Blue Jays Minor League Recap: Lugnuts win pitching clinic

Dunedin, Fla. - Toronto Blue Jays 1st round pick Jonathan Harris at the Bobby Mattick Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Braydon Holymard
Dunedin, Fla. - Toronto Blue Jays 1st round pick Jonathan Harris at the Bobby Mattick Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Braydon Holymard /

Scores and analysis for Toronto Blue Jays’ minor league games played on Saturday, April 30th

Buffalo Bisons (10-13)   –   2
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (12-10)   –   3

Buffalo’s Saturday loss wasn’t as close as the score suggests as the Bisons recorded just two hits on the day against an excellent performance from IronPigs’ starter Alec Asher. Both of Buffalo’s runs scored on a two-run blast from Andy Burns in the top of the ninth.

Guelph native Scott Diamond (2-2) was sharp enough in his start, pitching six innings and allowing three earned runs on five hits. He only managed one strikeout compared to two walks, but left with his season ERA still sitting at 2.83. Ben Rowen and David Aardsma both pitched scoreless innings in relief.

On Sunday afternoon, Wade LeBlanc (2-1, 2.22 ERA) faces David Buchanan (0-1, 4.58 ERA) in the third and deciding game of the series.

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (7-13)   –   2
Binghamton Mets (11-9)   –   2

The double-A Fisher Cats are still struggling to find their stride. On Saturday, a tough relief outing by right-hander Brady Dragmire would be the difference. Dragmire pitched one and a third innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks.

More from Jays Journal

Starting pitcher Jeremy Gabryszwski looked strong, however, allowing just two runs on six hits while striking out four batters over six innings (97 pitches). John Stilson came on in relief of Dragmire, throwing one and two-thirds innings of perfect ball and lowering his 2016 ERA to 1.93.

A two-run home run off the bat of K.C. Hobson was the only offence that New Hampshire could scrape together. Rowdy Tellez doubled, but is still working with an average of .164. In fact, of the Fisher Cats starters on Saturday, the highest season batting average at the end of play was Hobson’s at .247.

Dunedin Blue Jays (11-12)   –   6
Daytona Tortugas (9-14)   –   11

This D-Jays loss was a blowout until they were able to pull five runs out of the final two innings. Jason Leblebijian (2-for-4, 2 RBI) launched a two-run home run in the eighth, his first of the season. Right-fielder Derrick Loveless added two hits of his own including a double, driving in two.

Michael Bourn, batting in the leadoff spot again, went 2-for-4 with a double, one walk and a run scored. This brings his average to .250, and as long as the Blue Jays are satisfied with where he’s at physically, it will soon be time to assign him to a more permanent home at the triple-A level.

On the mound, it was a day to forget for Venezuelan left-hander Juliandry Higuera. He lasted just two innings, allowing seven runs on six hits and two walks. After Alonzo Gonzalez worked two innings of relief, Bo Schultz got roughed up for three runs on three hits and two walks, recording just a pair of outs. Matt Dermody, Adonys Cardona, and Carlos Ramirez cleaned up the remaining frames.

More blue jays: Updates on the Blue Jays' top pitching prospects

Lansing Lugnuts (12-8)   –   3
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (11-12)   –   0

The Lugnuts stole a win from this pitching masterclass in eleven innings. Wisconsin starter David Burkhalter was excellent through his seven innings, but was matched stride-for-stride by the Lansing staff.

Jon Harris was very strong, throwing four scoreless innings while allowing just two infield hits and striking out four. Left-hander Tayler Saucedo (1-3) took over in the fifth and earned every inch of the win, throwing six innings of shutout ball while allowing just two hits. Colton Turner pitched a clean bottom half in the 11th for the save (4).

At the dish, Andrew Guillotte kept his average strong at .333 with a 2-for-5 night. Both Juan Kelly and JC Cardenas added multi-hit games, as well, with the 11th-inning RBIs going to Kelly, Ryan Hissey, and Canadian Connor Panas.

Keep your eyes on Lansing for Sunday’s game, as well, where the red-hot Mexican right-hander Francisco Rios (0-0, 1.47 ERA) looks for his first win of the season.