Charlotte 4, Buffalo 0
By Connor O’Brien
The Bisons were shut down on offense last night by the Charlotte Knights, managing just two singles and six walks, which led to a 4-0 defeat. Collin McHugh got the start for the Herd, his seventh Triple-A start this season. McHugh came into the game pitching pretty well after a rough start since being called up from Binghamton. He gave up the first run of the game in the top of the second on a sacrifice fly.
Then in the top of the fourth, McHugh gave up back-to-back solo home runs by Dallas McPherson and Hector Gimenez, making it 3-0 Knights. In both at-bats, McHugh left balls up in the zone. That’s all that he would allow on the night, however. He left after allowing three runs on four hits in six innings. McHugh also walked three batters and struck out six.
The Buffalo offense allowed a solid outing by their starter to go to waste, failing to score even a single run against Charlotte pitching. Simon Castro started for Charlotte and allowed only one hit in five innings. He did have some control problems and walked four batters, but the Bisons never had a shot at scoring off him.
Meanwhile, the Knight’s bullpen was just as dominant. Charlotte sent in two relievers to close out the game. Each of them tossed two scoreless innings and allowed a combined total of one hit. Jenrry Mejia had also been dominant out of the Buffalo bullpen, but the offense couldn’t get anything going to back him.
Herd Rumblings: McHugh dropped to 1-3 on the season despite a solid performance. He threw 66 of 104 pitches for strikes. The only two Bisons with hits were Rob Johnson and Oswaldo Navarro. Josh Satin drew two walks. Matt den Dekker was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk. Every Bison had at least one strikeout on the night. Matt Harvey (7-4, 3.34 ERA) takes the mound against Charlotte tonight at 7:05 PM in the second game of a four-game series.
Bowie 10, Binghamton 0
By Tim Burns
Behind what could probably be described as his worst outing of the 2012 campaign, Zack Wheeler and the Binghamton Mets were shutout by a score of 10-0 by the Bowie BaySox on Friday night in Maryland. Wheeler lasted only 3.2 innings in his first appearance against the BaySox.
Of the first four batters he faced in the game, he walked two and hit two, and he also threw a wild-pitch in the first frame. At the end of the first inning, the B-Mets found themselves down five runs. Wheeler settled down in the second and third innings, allowing only one hit while striking out three. In the fourth inning however, he gave up three more singles and walked one as Bowie scored another three runs on the B-Mets starter.
When Pedro Lopez finally pulled Wheeler in favor of Jeff Stevens in the fourth, his line read eight earned runs (a career high) on six hits, three walks, two hit batsman, and six strikeouts. He threw a total of 92 pitches, 57 of them for strikes. Wheeler was issued his fifth loss of the season, and his record now stands at 9-5.
Stevens, who has given up a combined seven earned runs in his last two outings, shut down the Bowie offense in 2.1 innings of work. Stevens struck out four, walked two, and only allowed one hit while keeping Bowie out of the run column for a couple of innings at least.
Adrian Rosario relieved Stevens in the seventh inning and pitched only one frame in the game. In his one inning of work, Rosario walked three batters, gave up two hits as well as two earned runs while striking out only one batter. Edgar Ramirez threw a clean sheet in the bottom of the eighth inning, striking out two and walking one, with Bowie putting up doughnuts in the runs and hits columns.
In the other dugout, Bowie starter Zach Clark pretty much owned the B-Mets batters as he gave up only three hits in seven innings worth of work. Bowie reliever Pat Egan was as effective against Binghamton, in two innings allowing three hits and striking out four.
Juan Lagares and Francisco Pena were the only two B-Mets batters with multiple hits in the game, as well as the only batters with multi-base hits in the game, as each went 2-for-4 with a double to their credit. Mike Baxter, on rehab assignment and playing in his first game with the B-Mets, went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the game. Baxter was the designated hitter for the B-Mets. Reese Havens who went 1-for-3 in the game, and Eric Campbell who went 1-for-4, were the only other B-Mets batters with hits against Bowie.
B-Mets Buzz: Gonzalez Germen (6-6, 4.17) will take the mound for the B-Mets in game three of the series on Saturday evening. Jacob Petit (7-2, 3.94) will take the hill for the Bowie BaySox. This will be the second time Germen has faced Bowie in 2012, as he took the loss at NYSEG Stadium on June 27th giving up four earned runs and six hits in five innings. Petit has not faced the B-Mets batters previously in 2012.
Dunedin 4, St. Lucie 1
By Pete Shapiro
The story of the night on Friday was Dunedin starter Jesse Hernandez who was nearly untouchable in the game. After allowing Alonzo Harris a clean single with two outs in the ninth inning, Hernandez had just missed throwing a nine-inning no-hitter against the St. Lucie Mets. He did pick up the win with 8.2 innings of one-hit ball, and defeated the Mets by a score of 4-1 in Florida State League action. The loss was the fifth straight for St. Lucie.
In a display of utter dominance despite topping out at 89 MPH on his fastball, Hernandez a 6’1″ 200 lb. right-hander from Grand Rapids, Michigan, allowed only one walk to Travis Taijeron in the sixth inning, and a HBP of Richard Lucas, also in the sixth before giving up the two-out single to Harris in the ninth. He also struck out 12 Mets hitters along the way.
He was replaced by Dunedin reliever Evan Englebrook to get the final out after the no-hitter had been broken up, and Hernandez was visibly upset as he left the field. Englebrook is a 6’8″ 255 lb. monster who did manage to get the final out although it was a non-save situation, but not before throwing the ball away and allowing Harris to score an unearned run which brought it to the final score of 4-1.
What started out as a crisp pitcher’s duel ended up as a day at the beach for the Blue Jays who exploded for four runs in the sixth inning against St. Lucie starter Angel Cuan which made the score 4-0. The way Hernandez (1-1, 5.97) was throwing the ball for Dunedin, it effectively put the game out of reach. Cuan (5-7, 3.49) had given up just one hit through the first five innings but then in the sixth the wheels came off. Two doubles, three singles, and a sac-fly would plate the four earned runs for the Jays as they knocked Cuan out of the box.
Lucie Logistics: The Mets who had the best won-lost record in the first half of the Florida State League at 49-19, are the worst team in the league in the second half so far, with a record of 11-18. The Mets and Blue Jays go at it again tonight at 6:30 PM in game three of the four-game set. Right-hander Tyler Pill (3-1, 2.21) gets the ball in the role of stopper for St. Lucie, as they look to snap their five-game losing streak.
Rome 3, Savannah 2
On Friday night at Historic Grayson Stadium, Savannah was conquered by Rome, as the Rome Braves behind the work of four relievers defeated the Savannah Sand Gnats by a score of 3-2. The struggling Sand Gnats called upon LHP Alex Panteliodis (3-5, 3.84) to take on the suddenly surging Braves in game two of this four-game set. Panteliodis answered with his finest outing of the season pitching six innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits, one walk and a career high ten strikeouts.
Rome put up a quick run in the top of the first when center-fielder Tony Mueller led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a wild-pitch and scored on a ground-out to first-baseman Cole Frenzel. Panteliodis would keep Rome off the board with clean second, third and fourth innings. In the fifth inning Rome would add another. Right-fielder Will Skinner led off with a single to right-field. Skinner promptly stole second and moved to third on Brandon Drury’s line drive single to center-fielder Charley Thurber. Skinner then stole home on the back end of a double steal to give Rome a 2-0 lead.
Rome added a third run in the seventh off of reliever Jared West who came on to spell Panteliodis. After two out and nobody on, West walked Cory Brownstein before shortstop Elmer Reyes doubled him home to make the score 3-0 Rome. Jared West pitched two innings of relief, allowing a run on two hits, a walk and four strikeouts. Estarlin Morel pitched a perfect top of the ninth with one strikeout.
Savannah having struggled all night finally broke through in the eighth inning. Leading off the eighth, catcher Cam Maron reached on an error by Rome left-fielder Robby Hefflinger. After third-baseman Brian Harrison lined out hard to deep right field, Dustin Lawley crushed a two run homer over the left field wall for his tenth of the year. Lawley the only standout in the lineup on Friday went 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored, and two RBI for Savannah. The Gnats would get the tying run aboard on a Gilbert Gomez two out walk in the ninth but were unable to capitalize as Matthew Reynolds was retired on a comebacker to Ian Thomas to end the game.
Gnats Gnotes: Savannah has struggled since their great first half of the season came to an end. Since the Sand Gnats 41-26 first half they are reeling at 11-17 in the second half. Promotions of T.J. Rivera, Travis Taijeron and Aderlin Rodriguez to Advanced-A St. Lucie have crippled the Savannah offensive attack. So far no one has stepped up to fill the void left by their three hitting stars of the first half although Savannah’s pitching has weathered the storm of the two pitchers promoted. The pitching has not skipped a beat since Rafael Montero and Tyler Pill were promoted to St Lucie and continued their excellence at the advanced level. Game three-of-four against Rome will begin tonight at 6:05 with lefty Jim Fuller (2-2, 6.00) getting the ball for the Gnats.
Staten Island 4, Brooklyn 2
By Pete Shapiro
Right-hander Luis Mateo (4-2, 2.21) didn’t have his best stuff last night as he lost for the second time in his last three outings. He gave up a single earned run in the second inning, two in the third, and another in the sixth, which was all the Staten Island Yankees would need to down the Cyclones by a score of 4-2 in front of the home crowd at MCU Park. The Cyclones bullpen kept them in the game as Beck Wheeler 2.0 innings, four strikeouts, and Ernesto Yanez 1.0 inning, combined to throw three innings of perfect relief. But the cavalry never arrived.
The only offense the Cyclones could manage all night were single runs in the fifth and sixth innings despite the fact that they accumulated ten hits, and five walks in the game. Cyclones hitters had 10 LOB last night, and that was the story in this game. The only run scoring hits were an RBI single by Kevin Plawecki in the fifth, and a run-scoring double by Eudy Pina in the sixth, chasing in Jayce Boyd, who had also doubled. Plawecki, who was 3-for-3 with a double and a walk for the game, and Pina who went 2-for-4 had multi-hit games. The other Cyclones hitter to have a good day at the plate was shortstop Phillip Evans who went 3-for-5.
Right-hander Gabriel Encinas (2-2, 3.67) got the win for Staten Island going five innings while giving up one run. Three Yankee relievers combined to pitch the last four innings giving up just one run on four hits, with righty Taylor Garrison picking up his fourth save.
Brooklyn Brew: The Cyclones are now 20-12 on the year and have a 1.0 game lead over the second place Hudson Valley Renegades in the McNamara Division of the New York Penn League. Tonight the four-game series with the Yankees shifts back to Staten Island with a 7:00 PM start time. Right-hander Luis Cessa (2-1, 3.16) will toe the rubber for the Clones while lefty Evan Rutckyj (2-3, 4.02) takes the hill for the Yankees.
Kingsport 2, Greeneville 0
Kingsport 2, Greeneville 1
By Pete Shapiro
It seems something positive is happening with the Kingsport Mets. Despite starting the season with a record of 6-19, they looked like a contending ball club for a brief time yesterday as they defeated the Greeneville Astros in both ends of a double-header, by scores of 2-0 and 2-1. The Astros are the third best team in the Appalachian League with a record of 19-11, 19-9 before the double-dip yesterday, and yesterday’s losses knocked them out of first place in the West Division.
It was pitching, pitching, and more pitching for the K-Mets. South-paw Steve Matz started the first game and pitched his second six inning scoreless outing in a row, giving up only two hits and three walks while striking out nine this time, and improving his record to 1-1 with a 1.96 ERA in his first five game starts. Matz was topping out in the upper-90′s, which is something not too many left-handers can do, and is showing the kind of life on his fastball that the Mets have been hoping to see since making him their top pick in the 2009 MLB draft.
Matz left after six innings with the score 2-0, and was replaced by Flabio Ortega who pitched the final inning giving up one hit and striking out two to earn his first save. The combined shutout was the second of the season for Kingsport, the first was thrown by John Gant against the Johnson City Cardinals on July 16th, and notched the first professional win for Matz in his career.
Both Kingsport runs scored in the third inning. With two outs and nobody on, Eris Peguero drew a walk and stole second base. Jorge Rivero then doubled to left to score Peguero and give the K-Mets a 1-0 lead. Then with Maikis De La Cruz at the plate, Rivero attempted to steal third. Astro catcher Ernesto Genoves air-mailed his throw down the left-field line allowing Rivero to score an unearned run and make the score it’s final incarnation of 2-0. Besides Rivero’s double the K-Mets managed just two hits the rest of the game, singles by Julio Concepcion and Jonathan Leroux.
In game two right-hander Persio Reyes made the start for Kingsport. Reyes had pitched horribly so far this year until last night, with a record entering the game of 0-4 with an 11.49 ERA in four starts. But in yesterday’s night-cap, he pitched into the seventh inning giving up just one run, to earn the victory. He left after going 6.1 innings and surrendering one earned run on four hits, and a walk, with three strikeouts, to improve his record to 1-4 with a 8.59 ERA. Lefty Shane Bay came on in the seventh to get the final two outs and preserve the 2-1 victory, earning his third save of the season.
The two runs the K-Mets scored in the second game came in the first inning, and were both unearned. It was a rather strange sequence in which they only got one hit, and went like this: Yeixon Ruiz reaches on an error, Jorge Rivero singles and Gavin Cecchini walks to load the bases. Jeff Diehl launches a sac-fly to score Ruiz and make it a 1-0 game. Then a walk to Maikis De La Cruz to load the bases again and finally, another sac-fly this one by Anthony Chavez to drive in Rivero and make it 2-0. That would be all the Kingsport offense would be able to muster but thanks to some very good pitching, it was all they would need to earn the sweep.
Kingsport Knews: The K-Mets go for the three-game sweep tonight in the final game against the Astros. Kingsport righty John Gant (1-1, 5.85) looks for his second straight win as he takes on right-hander Adrian Houser (1-2, 2.97) for the Astros, game time is 6:00 PM.