Blue Jays MiLB recap – Saunders heating up for Bisons

TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 5: Michael Saunders
TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 5: Michael Saunders /

Jays Journal takes its daily look into the Toronto Blue Jays Minor League system. Saunders rakes at the plate for the Herd and the Fisher Cats pour on the offense.

Buffalo Bisons vs Indianapolis Indians (Tigers)
4-1 Win

Michael Saunders continues to impress since rejoining the Toronto Blue Jays organization and appears to be quite comfy playing with the Bisons. After another 2-4 performance on Thursday, he now has a 13 game hitting streak. He would also hit his second home run as a Bison. Alex Monsalve also had a pair of hits and drove in a run in his first start since Sunday. Jon Berti scored a run and stole two bases without recording a hit in this one. Dwight Smith Jr. doubled in a run and also scored as the offense collected just six hits. Just enough offense to get the win.

The pitching combination proved to be hard to handle for Indians hitters.

Joe Biagini

had a great outing and pitched four innings. He has built his way up to 73 pitches during this start and could be re-joining the Jays rotation shortly if things continue to go well. He allowed just two hits and three walks while striking out four.

Carlos Ramirez

followed with two more shut down innings. He allowed just two hits and continued the shut out.

John Stilson

allowed the first run which tied the game going into the bottom of the 7th inning. The offense found its footing and Stilson would eventually get the win.

Leonel Campos

picked up a five out save. The save was his 7th of the season.

TJ House will welcome the Gwinnett Braves to town as the Bisons kick off their last weekend series at home. House was masterful in his last outing where he threw 7.2 innings allowing just two earned runs.

MVB – Michael Saunders 2-4 with a home run

More from Toronto Blue Jays Prospects

New Hampshire Fisher Cats vs Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies)
11-5 Win

The Fisher Cats had their claws out and ready Thursday as the offense lashed out on Yard Goats pitchers. Lourdes Gurriel had the most RBIs in this game as a few players Cats hitters had multi RBI performances. Gurriel had 3 RBIs during a 2-4 night. He also scored a pair of runs. Harold Ramirez and Emilio Guerrero were able to drive in a pair. Gunnar Heidt and Anthony Alford drove in a run and stole a base each as well.

Tom Pannone showed us his All-Star status during this start and threw 5.2 solid innings. He allowed one run on five hits and two walks. He also struck out three as he peppered the strike zone. Francisco Rios allowed three earned runs in his 2.1 innings of work but with the offense trotting around the bases, he stayed in the game. All of the runs off of Rios were plated on a grand slam. Andrew Case pitched an inning and allowed a hit and a walk while striking out a pair.

Sean Reid-Foley will look to find his form as the Cats open up their weekend series against the Altoona Curve at home on Friday,

MVFC – Lourdes Gurriel 2-4 with a double, 2 runs scored, and 3 RBI

Dunedin Blue Jays vs Palm Beach Cardinals
4-19 Loss

Saying that the D-Jays pitchers struggled Thursday night would be an understatement as they surrendered sixteen earned runs. This came off of twenty-four hits and five walks. Josh DeGraaf got the start and took the initial punches as he allowed nine of the runs on nine hits. This included a pair of home runs as he was knocked out of the game after recording just four outs. Philip Walby came on and took more abuse from the Cards hitters. He would allow six more runs in his 2.2 innings. Adonys Cardona came in and allowed a run but started to tame the opposing hitters bats. Zach Jackson struck out all five batters that he faced. Then the defense surrendered three unearned runs in the 8th to add insult to injury.

On offense, there was just too big of a hill to climb to get back into this one. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit his second homer as a Dunedin Blue Jay though. He popped a two run liner over the left field wall that was good for 2 runs. Cavan Biggio had walked to start off the 1st inning. Vlad went 2-4 with three RBIs. Biggio went 1-3 with 2 runs scored. Edward Olivares hit his first triple since joining the D-Jays.

The D-Jays will look to find themselves on the mound as they travel to St. Lucie to take on the Mets on Friday.

MVDJ – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 2-4 with a home run and 3 RBI

Lansing Lugnuts at Great Lakes Loons (Dodgers)
1-8 Loss

A mid game surge off offense by the Loons doomed the Lugnuts Thursday. The Loons were being held down for three innings but were allowed to run free as of the 4th inning. Patrick Murphy got off to a good start as mentioned but was eventually hit for four earned runs. Murphy pitched 5.1 innings and was able to strike out three while allowing 8 hits and 3 walks. Connor Eller hurt himself by walking five batters which led to two runs while he recorded four outs. Juliandry Higuera calmed the storm and pitched 1.1 innings while striking out two.

J.B. Woodman led the way for the offense with a 3-4 game. He had a double and a run scored but had half of the team’s hits. The Lugnuts had trouble solving the Loons pitchers and had just six hits. Javier Hernandez drove in the lone Lugnuts run. Rodrigo Orozco and Joshua Palacios each had a hit and now each has five game hitting streaks.

Osman Gutierrez will get the start as the South Bend Cubs come to town Friday.

MVL – J.B. Woodman 3-4 with a double and a run scored

Next: Potential closer in the making in the Jays system?