With Toronto idle and New Hampshire, Dunedin, and Charleston all rained out last night, it fell to Syracuse to provide good news for Jays fans and worthy candidates for the Three-Star Selection. Two fourth-outfielder hopefuls and a pitcher acquired for another of their ilk were up to the task as the SkyChiefs won for the first time in five outings.
Syracuse 7, Ottawa 5
The SkyChiefs chased Lynx starter Javier Martinez with a pair of runs in each of the first two innings. Jorge Sequea led off the game by reaching on an error by erstwhile SkyChief Pedro Swann. Noah Hall walked but was erased on a fielder's choice by Alex Rios, moving Sequea to third. Chad Hermansen's fly ball to centre scored Sequea. After Howie Clark singled to left, Martinez walked Shawn Fagan and Gabe Gross, scoring Rios from third. Guillermo Quiroz flied to centre to end the inning.
Ninth-place hitter Russ Adams led off the second by beating out an infield hit. After Sequea flied out, Adams stole second and moved to third on Hall's single to left. Rios' single to right plated Adams and moved Hall to third, and Hall would later score on Hermansen's fly to centre. Howie Clark's walk chased Martinez, and Rodney Ormond got out of the inning without further damage.
Ottawa came back to tie the game with two runs off Bruce Chen in each of the second and third innings. Tim Raines's second-inning double off the left-field wall plated a pair, and Clark's error in the third allowed two more runs to score. Chen was replaced by Talley Haines after the third inning.
Syracuse went ahead again in the fourth when Hall singled, stole second, and came home on Hermansen's double. With two out in the fifth, Quiroz tried to score from first on Sequea's double to left, but he was cut down by the relay from Eddy Garabito. The Lynx tied the game once more in the bottom of the inning. Darnell McDonald reached on an error by Adams, stole second, moved to third on a groundout, and scored on Geronimo Gil's single to left.
The SkyChiefs took the lead for good in the sixth. Hall led off with a walk, stole second after Rios flied out, and scored on Hermansen's single to left. Clark flied to left, but Fagan beat out an infield hit, allowing Gross to cash Hermansen with a single to left. Quiroz took a called strike three to strand Fagan and Gross. Jason Frasor relieved Haines in the seventh and promptly struck out three of his first four batters; he would pitch two strong innings before turning the ball over to Mike Smith, a Bill Caudill in the making. Smith loaded the bases with one out in the ninth but got out of the jam when Garabito grounded into a 3-2-3 double play.
Every SkyChief except Quiroz had at least one hit. Noah Hall went 2 for 3 with two walks, two stolen bases, and three runs scored. Hermansen had a single, a double, two sacrifice flies, a run scored, and four RBIs in five trips to the plate. Sequea's double was the only other extra-base hit for Syracuse. Chen gave up four runs on five hits and two walks in three innings, striking out three. Haines fanned two against two singles and a hit batsman and gave up a solitary run in three frames. Frasor was the most effective pitcher for the SkyChiefs, whiffing four in two innings against a single and a walk.
Links Of The Day
1. OurSportsCentral.com has a game recap.
2. MinorLeagueBaseball.com has a boxscore and game log for the real diehards.
Syracuse at Ottawa, 1:05 pm
New Hampshire at Trenton, 5:05 pm (doubleheader)
Dunedin vs. Sarasota, 5:00 pm (doubleheader)
Charleston at Lakewood, 6:05 pm (doubleheader)
Our Third Star: Jason Frasor, Syracuse. 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 4 K. Mark, who was at the game, said that he was "throwing the ball hard and looked dominant."
Our Second Star: Chad Hermansen, Syracuse. 2-for-3 with a double, two sac flies, a run scored, and four RBIs.
Our First Star: Noah Hall, Syracuse. 2-for-3 with two walks, two steals, and three runs scored.