Every Jays affiliate was in action yesterday so there’s a total of four games to break down, and the teams went 3-1 on the night.
Highlights include an offensive outburst in Vegas that saw David Cooper raise his average to .400, a strong pitching performance in New Hampshire by Henderson Alvarez, and a hard-fought, come from behind win in Dunedin.
Wins/Losses: 34-28 | Streak: W1 | 2nd in PCL Pacific South (5.0 GB)
Tucson Padres 6, Las Vegas 51s 0
The 51s scored more than enough runs to back starter Brad Mills and the bullpen, who combined to allow just one run and five hits in the entire game, earning the 51s the win and allowing them to gain a valuable game on first-place Sacramento.
Craig Stansberry went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a solo home run in the leadoff spot, while Travis Snider went 2-for-5 with a solo home run of his own as well. The real story, though, was David Cooper, who went 4-for-5 with three singles and a double and is now hitting .400 on the season.
Starter Brad Mills pitched six scoreless innings and scattered four hits to earn the win and improve to 5-5 on the season. He easily would have been able to go deeper in the game if it weren’t for his pitch count rising, thanks to eight strikeouts and five walks.
Wil Ledezma pitched a scoreless seventh, and Sean Henn allowed the game’s only run in the eighth after giving up a double that scored the player that he walked. Danny Farquhar cruised through a perfect ninth inning, throwing seven of his mere ten pitches for strikes.
- Thames’ double was just his second hit in five games since returning to Las Vegas from Toronto
- After posting a 1.055 OPS in April and 1.014 OPS in May, Cooper is continuing his torrid pace in June, with a 1.038 OPS so far in seven games
Wins/Losses: 37-23 | Streak: W2 | 1st in EAS Eastern (0.0 GB)
New Hampshire Fisher Cats 6, Richmond Flying Squirrels 2
Backed by a strong start by young right-hander Henderson Alvarez, the Fisher Cats cruised after scoring a pair of runs in the first inning and three more in the fourth, en route to a 6-2 win in front of 6,945 at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium to take the first of a three-game series against Richmond.
After being demoted to New Hampshire from Vegas and struggling for an extended period of time, Darin Mastroianni went 2-for-4 in this game with a pair of stolen bases, and has hit .395/.467/.553 over his last 10 games with four doubles, one triple, and six walks. Anthony Gose went 1-for-4 hitting third, and also stole his league-leading 29th bag of the season.
Alvarez finished the night allowing two earned runs on four hits in 6.2 innings with no walks and six strikeouts.After allowing just two singles in the first five innings and holding Richmond scoreless over that span, Alvarez threw one bad pitch in the sixth which resulted in a solo home run. The same thing happened in the seventh inning, where Alvarez unfortunately allowed another solo home run before getting pulled.
- Out of the 12 outs Alvarez registered via contact, 11 of them were on the ground
- Ricardo Nanita has subtely been producing as well in June, hitting .346/.433/.385 in seven games so far
Wins/Losses: 33-28 | Streak: W1 | 3rd in FSL North (9.0 GB)
Dunedin Blue Jays 10, Brevard County Manatees 8
Entering the game with the fifth-best ERA in the Florida State League, D-Jays starter Nestor Molina was shelled in his worst outing of the season, but the D-Jays persevered with seven unanswered runs to capture a series win against the Brevard County Manatees before a three-game set against the Tampa Yankees.
Brian Van Kirk went 2-for-3 with a double, solo home run, and a walk, and Kevin Nolan continued to rake with a 3-for-5 night, including a two-run home run. Justin Jackson went 2-for-5 in the leadoff spot, and Brad Glenn hit his first triple of the season.
He walked only one and struck out five, but gave up 11 hits and seven earned runs in just 4.2 innings. Molina gave up two triples and a double in the first inning alone, before giving up a three-run home run in the third inning. He gave up a solo home run and issued his only walk of the game in the fifth inning before he was pulled in favor of Ryan Shopshire, who gave up consecutive doubles to the first batters he faced before ending the inning.
After Shopshire pitched a scoreless sixth, Matt Wright came in to pitch 1.2 innings without a hit and with three strikeouts. Wes Etheridge came in to pitch a perfect eighth to record his Florida State League-leading 20th save.
- After being one of the hottest players in the entire Jays organization, A.J. Jimenez has cooled off considerably, hitting .212/.297/.333 over his last 10 games
- In addition to stealing his second bag of the year, Nolan committed his third fielding error as well
Wins/Losses: 33-26 | Streak: L1 | 1st in MID Eastern (0.0 GB)
Cedar Rapids Kernels 5, Lansing Lugnuts 2
First off, Cedar Rapids Kernels? Definitely up there for one of the best minor league baseball team names, along with the Montgomery Biscuits of the Double-A Southern League.
Despite out-hitting the Kernels 9-7, the Lugnuts took the lead early in the game twice, before a four-run Cedar Rapids fourth inning ultimately doomed them. Only two of the five runs that Lansing allowed were earned, but it’s hard to do much when your team goes 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position. Even with the loss, though, the Lugnuts remain in first place by half a game in the Eastern division.
As it’s been practically all year, the offense was led by outfielders Jake Marisnick, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Marcus Knecht, who went 2-for-3 with a walk. K.C. Hobson had a great eye at the plate as well, going 1-for-2 with three walks, and and Carlos Perez and Bryson Namba each had a hit as well.
Markus Brisker continued to produce somewhat in the leadoff spot, with his third home run of the season and his 17th stolen base as well. Gustavo Pierre hit his second triple of the season, though he is hitting a disgraceful .097/.152/.161 over his last ten games, and that triple was his only extra base hit.
Lugnuts starter Daniel Webb allowed four runs (two earned) on three hits in just 3.1 innings, but it was his five walks that didn’t help his case in this one. He constantly had to work himself out of trouble, stranding runners on second and third in the first inning and runners on the corners in the second, before getting pulled in the fourth inning with the bases loaded and one out.
Brandon Berl, the Jays’ 40th round pick last year, came into the game and a run scored after a Gustavo Pierre error, then three more runs scored after a single, ground out, and wild pitch. Overall, Berl threw 2.1 innings, allowing four hits, one walk, and an unearned run of his own with a pair of strikeouts.
Danny Barnes definitely deserves honorable mention, since he pitched 2.1 hitless innings and recorded all seven of his outs via strikeout.
- In addition to his lackluster performance at the plate, Pierre’s error was his 33rd this season in 53 games. No, that’s not a typo.
- Marisnick’s RBI was his team-leading 38th of the season