A superb pitching performance in Manchester, a huge comeback in the Sunshine State, and an extra innings thriller in Illinois gave the affiliates a 3-1 record last night. It could've been a perfect night but a 9th inning rally in Central New York fell a run short. A doubleheader in two different towns may have played a role.
Durham 5 Syracuse 4
Syracuse Post-Standard Game Story
Syracuse Post-Standard Chiefs Blog
Syracuse, NY - Another night of frustration in Central New York as Mike MacDonald got the ball for the Chiefs against the Bulls Mitch Talbot. The two pitchers were helped out by groundball double plays in the 1st but MacDonald received no such luck in the 2nd. It appears Brad Hassey and John-Ford Griffin may have left their gloves in Cooperstown after playing in the Hall-of-Fame game earlier in the day. After MacDonald issued a leadoff walk, Hassey was charged with an error to allow another baserunner. Joel Guzman and Dustan Mohr delivered RBI singles to give Durham a 2-0 lead. A fielding error by John-Ford Griffin allowed the two runners to advance an extra base. They were brought home on an RBI groundout and single to double Durham's lead to 4-0. Durham sent 10 men to the plate, delivering 5 singles and 2 walks and MacDonald threw in a wild pitch for good measure. After that big hiccup, however, MacDonald settled down, retiring the next 13 hitters he faced, including 5 groundouts in a row.
The Chiefs offence was held at bay despite getting 5 men on through the next 3 innings but they munched the bagel in the 5th as Curtis Thigpen scored Brad Hassey on a 2 out single to cut Durham's lead to 4-1.
The score remained that way after 6 innings. Mike MacDonald's 13 hitters up, 13 hitters down string was ended by a leadoff double in the 7th. That led to Jordan De Jong coming into the game and he got the next 3 hitters in order to strand the double. Juilo Lugo's brother Ruddy relieved starter Mitch Talbot and he set down the Chiefs in order after the 7th inning stretch.
Jordan De Jong surrendered a 1 out single in the 8th and was relieved by veteran Mike Venafro. He overcame a Curtis Thigpen passed ball by inducing 2 groundouts to end the frame.
The Chiefs got a rally going in the 8th as they loaded up the bases with nobody out. A Russ Adams walk and a Curtis Thigpen single chased Ruddy Lugo from the game, leading to the appearance of former Devil Ray Seth McClung. McClung walked Kevin Barker to load the bases and one out later, Mike Vento delivered a 2 run single to chop Durham's lead to 4-3. However, Ray Olmedo, pinch running for Kevin Barker, would be left stranded at 2nd.
Blaine Neal came in to work the 9th for Syracuse and managed to strike out the side. That would've been really great except he surrendered a leadoff dinger to Dustan Mohr to make it 5-3 Durham. The Chiefs tried to start something up again in the bottom of the 9th as Brad Hassey and Wayne Lydon drew a pair of walks. The rally stalled when Russ Adams struck out and Curtis Thigpen fouled out but Erik Kratz, hitting for Kevin Barker, delivered a run scoring single to make it a one run game. That meant it was up to John-Ford Griffin, who already had a hat trick of strikeouts to that point. The good news was at least at he made contact and avoided the sombrero, the bad news was he flied out to end the ballgame.
At the dish, Brad Hassey went 2-for-3 with a walk and 2 run scored but his error played a role in Durham's 4 run 2nd inning. Wayne Lydon also got on base three times with a single and 2 walks in 5 plate appearances. Curtis Barnard Thigpen is now batting .316 on the season after going 2-for-5 with an RBI. He continues to manage the strike zone pretty well by drawing 11 walks against 12 strikeouts, driving his OPS up to nearly .850. Russ Adams went 0-for-3 but did draw a pair of bases on balls. However, his batting average is down to .225. The Chiefs wound up stranding 10 runners in this one.
On the hill, Mike MacDonald had 5 solid innings and one inning from hell. In 6-plus frames, he gave up 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits and 2 walks but struck out 3. Of his 15 outs in play, 10 were turf burners. However, he falls to 0-2 with an ERA of 5.25.
Syracuse drops to 18-25, 9 whopping games back of Buffalo for top spot in the International League North.
New Hampshire 1 Reading 0
Union Leader Game Story
Manchester, NH - Righthander Kyle Yates got the starting assignment for the Fisher Cats against the Phillies Kyle Kendrick. Yates set the tone early with a 3 up, 3 down 1st inning and the home side looked like they were going to follow suit in the bottom of the frame. Robinzon Diaz grounded into a double play to erase a leadoff walk by Dustin Majewski. However, Sergio Santos doubled and the Reading defence did the rest as Santos advanced to 3rd on a fielding error by 3rd baseman Michael Costanzo. Santos would came home after Rob Cosby "really got a hold of one", popping one up to 2nd base and getting credited for an RBI single to give New Hampshire a 1-0 lead.
The F-Cats offence blew some opportunities to build their lead as they left a pair of runners on in the 2nd and 3rd despite 3 singles and a walk. After collecting a single, Sergio Santos was eventually picked off at 2nd to short-circuit a rally in the 3rd. A Manny Mayorson leadoff double was stranded in the 4th.
However, the little offence the 'Cats provided turned out to be more than enough for Kyle Yates. He gave up a couple of singles in the 3rd and another single in the 5th but he set down the side in order in the 4th, 6th, 7th, and 8th innings. That set the stage for "Game Over Gronk", as Lee Gronkiewicz whiffed the first two batters he faced and set down the side in order to preserve the 1-0 win.
On the mound, Yates struck out 6 and didn't walk anyone over his 8 innings of work. Of the 18 outs in play, 11 were worm burners. He's 1-and-2 with an ERA of 4.71. Lee Gronkiewicz racked up his 9th save of the year and dropped his ERA to 2.08.
At the dish, Sergio Santos went 2-for-4 with a double and scored the game's only run. His OBP of .336 is not quite where you'd like it but his SLG is a more than acceptable .614. Manny Mayorson reached base twice with a double and walk as the DH, going 1-for-2. Dustin Majewski was 1-for-3 with a single and walk. Rob Cosby was 1-for-4 with an RBI while Ryan Patterson and Ryan Klosterman also had singles.
New Hampshire improves to 22-17 on the season, 3.5 games behind Trenton for top spot in the Eastern League's Northern Division.
Dunedin 11 Brevard County 6
Dunedin, FL - Finally, some offence and Dunedin starter Brandon Magee needed it big time!! Just two batters in, the D-Jays were behind as Magee gave up a double and single for the Manatees first run. An error by 3rd baseman Anthony Garibaldi gave Brevard County an extra out to play with and that led to a 3 run homer by Cole Gillespie to make it 4-0 for the Brewers affliates after a half inning. Magee encountered more trouble in the 2nd as a single, double, single, and sac fly led to 2 more runs and that made it 6-donut Manatees.
It looked like it was game over as Dunedin managed only 2 singles through the first three frames. However, things got better for the home side! Brandon Magee settled down, getting around another Anthony Garibaldi clank, to work a couple of shut-out innings and the offence exploded big time in the bottom of the 4th. Brevard County starter Steve Garrison was raked for 4 doubles, a triple, and was burned by a fielding error, which led to a run. Josh Kreuzer, Eric Nielsen, and David Corrente contributed run scoring doubles, and Anthony Garibaldi made up for his 2 clanks by tripling in another runner to bring the D-Jays to within a run at 6-5. Brevard County pulled their starter but not before the new pitcher was greeted by an RBI single from Luke Hetherington, scoring Garibaldi to tie the game at 6-6.
Brandon Magee continued his resurgence with 2 clean frames in the 5th and 6th and the offence rewarded him by grabbing the lead in the 6th. An RBI grounder by Anthony Garibaldi scored Al Quintana's leadoff walk and Luke Hetherington's sac fly brought home David Corrente's ground rule double, the only hit of the frame, to increase Dunedin's advantage to 8-6.
Magee sent the D-Jays back to the plate quickly after a 3 up, 3 down 7th and Josh Kreuzer gave Dunedin a 9-6 lead by blasting his 8th homer of the season. Magee liked that so much that he decided to send Brevard County packing again with another 3 up, 3 downer and the offence again reciprocated with the long ball as David Corrente belted his 1st homer of the season, scoring an Al Quintana leadoff single to help Dunedin break over the double digit barrier.
Sean Stidfole gave up a walk in the 9th in relief of Brandon Magee but he pitched a scoreless frame to cement an 11-6 victory for the home side.
The pride of Wallaceburg, Ontario - David Corrente, wielded the hot hickory in this one. He went 3-for-4 with a homer, 2 doubles, 3 runs scored, and 3 driven in. He's batting .310 with an OBP just over 100 points higher. Josh Kreuzer was also 3-for-4 with a homer, two doubles, and 2 runs scored. Al Quintana was also aboard 3 times, going 2-for-3 with a walk and 3 runs scored. Leadoff man Luke Hetherington turned in a 2-for-4 performance and knocked in a pair of runs, driving his batting average up to .354.
On the bump, Brandon Magee retired the last 16 hitters he faced and 18 of the last 19 after surrendering 6 runs (3 earned) in 8 innings of work. He gave up 6 hits but didn't issue a free pass and also struck out 2 to improve his record to 2-and-3. His ERA is at 5.65. Sean Stidfole's ERA fell to a sterling 0.79 after his scoreless frame of relief.
Snapping a 5 game losing streak, Dunedin is now 20-23 on the campaign. They're 9.5 games behind Sarasota in the Florida State League West.
Lansing 5 Peoria 3 (11 innings)
Game Story/Audio Clips - lansinglugnuts.com
Peoria, IL - Righty Reidier Gonzalez made his Lansing debut after spending last season in Pulaski. Before he threw a pitch against the Peoria Chiefs, he was given a lead to work with. Yuber Rodriguez started the proceedings with a double and he scored on a Travis Snider sac fly to given Lansing a 1-0 lead. Josh Bell followed with a triple but he would be left there. That lead didn't last long as Reidier Gonzalez made a throwing error to allow the leadoff man to get aboard. Two grounders and a single later, the game was tied. However, the Lugnuts regained the lead with a 2 out rally on 2 singles and a double as Yuber Rodriguez's 2nd two-bagger in as many at bats plated Scott Campbell to make it 2-1 for the visitors.
Reidier Gonzalez would work a 1-2-3 2nd inning but got help from the defence in the 3rd as a lineout double play erased a runner at 2nd and a groundball double play would end the Peoria 4th. R-Gon worked around a hit batter in the 5th before recording a 3 up, 3 down inning in the 6th. Meantime, Lansing had opportunities to add to their lead but wasted a Scott Campbell single and stolen base in the 4th, had runners at 2nd and 3rd in the 5th, and another pair of runners on base in the 7th but they couldn't bring anyone home.
Peoria finally took advantage in the home half of the 7th, using a trio of 1-out singles to tie the game at 2-2, chasing Reidier Gonzalez from the game in the process. Edward Rodriguez put out the fire by inducing an inning-ending 5-3 double play.
Lansing would take the lead again at 3-2 as they loaded up the bases in the 8th on a couple of singles and a walk. Matthew Lane's groundball scored Matthew Liuzza but that was all the Lugnuts could do.
Lefty Chris Reddout took the ball for Lansing in the 8th and issued a leadoff pass. A sac bunt and pop up later, Reddout gave way to Paul Phillips. However, Phillips was greeted with a run tying single as the score was even again at 3-3. Another single later saw the potential go ahead and insurance runs move into scoring position but Phillips got the final out of the inning to keep the game tied.
Raul Barron tried to give the Lugnuts the lead again in the 9th by leading off with a single and stealing 2nd but he was left to rot there. Peoria also had the potential go-ahead run in scoring position after a single and sac bunt but Paul Phillips got a couple of groundouts to send the game to extras.
Phillips continued to live dangerously in the 10th as he loaded up the bases with a pair of singles and an intentional pass. However, a 1-2-3 double play, a ground ball to 1st, Bob's your uncle, he's out of the inning.
That would come back to haunt Ryne Sandberg's club in the top of the 11th. A 2 out throwing error by Peoria 2nd baseman Ryne (don't call him Sandberg) Malone allowed Travis Snider to get on base and Josh Bell would make Peoria pay by knocking one over the wall for a 2 run shot to give Lansing a 5-3 cushion.
Po-Hsuan Keng was asked to get the final 3 out for the Lugnuts in the bottom of the 11th. It didn't look good early as he yielded a leadoff single but 2 K's and a flyout later, Keng got his first save of the season and the Lugnuts got to take part in the postgame handshake to celebrate a 5-3 victory.
The offensive heroes in this one were Josh Bell, who took care of the toughest half of the cycle with his 6th homer of the year and his 1st triple. He drew a walk as well in his 6 plate appearances. Yuber Rodriguez made a trio of appearances on the basepaths with two doubles. Y-Rod also had a run knocked in and a run scored as part of a 3-for-6 night. However, he's still below the Mendoza line at .193. Scott Campbell had 2 hits and 2 walks in his 5 times up and added a stolen base and a run scored. Matt Liuzza was 2-for-6 with a run scored and Travis Snider was 0-for-4 officially but he had a sac fly and a walk along with scoring the game winning run.
On the mound, Reidier Gonzalez gave up 2 runs (1 earned, despite his own throwing error) on 6 hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out 3 and didn't walk anyone. Edward Rodriguez bailed out R-Gon with an inning-ending double play to record 2/3 of a scoreless inning. Chris Reddout got a hold for getting 2 outs but he left a mess for Paul Phillips, who let the tying run score in the 8th. Phillips gave up 5 hits and a walk in 2 1/3 innings and blew the save but managed to pick up a win to go to 1-and-0 on the season.
Lansing's record is up to 22-18 thanks to a 4 game winning streak but they're 6.5 games back of Dayton in the Midwest League's Eastern Division.
3. Josh Bell, Lansing - 2/5, GWHR, 3B, BB, 2 RBI
2. David Corrente, Dunedin - 3/4, HR, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 3 RS
1. Kyle Yates, New Hampshire - 8IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 6K = W
Syracuse - Curtis Thigpen, Wayne Lydon, Brad Hassey, Jordan DeJong, Mike Venafro.
New Hampshire - Sergio Santos, Manny Mayorson, Rob Cosby, Lee Gronkiewiecz.
Dunedin - Josh Kreuzer, Luke Hetherington, Al Quintana, Brandon Magee, Sean Stidfole.
Lansing - Yuber Rodriguez, Scott Campbell, Matt Liuzza, Reidier Gonzalez, Edward Rodriguez, Paul Phillips, Po-Hsuan Keng.
Today's Schedule/Probable Starters.....
Reading at New Hampshire, 6:35 p.m. Probable Starters - New Hampshire: RHP Russ Savickas (1-1, 3.09); Reading: RHP Tim McClaskey (3-4, 3.93).
Brevard County at Dunedin, 7:00 p.m. Probable Starters - Brevard County: RHP Jesse Harper (2-3, 5.91); Dunedin: LHP A.J. Wideman (1-1, 5.94).
Durham at Syracuse, 7:00 p.m. Probable Starters - Durham: RHP Jason Hammel (1-3, 5.58); Syracuse: LHP Jim Crowell (0-1, 8.47).
Lansing at Peoria, 7:30 p.m. Probable Starters - Lansing: RHP Chase Lirette (4-3, 3.27); Peoria: RHP Jose Vina (0-3, 5.08).
Good News - Baseball America gives Travis Snider a high ranking in its latest Hot Prospects Sheet.
Bad News - Lansing pitcher Graham Godfrey will be out for the next little while according to bluejays.scout.com.