Saturday, August 31, 2013

Saturday: Barons 5, Biscuits 1

Chris Beck gave up one run on four hits in seven innings in the Birmingham Barons' 5-1 win over the Biscuits on Saturday.

Chris McMurray homered and Brandon Jacobs scored twice for the Barons. Todd Glaesmann doubled and scored on a Mayo Acosta groundout in the fifth for the Biscuits, who had six hits.

Gimenez, Lueke leap from Bulls to Rays

The Rays, as expected, are adding more than Delmon Young from the Biscuits.

Catcher Chris Gimenez and relief pitcher Josh Lueke have been promoted from Triple-A Durham to Tampa Bay's "taxi squad," according to the Bulls.

They almost surely won't be added to Tampa Bay's active roster until Sunday when major league rosters can expand to 40 players.

Lueke has had three stints in the majors this year and has a 4.91 ERA in 14 games. With Durham, the right-hander had an 0.63 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings. Gimenez has been with Durham all season and is hitting .224.

Sandoval, Lara to Bulls; Delmon to Rays

Three Biscuits have been promoted.

Relief pitchers Juan Sandoval and Braulio Lara have been sent to Triple-A Durham, while outfielder Delmon Young has been promoted to the major leagues.

Young was 7-for-30 in seven games after signing a minor league deal with the Rays. He hit his first home run Friday at Birmingham and had a clutch RBI single in the eighth inning of Tuesday's home finale.

Young, the 2005 Southern League most valuable player for Montgomery, is in line to be the first player since Chad Orvella in 2005 to jump straight from the Biscuits to the Rays. Young is also the first 2013 Biscuit to get to the major leagues. (Yes, since he was officially on the roster [unlike someone on a rehab assignment] and played in a game, he counts. So will Jeff Beliveau, since he pitched Friday. Jake Odorizzi will not, unless something changes.)

Lara was 4-2 with a 4.38 ERA, 43 walks and 53 strikeouts in 45 appearances/72 innings this year, but his full-season numbers are deceiving.

The left-hander, in his last 17 games, has an 0.64 ERA with 22 strikeouts and a .197 opponents' batting average in 28 innings, though he still issued 19 walks and had 23 strikeouts. The Miami Marlins took the 24-year-old in December's Rule 5 draft but returned him to the Rays this spring.

Sandoval returns to the Bulls, where he was from late May until late June. He was 5-3 with a 3.24 ERA and 19 saves for Montgomery and is 1-1 with a 3.79 ERA in 11 games for Durham.

Today's Rays pitchers

Left-hander Kevin Brandt makes his fourth start at Bowling Green. He's made quality starts in his first three appearances.

DUR (?) at Norfolk, completion of Aug. 23 suspended game, 4:05
DUR at Norfolk
MGM (Joe Van Meter 0-3, 6.92) at Birmingham (Chris Beck 1-2, 3.43), 6:30
CHA (Ryan Carpenter) at Palm Beach (Kyle Hald 5-8, 4.55), 5:35
BWG (Kevin Brandt 2-0, 1.42) vs. Lake County (Luis Lugo 0-0, 2.89), 7:05

HV (*Aaron Griffin 3-3, 2.12) vs. Staten Island (Caleb Smith 1-2, 1.89), 6:05
PRI season over

Ranking the Rays ... Floro, Mateo, Garcia

For Friday ...

1. Dylan Floro, CHA: 6 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 2 walks, 4 Ks, 11 GBO
2. Victor Mateo, MGM: 7 innings, 1 earned run, 4 hits, 3 Ks
3. Andrew Toles, BWG: 3b, 2b, RBI, run
4. Marcus Jensen, BWG: 2 1/3 perfect, 3 Ks
5. Shawn O'Malley, MGM: solo HR, 1b, 2 runs

1. David Garcia, PRI: 2b, 1b, 2 walks, 2 RBIs, run
2. Chris Kirsch, HV: 6 1/3 innings, 3 runs, 4 hits, 3 walks, 3 Ks
3. Yoel Araujo, PRI: 1b, 2 walks, 2 runs

Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday: Biscuits 6, Barons 2

Victor Mateo, in his first start since last weekend's no-hitter, threw seven strong innings in the Biscuits' 6-2 win over the Birmingham Barons on Friday.

Mateo (7-9) gave up one earned run on four hits to record his fourth straight quality start.

Delmon Young and Shawn O'Malley homered in support of Mateo. O'Malley hit a solo home run to lead off the fourth inning. Young hit a two-run blase in the fifth to give the Biscuits a 5-1 lead.

Montgomery has won 10 of its last 13 games.

3 Hot Rods on Midwest League All-Star team

Pitcher Dylan Floro, catcher Luke Maile and outfielder Andrew Toles from the Bowling Green Hot Rods made the Midwest League's end-of-season All-Star team.

Floro is a combined 11-2 with a 1.78 ERA between the Hot Rods and high-Class A Charlotte Stone Crabs, for whom he's scheduled to start tonight. His ERA is the best in the Tampa Bay organization.

The right-hander was 9-2 with a 1.81 ERA for Bowling Green and he still leads the Midwest League in ERA, though his 109 1/3 innings won't qualify him for the league title. Floro was promoted from Bowling Green to Charlotte on Aug. 10.

Toles has a .327 average, which is the best in the Midwest League and highest among full-season Rays minor leaguers, and has scored 77 times in 119 games. He also leads the organization with 62 steals, 24 ahead of Bowling Green teammate Tommy Coyle.

Maile is hitting .283 in 95 games with 49 RBIs and 45 runs scored.

Beliveau, Odorizzi assigned to Biscuits

The Biscuits have added two major league pitchers to their roster.

Starter Jake Odorizzi and reliever Jeff Beliveau, just before major league rosters can expand Sunday, have been assigned to the Biscuits.

Odorizzi is a paper move and he won't actually join the Biscuits during their final series against Birmingham. It's unclear about Beliveau.

Rays beat writers first reported that Odorizzi is being assigned the Biscuits. The Biscuits, who have just one open roster spot, announced that Beliveau is being assigned to them.

Beliveau was with the Rays for a few days after Jeremy Hellickson was paper-moved to the minor leagues, but he did not appear before the Rays called up Odorizzi to start Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels. Today, they've called up Brandon Gomes from Durham.

Kiermaier, Romero among SL's end-of-season stars

Two Biscuits landed on the Southern League's end-of-season All-Star team: outfielder Kevin Kiermaier and left-handed pitcher Enny Romero.

Kiermaier, promoted to Triple-A Durham a month ago, still ranks second in the Southern League with a .307 average. He also had a .370 on-base percentage and scored 65 times in 97 games.

Romero, who makes his Triple-A debut Monday, was 11-7 with a 2.76 ERA. He's tied for the Southern League lead in wins, is fifth in ERA and is first among qualifying pitchers with a .215 average against.

The Tennessee Smokies led the league with five players picked. Mobile and Birmingham also had two.

C: Christian Bethancourt, Mississippi
1B: Jason Rogers, Huntsville
2B: Arismendy Alcantara, Tennessee
3B: Christian Villanueva, Tennessee
SS: Javier Baez, Tennessee
OF: Justin Greene, Mobile
OF: Kevin Kiermaier, Montgomery
OF: Joc Pederson, Chattanooga
OF: Matt Szczur, Tennessee
DH: Dan Black, Birmingham
Utility: Marcus Semien, Birmingham
Best hustler: Ender Inciarte, Mobile
RHP: Kyle Kendricks, Tennessee
LHP: Enny Romero, Montgomery
Reliever: Michael Brady, Jacksonville

The most valuable player, most outstanding pitcher and manager of the year will be named Monday.

Today's Rays pitchers

Montgomery's Victor Mateo can try to pull a Johnny Vander Meer and throw a second straight no-hitter today. And Dylan Floro goes for a fourth straight stifling start for Charlotte.

DUR (Mike Montgomery 7-7, 4.60) at Gwinnett (Kameron Loe 4-4, 3.28), 6:05
MGM (Victor Mateo 6-9, 4.06) at Birmingham (Scott Carroll 0-2, 4.91), 7:05
CHA (Dylan Floro 2-0, 1.64) vs. Palm Beach (Sam Gaviglio 3-1, 3.03), 5:30
BWG (Blake Snell 4-8, 4.14) at South Bend (Blake Perry 7-7, 4.77), 6:35

HV (Chris Kirsch 2-3, 3.03) at Aberdeen (Dylan Rheault 0-1, 2.80), 6:05
PRI (Jake Faria 3-3, 2.20) at Bristol (Tyler Barnette 1-4, 5.46), 4

Ranking the Rays ... Casali, Bourgeois, Reavis

For Thursday ...

1. Curt Casali, MGM: 2 2b's, 2 walks, 3 runs
2. Jason Bourgeois, DUR: 3 walks, picked off, 3 runs
3. Vince Belnome, DUR: 2b, 1b, 2 walks, RBI, 2 runs
4. Michael Colla, MGM: 5 shutout, 5 hits, walk, 3 Ks, 8 GBO
5. Cameron Seitzer, MGM: 2-run HR, 1b, 2 walks

1. Colton Reavis, HV: 3 perfect, 4 Ks
2. Jaime Schultz, HV: 5 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 6 Ks
3. Yomelbin Almonte, GCL: 2 2/3 perfect, 3 Ks

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursday: Biscuits 7, Barons 2

Curt Casali doubled twice, walked twice and scored three times to lead the Biscuits in a 7-2 win over the Birmingham Barons on Thursday.

Cameron Seitzer hit his ninth home run, a two-run blast in the ninth inning. Seitzer also singled and walked twice. The Biscuits amassed 13 hits and, after totaling 15 Tuesday, had their most in consecutive games since early June.

Michael Colla (6-2) threw five shutout innings, giving up five hits with a walk.

Barons starter Scott Snodgress, who is tied for the Southern League lead in wins, gave up five runs on seven hits in four-plus innings. He is 0-4 in six August starts.

Thursday's Rays roundup

Bulls 7, Gwinnett 6
Jason Bourgeois
walked three times and scored thrice. Vince Belmone doubled, singled, walked twice, RBI'd and scored twice. Cole Figueroa tripled, singled and knocked in four runs. Rehabbing Matt Moore gave up four runs in four innings.

Stone Crabs 1, Palm Beach 0
Felipe Rivero
and three relievers combined on a five-hitter. Rivero went 4 2/3 innings, Shay Crawford 2 1/3 and Andrew Bellatti and Nate Garcia one each. Jake Hager was hit by a pitch and scored in the sixth. Richie Shaffer singled twice and had the RBI. The Stone Crabs, combined with a St. Lucie loss, clinched a playoff berth.

Hot Rods 5, South Bend 3
Andrew Toles
singled twice, stole and scored thrice. Tommy Coyle singled twice, walked and had two RBIs. Jordan Harrison's six innings included one earned run.

Aberdeen 1, Renegades 0
Jaime Schultz
gave up one run on three hits in five innings. Colton Reavis finished with three perfect innings. Tyler Young and John Alexander each singled twice.

Bristol 3, P-Rays 2
Leopoldo Correa
doubled, singled, walked and RBI'd. D.J. Slaton had eight strikeouts and gave up two earned runs in five innings.

GCL Red Sox 3, Rays 2
Cristian Toribio
and Adderly Rosa each walked twice, stole and scored. Alexander Simon singled twice and walked. Yomelbin Almonte threw 2 2/3 perfect innings.

Hot Rods put Oscar H. on DL

Catcher Oscar Hernandez, hurt scoring Bowling Green's go-ahead run Wednesday, has gone on the disabled list.

Romero jumping to Bulls

Biscuits left-hander Enny Romero is being promoted to Triple-A Durham and will debut for the Bulls in Monday's regular-season finale, Adam Sobsey of the Independent Weekly reports.

Romero has won 11 games this year for Montgomery, which is tied for the Southern League lead. That's more victories than he's totaled in any previous two years of his combined.

Hitters have a .215 average against the the 22-year-old, a number that leads the league among qualifying pitchers. He's also fifth with a 2.76 ERA and is second with 73 walks. Romero also has 110 strikeouts in 140 1/3 innings.

Romero is 12-of-27 on quality starts this year. The Biscuits are 13-14 and have averaged 3.6 runs in his starts. Only Merrill Kelly, of those who have started more than two games this year, received less run support. (Kelly's 12 starts: 2.6 runs per game.)

4:50 update: Biscuits announce that Romero has been promoted.

Romero, Thompson not scheduled to start vs. Barons

Biscuits starters Enny Romero and Jake Thompson, who are tied for the Southern League wins lead, are not among the scheduled starters for Montgomery's final series of the season.

The Biscuits still haven't settled on who is expected to start Monday, but the first four days do not include the two 11-game winners.

Michael Colla starts tonight followed by Victor Mateo on Friday, Joe Van Meter on Saturday and Marquis Fleming on Sunday. Van Meter falls in the spot where Thompson has been starting. Fleming is scheduled to start in what has been Romero's turn in the rotation.

The Biscuits listed their scheduled starters for the entire Birmingham series as "TBA" before Tuesday's home finale.

FYI: Triple-A Durham's starters for Saturday (a doubleheader) and Sunday are also listed as "TBA" in their game notes today. Monday's game isn't yet listed.

Romero is 11-7 with a 2.76 ERA and has thrown a career-high 140 1/3 innings this year, 14 1/3 more than he did last year. Thompson is 11-10 with a 4.18 ERA in 148 2/3 innings, which is 24 innings past the career high he set last year.

Idiocy exposed: My end-of-season All-Star vote

To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln: "Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." With that, here's my annual show of baseball idiocy.
The Southern League end-of-season All-Star team will be released Friday. Below is how I voted. Remember, my idiocy will hopefully be masked by several other educated voters.(My two toughest decisions were in the pitching department.)
End-of-season team
C: Christian Bethancourt, Mississippi
1B: Dan Black, Birmingham
2B: Tommy La Stella, Mississippi
3B: Christian Villanueva, Tennessee
SS: Javier Baez, Tennessee
OF: Joc Pederson, Chattanooga
OF: Justin Greene, Mobile
OF: Kyle Jensen, Jacksonville
OF: Kevin Kiermaier, Montgomery
DH: Taylor Rogers, Huntsville
Utility: Nick Evans, Mobile
Hustler: Marcus Semien, Birmingham
RH starter: Kyle Hendricks, Tennessee
LH starter: Adam Conley, Jacksonville
reliever: Michael Brady, Jacksonville

Major awards
MVP: Joc Pederson, Chattanooga
Pitcher: Adam Conley, Jacksonville
Manager: Julio Vinas, Birmingham

Today's Rays pitchers

The Biscuits, who have two pitchers tied for the Southern League lead in wins, can help those two today. Birmingham's Scott Snodgress is among those tied with Montgomery's Jake Thompson and Enny Romero.

DUR (Matt Moore rehab) at Gwinnett (Omar Poveda 6-7, 3.53), 5:05
MGM (Michael Colla 5-2, 3.97) at Birmingham (Scott Snodgress 11-10, 4.51), 7:05
CHA (*Felipe Rivero 9-7, 3.53) vs. Palm Beach (?), 5:30
BWG (Jordan Harrison 4-2, 2.75) at South Bend (Aaron Blair 0-1, 3.75), 6:05

HV (*Jaime Schultz 1-1, 3.22) at Aberdeen (?), 6:05
PRI (D.J. Slaton 4-2, 2.57) at Bristol (Chris Freudenberg 0-3, 7.17), 6
GCL vs. Red Sox, 9 a.m. -- season finale

Ranking the Rays ... Martin, Linsky, Choate

For Wednesday ...

1. J.D. Martin, DUR: 7 1/3 innings, 1 run, 7 hits, 4 Ks
2. Lenny Linsky, CHA: 3 2/3 shutout, 1 hit, 4 Ks, 4 GBO
3. Bruedlin Suero, BWG: 3 shutout, 1 hit, 1 walk, 5 Ks
4. Tim Beckham, DUR: solo HR, 2b, 2 1b's, 2 RBIs
5. Jeff Ames, BWG: 5 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 2 walks, 4 Ks

1. Justin Choate, HV: 4 shutout, 2 hits, 5 Ks
2. Jose Mujica, GCL: 3 shutout, 1 hit, 2 Ks
3. Jose Castillo, GCL: 2 2/3 shutout, 1 hit, 3 Ks

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday's Rays roundup

Bulls 5, Gwinnett 1
J.D. Martin
gave up a run over 7 1/3 innings to pick up his 16th win. Tim Beckham led off the game with a home run, doubled, singled twice and had two RBIs. Brandon Guyer doubled, tripled, walked, RBI'd and scored. The Bulls were 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position.

St. Lucie 2, Stone Crabs 1 (10)
Jake Partridge
gave up an unearned run over four-plus innings, while Lenny Linsky tossed 3 2/3 shutout innings with one hit allowed.

Hot Rods 4, South Bend 1
Joey Rickard's
two-run single capped a three-run ninth inning. Patrick Leonard's RBI single snapped a 1-1 tie. Jeff Ames' five innings included a run on three hits. Bruedlin Suero tossed three shutout innings with one hit, one walk and five strikeouts. Bowling Green clinched a playoff berth.

Renegades 4, Connecticut 3 (12)
James Harris
singled home Tyler Young with the go-ahead run. John Alexander doubled, singled twice, walked and scored. Ryan McChesney doubled, singled, walked and RBI'd. Justin Choate threw four shutout innings.

P-Rays 9, Bristol 7
David Garcia
hit a three-run homer and an RBI single. Bralin Jackson doubled, tripled and scored twice. Johnny Eierman doubled, singled, walked, scored and had an outfield assist.

GCL Rays 2, Red Sox 1
Jose Mujica
threw three shutout innings and Jose Castillo 2 2/3 scoreless with one hit allowed each. Eric Fredrick tossed two no-hit frames with a walk. Adderly Rosa doubled twice, walked and scored. Kean Wong singled thrice.

Today's Rays pitchers

Durham's J.D. Martin has made 17 quality starts this year and hasn't lost since June 21. Bowling Green's Jeff Ames has won his last two starts.

DUR (J.D. Martin 15-4, 2.84) at Gwinnett (David Hale 6-7, 2.87), 5:05
MGM off
CHA (Jake Partridge 2-5, 3.96) at St. Lucie (Hansel Robles 5-4, 3.99), 5:30
BWG (Jeff Ames 9-4, 3.04) at South Bend (Jesse Darrah 11-9, 3.88), 6:05

HV (Derek Loera 2-1, 2.81) at Connecticut (Austin Pritcher 3-3, 3.02), 6:05
PRI (Hunter Wood 3-3, 3.95) at Bristol (Robinson Leyer 2-7, 6.75), 6
GCL at Red Sox, 11 a.m.

Ranking the Rays ... Figueroa, Beckham, Gonzalez

For Tuesday ...

1. Cole Figueroa, DUR: 2b, 1b, walk, steal, 3 RBIs, 3 runs
2. Tim Beckham, DUR: 2b, 2 1b's, walk, 2 steals, 2 RBIs, 3 runs
3. Jared Mortensen, CHA: 4 1/3 shutout, 2 hits, walk, 7 Ks
4. Kevin Kiermaier, DUR: 3b, 2b, 1b, 2 steals, RBI, 2 runs
5. Curt Casali, MGM: 3 1b's, 2 walks, 2 RBIs, run

1. Andres Gonzalez, GCL: 4 2/3 shutout 1 hit, K, 4 GBO
2. Bralin Jackson, PRI: 1b, walk, steal, picked off, run
3. Tyler Gauthier, HV: 3 shutout, 2 hits, 2 walks, 6 GBO

Morning reading

Biscuits shortstop Shawn O'Malley has a goal this offseason: He wants to land his first deer. O'Malley and Ryan Brett, also a Washington state native, have been hitting Archery Unlimited in Prattville lately to work on their aim. It's also helped them mentally this season.

Plus, the Biscuits used a four-run eighth inning to beat Jacksonville on Tuesday and finish a 7-3 homestand that has them feeling confident with the offseason near.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

VIDEO: Biscuits cap home season with win, fireworks

The Biscuits, after an 8-6 win over the Jacksonville Suns in their home finale, settled in to watch a postgame fireworks show.

See video here.

Tuesday's Rays roundup

Bulls 13, Charlotte 6
Tim Beckham
doubled, singled twice, walked, stole twice, had two RBIs and scored three times. Cole Figueroa doubled, singled, walked, stole, had three RBIs and scored thrice. Kevin Kiermaier tripled, doubled, singled, stole twice, RBI'd and scored twice.

St. Lucie 4, Stone Crabs 2
Willie Argo
hit two solo home runs. Grayson Garvin gave up four unearned runs in 3 2/3 innings. Jared Mortensen threw 4 1/3 shutout innings.

Renegades 7, Connecticut 4
Ryan McChesney
hit a solo homer, singled and had two RBIs. James Harris doubled, singled, stole, RBI'd and scored twice.

Elizabethton 6, P-Rays 4
Yoel Araujo
singled twice and scored. Bralin Jackson singled, walked, stole, was picked off and scored. Nolan Gannon threw two perfect innings with three strikeouts.

GCL Rays 2, Twins 1
Andres Gonzalez
gave up one hit in 4 2/3 shutout innings. In the eighth, Kean Wong singled home Riley Unroe and scored on an Erick Vasquez double.

Tuesday: Biscuits 8, Suns 6

Curt Casali's two-run go-ahead single highlighted a four-run eighth inning that lifted the Biscuits an 8-6 win over the Jacksonville Suns on Tuesday in their final home game of the season.

The Biscuits sent nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the eighth to answer Jacksonville's three-run rally in the top of the inning.

Delmon Young hit a one-out RBI single to pull Montgomery within a run. With two outs and the bases loaded, Casali ended a 10-pitch at-bat with a line drive single to left.

Casali reached base five times Tuesday and has 30 RBIs and 30 games with Montgomery.

Tuesday's home finale lineups

The Biscuits play their final home game of the season at 7:05 tonight against the Jacksonville Suns. For in-game updates, check Twitter @AStacyLong. There is an on-field postgame autograph session scheduled.

Ryan Brett 2b
Delmon Young dh
Mikie Mahtook cf
Curt Casali c
Cameron Seitzer 1b (left)
Todd Glaesmann rf
Shawn O'Malley ss (switch)
Steve Tinoco lf
Robby Price 3b (left)
Marquis Fleming rhp

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

Lobstein, Dietrich headed to Arizona, too

Two former Biscuits will also end their year in the Arizona Fall League.

Kyle Lobstein, a left-handed pitcher now in the Detroit organization, will play for the Mesa Solar Sox. Derek Dietrich, a second baseman with the Miami Marlins, will suit up for the Glendale Desert Dogs.

Dietrich has 10 home runs this year at Double-A Jacksonville, including two during the current series at Riverwalk. He hit nine more homers in the major leagues. Dietrich, 24, has a .258 average and 34 RBIs for the Suns after hitting .214 in 57 games at Miami.

Lobstein is 5-3 with a 3.80 ERA in 12 starts at Triple-A Toledo after going 7-4 with a 3.12 ERA in 15 starts to begin the season for Double-A Erie.

The 24-year-old has thrown a career-most 161 2/3 innings this year. His previous high was 148 in 2010 at low-Class A Bowling Green, though he threw 144 last year for the Biscuits.

Kelly, Montgomery also going to Arizona Fall League

The Tampa Bay Rays will have eight players in the Arizona Fall League.

In addition to the six reported last week, pitchers Merrill Kelly and Mike Montgomery will play for the Salt River Rafters, too.

Montgomery is 7-7 with a 4.60 ERA at Triple-A Durham. He was on the disabled list from April 13-May 13. The 24-year-old also went to the AFL in 2010 and was a starting pitcher in the AFL's Rising Stars Game that year.

Kelly, after beginning the season with the Biscuits is 8-4 with a 3.10 ERA for Durham. He was 5-6 with a 4.15 ERA with Montgomery. The 24-year-old has thrown a career-high 152 innings this season, 23 more than he did two years ago for high-Class A Charlotte.

(Infielder Nick Ahmed is also listed as a Tampa Bay player on the Salt River roster. However, he's in the Arizona organization.)

International honors for Bulls' Montoyo, Martin

Charlie Montoyo, whose Durham Bulls are tied for the most wins in professional baseball and who have won a division title six times in his seven years, has won his second International League manager of the year award.

Pitcher J.D. Martin was named the league's most valuable pitcher.

The Bulls, who are 83-53, have the best record in Triple-A and are six wins from tying the franchise's all-time best record. In 1962, Class A Durham was 89-51 in the Carolina League.

Montoyo also was the manager of the year in 2010 when the Bulls finished 88-55, their best mark as a Triple-A team. He's in his 17th season as a minor league manager and was with the Biscuits from 2004-06.

Martin is 15-4 with a 2.84 ERA and ranks in the league's Top 10 with his 15 wins, a 2.84 ERA and 111 strikeouts. He's never been an end-of-season All-Star in his nine-year career.

Though Durham has had five most valuable players since 1999, Martin is just the second from the Bulls named most valuable pitcher. Jeremy Hellickson took honors in 2010.

Vince Belnome was named the league's top utility player. Belnome, who has seen significant playing time at first base, second base, third base and designated hitter, has a .298 batting average.

He's second in the league with a .604 on-base percentage and 73 runs scored and is seventh in batting.

Today's Rays pitchers

Durham's Matt Buschmann is tied for second in the organization with 13 wins between the Bulls and Biscuits, ranks third among full-season players with a 2.77 ERA and has a 36-K strikeout lead.

DUR (Matt Buschmann 7-1, 2.83) vs. Charlotte (Nick McCully 2-3, 6.32), 6:05
MGM (Marquis Fleming 4-6, 4.98) vs. Jacksonville (Justin Nicolino 3-2, 4.46), 7:05
CHA (*Grayson Garvin 0-0, 2.00) at St. Lucie (Angel Cuan 7-3, 3.72), 5:30
BWG off

HV (Ben Griset 2-3, 3.38) at Connecticut (Chase Edwards 0-0, 1.82), 6:05
PRI (German Marquez 2-4, 3.31) vs. Elizabethton (Kohl Stewart 0-0, 0.00), 6:05
GCL at Twins, 11 a.m.

Ranking the Rays ... Toles, Hamren, Wong

For Monday ...

1. Andrew Toles, BWG: 2 2b's, 3 steals, 2 runs
2. Erik Hamren, MGM: 3 perfect, 6 Ks
3. Ryan Roberts, DUR: 2b, 1b, 3 RBIs
4. Leonardo Reginatto, BWG: 2b, 1b, walk, RBI
5. Andrew Bellatti, CHA: 5 innings of relief, 3 runs, 3 hits, 2 walks

1. Kean Wong, GCL: 3 1b's, walk, RBI, 2 runs
2. Eli Echarry, HV: 4 innings of relief, 1 earned run, 3 hits, 2 walks, 4 Ks
3. Riley Unroe, GCL: 2 1b's, walk, 2 runs

Morning reading

I must say I didn't set out to mention Miley Cyrus, teddy bears and a well-placed foam finger in the notebook, but I did when it comes to the Biscuits batboy awards that clubhouse manager Jeff Perro handed out Monday.

And Jacksonville pitcher Bryan Evans dealt with a Derek Dietrich Cyrus-like distraction after his two-hit shutout of the Biscuits. It was the first nine-inning shutout by a Suns pitcher since July 2010.

Of course, Monday's workload went beyond baseball. New Troy receiver Wilson Van Hooser transferred from Tulane to be closer to his family. The Trojans, who open the season Saturday against UAB, also missed quarterback Corey Robinson for a few days last week due to shoulder fatigue.

Monday, August 26, 2013

VIDEO: Biscuits honor batboys for winning spirit

Biscuits clubhouse manager Jeff Perro handed out batboy honors before Monday's game, recognizing Seth Haney for his efforts this season.

Haney had already clinched the best winning percentage among the three-batboy crew before Monday's 9-0 loss to Jacksonville.

The Biscuits had a 24-14 record with Haney in uniform, while they were 22-16 with Davis Kirkland and 18-13 with Nathan Edwards.

Perro gave out prizes and, as you can see, Haney was overcome with emotion.

Haney is a Prattville High graduate, Edwards went to East Memorial and is now a student at Alabama State, and Kirkland is home-schooled.

See video here.

Monday's Rays roundup

Charlotte 4, Bulls 3
Ryan Roberts
doubled, singled and had three RBIs. Kevin Kiermaier doubled and singled.

St. Lucie 5, Stone Crabs 2
Willie Argo
singled, walked, stole twice and RBI'd. Drew Vettleson singled, walked, stole once and RBI'd.

Fort Wayne 7, Hot Rods 4
Andrew Toles
doubled twice, stole thrice and scored twice. Leonardo Reginatto doubled, singled, walked and RBI'd.

Connecticut 4, Renegades 1
Julian Ridings
singled twice and Ariel Soriano once. Aaron Griffin gave up an unearned run in three innings.

Elizabethton 11, P-Rays 3
Hunter Lockwood
doubled twice and singled. David Garcia singled twice, scored twice and erred. Leopoldo Correa doubled twice, RBI'd and scored.

GCL Rays 8, Twins 2
Kean Wong
singled thrice, walked, RBI'd and scored twice. Riley Unroe singled twice, walked and scored twice. Jesse Hahn, in his first rehab game, gave up an unearned run in two innings. Jose Alonzo gave up an unearned run on two hits in five innings.

Monday: Suns 9, Biscuits 0

Bryan Evans threw a two-hitter to lead the Jacksonville Suns in a 9-0 win over the Biscuits on Monday.

Evans (6-5) gave up a double to Curt Casali in the second and an infield bleeder to Shawn O'Malley in the sixth. He walked one, struck out nine and posted the first complete game of his six-year career.

The last nine-inning complete game against the Biscuits was by Matt Fairel of the Carolina Mudcats, who tossed a tossed a four-hit shutout at Riverwalk on July 23, 2010.

Former Biscuits infielder Derek Dietrich had four RBIs, including a three-run home run, and scored twice for the Suns. J.T. Realmuto drew three of Jacksonville's 10 walks and scored three times.

Vogt among Pacific Coast League stars

Former Biscuits catcher Stephen Vogt was named to the Pacific Coast League's end-of-season All-Star team today.

Vogt has a .324 average, 13 homers and 58 RBIs for the Sacramento RiverCats in the Oakland organization. He has a .398 on-base percentage and is slugging .547.

Monday's lineups

Biscuits left-hander Enny Romero faces his former teammate, Derek Dietrich, for the first time since the first time. Last month, Romero hit Dietrich with the first pitch he threw to him. Dietrich stared at Romero as he went to first base.

It's the fourth game of a five-game series between the Biscuits and the Jacksonville Suns. For in-game updates, check Twitter @AStacyLong.

Ryan Brett 2b
Delmon Young dh
Mikie Mahtook cf
Curt Casali c
Cameron Seitzer 1b (left)
Todd Glaesmann rf
Kyeong Kang lf (left)
Shawn O'Malley ss (switch)
Robby Price 3b (left)
Enny Romero lhp

Brent Keys rf (left)
Chris Gutierrez ss
Mark Canha 1b
J.T. Realmuto c
Audy Ciriaco 3b
Derek Dietrich 2b (left)
Taylor Krick dh
Alex Burg lf
Issac Galloway cf
Bryan Evans rhp

Anderson wins Durham's team MVP award

Leslie Anderson has won his second straight team most valuable player award at Triple-A Durham.

J.D. Martin and Kirby Yates will share the team's pitcher of the year award. The Bulls name the awards.

Anderson is hitting .295 with 14 home runs and 72 RBIs. He has a .376 on-base percentage.

Martin is 15-4 with a 2.84 ERA and has set Durham's Triple-A record for victories. Yates has 18 saves, a 1.69 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 58 2/3 innings. Hitters have a .167 average against him.

M-Braves' Moran, Generals' Blash best of SL week

Mississippi's Gary Moran won the Southern League pitcher of the week, throwing eight shutout innings to clip Montgomery's Victor Mateo and his no-hitter.

Morgan gave up one hit over five innings to beat the Biscuits last Monday. He threw three innings Saturday against Huntsville and is 3-2 with a 3.71 ERA this year.

Jackson Generals outfielder Jabari Blash, who 11-for-24 with two home runs, six RBIs and three runs scored, was the week's top hitter. In 22 games with the Generals, Blash is hitting .315 and has a .457 on-base percentage.

Mississippi has had three weekly winners this year, all pitchers. The Generals have had five with three hitters and two pitchers.

Mateo gave up two unearned runs on four hits in 15 innings for the week.

Today's Rays pitchers

Durham's Merrill Kelly has a rematch from his last start. He threw seven innings of two-run ball for a home victory over Charlotte and Charlie Leesman, who gave up three earned runs in 3 2/3 innings.

DUR (Merrill Kelly 8-3, 3.07) vs. Charlotte (Charlie Leesman 3-3, 3.83), 6:05
MGM (Enny Romero 11-6, 2.56) vs. Jacksonville (Bryan Evans 5-5, 4.21), 7:05
CHA (Ryan Carpenter 7-6, 4.63) at St. Lucie (Domingo Tapia 2-9, 5.24), 5:30
BWG (Reinaldo Lopez 7-4, 2.56) vs. Fort Wayne (Colin Rea 0-1, 1.97), 10:35 a.m.

HV (Aaron Griffin 3-2, 2.21) at Connecticut (Julio Felix 2-2, 3.93), 6:05
PRI (Jorge Rodriguez 0-5, 3.91) vs. Elizabethton (Hein Robb 3-4, 2.48), 6:05
GCL vs. Twins, 11 a.m.

Ranking the Rays ... Shaffer, Montgomery, Harris

For Sunday ...

1. Richie Shaffer, CHA: 2 2b's, 2 1b's, 4 RBIs
2. Mike Montgomery, DUR: 6 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 3 walks, 6 Ks, 9 GBO
3. Jake Thompson, MGM: 6 shutout, 5 hits, 1 walk, K
4. Dylan Floro, CHA: 7 innings, 3 runs, 5 hits, 2 Ks, 10 GBO
5. Kevin Brandt, BWG: 7 innings, 1 run, 6 hits, walk, 6 Ks

1. James Harris, HV: 2b, 2 1b's, walk, 2 steals, 2 RBIs, 2 runs, outfield assist
2. Jake Faria, PRI: 6 shutout, 2 hits, walk, 9 Ks, 6 GBO
3. Luis Cabrera, PRI: 3 shutout, 1 hits, walk, 5 Ks

Morning reading: Kiermaier is MVP

Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, promoted to Durham a month ago, has been named the Biscuits' most valuable player. And, in the notebook, catch up on Sunday's win over Jacksonville, plus hear more about Saturday's no-hitter, including how Victor Mateo's parents took the news.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday's Rays roundup

Norfolk 2, Bulls 0
Mike Montgomery
gave up one run on four hits in six innings. Chris Gimenez walked twice. The Bulls mustered five hits, all singles.

Stone Crabs 7, Jupiter 6 (11)
Richie Shaffer
doubled twice, singled twice and knocked in four runs, including the game-winner. Drew Vettleson doubled, singled thrice, RBI'd and scored twice. Jake Hager singled twice and scored twice. Alejandro Segovia drew three walks. Jeff Malm homered. Dylan Floro worked seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits.

Hot Rods 2, Fort Wayne 1
Kevin Brandt
fired seven innings with one run allowed on six hits. Andrew Hanse and Marcus Jensen added a perfect inning each. Brandon Martin singled twice and scored. Leonardo Reginatto singled, walked and RBI'd.

Renegades 11, Lowell 9
James Harris
doubled, singled twice, walked, stole twice, had two RBIs, scored twice and added an outfield assist. Ariel Soriano doubled, tripled, had two RBIs and scored twice. John Alexander's two-run single capped a five-run eighth.

P-Rays 2, Elizabethton 0
Jake Faria's
six innings included two hits, a walk and nine strikeouts. Luis Cabrera finished a three-hitter with a walk and five whiffs. David Garcia doubled, singled, walked and RBI'd.

VIDEO: Biscuits second baseman Ryan Brett

Biscuits second baseman Ryan Brett hit his third home run since joining the team in early August, a three-run eighth-inning shot Sunday to lift Montgomery to a 3-0 win over Jacksonville.

See video here.

Sunday: Biscuits 3, Suns 0

Ryan Brett hit a three-run home run with two outs in the eighth inning to lift the Biscuits to a 3-0 win over the Jacksonville Suns on Sunday.

Brett lined a 3-1 pitch from Collin Cargill over the left-field wall to give Montgomery its sixth win in eight games.

Kyeong Kang led off the eighth with a single and beat the play at second when Mayo Acosta laid down a sacrifice bunt. Jacksonville left-handed starter Adam Conley struck out the next two hitters before the Suns went to the right-handed Cargill to face Brett.

Jake Thompson, Braulio Lara and Juan Sandoval combined on a seven-hitter and Montgomery's second straight shutout of the first-place Suns. Jacksonville has failed to score in 20 games this year, the most in professional baseball. Montgomery has posted 14 shutouts.

Thompson gave up five hits over six innings, while Lara (4-2) worked two innings. Sandoval pitched a one-hit ninth, working out of a two-on, one-out jam, for his 19th save.

Conley surrendered just two hits over the first seven innings. He and Thompson are among four tied for the Southern League lead with 11 victories.

Mateo's jersey went bidless in auction

Maybe the Biscuits will still accept an offer.

Victor Mateo's jersey, a night before he threw a no-hitter, failed to receive a bid in the team's annual jersey auction.

Mateo's was one of six jerseys that didn't fetch any interest, either online or at Riverwalk Stadium. The Biscuits sold the blue road jerseys this year and collected $5,125 for the River Region United Way.

Juan Sandoval took honors ahead of Enny Romero and a third-place tie between Shawn O'Malley and Kevin Kiermaier.

$500 -- Juan Sandoval
$400 -- Enny Romero
$255 -- Shawn O'Malley, Kevin Kiermaier
$250 -- Mikie Mahtook, Mayo Acosta
$225 -- Kyeong Kang
$205 -- Robby Price, Cameron Seitzer
$200 -- Curt Casali
$175 -- Delmon Young, Braulio Lara
$155 -- Jake Thompson
$150 -- Riccio Torres, Matt Buschmann, C.J. Riefenhauser
$140 -- Ty Morrison, Todd Glaesmann, Steve Tinoco, R.C. Lichtenstein, Ozzie Timmons, Michael Colla, Marquis Fleming, Billy Gardner
no bid -- Victor Mateo, Neil Schenk, Merrill Kelly, Keith Castillo, Jake Floethe, Adam Liberatore

Sunday's lineups

Outfielder Brent Keys makes his Double-A debut today for the Suns. Danny Pertusati was hurt Saturday when first baseman Cameron Seitzer tagged him out in the eighth.

Not that Keys didn't deserve it. He was hitting .346 with a .418 on-base percentage -- both tops in the Florida State League -- at high-Class A Jupiter.

It's Game 3 of the Biscuits' series with the Jacksonville Suns and Montgomery's final home series of the year. For in-game updates, check Twitter @AStacyLong.

Ryan Brett 2b
Delmon Young dh
Mikie Mahtook cf
Cameron Seitzer 1b (left)
Todd Glaesmann rf
Kyeong Kang lf (left)
Mayo Acosta c
Shawn O'Malley ss (switch)
Robi Estrada 3b (switch)
Jake Thompson rhp

Brent Keys rf (left)
Chris Gutierrez ss
Mark Canha 1b
Derek Dietrich 2b (left)
Alex Burg 3b
Zack Cox dh (left)
Austin Barnes c
Danny Black lf (left)
Issac Galloway cf
Adam Conley lhp

Today's Rays pitchers

Jake Thompson is tied for the Southern League wins lead with three others, including his competition today: Jacksonville's Adam Conley.

Charlotte's Dylan Floro is coming off a six-inning shutout in his last start. And Bowling Green's Kevin Brandt, 2-for-2 on quality starts with the Hot Rods, goes for No. 3.

DUR (Mike Montgomery 7-6, 4.80) vs. Norfolk (Tsuyoshi Wada 4-6, 4.52), 4:05
MGM (Jake Thompson 11-10, 4.35) vs. Jacksonville (Adam Conley 11-6, 3.29), 2:05
CHA (Dylan Floro 2-0, 0.60) vs. Jupiter (Josh Hodges 4-5, 3.48), 4:30
BWG (Kevin Brandt 1-0, 1.50) vs. Fort Wayne (Max Fried 6-5, 3.58), 2:05

HV (Chris Kirsch 2-3, 2.90) vs. Lowell (?), 4:05
PRI (Jake Faria 2-3, 2.45) vs. Elizabethton (Stephen Gonsalves 1-0, 1.00), 5:05
GCL off

Ranking the Rays ... Mateo, Odorizzi, Araujo

For Saturday ...

1. Victor Mateo, MGM: no-hitter, 1 walk, 5 Ks, 10 GBO
2. Jake Odorizzi, DUR: 8 shutout, 3 hits, walk, 11 Ks
3. Stone Speer, BWG: 4 shutout in relief, 2 hits, 2 walks, 2 Ks
4. Felipe Rivero, CHA: 5-inning, 4-hit shutout, walk, 3 Ks, 8 GBO
5. Mike Fontenot, DUR: 1b, 2 walks, steal, RBI, run

1. Yoel Araujo, PRI: 2-run HR, 2b, 3 RBIs, HBP
2. Spencer Edwards, PRI: 3b, walk, 3 steals, RBI, 2 runs
3. D.J. Slaton, PRI: 6 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits, 4 Ks, 8 GBO

Morning reading

If you didn't see it Saturday night, here's the story stemming from Victor Mateo's no-hitter. And here's the Mateo video. And here's a video of catcher Curt Casali.

As far as the notebook, read about how the Biscuits are now part of the Auburn baseball program, how Auburn fans vanquished Alabama's and how Juan Sandoval's jersey fetched the biggest bid in Friday's charity auction. (Look later for a full list of the bids.)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Late-night reading

If you want to get an early start on your morning reading, here's the main story from Victor Mateo's gem in Montgomery's 3-0 win over Jacksonville ...

Biscuits, Mateo celebrate no-hitter

Saturday's Rays roundup

Bulls 3, Norfolk 0
Jake Odorizzi
piled up 11 strikeouts, with three hits allowed and a walk in eight innings. Mike Fontenot singled, walked twice, stole, RBI'd and scored.

Stone Crabs 3, Jupiter 0 (5, rain)
Felipe Rivero
threw a five-inning four-hitter with a walk and three strikeouts. Richie Shaffer doubled, singled and RBI'd. Jeff Malm homered and walked.

Hot Rods 7, Fort Wayne 0
Blake Snell
went three innings, Stone Speer (3-0) four and Matthew Spann two in a five-hitter. Ryan Dunn hit three singles and scored twice. Justin O'Conner homered and singled.

Renegades 7, Lowell 4
John Alexander
doubled, singled twice and had an RBI. Granden Goetzman singled, stole twice, RBI'd, scored twice and threw out a runner at home.  Pat Blair singled, walked, RBI'd, scored twice and erred.

P-Rays 9, Bristol 3
Yoel Araujo
homered, doubled and had three RBIs. Elias Torres homered, singled, had two RBIs and scored twice. Spencer Edwards singled, walked, stole thrice, RBI'd and scored twice. D.J. Slaton posted a book-rule quality start.

GCL Orioles 5, Rays 4
Jose Paez
doubled, singled, walked, RBI'd and scored. Kean Wong singled twice, stole, RBI'd and scored.

VIDEO: Biscuits catcher Curt Casali after no-hitter

Curt Casali was the catcher for Victor Mateo's no-hitter Saturday.

See video here.

VIDEO: Biscuits pitcher Victor Mateo after no-hitter

Click below for the Victor Mateo interview after he threw the second no-hitter in Biscuits history in Saturday's 3-0 victory over Jacksonville.

See video here.

Mateo throws no-hitter for Biscuits

Victor Mateo threw the second no-hitter in Biscuits history Saturday, facing the minimum in a 3-0 victory over the Jacksonville Suns.

Mateo's only blemish was a first-inning walk that the Biscuits quickly erased with a double play. The right-hander (6-9) finished with five strikeouts.

Matt Moore threw the Biscuits' previous no-hitter June 16, 2011 at Mobile. It was Mateo's second career no-hitter. He threw a seven-inning gem for low-Class A Bowling Green on July 8, 2011 vs. Lake County.

The Suns came close to a hit twice.

In the third inning, Michael Main hit a blooper to right field that second baseman Ryan Brett hauled in with an over-the-shoulder catch. In the seventh, Austin Barnes hit a liner at Mateo. He knocked it down, recovered and threw to first for the out.

Two other times, the Suns almost had a runner on plays that would likely have been scored errors.

In the seventh, J.T. Realmuto hit a groundball to shortstop Robi Estrada. Estrada's throw almost pulled first baseman Cameron Seitzer off the bag. In the eighth, Danny Pertusati grounded to third baseman Robby Price, whose throw was also wide. Seitzer came off the bag, made the catch and tagged out Pertusati.

Seitzer hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning and Kyeong Kang an RBI double in the second for Montgomery.

UPDATE: Biscuits, Mateo celebrate no-hitter

Saturday's lineups, order of Auburn/Alabama battle

We have the order of battle for "Auburn/Alabama Night."

The conflict commences at the end of the first inning tonight with the final showdown coming in the middle of the sixth, with a two-parter that could be viciously decisive.

Fans can register their allegiance when they enter the gates to help with one of the final skirmishes. However, fans will not be segregated during the game, which means you have a chance to proselytize.

For in-game updates, on both the important stuff and the Biscuits-Suns game, check Twitter @AStacyLong.

End 1: quarterback challenge
Mid 2: fight song singoff
End 3: "crazy car wash" (the one where participants use sponges to move water from one station to another)
Mid 5: danceoff

Mid 6: tug of war
Mid 6: attendance announced

End 7: victor crowned, crow served, losers labeled

Lineups ...
Ryan Brett 2b
Delmon Young dh
Mikie Mahtook cf
Curt Casali c
Cameron Seitzer 1b (left)
Todd Glaesmann rf
Kyeong Kang lf (left)
Robby Price 3b (left)
Robi Estrada ss (switch)
Victor Mateo rhp

Austin Barnes dh
J.T. Realmuto c
Alex Burg lf
Mark Canha 1b
Derek Dietrich 2b (left)
Danny Pertusati rf
Zack Cox 3b (left)
Michael Main cf
Danny Black ss (left)
Anthony DeSclafani rhp

Other team's fans prepare for Auburn/Alabama battle

Be warned, the evil fans of that other school are massing outside Riverwalk Stadium -- as evidenced by the pictures -- in a desperate attempt to outclass your team. It's "Auburn/Alabama Night"* and fans will face off for team pride.

From today's notebook ...
The winning team's fans can show their dominance and (once again?) prove the other side's subservience, crudeness and dimwittedness. Which shall reign this year? 

Auburn has a 5-4 lead in the overall Biscuits Showdown series -- and has a 227-226 lead in the composite score.

*"Auburn/Alabama Night" is the name used by the Biscuits, as opposed to "Alabama/Auburn Night," so don't blame me. (For any non-Alabamians, yes, the order of the team names is considered by some a sign of bias.)

Oh, on the left-field wall, there are seven logos of the two combantants. Four are Auburn and three are Alabama. Hmmm.

Update: Hmmm, indeed. An Alabama flag has been added to the left-field wall, bringing the logo count to a 4-4 tie.

System check

International League South

(82-51, first place, 12 GA)
LHP C.J. Riefenhauser, who has given up two hits over his current streak of 8.1 scoreless innings, has a 2.12 ERA in 13 appearances.
1B-LF Leslie Anderson, mired in a 1-for-21 slump, is hitting .296 with 14 home runs.
SS Tim Beckham has a .273 average.

Florida State League South

(33-23, first place, 3 GA)
1B Alejandro Segovia has a .412 average in his last 16 games.
RF Drew Vettleson is hitting .277 with four home runs and 58 RBIs.
RHP Andrew Bellatti is 6-2 with two saves and a 2.81 ERA.

Midwest League Eastern

(37-24, first place, 1.5 GA)
CF Andrew Toles has a league-best .327 average and is second with 57 steals.
SS Leonardo Reginatto ranks third in the league with a .319 average.
RHP Austin Pruitt has a 1.07 ERA in 25.1 innings.

New York-Penn League McNamara

(30-33, third place, 2.5 GB)
RHP Aaron Griffin has a 2.21 ERA in 69.1 innings.
C Omar Narvaez has a .360 average in his last six games.

Appalachian League East

(21-40, fifth place, 18.5 GB)
RHP Hunter Wood, after striking out 12 over five shutout innings Friday, has a 3.95 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 41 innings.
OF Hunter Lockwood has 20 RBIs in 22 August games.

Gulf Coast League South

(24-31, fourth place, 7 GB)
LHP Eric Fredrick, with a streak of 13.1 shutout innings, has a 2.08 ERA.
2B Kean Wong is hitting .339 in 16 August games.

Those who strayed from the Rays

2B Elliot Johnson, claimed off waivers by the Atlanta Braves, had two hits in his debut Thursday.
RHP Matt Gorgen has a 1.96 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 23 innings with Double-A Mobile (Diamondbacks).
2B Tyler Bortnick is hitting .279 for Triple-A Reno (Diamondbacks).
LHP Darin Downs has a 5.18 ERA in 26 appearances for the Detroit Tigers.
C Nevin Ashley has a .251 average in 74 games at Triple-A Louisville (Reds).
LHP Scott Kazmir is 7-6 with a 4.39 ERA for the Cleveland Indians.
RHP Jean Machi has a 3.05 ERA for the San Francisco Giants.
1B Rhyne Hughes has a .283 average with Double-A Binghamton (Mets).
RHP Eduardo Morlan has a 3.29 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 41 innings at independent Southern Maryland.
LHP James Houser is 8-3 with a 3.30 ERA and has held hitters to a .213 average for independent Long Island.
LHP David Newmann has a 4.05 ERA with independent Laredo.

Today's Rays pitchers

Stone Crabs left-hander Felipe Rivero, who threw six shutout innings in his last start, is 2-0 with a 1.90 ERA in his last four starts. Princeton's D.J. Slaton, in his last four starts, is 3-0 with a 1.16 ERA.

DUR (Jake Odorizzi 8-6, 3.56) vs. Norfolk (Eddie Gamboa 2-3, 4.91), 6:05
MGM (Victor Mateo 5-9, 4.33) vs. Jacksonville (Anthony DeSclafani 5-3, 3.61), 6:35
CHA (Felipe Rivero 8-7, 3.68) vs. Jupiter (?), 5:30
BWG (Blake Snell 4-8, 4.27) vs. Fort Wayne (Zach Eflin 7-5, 2.69), 7:05

HV (Jaime Schultz 1-1, 3.51) vs. Lowell (Teddy Stankiewicz 0-0, 1.69), 6:05
PRI (D.J. Slaton 3-2, 2.34) vs. Bristol (Chris Freudenberg 0-2, 6.87), 6:05
GCL vs. Orioles, 9 a.m.

Ranking the Rays ... Partridge, Pruitt, Wood

For Friday ...

1. Jake Partridge, CHA: 7 shutout, 2 hits, 2 walks, 7 Ks, 9 GBO
2. Austin Pruitt, BWG: 5 shutout, 4 hits, 4 Ks, 6 GBO
3. Andrew Toles, BWG: 2 1b's, walk, run
4. Mikie Mahtook, MGM: 2 1b's, 2 steals, run
5. Justin O'Conner, BWG: 1b, walk

1. Hunter Wood, PRI: 5 shutout, 1 hit, 1 walk, 12 Ks
2. Yoel Araujo, PRI: 2-run HR, 3-run HR, RBI 1b
3. Derek Loera, HV: 5 shutout, 4 hits, 7 Ks, 6 GBO

Morning reading: Auburn/Alabama Night is nigh

Auburn fans, Biscuits reliever Austin Hubbard says he needs your help tonight when the team hosts its annual "Auburn/Alabama Night," which motivated certain other Biscuits to insult both the Crimson Tide and Tigers -- and understand the risk they've taken. Plus, Jacksonville Suns left-hander Andrew Heaney (formerly of Oklahoma State) wasn't too shabby vs. Montgomery on Friday.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday: Suns 8, Biscuits 1

Andrew Heaney fired seven strong innings and former Biscuit Derek Dietrich clubbed a two-run home run to lead the Jacksonville Suns in a 8-1 win over the Biscuits on Friday.

Heaney (4-1) gave up one run on five hits and recorded his fourth quality start in five games with Jacksonville. Scott McGough finished the five-hitter.

Dietrich, who ended last season with Montgomery, had three hits, including a two-run homer in the eighth inning to make it 5-1. Mark Canha added a three-run blast in the ninth. Canha scored three times.

The Biscuits scored in the fourth inning when outfielder Mikie Mahtook singled, stole second and third and came home on an error. Mahtook's two hits included a well-placed infield groundball and a blooper.

Delmon Young was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and two groundouts in his first game back with Montgomery.

Friday's Rays roundup

Bulls at Norfolk
Suspended in second.

Jupiter 3, Stone Crabs 0
Jake Partridge
fired seven shutout innings with two hits allowed, two walks and seven strikeouts. As far as offense, Taylor Motter and Hector Guevara singled, and Drew Vettleson and Kes Carter walked.

West Michigan 5, Hot Rods 3
Andrew Toles
singled twice, walked and scored. Austin Pruitt gave up four hits over five shutout innings. Marcus Jensen surrendered four runs in the ninth.

Renegades 6, Lowell 0
Derek Loera
(five innings), Brad Schreiber (one) and Cory Jordan (three) combined on a seven-hitter with 13 strikeouts. Julian Ridings tripled, doubled, had three RBIs and scored.

P-Rays 10, Bristol 3
Hunter Wood's
five shutout innings featured a measly hit and a dozen strikeouts. Yoel Araujo hit a two-run homer, a three-run homer and an RBI single. Travis Flores had a two-run homer, a single and a walk.

GCL Rays 5, Orioles 1
Kean Wong
singled thrice and scored twice. Alex Simon tripled, singled, had three RBIs and scored. Cristian Toribio walked thrice. Freddy Alvarez threw four shutout innings of relief.

Friday's lineups

It's the opening game of Montgomery's final home series of the year. The Biscuits face the Jacksonville Suns at 7:05 p.m. For in-game updates, check Twitter @AStacyLong.

Ryan Brett 2b
Delmon Young dh
Mikie Mahtook cf
Curt Casali c
Cameron Seitzer 1b (left)
Todd Glaesmann rf
Kyeong Kang lf (left)
Shawn O'Malley ss (switch)
Robby Price 3b (left)
Michael Colla rhp

Austin Barnes dh
J.T. Realmuto c
Alex Burg 3b
Mark Canha 1b
Derek Dietrich 2b (left)
Chris Gutierrez ss
Danny Pertusati rf
Isaac Galloway cf
Danny Black lf (left)
Andrew Heaney lhp

Suero dropped from Stone Crabs to Hot Rods

Left-handed reliever Bruedlin Suero has been demoted from high-Class A Charlotte to low-A Bowling Green, an unusual move this late in the season.

Suero had a 5.49 ERA in 11 appearances, his last coming Aug. 14.

The 23-year-old missed two months with an ankle injury starting in early May. He also started his season two weeks late. Suero made an impressive leap to make his season debut with the Stone Crabs after spending last year at Rookie-level Princeton.

For DeJesus, Rays will give up TBA or $$$

The Rays have added outfielder David DeJesus in trade from the Washington Nationals, and he's expected to join the team in time for tonight's game against the Yankees.

DeJesus is an 11-year veteran who was just traded to the Nationals from the Cubs on Monday. In 87 total games this year, he has a .247 average. The 33-year-old has also played for the Royals and A's.

What do the Nats get in return? A player to be named or cash considerations.

4 p.m. update: To make space for Dejesus, the Rays designated Jason Bourgeois for assignment, according to the Tampa Bay Times and Tampa Tribune.

Today's Rays pitchers

Durham's J.D. Martin is two wins shy of tying the Tampa Bay minor league record for victories. Heath Rollins racked up 17 wins for low-Class A Columbus in 2007.

DUR (J.D. Martin 15-4, 2.84) at Norfolk (Josh Stinson 7-5, 3.75), 6:05
MGM (Michael Colla 5-2, 4.14) vs. Jacksonville (Andrew Heaney 3-1, 3.05), 7:05
CHA (*Jake Partridge 2-5, 4.30) vs. Jupiter (Scott Lyman 2-2, 4.19), 5:30
BWG (Austin Pruitt 0-2, 1.33) vs. West Michigan (Montreal Robertson 2-7, 6.57), 7:05

HV (Derek Loera 1-1, 3.33) vs. Lowell (Daniel McGrath 2-1, 3.43), 6:05
PRI (Hunter Wood 2-3, 4.50) vs. Bristol (Robinson Leyer 2-6, 5.98), 6:05
GCL at Orioles, 11 a.m.

Ranking the Rays ... Buschmann, Brett, Griset

For Thursday ...

1. Matt Buschmann, DUR: 6 1/3 innings, 1 run, 5 hits, walk, 5 Ks
2. Ryan Brett, MGM: solo HR, 2-run 1b, walk, 2 runs
3. Ryan Garton, BWG: 3 2/3 shutout relief, 2 hits, 3 walks, 2 Ks, 6 GBO
4. Steve Tinoco, MGM: 2b, 1b, HBP, RBI, 2 runs
5. Tyler Goeddel, BWG: 2 2b's, 1b, RBI, 2 runs, error

1. Ben Griset, HV: 6 2/3 innings, 1 run, 6 hits, walk, 4 Ks, 11 GBO
2. Spencer Edwards, PRI: 2 2b's, 1b, caught stealing, 4 RBIs
3. Coty Blanchard, PRI: 1b, 2 walks, 2 runs

Morning reading

Reviewing Thursday's news: Delmon Young is back with the Biscuits after signing with Tampa Bay, while three Biscuits and three Stone Crabs are going to the Arizona Fall League.

And don't miss the videos ...
Delmon Young interview
Delmon Young takes batting practice
Steve Tinoco after 10-3 win over Mississippi

Thursday, August 22, 2013

VIDEO: Biscuits outfielder Steve Tinoco

Steve Tinoco, in just his 11th game since the All-Star break, had a major part in Montgomery's 10-3 win over the Mississippi Braves on Thursday. Tinoco reached base three times, scored twice and had an RBI.

See video here.

Thursday's Rays roundup

Norfolk 3, Bulls 2
Ryan Roberts
walked thrice, stole and scored. Kevin Kiermaier singled twice and walked. Matt Buschmann gave up one run in 6 1/3 innings. Kirby Yates gave up two runs in the ninth.

Fort Myers at Stone Crabs
Rained out.

Hot Rods 4, West Michigan 3
Tyler Goeddel
doubled twice, singled, erred, RBI'd and scored twice. Brandon Martin doubled, singled and had two RBIs. Ryan Garton tossed 3 2/3 shutout innings.

Renegades 4, Aberdeen 2
John Alexander
doubled, singled, stole and scored twice. Ariel Soriano singled, walked, was plunked, stole twice, RBI'd and scored. Ben Griset's 6 2/3 innings featured one run on six hits.

P-Rays 4, Bristol 2
Spencer Edwards
doubled twice, singled, was caught thieving and had four RBIs. Coty Blanchard singled, walked twice and scored twice. Enmanuel Paulino singled twice and scored twice. German Marquez gave up one run in five innings.

GCL Red Sox 6, Rays 3
Adderly Rosa
walked thrice, stole and scored. Jhefferson Hurtado threw two no-hit innings.

Thursday: Biscuits 10, Braves 3

Ryan Brett and Curt Casali both homered and finished with three RBIs to power the Biscuits in a 10-3 win over the Mississippi Braves on Thursday.

Brett led off the bottom of the first with a homer and added a two-run single in the fourth. He walked and scored in the sixth.

Casali hit a three-run homer in the sixth to make it 9-2 and has 28 RBIs in 26 games with the Biscuits.

Steve Tinoco, who reached base three times and had an RBI double, and Kyeong Kang each scored twice. Former Biscuit Omar Luna homered and Jose Martinez scored twice for the Braves.

3 Biscuits confirm Arizona Fall League invites

Biscuits second baseman Ryan Brett, catcher Curt Casali and outfielder Todd Glaesmann confirm they've been told they're headed to the Arizona Fall League.

Three others, they've been told, are going from the Charlotte Stone Crabs: third baseman Richie Shaffer and pitchers Matt Ramsey and Grayson Garvin.

They'll play with the Salt River Rafters along with players from the Diamondbacks, Rockies, Cardinals and Blue Jays. The season starts Oct. 8.

Shaffer also went last season and hit .259 in 15 games for the Phoenix Desert Dogs.

Brett, Casali and Garvin will have a chance to make up some of the games they missed this season.

Garvin returned from Tommy John surgery and didn't make his season debut until July. Casali missed a month with shoulder tendinitis. Brett lost 38 games due to a drug suspension, though he was also recovering from offseason surgeries.

VIDEO: Delmon Young takes batting practice

Delmon Young said he's not sure how long he'll be with the Biscuits before returning to the Rays.

"It depends on me," he said.

He also didn't waste time after the Phillies released him this month. He said has been working with former Dodgers hitting coach Jeff Pentland in Arizona.

"I needed to iron some things out with what I was doing," Young said. "I went straight to the training facility."

See batting practice video here.

Castillo deactivated to make room for Delmon

To make roster space for Delmon Young, the Biscuits have deactivated Keith Castillo.

Castillo has been with Montgomery all season, though he spent the first six weeks on the inactive list.

Castillo, normally a catcher, has a .190 average in 34 games. He won the Southern League's player of the week award June 3 after his first extensive action. In five games the previous week, he was 10-for-19 with five RBIs, four runs scored and four extra-base hits.

Castillo doubled in the second game of Monday's doubleheader for his first hit since Aug. 3. He's played in just six games this month.

VIDEO: Newest Biscuit Delmon Young

Delmon Young said he preferred coming to the Biscuits over Triple-A Durham due to Montgomery's upcoming schedule.

The Biscuits play the fifth game of a 10-game homestand tonight and end the season with a five-game series at Birmingham. Due to Birmingham's proximity, the Biscuits will commute three of those days, so they're "almost like a home game," Young said.

See video here.

Thursday's lineups

It's the finale of a five-game series between the Biscuits and Mississippi Braves. For in-game updates, check Twitter @AStacyLong.

No Delmon Young tonight, but he's here (and wearing No. 32). When he does play, he'll bat second and be the designated hitter, manager Billy Gardner said.

Ryan Brett 2b
Shawn O'Malley ss (switch)
Mikie Mahtook cf
Curt Casali c
Cameron Seitzer 1b (left)
Todd Glaesmann rf
Kyeong Kang lf (left)
Steve Tinoco dh
Robby Price 3b
Marquis Fleming rhp

Greg Golson cf
Christian Bethancourt c
Tommy La Stella 2b (left)
Edward Salcedo 3b
Jose Martinez rf
Jaime Pedroza ss (switch)
Christian Marrero 1b (left)
Omar Luna dh
Dan Brewer lf
Mitch Atkins rhp

Hernandez jumps onboard with Hot Rods

Hearing that catcher Oscar Hernandez has been promoted from short-season Hudson Valley to low-Class A Bowling Green to finish the season.

He has a .228 average in 43 games for the Renegades and played in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game. The 20-year-old hit .231 at Rookie-level Princeton last year after winning a Triple Crown in Venezuela in 2011.

Rays confirm Delmon headed to Biscuits

The Tampa Bay Rays have announced that newly signed outfielder Delmon Young, who starred for the Biscuits in 2005, has signed and that he'll report to Montgomery today.

Young signed a minor league contract with the Rays, so the Biscuits will have to make a roster move before activating Young.

Report: Delmon coming to Biscuits before Rays

Delmon Young's return to the Tampa Bay Rays will include his return to Riverwalk Stadium.

According to Fox Sports, Young will play for the Biscuits before joining the Rays. It was "his preference" that he go through Double-A Montgomery rather than Triple-A Durham.

Young is scheduled to be at Riverwalk tonight when the Biscuits play the Mississippi Braves, but likely won't play until Friday, according to the Tampa Bay Times. An attempt to reach Biscuits manager Billy Gardner was unsuccessful.

UPDATE: Rays confirm Young headed to Biscuits

Delmon returning to Rays

Outfielder Delmon Young, the Biscuits' most valuable player in 2005, is reportedly returning to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Young, released this month by the Philadelphia Phillies, has signed with the Rays, according to Fox Sports and confirmed by the Tampa Bay Times and Tampa Tribune.

The 27-year-old hit .261 with eight home runs in 80 games for the Phillies. He last played Aug. 8.

Young, born in Montgomery, was the Southern League's MVP in 2005 when he hit .336 with 20 homers and 71 RBIs in 84 games.

Today's Rays pitchers

Bowling Green's Jordan Harrison has thrown 13 1/3 shutout innings to win his last two starts. Durham's Matt Buschmann has also won his last two starts.

DUR (Matt Buschmann 7-1, 2.94) at Norfolk (Zach Britton 5-5, 4.74), 6:05
MGM (Marquis Fleming 4-6, 5.00) vs. Mississippi (Mitch Atkins 5-1, 2.67), 7:05
CHA (Jake Partridge 2-5, 4.30) vs. Fort Myers (Jason Wheeler 8-4, 3.88), 5:30
BWG (Jordan Harrison 4-2, 2.44) vs. West Michigan (the other Jake Thompson 3-3, 3.10), 7:05

HV (Ben Griset 1-3, 3.65) vs. Aberdeen (Mitch Horacek 5-2, 2.34), 6:05
PRI (*Nolan Gannon 1-5, 7.82) vs. Bristol (?), 6:05
GCL vs. Red Sox, 11 a.m.

Ranking the Rays ... Mortensen, Romero, Narvaez

For Wednesday ...

1. Jared Mortensen, CHA: 7-inning shutout, 2 hits, 2 walks, 4 Ks, 8 GBO
2. Enny Romero, MGM: 7 shutout, 5 hits, walk, 7 Ks
3. Tyler Goeddel, BWG: 2b, 3 1b's, steal, 3 RBIs, run
4. Merrill Kelly, DUR: 7 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 2 walks, 6 Ks
5. Mikie Mahtook, MGM: 2b, 2 1b's, walk, RBI, 2 runs
Jeff Ames, BWG: 6 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 2 walks, 2 Ks

1. Omar Narvaez, HV: 3b, 2 2b's, walk, 2 runs
2. Aaron Griffin, HV: 6 innings, 1 earned run, 6 hits, 4 Ks
3. Eric Fredrick, GCL: 3 shutout, 1 hit, 3 Ks

Morning reading

Riverwalk Stadium's annual apocalypse draws near with "Auburn/Alabama Night" -- as named by the Biscuits* -- so why not start by asking former SEC players Mikie Mahtook and Curt Casali which team was more enjoyable to beat.

Speaking of Mahtook, he and Enny Romero appear to be on their way to a strong finish to the season after Wednesday's win over Mississippi.

*--So don't blame me for not calling it "Alabama/Auburn Night." I'm just using the formal name.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

VIDEO: Biscuits outfielder Mikie Mahtook

Biscuits outfielder Mikie Mahtook, who had three hits, an RBI and two runs scored in Wednesday's 5-0 win over Mississippi, is hitting .358 in his last 12 games.

See video here.

Wednesday's Rays roundup

Bulls 9, Charlotte 2
Merrill Kelly
gave up two runs in seven innings. Kevin Kiermaier doubled, singled, had two RBIs and scored. Mike Fontenot doubled, singled, walked and scored twice. The Bulls clinched their sixth division title in seven years.

Stone Crabs 2, Fort Myers 1 (10, Game 1)
Grayson Garvin
allowed one run on one hit in four innings. Shay Crawford threw three shutout innings with two hits and Matt Ramsey two innings with one. Willie Argo singled and scored on a Drew Vettleson flyout to win it.

Stone Crabs 6, Fort Myers 0 (Game 2)
Jared Mortensen
threw a two-hitter with two walks and four strikeouts. Richie Shaffer doubled, singled and had two RBIs. Kes Carter doubled, stole, RBI'd and scored twice.

Hot Rods 9, West Michigan 1
Jeff Ames'
six innings included one run on three hits. Matthew Spann finished a five-hitter. Tyler Goeddel doubled, singled thrice, stole, had three RBIs and scored. Tommy Coyle doubled twice, singled, walked, was caught thieving, RBI'd and scored thrice.

Aberdeen 6, Renegades 5
Omar Narvaez
doubled twice, tripled, walked and scored twice. Aaron Griffin gave up one earned run in six innings.

GCL Red Sox 2, Rays 1
Jeremy Hadley
singled thrice and stole twice. Riley Unroe doubled, stole and scored. Wilking Rodriguez threw two perfect innings. Eric Fredrick threw three shutout innings with one hit.