Durham Bulls claim Triple-A crown once again
LAS VEGAS -- Not even three weeks ago, Bligh Madris was DFA'd by the Pirates. On Sunday, he became an MVP in the Rays system. The outfielder capped his four-hit, four-RBI night by doubling in the tying run in the Triple-A National Championship, powering Durham to a 10-6 victory over
LAS VEGAS -- Not even three weeks ago,
The outfielder capped his four-hit, four-RBI night by doubling in the tying run in the Triple-A National Championship, powering Durham to a 10-6 victory over Reno. That earned Madris Most Valuable Player honors for the game.
“I was just fired up,” he said. “I just know I'm a quality player. I'm happy I was able to help the team win [on Sunday] and contribute to helping get to this point in the last couple of weeks.”
In front of at least 50 of his closest friends and family, the Las Vegas native singled to right field in the first inning, then ripped a double off the glove of Reno first baseman
The Aces responded in the home half of the frame with an RBI single by Jose Herrera and a two-run homer off the bat of
Solid bullpens on both sides kept the bats quiet for the next couple frames until Madris laced an RBI single to left to tie the game once again. But D-backs No. 19 prospect
In the ninth, though, it was nothing but Bulls.
“I didn't get it too well, but I knew I had a chance,” Madris said. “I was just trying to play hard and just happy we scored.”
That opened the proverbial floodgates. René Pinto singled in a run and
On Sept. 16, the Rays claimed Madris off waivers and sent him to Triple-A. In 10 regular-season games with the Bulls, the 2017 Draft pick hit .317/.370/.683 with four homers and 15 RBIs to help the club shore up the East Division. On Saturday, Madris tallied two hits and four RBIs as Durham clinched its fourth International League title in five seasons.
"I'm glad that they DFA'd him," Bulls manager Brady Williams said with a laugh. "He's a really good player. And he's gotten to showcase his talents with us. We welcomed him with open arms and he's been a treat since he got in here."
After delivering four hits and four RBIs for champion Durham, Bligh Madris is the Triple-A Championship Game MVP!@ANG_Recruiting | #ServeYourWay pic.twitter.com/eBSbiGijk9— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) October 3, 2022
"Taj had really good stuff early," Williams said. "It's a really good team over there, they put together some good at-bats off him. But Chirinos came came in and kind of shut the door. He went almost five innings of shutout baseball, he allowed the offense to kind of gather themselves.
This is the Bulls’ third national championship in the past 12 iterations. They also posted the best winning percentage during the Triple-A Final Stretch in 2021 in lieu of a title game.
"It's just a whole new journey ahead, a new chapter in my life, and I'm excited for it. And I mean, you can't beat winning," Madris said of joining the Rays organization. "They know how to win here, and I'm going to try and bring that winning attitude and help every team I'm on here win."
Kelsie Heneghan is a writer for MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan.