Durham 6, Rochester 4. Jeff Niemann picked up his 5th win in his last 5 starts by striking out 7 in 6 innings. He was touched for 3 runs, but only 1 earned on 7 hits and 4 walks. On the year, Niemann is 9-4 with a 3.52 ERA and 92 strike outs in 94.2 innings. Niemann has been consistently “good” this year, but he has not demonstrated consistent “greatness” that we keep waiting for…Justin Ruggiano added 3 more hits and an RBI. He is now hitting .297. He also stole his 14th and 15th bases of the season. Chad Orvella retired the last 4 batters of the game for his 10th save.
Montgomery 8, Mississippi 2. James Houser improved to 4-1 allowing only 2 hits and no walks in 8 innings. He struck out 5 and allowed 2 runs (1 earned). In the first inning, the leadoff hitter singled and stole second. He then scored following a sac bunt and a ground out. After the single, Houser then retired the next 22 batters he faced, before a triple with one out in the 8th. That runner scored when he tried to stretch his triple into a home run but catcher John Jaso couldn’t handle the relay from Reid Brignac and Jaso was charged with an error. Jaso did go 2-5 and hit his 7th home run. He is hitting .330. Reid Brignac was 1-5 and stole his 10th base. Evan Longoria went 2-5 with 2 strike outs.
Tampa 2, Vero Beach 1. Mike Wlodaczyk struck out 8 in 6.2 innings, but took the loss after allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks. Rhyne Hughes picked up the Rays only RBI with a single following Sergio Pedroza’s lead-off triple in the 7th.
Columbus 4, Rome 2. After 3 straight losses, Heath Rollins is back to his winning ways with his second straight W raising his record to 8-3. He struck out 6 in 7 innings and allowed 2 runs on 7hits and 1 walk. Ryan Royster was 2-4 with his 14th home run, a 3-run shot in the 8th that turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 Catfish lead.
Hudson Valley 3, Brooklyn 2 (gm 1).
Brooklyn 5, Hudson Valley 0 (gm 2).
NOTES FROM DOWN ON THE FARM…
- The Devil Rays placed two members on the Baseball Prospectus’ “The All-Disappointment Team“.
Second Base: Elliot Johnson, Devil Rays. Last year at Double-A Montgomery, Johnson did a little bit of everything, reaching double-digits in all three extra-base categories and swiping 20 bases. With 10 doubles, four triples and seven home runs at Triple-A Durham, Johnson has a good shot at repeating the feat this year, but a profound lack of singles has him hitting just .204/.277/.347.
Shortstop: Reid Brignac, Devil Rays. After winning California League MVP honors last year, Brignac looked like a sure-fire elite prospect with a .302/.340/.500 mark for Double-A Montgomery in April, but following a homerless May and a .229 June, his total line sits at a well-below-expectations mark of .246/.298/.399. [Professor's note: Brignac has also committed a kazillion errors]
- The Princeton Rays were rained out with the Rays leading 4-1 in the 5th inning.