Blue Jays MiLB Recap: Lugnuts Marathon
There was a lot of action in the Toronto Blue Jays minor league system. Taylor Cole was fantastic, Munenori Kawasaki led the Bisons’ offense, the Lansing Lugnuts played something that resembled a cricket contest in length and Anthony Alford tried to take the Dunedin Blue Jays on his back. Let’s get to it.
Buffalo Bisons- 3 vs Rochester Red Wings- 4
Scott Copeland put forth a good effort in his start last night, but hit a wall in the 7th inning. The Red Wings had been held to scattering a few runs here and there, but the Bisons offense could not muster enough to take this contest. With the offensive output, Copeland needed to be better than “keeping your team in it”.
Copeland went 6.1 innings scattering 7 hits, 4 earned runs 3 walks and a strike out. He also gave up a two run HR to Oswaldo Arcia in the 6th inning. Copeland needed 95 pitches to get through this effort. With the big league club’s rotation (and bullpen to a degree) in question, Copeland could impress Blue Jays brass by his ability to last relatively deep into ball games. A night like Thursday, though won’t really help him in that regard. But, again, this showing from Copeland could have been much better had his offense showed him some support.
As much as we love him, when Munenori Kawasaki is the offensive leader on your team, you know your night is going to be tough. And, that is what happened. Kawasaki picked up 2 hits and scored a run. Left fielder, Alex Hassan also picked up 2 hits. Matt Hague went 0-4, bringing his average down to .339. If you’ve forgotten about Ramon Santiago, who, at one point, was a name very much in the 2B job with the Blue Jays, he scored a run in 4 at bats, but his hitting just .215.
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New Hampshire FisherCats- 2 vs Trenton Thunder- 1
While Copeland gave his club a start that was OK, Taylor Cole gave the FisherCats a gem! He went 8 strong innings, giving up 5 hits and a single run. He walked 2 and struck out 5 on 90 pitches. He did have a failed pickoff attempt that went for an error. This is the 2nd start in a row where Cole has been great. His last start, he went 9 innings. It is quite the turn around for the 25 year old. He’d had difficulty lasting past the 5th or 6th inning (he went 7 once) in his last 10 starts. Wil Browning protected the gem by picking up his 3rd save with an inning of work that saw him give up a hit and two strike outs.
The offense was led by Jon Berti, who drove in both runs with a two out knock in the 5th inning. Berti has 9 hits over his last 6 games. Dalton Pompey picked up a hit to see his average at a healthy .358. It will be interesting to see what the Blue Jays do with Dalton Pompey over the next few weeks. They have him in AA to maintain consistency in his bat. And, it is working. Would other teams see that and maybe push to include him in a trade? Or, do the Blue Jays have plans to bring him up to Toronto? Stay tuned.
It should also be noted that Yankees reliever, Andrew Bailey threw an inning of work as he makes his way back to the big league club. He gave up a hit and 2 K.
Dunedin Blue Jays- 1 vs Daytona Tortugas- 5
The Blue Jays got all the offense they were going to get in the first inning. Anthony Alford was single-handedly responsible for Dunedin’s scoring on this night. He led off the game with a double. He then stole third and scored on the wild throw. And then that was it.
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The offense picked up 8 hits in total, including 3 doubles. They had their chances. But, they went 0-7 with runners in scoring position and left 8 runners on base. It’s tough to score when that happens. Matt Dean and Mitch Nay both picked up a pair of hits. Rowdy Tellez also collected a hit and is hitting .306.
Conner Greene started the game for the Blue Jays and didn’t do too badly. He worked 5 innings, giving up 5 hits, 3 walks, 3K and a single run. OK, so maybe it wasn’t great, but if you can limit the opponent to a single run over 5 innings, your teammates should be able to return the favor by scoring runs. That didn’t happen. All ‘you know what’ broke loose in the 6th inning when Daytona scored 4 runs to put the game out of reach. Jackson Lowery gave up 4 runs (3 earned) in his 0.1 of an inning. Brady Dragmire finished the game (2.2 innings) and kept Daytona off the score board. But, by then it was already too late.
Lansing Lugnuts- 6 vs Great Lakes Loons- 5 (15 innings)
It was a marathon in Midland, Michigan Thursday night. It was an interesting affair that saw the home team score, the visitors answer right back. The same thing happened later in the 8th and then scoring stopped until th etop of the 15th inning.
Jesus Tinoco started the contest and went 6 innings of work, giving up just 6 hits, 2 runs, a walk and 6 strike outs. He left the game facing a no decision with the score tied at 2. Then, in the bottom of the 7th, Phil Kish gave up 3 runs in on 4 hits. Fortunately, the very next frame, the Lugnuts offense responded with 3 of their own.
Dawel Lugo, Juan Kelly and Alex Maldonado all had 7 at bats in this marathon contest. But, it was Chris Carlson and D.J. Davis who had the big nights. Carlson collected 3 hits, an RBI and a run to go with 3 walks. Davis also had 3 hits, a run and an RBI. Or, maybe we should give Kelly more props since it was his 15th inning, one out, solo home run that gave the Lugnuts the lead. Yeah, let’s do that. A huge shout out to DH, Juan Kelly.
Vancouver Canadians- 3 vs Slaem-Keizer Volcanoes- 9
The Canadians found themselves behind early and could not get much going to recover as they fell to 8-14 on the season. Sean Ratcliffe was rocked for 5 runs in just 2.1 innings to take the loss on Thursday. Joey Aquino also had a rough night at the office as he gave up 3 earned runs in his 2 innings of work. The Canadians sent 6 different arms to the mound for this contest. And they didn’t really get much support from the bats.
The Canadians scored all of their runs in the 7th inning. By then, it was already 7-0 for the visitors. They had struggled to bring anything across the plate up to that point. Lane Thomas picked up 2 hits, including a double out of the leadoff spot. 1B, Justin Atkinson also picked up 2 hits. But, the big at bat came from J.C. Cardenas who hit a 3-run, 2 out home run in the 7th for his first of the year. He’s hitting .119 on the season.
Bluefield Blue Jays- 6 vs Danville Braves- 7
This was a back and forth contest early on. It looked like the Blue Jays would pull out the victory. But, by night’s end, the Braves had managed to come back and take the lead for good. It didn’t start pretty as Jacob Brentz started the game for the Blue Jays and gave up 7 hits, 5 earned runs. But, his offense responded with a 4 run 3rd inning to regain the lead. It looked to be safe, but Geno Encina and Alberto Guzman each gave a run that allowed the Braves to pull out in front.
The offense struck for 6 hits and 4 walks. Christian Williams led the charge with 2 hits, including a double and 3 RBI on the night. DH, Gabriel Clark had a 2 out, 3 run home run in the 3rd inning. All tolled, the BlueJays struck out 10 times and were just 2-8 with runners in scoring position.
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