It was another bottom-up night for the Blue Jay farm system. Class A Charleston won, High-A Dunedin split a double-header, AA New Hampshire lost a close one, and AAA Syracuse lost by three.
Syracuse 3, Richmond 6
While twin waiver-wire refugee Mike Nakamura was getting roughed up at the SkyDome, Sean Douglass was doing the same in Syracuse. The Richmond Braves tagged Sean for 4 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks in 3 innings, and his ERA for the AAA season came to rest at an unsightly 9.17. Talley Haines provided three effective innings of relief, allowing a run on 3 hits with a walk and a strikeout, and Dave Maurer followed with two perfect innings, striking out two. As you might expect of a team that scored just three runs, the SkyChief offence didn't feature much of note. 3B Glenn Williams had two hits, 2B Howie Clarkhad the only extra-base knock of the team's 7 hits, with a 2-run double in the sixth.
Boxscore - MinorLeagueBaseball.com. Recap - Post-Standard
New Hampshire 3, Reading 4
Eastern League action at New Hampshire saw the Fisher Cats taking on the Reading Phillies. DH Tyrell Godwin and 3B Danny Solano turned in two hits apiece at the top of the lineup, and LF John-Ford Griffin put power and patience into practice as the cleanup man, hitting a homer and drawing a walk. RF Maikel Jova hit two doubles out of the 7 spot, but things got real ugly past that: C Victor Valencia (say who?) and CF Justin Singleton struck out three times each. Stubby Clapp demonstrated a better approach, pinch-walking for Valencia in the 8th inning.
On the pitching side of the ledger, Derek Lee turned in an effective six innings of work, giving up 3 runs on 7 hits including a home run, striking out four Phils and walking nobody. Dan Jackson was charged the loss for allowing an unearned run on his own throwing error in the eigth, while Kevin Frederick finished up five-up five-down, including two strikeouts.
Boxscore - MinorLeagueBaseball.com. Recap - Union-Leader
Dunedin 7, Fort Myers 10 (First game)
Dunedin 6, Fort Myers 2 (Second game)
The D-Jays split a twin bill with Minnesota's High-A club, scoring a baker's dozen to the Fort Myers Miracle's even twelve. In the first game, Dunedin jumped out to a quick three-run lead in the bottom of the first as their top four went walk - single - double - walk. Fort Myers quickly trounced any ideas of a big win for the mini-Jays, as they came back with a six-spot in the top of the second. Dunedin climbed back into it with two more runs in the third and a singleton in the sixth to tie it up. The Fort Myers squad once again recoiled with long-sequence offense, scoring four runs in the top of the seventh. Though they out-did the big league club by one run in their last at-bat, there would also be no Miracle comeback for the Dunedin Blue Jays against the Minnesotas.
LF Jayce Tingler (2 H, 2 BB) and 3B Scott Dragicevich (2 H, HR, BB) led the Dunedin offense; 2B Carlo Cota, 1B Vito Chiaravalloti, and DH Jason Waugh added two hits apiece, with one of Big Vito's knocks a two-bagger. Somewhat surprisingly, there was a great pitching performance in the midst of the 10 runs allowed by D-Jay pitchers; Chad Pleiness came on in relief and in 3-2/3 innings allowed just one hit and one walk, striking out five. Pleiness also plunked a Fort Myers batsman. Lefty Kurt Isenberg, on the other hand, can only be described as shell-shocked after this outing. His 1-1/3 innings saw six earnies on six hits, including a home run by a guy whose handle, on a scale from zero to awesome, is super-great: "Now batting, the shortstop, number 1, Kaulana Kuhaulua". Never mind saying that ten times fast, it tied my tongue just trying to say it once. Back at the report, Robert Nunley was also roughed up, to the tune of 3 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks in 1-2/3.
The nightcap featured no implosions from the Dunedin pitching staff. Neomar Flores dodged and weaved through 5 innings, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks with nary a strikeout. Andy Torres turned in two very tidy innings of relief, one hit and one strikeout. While 12 hits and 5 walks in the opener were only good for 7 runs, the D-Jay lineup squeezed 6 runs out of 7 hits and 3 walks in this game by bunching most of that into the 2nd and 3rd innings. Scott Dragicevich slid accross the diamond to first base for the second game and hit his second homer of the night, while Gregg Raymundo took over at third base and hit two doubles. Jason Waugh celebrated his liberation from the DH slot by hitting two singles as the centrefielder.
Boxscores - Game 1, Game 2 - MinorLeagueBaseball.com.
Charleston 6, Capital City 0
Justin James took the hill in Capital City and made the entire team of baby Mets look like goofballs. The second batter to face him smacked a double and subsequently went to third on a wild pitch, but from that point on Justin allowed just two singles. James tallied six innings for the evening, with no walks, four strikeouts, and two wild pitches. Felix Romero (1 IP, 1 K) and Brian Reed (2 IP, 1 H, 2 K) were sharp in relief. Reed is now up to 13-2/3 innings on the season without allowing an earned run.
The Alley Cats got all the offense they would need in the top of the second, when CF David Smith singled, LF Christian Snavely reached on an error, and 3B Eric Arnold singled. SS Juan Peralta drove in one run with a fielder's choice grounder, and 2B Ryan Roberts plated a second unearned run with a single. In the 4th inning Peralta made another out and recorded another RBI, this time with a sacrifice fly, and C Robinson Diaz singled in Snavely. 1B Clint Johnston made it a troika of two-spots with a round-tripper in the 7th.
Roberts, Diaz, and Arnold finished the night with two singles apiece, as Johnson's jack was the only extra-base hit Charleston managed. In an organizational faux-pas, Cat hitters struck out 12 times against 4 walks; Diaz whiffed twice while Johnson and DH Joey Reiman went empty-handed three times each.
Boxscore - MinorLeagueBaseball.com. Recap - Charleston Gazette
The Third Star: Chad Pleiness, Dunedin. 3-1/3 innings of shutout relief with 5 strikeouts.
The Second Star: Justin James, Charleston. 6 innings of 3-hit ball, 4 strikeouts and no walks.
The First Star: Scott Dragicevich, Dunedin. 2 homers, a single, and 2 walks in a twinbill.
Conspiracy Theory / Brainteaser
Why are the Blue Jays considering moving their lowest level minor league team from Pulaski, Virginia, to Alliston, Ontario?