Another roller coaster day in the minor leagues, folks. We saw a little of everything - grand slams, walk offs, pitching dominance, nail-biters, heartbreaks, and triumphs. Here's a brief run down of all the action across each level yesterday.
AAA Fresno Grizzlies: WON 6-0 over the Salt Lake Bees (LAA)
The high-powered Fresno
Tacos Grizzlies offense went back to work Wednesday, thrashing the Bees 6-0. Left-handed pitcher Tommy Shirley pitched in his first action since an injury ended his very promising 2015 campaign, and the results were excellent. He scattered three singles over five innings pitched with a single walk and four strikeouts while recording five ground ball outs compared to a single fly ball out. Shirley was pegged by Quinton McCracken and Mike Elias as one of the pitchers to watch in the system for the Astros in a Q&A session with Astros bloggers back in January, so this probably comes as no surprise to the organization. Still, it's very encouraging to see such a strong, triumphant return.
As for the scoring, it happened early.
In the second inning, the Grizzlies drew blood after Nolan Fontana led off the inning with a single and ultimately came around to score on a single through the shift by Jon Kemmer.
Then, in the fourth inning, it all fell apart for the Bees. Jon Singleton drew a walk to lead off the inning, Nolan Fontana grounded into a fielder's choice and was safe at first, and then Tyler Heineman was awarded first base on a catcher's interference call. Jon Kemmer then continued the merry-go-round by reaching on a throwing error by first baseman Kyle Kubitza, loading the bases. After an Andrew Aplin strikeout, Tony Kemp walked to force a run in from third (one of two walks on the day for Kemp, who was otherwise hitless to snap a three game hitting streak) and then Danny "He-Man" Worth had the power:
Danny Worth is flat-out tearing the cover off the ball in Fresno. He's the only hitter on the team to hit in each of the team's games so far this season.
Running down the box score, it was another off night for top prospect A.J. Reed, who was hitless with a walk. Tony Kemp was hitless, as was mentioned, but remains hot to start the season. He's hitting .474 and notched both an RBI and a run in this game, for those who monitor those stats. Matt Duffy returned to Fresno and had a single in four trips, Jon Singleton was 0-2 with two walks, and Nolan Fontana and Jon Kemmer were each 1-4 on the night.
On the hill, Edwar Cabrera, Jordan Jankowski, Jandel Gustave, and James Hoyt combined for four shut out innings in relief of Shirley's fine (64 game score over five innings) start.
HR: Worth (2, 4th inning off Maya, 3 on, 2 out).
TB: Kemmer; Worth 5; Duffy; Fontana.
RBI: Kemmer (3); Kemp (2); Worth 4 (6).
2-out RBI: Kemp; Worth 4.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Singleton.
Team RISP: 2-for-9.
Team LOB: 5.
Outfield assists: Kemp (Graterol at 2nd base).
DP: 2 (Fontana-Worth-Singleton; Worth-Singleton).
|Salt Lake Bees|
TB: Graterol; Cunningham; Navarro, R; Cowart; Buss 2.
GIDP: Cowart; Petit, G.
Team RISP: 0-for-1.
Team LOB: 4.
E: Graterol (1, catcher interference); Kubitza (1, throw).
DP: (Navarro, R-Petit, G-Kubitza).
|Tommy Shirley (W, 1-0)||5.0||3||0||0||1||4||0||0.00|
|Salt Lake Bees|
|Yunesky Maya (L, 1-1)||4.0||4||6||1||3||6||1||2.79|
Pitches-strikes: Shirley 82-50; Cabrera, E 11-8; Jankowski 12-10; Gustave 7-4; Hoyt 16-12; Maya 86-48; Luetge 34-19; Ramirez, R 32-18; O'Grady 10-7.
Groundouts-flyouts: Shirley 5-1; Cabrera, E 1-0; Jankowski 2-0; Gustave 2-1; Hoyt 2-1; Maya 4-3; Luetge 2-1; Ramirez, R 1-2; O'Grady 0-0.
Batters faced: Shirley 17; Cabrera, E 3; Jankowski 4; Gustave 3; Hoyt 4; Maya 21; Luetge 7; Ramirez, R 7; O'Grady 3.
Umpires: HP: J.J. January. 1B: Tom Woodring. 2B: Ramon DeJesus. 3B: Brett Terry.
Weather: 59 degrees, overcast.
Wind: 9 mph, Varies.
First pitch: 8:32 PM.
T: 2:37 (1:57 delay).
Venue: Smith's Ballpark.
April 13, 2016
AA Corpus Christi: OFF
The Hooks were traveling this day and will meet up with the Tulsa Drillers on Thursday, the 14th of April.
High A Lancaster: 4-3 LOSS to the Stockton Ports.
What a heartbreaker this game was. Scott Weathersby was brilliant over six innings in Lancaster's ongoing effort to buck the offensive statistical trends of their ballpark, but erroneous defense and wild relief pitching doomed the 'Hawks.
Jose Fernandez reached on a pair of errors by Ports infielders, while Nick Tanielu came all the way around from first to score the first run in the top of the second.
In the next inning, Jason Martin continued his hot start by scalding a two out triple that scored Bobby Boyd from first base. Boyd would later drive in the Jethawks' third and final run in the fifth inning with a fielder's choice that scored Alejandro Garcia from third. Garcia had singled to lead off the inning, stolen second, and then advanced to third on an errant caught stealing attempt by the Ports catcher, Argenis Raga.
Ryan Thompson was tagged for two earned runs in the bottom of the seventh but maintained the lead and earned himself a hold for his efforts. Kevin Comer threw a scorelesss inning and a third with two strikeouts and two walks, and then things went sideways for Angel Heredia in the ninth.
Shortstop Jose Fernandez gave back the error that allowed him to reach base earlier in the game with an errant throw on a ground ball by Tyler Marincov. A sacrifice bunt moved Marincov to second, and then Argenis Raga flew out to right for the second out.
Heredia then walked Seth Brown with two outs to put the winning run on base, threw a wild pitch that allowed the runers to advance to second and third, and allowed a walk-off pinch hit double to John Nogowski to end the game in a soul crushing manner.
Scott Weathersby threw six scoreless innings while allowing just four hits (a double and three singles) and recording five strikeouts against no walks, earning himself a sound 69 game score.
2B: Ferguson (1, Wagman); Boyd (1, Gauna).
3B: Martin (1, Gossett).
TB: Martin 3; Ferguson 3; Tanielu; Garcia, Ale; Boyd 3.
RBI: Martin (3); Boyd (2).
2-out RBI: Martin.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Garcia, Ale; Tanielu 2; Stubbs 2.
SAC: Garcia, Ale.
Team RISP: 1-for-10.
Team LOB: 7.
SB: Boyd 2 (3, 2nd base off Gossett/Raga, A, 3rd base off Gossett/Raga, A); Garcia, Ale (2, 2nd base off Gossett/Raga, A); Ferguson (3, 3rd base off Wagman/Raga, A); Ritchie (1, 2nd base off Wagman/Raga, A).
CS: Ferguson (1, 2nd base by Gossett/Raga, A); Fernandez, J (1, 3rd base by Gauna/Raga, A).
E: Fernandez, J 2 (2, throw, throw); Thompson (1, pickoff).
DP: 2 (Fernandez, J-Trompiz-Ritchie; Trompiz-Fernandez, J-Ritchie).
|a- John Nogowski||PH||1||0||1||1||0||0||2||0||0||.250|
2B: Raga, A (2, Weathersby); Marincov (4, Thompson); Nogowski (2, Heredia, A).
TB: Harris, J 2; Raga, A 2; Marincov 3; Boyd; Nogowski 2.
RBI: Marincov (5); Boyd (3); Nogowski 2 (3).
2-out RBI: Nogowski 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Brown; Bennie.
GIDP: Raga, A 2.
Team RISP: 3-for-6.
Team LOB: 6.
CS: Harris, J (1, 2nd base by Weathersby/Stubbs); Bennie (1, 2nd base by Weathersby/Stubbs); Mercedes, M (1, 2nd base by Comer/Stubbs).
E: Brizuela (1, throw); Pimentel, S (1, throw); Raga, A (3, throw); Brown (2, fielding).
Outfield assists: Boyd (Trompiz at home).
DP: (Raga, A-Sogard).
|Ryan Thompson (H, 1)||0.2||2||2||2||2||0||0||18.00|
|Kevin Comer (H, 1)||1.1||0||0||0||2||2||0||6.00|
|Angel Heredia (BS, 1)(L, 0-1)||0.2||1||2||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|Koby Gauna (W, 1-0)||1.0||1||0||0||1||0||0||8.10|
WP: Heredia, A.
Pitches-strikes: Weathersby 80-53; Thompson 28-17; Comer 24-10; Heredia, A 23-11; Gossett 89-60; Wagman 26-15; Gauna 14-8.
Groundouts-flyouts: Weathersby 6-3; Thompson 1-0; Comer 0-1; Heredia, A 2-1; Gossett 10-3; Wagman 0-1; Gauna 1-1.
Batters faced: Weathersby 20; Thompson 5; Comer 5; Heredia, A 6; Gossett 28; Wagman 5; Gauna 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Comer 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Patrick Sharshel. 1B: Jacob Metz.
Weather: 60 degrees, clear.
Wind: 10 mph, Out to LF.
First pitch: 7:14 PM.
Venue: Banner Island Ballpark.
April 13, 2016
Low A Quad Cities: 5-3 win over the Peoria Chiefs
The Bandits enjoyed a fine comeback win powered by right fielder Pat Porter on a brisk, clear evening a Dozer park.
Red-hot Osvaldo Duarte continued his torrid start, drawing a walk to lead off the game and stealing second before watching Daz Cameron walk, Kyle Tucker and Anthony Hermelyn both strike out, and Porter ground out softly to the pitcher.
Peoria scored a run of their own to open the scoring in the bottom half of the first, but Aaron Mizell scored from third on a wild pitch in the top of the third inning to tie the game.
Everything was quiet on the scoring front until the bottom of the sixth inning, when R.J. Dennard drove in his second run of the game for Peoria with another single. Immediately, in the top of the seventh, Pat Porter reached base after being hit by a pitch, advanced to third on a pair of ground outs and scored on a wild pitch by Tyler Bray, who'd just entered the game for the Chiefs to tie the game again, and again on a wild pitch.
Craig Aikin gave Peoria the lead back with an RBI groundout in the bottom of the seventh, but Pat Porter gave the Bandits back the lead for good with a triple in the top of the eighth inning that scored Kyle Tucker (who had singled to left field) from third, Anthony Hermelyn (who had singled to right field) from first, and which saw Porter himself score for a little league home run on a throwing error by Chiefs second baseman Eliezer Alvarez.
Rogelio Armenteros allowed two hits and two earned runs in his five and two-thirds innings of work, striking out six and allowing no walks. Ralph Garza allowed one run in an inning and two-thirds of relief, and Andrew Thome worked a scoreless inning and two thirds to earn himself a save.
Kyle Tucker struck out three times on the game, but also singled to go 1-4 and set his batting average to .320 in the (very) young season. Of concern (though, again, it's early) is Daz Cameron, who now has twelve strikeouts in just nineteen at bats this year, authoring a single hit in his first six games. On a positive note, he does have six walks already, which is encouraging.
|Quad Cities River Bandits|
3B: Porter (2, Bray).
TB: Tucker; Hermelyn; Porter 3; Mizell; Duarte.
RBI: Porter 2 (3).
2-out RBI: Porter 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Porter; Hermelyn.
Team RISP: 1-for-8.
Team LOB: 4.
SB: Duarte (1, 2nd base off Gonzalez, D/Godoy).
TB: Godoy; Sierra; Dennard 2.
RBI: Dennard 2 (6); Aikin (1).
2-out RBI: Dennard 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Spitz; O'Keefe.
Team RISP: 2-for-7.
Team LOB: 4.
SB: Sierra (2, 2nd base off Garza/Hermelyn).
E: Alvarez, E (2, throw).
|Quad Cities River Bandits|
|Ralph Garza (W, 1-1)||1.2||2||1||1||1||0||0||4.91|
|Andrew Thome (S, 1)||1.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||0.00|
|Tyler Bray (BS, 1)(L, 0-1)||1.1||3||3||2||1||1||0||7.71|
Game Scores: Armenteros 63; Gonzalez, D 67.
WP: Armenteros 2; Garza; Gonzalez, D; Bray.
HBP: Porter (by Hawkins); Godoy (by Armenteros).
Pitches-strikes: Armenteros 79-50; Garza 40-25; Thome 16-13; Gonzalez, D 88-54; Hawkins 26-17; Bray 28-17; Harrison 17-14.
Groundouts-flyouts: Armenteros 9-2; Garza 5-0; Thome 1-2; Gonzalez, D 4-1; Hawkins 3-0; Bray 1-1; Harrison 2-0.
Batters faced: Armenteros 21; Garza 8; Thome 5; Gonzalez, D 19; Hawkins 6; Bray 8; Harrison 3.
Inherited runners-scored: Garza 1-1; Thome 1-0; Bray 1-1.
Umpires: HP: Brian Walsh. 1B: Andy Stukel.
Weather: 59 degrees, clear.
Wind: 5 mph, R to L.
First pitch: 6:30 PM.
Venue: Dozer Park.
April 13, 2016
* AVG and ERA indicate full-season averages for players and teams.