Brent Honeywell's knack for excelling on the biggest of stages was on full display Thursday as he pitched Triple-A Durham to a 6-2 win over Scranton in Game 3 of the Governors' Cup Finals.Honeywell, Tampa Bay's top prospect and No. 12 on the Top 100, recorded his first six outs
Brent Honeywell's knack for excelling on the biggest of stages was on full display Thursday as he pitched Triple-A Durham to a 6-2 win over Scranton in Game 3 of the Governors' Cup Finals.
Honeywell, Tampa Bay's top prospect and No. 12 on the Top 100, recorded his first six outs via the strikeout en route to fanning 10 batters in six scoreless innings. He scattered five hits and walked one while throwing 68 of his 96 pitches for strikes in the victory, which gives Durham a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-five finals.
MILB Video - Title: Honeywell racks up 10th K - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1832949083
"It's a big-time game. I expected nothing less out of myself and I hope nobody in the clubhouse expected anything less," Honeywell told MiLB.com. "It was just another start to me. I was capitalizing whenever I got ahead early and not letting guys hang around. I think that was the main thing."
Pacing the Bulls at the plate was No. 77 overall prospect Jake Bauers (Rays' No. 5), who went 2-for-5 with two RBIs and scored one run. It was the third straight multi-hit game for the 21-year-old outfielder, and he's now tied atop the International League postseason leaderboard with a .429 average and 12 hits.
Justin Williams (Rays' No. 10) also collected two hits in the game, his third since being promoted to Triple-A ahead of the finals. The 22-year-old outfielder has hit safely in all three contests while going 4-for-10 with two runs scored.
Durham and Scranton will now square off in Game 4 on Friday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV.
"There's nothing in that clubhouse that says we're not going to do this either tomorrow night or the next," Honeywell said.
The rest of the best performances from top prospects Thursday
• No. 19 overall prospect Mitch Keller (Pirates' No. 2) allowed two earned runs on four hits over 7 1/3 innings as Double-A Altoona defeated Trenton, 4-2, to win the Eastern League championship. He issued one walk, struck out eight and generated 11 ground-ball outs while throwing 67 of his 102 pitches for strikes. Keller posted a 1.10 ERA with a 0.49 WHIP and 12 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings between his two playoff starts, the first of which saw the 21-year-old right-hander record his first career complete game and shutout.
MILB Video - Title: Keller records 8th strikeout - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1832788483
• No. 42 overall prospect Blake Rutherford (White Sox No. 4) did his part to keep Class A Kannapolis' season alive by going 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI as the Intimidators edged Greenville, 5-4, in a must-win Game 3 in the South Atlantic League finals. Alex Call (No. 25) plated a run with a groundout and later added an RBI triple to finish 1-for-5 with two RBIs and one run scored out of the leadoff spot. Kannapolis will attempt to even the best-of-five series in Game 4 on Friday.
• No. 92 overall prospect Tyler O'Neill (Cardinals' No. 4) was kept in the park but still went 1-for-5 to extend his postseason hitting streak to five games as Triple-A Memphis walked it off against Reno in the bottom of the 13th inning to take a 2-0 series lead in the Pacific Coast League finals. The 22-year-old outfielder is batting .294/.314/.735 through seven games in the playoffs, and he leads all hitters with four home runs and 11 RBIs.
• Astros No. 6 prospect Colin Moran boosted his postseason average to .414 with a two-hit game as Class A Quad Cities blanked Fort Wayne, 5-0, to take a 2-0 series lead in the best-of-five Midwest League finals. Playing for the River Bandits while on a Major League rehab assignment, the 24-year-old third baseman has collected a circuit-leading 12 hits in eight postseason contests.
• Rays No. 26 prospect Taylor Walls connected on a solo home run as part of a five-run top of the second inning that propelled Class A Short Season Hudson Valley to a 6-0 win over Vermont and a series sweep in the New York-Penn League finals. Walls, whom Tampa Bay selected in the third round in June, later added a run-scoring single in the eighth inning to finish the game 3-for-4 with a walk. He led all NYPL hitters in the postseason with a .450 average, nine hits and 14 total bases.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.