All seven affiliates were in action yesterday, going 4-3 overall. On a day where there was supposed to be a great deal of quality pitching, with Aaron Sanchez making his debut and Kyle Drabek getting the start in Vegas, Justin Nicolino actually stole the show.
Highlights include a wild walk-off win in New Hampshire, a dominant bullpen in Dunedin, and all-around pitching dominance in Vancouver!
Wins/Losses: 41-35 | Streak: L2 | 2nd in PCL Pacific South (8.0 GB)
Reno Aces 16, Las Vegas 51s 7 (LP: Drabek)
Rarely do teams lose two games in a row despite scoring seven runs in both of them, but that’s life in the Pacific Coast League and that’s exactly what happened to the 51s on Friday night. The pitching was absolutely horrendous, which caused Vegas to fall to the Reno Aces 16-7.
The 51s managed to crank out 14 hits in the loss, with Kevin Howard leading the way with a 3-for-5 night, including his first double of the season and a three-run home run. Chris Woodward had a nice night at the plate hitting third, going 2-for-3 and drawing a pair of walks, but committed two errors in the field. Jason Lane went 3-for-4 with a double, Ryan Shealy hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, and Adam Loewen hit his 28th double of the season.
Now the bad news.
Kyle Drabek took the loss after throwing a mere 46 pitches, and lasted just 2/3 of an inning. He allowed five earned runs on four hits, including a pair of home runs, with three walks and one strikeout.
Drabek gave up a leadoff single and walked the next batter before getting his first out of the inning, but then proceeded to give up back-to-back home runs which put Vegas down 4-0. After walking two, throwing a wild pitch, and giving up an RBI double, though, Drabek was pulled in favor of Mike MacDonald. To say that people should be concerned about Drabek is an understatement.
MacDonald did his job to close out the first inning, but was brutal after that. He allowed eight earned runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings with four walks, and Rommie Lewis gave up three earned runs on seven hits in two innings after that. With 51s pitching having already given up 16 runs on 18 hits, Winston Abreu came on in the middle of the seventh to pitch 1.2 scoreless innings.
Wins/Losses: 44-27 | Streak: W3 | 1st in EAS Eastern (0.0 GB)
New Hampshire Fisher Cats 4, Portland Sea Dogs 3 (WP: Daly . S: Korecky)
After allowing Portland to tie the game in the sixth inning, the Fisher Cats were able to take the lead again in the seventh and pull away with the victory on Friday night.
Anthony Gose, hitting third, led the way with a 3-for-3 night including two doubles and a HBP, Ricardo Nanita went 3-for-4 with a double, and leadoff hitter Adeiny Hechavarria went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks.
The Fisher Cats were quite active on the base paths in this one, with Gose stealing a pair of bags, and Nanita, Hechavarria, and John Tolisano each stole one, too. Gose now has a league-best 32 stolen bases already this season.
Fisher Cats starter Chad Jenkins was able to pitch a quality start around four walks, allowing three earned runs on five hits with four strikeouts in six innings of work. Matt Daly, Clint Everts, and Bobby Korecky combined to throw three scoreless innings without a hit to keep the game close for New Hampshire.
Wins/Losses: 1-1 | Streak: W1 | T-2nd in FSL North (0.5 GB)
Tampa Yankees 8, Dunedin Blue Jays 1 (WP: Gailey . S: Etheridge)
After being down 1-0 for the game’s first six innings, the D-Jays managed to tie it in the seventh and score three more in the eighth to rally late against the Tampa Yankees to get the 4-1 win.
Dunedin starter Nestor Molina continued to impress, allowing just one earned run on five hits in six innings of work, walking none and striking out a pair.
Frank Gailey, who shouldn’t even still be in Dunedin, got the win after pitching two scoreless frames, and Wes Etheridge pitched a scoreless ninth to log his 26th save of the season. Etheridge is currently sporting a 0.98 ERA, and has been extremely valuable to the D-Jays this season.
Wins/Losses: 1-0 | Streak: W3 | T-1st in MID Eastern (0.0GB)
Lansing Lugnuts 6, Great Lakes Loons 4 (WP: Berl)
After tying the game with two runs in the eighth inning, the Lugnuts were able to steal a win in walk-off fashion from Great Lakes on Friday night, topping the Loons 6-4 in 11 innings.
Nuzzo and Marcus Knecht each went 2-for-4 with a double and Bryton Namba hit a solo home run in the second inning, but it was first baseman K.C. Hobson who provided the heroics with a two-run home run in the bottom of the 11th to give Lansing the win.
Starter Sean Nolin lasted just 4.1 innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits with a pair of walks, but the real story of the game was the Lugnuts’ bullpen. Five pitchers combined to throw 6.2 innings of scoreless relief, with just one walk and four hits allowed, to keep Great Lakes at bay and give Lansing the chance to win the game.
Wins/Losses: 6-2 | Streak: W2 | T-1st in NOR West (0.0 GB)
Vancouver Canadians 2, Everett AquaSox 0 (WP: Nicolino | S: Permison)
The Vancouver Canadians continued to show why they are going to be an exciting team to watch this season, as they topped the Everett AquaSox 2-0 Friday night to improve to 6-2 on the season.
The Canadians were only able to manage two runs on eight hits and went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, but it proved to be enough. Leadoff hitter Jonathan Jones led the way with a 3-for-5 night, including an RBI and a pair of stolen bases, catcher Garrett Maines went 2-for-4 with a triple and a solo home run, and Bryan Kervin went 2-for-4 with a double, his first of the season.
As Mat already pointed out, starter Justin Nicolino was impressive in this one, limiting the AquaSox to just one hit in five shutout innings, and he allowed just one walk while striking out seven.
Wins/Losses: 2-2 | Streak: L2 | 3rd in APP East (2.0 GB)
Danville Braves 9, Bluefield Blue Jays 8 (LP: Sanchez)
Despite out-hitting the Braves and scoring eight runs, a shaky start by highly-touted prospect Aaron Sanchez doomed the Bluefield Jays as they fell to Danville 9-8 on Friday night.
Daniel Arcila hit a three-run home run in the eighth inning to pull Bluefield within one, Kevin Pillar hit a two-run home run in the second, and Chris Hawkins went 3-for-4 with a triple, his first of the season. Art Charles, Chris Schaeffer, and Yudelmis Hernandez all hit doubles, and both Kellen Sweeney and Gustavo Pierre managed a stolen base.
I was very excited to see how Sanchez was going to do in his first start, seeing as he ranked no.5 on our pre-2011 top 50 list. He was hit hard in his debut, though, allowing eight earned runs on 10 hits in just 2.2 innings, with a pair of walks and just one strikeout.
He was primarily hurt by a five-run second inning, after allowing the first two batters to reach base via a walk and a single. After they each moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt, Sanchez gave up a two-run double to put Bluefield down 3-1. Then, after giving up a single followed by a stolen base, two more runs came in on another double to make it a 5-1 game. That runner advanced to third on another stolen base before getting singled home, making it a 6-1 game.
Myles Jaye, who looked good when I saw him in the spring, pitched 4.1 innings of effective relief, allowing just an earned run on one hit –a solo home run in the fourth inning. Jonathan Lucas came in and pitched two perfect innings in relief as well.
Wins/Losses: 2-3 | Streak: L1 | 4th in GCL North (2.0 GB)
GCL Tigers 8, GCL Blue Jays 4 (LP: Mendez)
After a strong start, the Jays’ bullpen imploded as the GCL Jays fell to the GCL Tigers 8-4 on Thursday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium to drop to 2-3.
Leadoff hitter Jorge Vegas-Rosado hit a two-run home run, and Kevin Patterson hit a solo home run in the third. Santiago Nessy went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks, and every GCL Jays hitter managed a single except for Canadian Dalton Pompey, who went 0-for-5.
Starter Tucker Jensen allowed just one earned run on two hits in four innings of work, walking none and striking out four.
Reliever Alex Ramirez was decent in relief, allowing just two hits as well in three solid innings, but a pair of earned runs as well. Luis Mendez had a disastrous outing, putting the game out of reach for the Jays and getting charged with the blown save and the loss. He allowed five earned runs on five hits and a walk in only one inning of work (33.75 ERA). Leandro Mella pitched a scoreless ninth with a pair of strikeouts.