake Faria, PRI: 6 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 7 Ks

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Today's Rays pitchers

Durham's Merrill Kelly has recorded 14 straight scoreless innings. Bowling Green's Jeff Ames had a 24-inning streak snapped in his last start.

And there's no "system check" today due to me being on vacation.

DUR (Merrill Kelly 4-0, 1.70) vs. Pawtucket (Charlie Haeger 1-1, 6.89), 6:05
MGM (Enny Romero 8-4, 2.93) at Mobile (Bradin Hagens 9-4, 3.15), 7:05
CHA vs. Daytona, resumption of suspended game, 4:30
CHA (Roberto Gomez 5-8, 4.75) vs. Daytona (Matt Loosen 4-2, 1.88)
BWG (Jeff Ames 7-2, 2.27) vs. Beloit (Dylan Covey 0-1, 1.80), 7:05

HV (Aaron Griffin 2-0, 2.05) at Tri-City (?), 6
PRI (Jake Faria 0-1, 1.89) vs. Kingsport (Andrew Massie 1-0, 5.06), 6:05

GCL vs. Orioles, 9 a.m.

Ranking the Rays ... Lopez, Belnome, De La Cruz

For Friday ...
1. Reinaldo Lopez, BWG: 7 shutout, 8 hits, plunking, walk, 5 Ks
2. Vince Belnome, DUR: 2b, 1b, 2 walks, RBI, 2 runs
3. Tyler Goeddel, BWG: 3b, 2 walks, steal, 2 RBIs, run
4. Brandon Guyer, DUR: 2b, 2 walks, 2 runs
5. Cole Figueroa, DUR: 2 1b's, RBI, 2 runs

SHORT SEASON1. Geisel De La Cruz, GCL: 2 2/3 no-hit innings
2. Alexander Simon, GCL: 1b, 3 walks
3. Nick Ciuffo, GCL: 2b, walk, RBI, run

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday's Rays roundup

Pawtucket 9, Bulls 7
Vince Belnome
doubled, singled, walked twice, RBI'd and scored twice. Brandon Guyer doubled, walked twice and scored twice. Cole Figueroa singled twice, RBI'd and scored twice.

Daytona at Charlotte (Game 1)
Suspended after six in 0-0 game. Felipe Rivero gave up one hit in six shutout innings.

Daytona at Charlotte (Game 2)

Hot Rods 7, Wisconsin 0
Reinaldo Lopez
gave up eight hits over seven innings and Stone Speer finished with two perfect frames. Tyler Goeddel tripled, walked twice, stole, had two RBIs and scored.

Williamsport 4, Renegades 2
Julian Ridings
singled twice and scored. Granden Goetzman hit a two-run homer.

Greeneville 2, P-Rays 1
Elias Torres
doubled, singled, stole and scored. Bralin Jackson singled twice and RBI'd. D.J. Slaton gave up one run on five hits in five innings.

GCL Orioles 3, Rays 2
Alexander Simon singled and walked thrice. Nick Ciuffo doubled, walked, RBI'd and scored. Geisel De La Cruz threw 2 2/3 no-hit innings.