Wheeler Was Dealing, Flores Was Raking, Bingo and Lucie Both Win
Columbus 3, Buffalo 0
By Andrew O’Brien
After six scoreless innings, the Columbus Clippers scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning Thursday afternoon en route to a 3-0 win over Buffalo. With the win, the Clippers avoided a four-game sweep in the series.
Chris Young made his first start for the Bisons as he continues to rehab from shoulder surgery. Young went six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while striking out two and walking three. Young threw 87 pitches (50 strikes).
“If he can do the same thing he did today five days from now, he’s pretty close to being ready,” Bisons manager Wally Backman said. “He’s a smart pitcher. That’s why he’s had the success that he’s had in the big leagues. Now, all we hope for is that we keep him healthy.”
All of Columbus’ damage came in the seventh inning. Chuck James came on in relief of Young and surrendered a solo homer to Beau Mills to lead off the inning. Then with one out, Pedro Beato came on in relief and allowed an RBI double to Jason Donald to make it 2-0. Matt LaPorta plated Ezequiel Carrera to make it 3-0.
Josh Thole started the game at catcher and went 1-for-4. The Bisons combined for only four hits.
Herd Rumblings: Thursday’s annual Kids Day saw a crowd of 13,631 at Coca-Cola Field. Reliever Jeff Stevens pitched the ninth inning and allowed no runs, extending his scoreless streak to six innings. Valentino Pascucci extended his IL-high on-base streak to 25 games, with a walk in the first inning. The Bisons had four hits on the afternoon and committed one error. Buffalo hits the road to play the Toledo Mud Hens in a 7:00 PM contest on Friday. Jeurys Familia will take the hill.
Binghamton 8, Reading 1
By Tim Burns
Zack Wheeler continued to live up to his billing as the top prospect in the Mets system on Thursday night, throwing seven innings, and only allowing one run on three hits, enroute to his fifth win of the season. The B-Mets batters gave him more than enough support in the game, scoring eight runs off of the R-Phils pitchers and winning the rubber match by an 8-1 tally.
Wheeler was the story of the night though, holding the R-Phils hitless until the first batter in the bottom of the fourth. The only other inning Wheeler didn’t get the Phillies to go one, two, three was the seventh. In the seventh, two doubles in a row by R-Phils batters would allow them to score their only run of the game against Wheeler.
Wheeler’s line on the night read seven innings pitched, three hits, one earned run, and eight strikeouts with no walks. He threw 90 pitches total in the game, 68 of them for strikes. The seven innings pitched by Wheeler equaled his second longest outing of the season two starts ago against Trenton, and was eclipsed only by his eight inning performance in his last outing prior to tonight against New Britain on May 23rd.
Robert Carson relieved Wheeler in the eighth and pitched a clean sheet for the remaining two innings in his first appearance for the B-Mets since returning from the big club. Carson threw 18 pitches in his performance, 15 for strikes. He allowed only one hit while striking out one R-Phils batter.
The offense for the B-Mets produced as many runs as they had hits on the night, eight in each column. All of the visitors runs were scored in the second, third, and fourth innings where they plated four, one, and three runs respectively.
Left fielder Pedro Zapata had a big night for the B-Mets, going 3/4 with a triple, RBI, and two runs to his credit. Josh Rodriguez was 1/5 in the game, his one hit being a three run shot in the top of the fourth. Juan Lagares was 1/3 in the game with a double, RBI, and run scored. Juan Centeno had a double as well in the game, going 1/4 with two RBI’s and a run scored.
B-Mets Buzz: The team returns home to begin a four game series against the Akron Aeros, Double A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, on Friday night. Gonzalez Germen will get the start, In two previous meetings this season, the B-Mets have defeated the Aeros twice, while dropping five other decisions. In the lone roster move by the B-Mets on Friday, RHP Brandon Moore was activated from the restricted list.
St. Lucie 8, Palm Beach 3
By Clayton Collier
Coming off a tough 3-1 loss last night, the St. Lucie Mets bounced back to take the rubber game of the series by a final score of 8-3.
Yohan Almonte got the nod for St. Lucie and was lights out, hurling five shutout frames and punching out five as well. Almonte has now lowered his ERA to 4.24 on the year and has allowed one run or less in three of his past four starts.
After Almonte exited though, the Mets pitching wasn’t nearly as effective. Jack Leathersich came one and after a quick sixth, surrendered a run in each of the remaining two innings of his outing. John Church also surrendered a run in the ninth when he missed a catch.
The headline of this ballgame however, were the St. Lucie bats, particularly Alonzo Harris, Blake Forsythe and Wilmer Flores. The three went a combined 9-for-12 with three doubles, accounting for all eight RBIs for the Mets on the day. Out of the three however, Harris’ was a cut above the rest. going 4-5 with two runs, three RBIs a walk, a stolen base and falling a homer shy of the cycle, Harris was locked in from his first at bat of the ballgame and has raised his average to .273 on the year.
With excellent pitching out of there starter and more offense than they know what to do with, it’s no mystery why this team is 41-12 in 2012.
Lucie Logistics: Alonzo Harris wasn’t the only one with a huge night. Wilmer Flores went 3-4 with a double and an RBI, raising his average to .330 and now has a staggering 34 RBIs on the season. Blake Forsythe continues to tear the cover off the ball, going 2-3 with a double and three RBIs and raising his average to .283 on the season after starting out well under .200 for a good portion of the year. The Mets go home for a four-game set with the Tampa Yankees starting tomorrow at 6:30 PM.
Greensboro 2, Savannah 0
By Sean Kenny
The Gnats bats were held scoreless today, and Greensboro pushed across two runs in their 2-0 series opening win.
RHP Michael Fulmer pitched a pretty solid game today, going five innings allowing one run on four hits, walking two and striking out five. The only run he allowed came on two singles and a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning, so it was a positive start for Fulmer who hadn’t gone five innings since May 12th. Fulmer has 37 K’s in 38.2 innings. It seems as if Fulmer is possibly on an inning limit, since he hasn’t pitched more than five innings in any of his nine starts.
RHP Randy Fontanez went three innings, allowing 0 hits, walking two and striking out three. LHP T.J. Chism came out for the ninth inning, and allowed a run on two hits while striking out one. This was the first time in Chism’s last seven outings he allowed a run.
Savannah’s offense was stifled today by the Grasshoppers pitchers, only managing four hits in nine innings. T.J. Rivera went 2 for 3 with a walk, extending his hit streak to seven games. Aderlin had another hit for extra-bases, this time a double and Dustin Lawley had the last hit for the Gnats.
Gnats Gnotes: Aderlin Rodriguez has hits in nine of his last ten games, and has significantly raised his average. Cole Frenzel is hitting .100 on the season. Albert Cordero continues to see his average drop, now hitting .165 on the season. The Gnats will look to rebound against Greensboro, sending RHP Rafael Montero (4-2, 2.81) to face off against RHP Josh Hodges (4-1, 3.62) at 7:05 PM.
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About the Author: Satish Ram
I am a Senior Writer and Editor here at MetsMerized - where I specialize in Minor League coverage. I have been on the staff since 2007 and I am currently in my third semester of college in New York City. You can find me at www.facebook.com/SatishRam or @SilverHeatMMO. Feel free to message me - I love talking about the Mets or baseball overall with anybody.
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