A quirky day on the farm as the Chiefs and the Fisher Cats were both done in by nearly identical innings, while the D-Jays had a thing for the number '2'. All in all, the affiliates combined to go 3-2 on Saturday.
Syracuse 4 Norfolk 9
Davis Romero was in some early trouble in Norfolk. With one down in the first, Romero allowed five consecutive hits, including three doubles, to put the Chiefs down three after one. Syracuse actually took the lead in the third on a walk, single, two doubles, and a triple. The big blow came courtesy of Adam Lind who delivered a bases-loaded double, good for three RBI. Buck Coats's three-bagger chased Lind home to give the Chiefs a 4-3 advantage.
Brandon League entered a 4-4 game in the fifth and retired the first two batters on ground balls. He should have been out of the inning a batter later, though a Matt Watson error allowed for another batter. That batter, Mike Costanzo, belted a two-run homer to give Norfolk a 6-4 lead. They would add three more an inning later to round things out.
League was the hard luck loser, allowing two unearned runs in his inning of work. Romero lasted 4 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out two.
New Hampshire 6 Bowie 9
Some eerie similarities between this game and the Chiefs loss. Brandon Magee started for New Hampshire and played the part of an 0-6 pitcher with an ERA north of 6 quite well. In the first, Magee retired the first two batters before going walk-single-walk-double-single to put New Hampshire in a 4-0 hole.
The Fisher Cats came right back in the second, though as Scott Campbell hit a bases-loaded double to drive in a pair. An Aaron Mathews sac fly scored another to bring the Cats within one. Three innings later, they actually took the lead on RBI singles from Travis Snider and Anthony Hatch. Another run scored on a Bowie throwing error and just like that, it was 6-4 for the Cats.
The fifth inning saw Magee retire the first two batters. Then, just like in Norfolk, an error allowed the inning to continue. And oh, did it ever continue. A single, double, and walk finished Magee's night but not how you might expect. Magee was ejected by plate umpire Jon Byrne immediately following the walk. Daryl Harang relieved Magee and allowed three runs to score on two singles. All told, four unearned runs came across with two out. Bowie added another in the sixth to finish things off.
Snider went 2-for-4 on the evening with one strikeout. His AA line is now up to 239/351/459. Scott Campbell ended his 1-for-4 day with a season line of 331/404/466. Not bad for a 23 year-old who spent last season in low-A.
Magee took the loss, dropping him to 0-7 with an ERA of 6.56. Something tells me he's not in line for a promotion any time soon.
Brevard County 4 Dunedin 10
Deuces ran wild in Dunedin as the D-Jays and Brevard County combined to put up seven separate two-run innings. Like his AA and AAA couterparts, starter Kenny Rodriguez put himself in some early trouble allowing a two-run homer to Taylor Green. Dunedin responded, however, on a two-run single by Brad Emaus.
The third inning saw Emaus at it again as he drove home a Brian Dopirak double and then later scored himself on a wild pitch. In the fourth, Dopirak doubled again, Cory Patton walked, and, you guessed it, the one and only Emaus singled to load the bases. Matthew Lane promptly doubled the first two home but Emaus was thrown out at the plate to keep it 6-2.
Dunedin's fourth two-run frame came in the seventh as J.P. Arencibia singled in a run and a bases loaded walk to Patton scored another. Brevard County scored two in the 8th to make it 8-4, but the D-Jays added another two in their half courtesy of a Luis Sanchez sac fly and an RBI double from Arencibia.
Rodriguez evened his record at 4-4 with six innings of solid work. The Cuban allowed two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out seven. He seems to have found his groove again after a rough patch and now sports an impressive 49:9 K:BB ratio in 55 innings. Dave Stieb wannabe Brian Pettway pitched two innings of relief striking out two and allowing just a base hit.
Offensively, six D-Jays had multi-hit games, highlighted by Emaus's 3-for-5 with 3 RBI, and Arencibia's 3-for-6, 2 RBI efforts. Of the 3 D-Jays to not get multiple hits, two of them walked at least twice. That left David Eckstein as the only guy in the lineup without an impressive day.
South Bend 0 Lansing 1 (10 innings)- Game 1
A real pitcher's duel in Michigan kicked off the double-header as Lansing finally pushed a run across in the bottom of the tenth. Both teams somewhat threatened throughout the night but nobody came through until Eric Eiland singled home John Tolisano's lead-off triple in the tenth.
Marc Rzepczynski started for Lansing and went five shutout frames, striking out five along the way. Alan Farina followed him with two perfect innings before Edgar Estanga notched his fifth win in relief going three innings of one hit ball. Estanga, who struck out three, is now sporting a Cliff Lee-ian 0.78 ERA in 34.2 innings of work. Impressive stuff.
South Bend 2 Lansing 4 (7 innings)- Game 2
The nightcap saw the Lugnuts twice blow one-run leads before putting the Silver Hawks away with a two-run fifth. No real heroes offensively as four different 'Nuts drove in runs. Moises Sierra's RBI triple in the fifth proved to be the old Topps baseball card statistical favourite GWRBI. Kevin Ahrens provided some insurance when his double drove Sierra home later in the inning.
Chi-Hung Cheng started for Lansing and had one of his best post-surgery appearances going 4.2 innings and allowing 2 runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out four. Albertan Brad Cuthbertson picked up his first win in relief while Cody Crowell nailed down his fifth save.
3rd Star: Kenny Rodriguez- W (4-4), 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K.
2nd Star: J.P. Arencibia- 3-for-6, 2B, 2 RBI
1st Star: Brad Emaus- 3-for-5, R, 3 RBI