Charlotte 10, Buffalo 8
By Connor O’Brien
After two games in a row in which the Bisons only scratched out two hits, the bats finally broke through, but fell just short of beating Charlotte in a 10-8 slugfest. The Bisons have been very short-handed when it comes to starting pitching lately, so Wally Backman had to go with Garrett Olson out of the bullpen to start the game for the Bisons looking for innings. That didn’t happen. Olson was knocked out of the game after just 2.2 innings pitched. He allowed six runs, four earned, on five hits. He also walked two and struck out two. That meant Backman had to go to the bullpen early.
With Charlotte already ahead 5-1 in the third, Dylan Owen was called in to pitch. Owen allowed hit that scored a run (charged to Olson) which made it 6-1 Knights. The Bisons would fight back however in the bottom of the third. Josh Rodriguez hit an RBI-single to right, cutting the lead to 6-2. The next batter Adam Loewen grounded into a double play, but Fred Lewis scored, making it 6-3. That’s all the Bisons would get in the inning but it was certainly a ray of hope.
Owen went back out to the mound in the top of the fourth and allowed an RBI-single to make it 7-3. The damage wasn’t done yet. Owen continued to struggle, allowing three more runs in the top of the fifth. At that point it was 10-3 Charlotte and looking like a blowout. That would be all for Owen as the Bisons would try to claw their way back into the game.
After Owen left the game, the offense caught fire. First, they scored a run in the fifth on a Josh Rodriguez RBI-groundout. In the sixth, Zach Lutz had an RBI-triple to go along with an RBI-double by Matt den Dekker, making the game 10-6. It would continue in the seventh as Zach Lutz came up big again with an RBI-hit. Adam Loewen also drove in a run on a groundout to get the Bisons within two.
The comeback hopes for the Bisons would end there. Brandon Kloess would hold the Bisons scoreless over the last two innings. That meant the Herd would fall two runs short of a complete comeback. They are now at .500 once again.
Herd Rumblings: Olson’s start was his first one in over two weeks. Jenrry Mejia pitched two more solid innings, shutting out the Knights and striking out two batters. Fernando Cabrera also got some work in, tossing a scoreless frame. On offense, Josh Rodriguez had a big game, going 2-for-4 with two RBI. Matt den Dekker was 2-for-4 with an RBI and only one strikeout. Jeurys Familia (7-5, 4.33 ERA) will get the start tomorrow in the final game of a four-game series with Charlotte. First pitch is at 7:05 PM.
Bowie 6, Binghamton 2
By Tim Burns
The Binghamton Mets finished up their series in Bowie on a losing note, dropping a 6-2 decision to the BaySox. The B-Mets won only one game of the four-game set against the Double A Orioles. Left-hander Darin Gorski started the game for Binghamton, lasting four innings. Over those four frames, he allowed four runs on five hits – two of which were home runs – while striking out five and walking six. The six walks were the most surrendered in a game by Gorski in 2012. Taking the loss in the game, Gorski’s record now sits at .500 with a 5-5 record.
Adrian Rosario relieved Gorski in the bottom of the fifth, throwing three innings of shutout baseball. Rosario allowed only one hit in his three innings of work, while striking out one and walking two. Robert Carson would be the final pitcher of the night for the B-Mets, throwing the eighth inning for Pedro Lopez’ team. In one inning, Carson allowed two runs on three hits, struck out one and walked one. It was Carson’s first appearance since game one of the series on Friday night, a game in which he earned his first win of the season.
The B-Mets batters weren’t able to string together any sort of offense against Bowie starter Mike Wright, or the three relievers used by BaySox manager Gary Kendall, until the final two innings. In part, Binghamton’s efforts were hampered by grounding into four double-plays in the game.
Binghamton’s first run in the game came in the top of the eighth inning when Juan Lagares tripled to center field, and the next batter, Reese Havens, singled to score Lagares. In the top of the ninth, two walks and a single loaded the bases for the B-Mets, and then a third walk brought in their second run of the game. With the bases still loaded, Wilfredo Tovar stepped to the plate representing the tying run for Binghamton; Tovar promptly grounded into a double play ending the game.
Mike Baxter continued his rehab assignment, and for the first time in Binghamton played left-field. In the previous two starts, Baxter was the designated hitter. He went 1-for-3 in Sunday’s game. Juan Lagares was 2-for-4 in the game, with his eighth inning triple and run scored. Allan Dykstra was 1-for-1 on the night, with two walks and a run scored. Jefry Marte and Reese Havens each went 1-for-4.
B-Mets Buzz: It’s off to New Britain, Connecticut for the B-Mets now where they will play a three game set against the Minnesota Twins Double A club. The current rotation shows Greg Peavey (3-6, 6.09) on the mound versus the Rock Cats Aaron Thompson (3-4, 5.57) on Monday night, followed by Mark Cohoon on Tuesday night, and Zack Wheeler slated to go on Wednesday afternoon. With the pitching situation in Buffalo and New York in flux at this point though, many are purporting that Wheeler may not be around for that Wednesday start for Binghamton. However, there has been no official word from New York on who may replace Matt Harvey in the Buffalo rotation as of Monday morning.
St. Lucie 6, Dunedin 2
Completion of Suspended Game
By Pete Shapiro
The third game of the four-game set between St. Lucie and Dunedin was suspended on Saturday night after the completion of the fourth inning with the PSL-Mets leading the Blue Jays by a score of 6-2. The game resumed where it left off on Sunday afternoon and was completed early to become a five-inning affair won by St. Lucie by the score of 6-2. The second game that was slated to begin upon the completion of Saturday’s game never happened. It was postponed and will have to be made up at a later date.
Yesterday’s game reports and official box scores listed right-hander Johan Almonte as making a surprise start on three days rest which I questioned in yesterday’s Farm Report. I also questioned why Tyler Pill didn’t start the game since he was the guy I had tabbed the day before in the Farm Report and I speculated yesterday why Pill hadn’t made his start. Well guess what? He did.
The official box score was wrong. I apologize for passing along flawed information. Saturday night it was indeed right-hander Tyler Pill who started for St. Lucie, not Almonte. Pill went the entire four innings that were completed, giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits, a walk and three strikeouts. When the game was completed on Sunday, Pill’s record went to 4-1 with a 2.22 ERA during his time in the Florida State League.
In the top of the first inning the PSL-Mets took the lead four batters into the game. A pair of one-out walks put runners on first and second for Cory Vaughn who singled to score Alonzo Harris and make it 1-0 Lucie. Rafael Fernandez then reached safely on a fielding error by Dunedin first-baseman Jon Talley to load the bases. Next up was Aderlin Rodriguez who struck out swinging for the second out of the inning, but then Blake Forsythe stepped to the plate.
Forsythe who went 2-for-2 on the night to raise his average to .267, lined a bases-clearing double to right-field, driving in three, making the score 4-0 Lucie. In the bottom half of the first Dunedin struck for an unearned run on a double, a wild-pitch, and a throwing error on the catcher Blake Forsythe, making it 4-1. In the bottom of the second, a double sandwiched by two singles got the Jays another run making it 4-2.
St. Lucie got those two runs back in the top of the fourth on a lead-off single to Forsythe, followed by an RBI double by Richard Lucas to chase home Forsythe with the fifth run. Then after Robbie Shields sacrifice bunted Lucas over to third, Alonzo Harris would drive him in with a sac-fly to make the score 6-2 Lucie. After Pill retired the Jays in order in the bottom of the fourth, the game was halted.
When it resumed on Sunday, Savannah was retired without scoring in the fifth inning, and left-hander Jack Leathersich was called upon to pitch the bottom half of the inning. “The Rocket” was what they call “effectively wild” walking two and hitting a guy to load the bases, but he wriggled out of trouble without allowing any runs to score and making it a final of 6-2.
Lucie Logistics: Next up the Mets head home for a seven-game home stand, with three games against Bradenton followed by a four-game set with Lakeland. The Bradenton Marauders, a farm team of the Pirates, have played St. Lucie 13 times this year and have won only five of those games. On Monday night, right-hander Johan Almonte (7-4, 5.92) will make the start for St. Lucie (on normal rest) with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 PM.
Savannah 5, Rome 1
Sunday afternoon at Historic Grayson Stadium in Savannah, the Sand Gnats behind the dominating pitching of Domingo Tapia, rolled past the Rome Braves 5-1 to earn a split of the four game series. For the second consecutive game, a Sand Gnats starter pitches one hit ball against Rome. Sunday it was young flame-thrower right-hander Domingo Tapia (5-2, 3.45) who followed up Saturday’s one hit performance by Jimmy Fuller with one of his own. It was by far D-Tap’s best performance as a pro.
Tapia cruised through seven innings, letting up an unearned, a walk and eight strikeouts. D-Tap held Rome hitless until the seventh inning when Robby Hefflinger grounded a single through the left side of the infield. Rome unable to square up Tapia all afternoon were only able to lift two fly-balls , retiring ten batters on ground-balls. The Braves scored their unearned run in the top of the first inning after a leadoff walk by Tony Mueller, a stolen base, followed by a Xorge Carillo passed ball and a groundout.
The Sand Gnats got their offense going early, puttng up three runs in their half of the first. Back to back one out walks by center-fielder Gilbert Gomez and left-fielder Dustin Lawley put two aboard for third-baseman Brian Harrison who flied out for the second out of the inning and leaving it up to red hot right-fielder Greg Pron who laced a single to right-field scoring Gomez and moving Lawley to third. Cole Frenzel stepped up with first and third and two out and delivered a line drive shot over the right-fielders head for a two run double giving Savannah a 3-1 lead. Frenzel the hitting star of the game going 2-for-4 with a double, and two RBI. Savannah would score two more in the bottom of the fifth on a fielders-choice and a wild-pitch to give the Sand Gnats a 5-1 advantage they would not relinquish.
In relief of D-Tap, Marcos Camarena took the ball in the eighth inning and loaded the bases on three singles. Camarena escaped without harm after a strikeout and double-play allowed him to escape the jam. T.J. Chism came on in the ninth in a non-save situation and loaded the bases as well on two singles and a walk, and like his teammate Camarena was able to wiggle out of trouble unscored upon.
Gnats Gnotes: Monday night at 7:05 PM, the Sand Gnats welcome in the Kannapolis Intimidators for a four game series.Who’s hot? Domingo Tapia over his last ten starts is 4-1 with a 2.50 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. Over that period D-Tap has pitched 54 innings giving up 18 runs 15 earned on 41 hits, 18 walks and 42 strikeouts. D-Tap has not allowed a ball to leave the yard this season and has a 2.70 GO/AO along with a .218 BAA. D-Tap’s name is one we’ll be hearing a lot in trade rumors and for good reason. The sky’s the limit for this kid. Tonight the Sand Gnats take on the Kannapolis Intimidators in the first of a four-game set. The Intimidators are a Chicago White Sox affiliate and game time will be 7:05 PM, with right-hander Logan Verrett (3-2, 3.43) making the start for the Gnats.
Brooklyn 2, Staten Island 1
By Clayton Collier
Both the New York Mets and the Brooklyn Cyclones participated in games that weren’t decided until the 12th. Both teams got great starting pitching and had offenses that for the majority of their respective games failed to capitalize on their opportunities. Unlike their major league affiliate however, the Cyclones got out of their extra-inning affair with a walkoff win by a score of 2-1 against the rivaled Staten Island Yankees.
Hansel Robles (2-1, 2.08) got the nod for the ‘Clones and continued to be an ever-dominant starting pitcher for them, this time having easily his best outing on the season. The 21-year old right hander went eight innings allowing just one run on six hits while walking none and punching out a season high nine batters. Robles’ only mistake of the evening came in the seventh on a Jose Rosario RBI double that tied up the game at one apiece. Despite taking a tough no-decision, Robles lowered his ERA to 2.08 on the year.
After that the bullpen went to work. The hometown kid south-paw John Mincone held down the fort for three shutout innings in the ninth, tenth and eleventh to keep Brookyln in this one. Over those three frames, Mincone allowed just the one hit while punching out two. Tyler Vanderheiden delievered a scoreless 12th to put the Cyclones in a position to take the ballgame with the heart of the order coming up.
Dimas Ponce grounded one through the hole to the left fielder to get on base with one out, representing the winning run. After Phillip Evans popped up, Kevin Plawecki kept the rally going with a knock of his own up the middle, Ponce went to third on the play, just a mere 90 feet away from winning the game. With two out and runners at the corners, Alex Sanchez stepped into the batter’s box. With Ponce taking his lead off of third, Sanchez came through with a single right up the middle to drive in the winning run and end the ballgame.
Brooklyn Brew: Steve St. Bernard, the man who saved a girl who fell from her third story window, was honored on the field prior to the start of the game and threw out the first pitch despite one of his arms still in a sling. Dimas Ponce had himself one heck of a game, going 3-for-5 with a double and scoring the winning run in the 12th. Kevin Plawecki, Alex Sanchez, Stefan Sabol and Eudy Pina all had two-hit games. In fact, the only Cyclones hitters not to get a knock in the contest were Jayce Boyd, and Brandon Nimmo, who is now batting a mere .225 on the season. Despite walking two in the inning, Tyler Vanderheiden maintained his perfect 0.00 ERA on the season, now a 10.2 inning shutout streak to start the year, can you say callup? The Cyclones will take on the Aberdeen Ironbirds starting Monday. Game time is at 7:00 PM at MCU Park, with right-hander Julian Hilario (0-2, 3.75) on the mound.
Kingsport 6, Elizabethton 5
By Pete Shapiro
The Kingsport Mets continue to try and turn their season around as they defeated the Elizabethton Twins last night in the first game of a three-game series, edging them by a final score of 6-5. The win was the K-Mets fifth in their last eight, and third in their last four games.
It was again about the pitching as they got another quality start, and a good enough performance from the pen, who held on despite a ninth inning rally by the Twins to salt this one away. Right-hander Corey Oswalt (2-1, 8.76) the 2012 7th round draft pick out of Madison High School in San Diego, made his first professional start and hurled five innings while giving up two runs, both earned, on five hits with four strikeouts. Both runs he gave up came in the fifth inning as a result of a double and three singles, otherwise he looked very good.
Righty Christian Chivilli followed Oswalt and pitched the sixth and seventh innings, surrendering a run in each frame. In the sixth it was Max Kepler hitting his fourth home run of the year, a solo shot. And in the seventh, a double to Bo Altobelli leading off the inning, followed by a two-out, run-scoring single by the shortstop Niko Goodrum.
The K-Mets scored all their runs in consecutive innings with two runs in the third on a two-out, two-run double by Maikis De La Cruz. They got one in the fourth on Jeff Diehl’s first professional homer, and one in the fifth on a Gavin Cecchini sac-fly. They closed their scoring with two more in the sixth on a run-scoring single by Anthony Chavez which drove in Tomas Nido who had doubled. Chavez went to second on a fielding error on the play before stealing third to put himself in position for the next batter, Jonathan Leroux, to score him with a sac-fly.
That made it 6-4 after eight innings. Righty reliever Edioglis Villasmil, who had pitched a one-two-three eighth, started the ninth by walking the first two batters which prompted manager Jose Leger to bring in south-paw Shane Bay to get the final three outs. That would prove easier said than done.
The next batter bounced into a 6-4-3 double-play which put a runner on third with two-outs. Then it got interesting. First, Candido Pimentel singled to score the runner from third and pull the Twins to within one run at 6-5. Then with Niko Goodrum batting, Pimentel got himself picked-off first-base and was thrown out trying to steal. Game over. Save to Bay, his fourth.
Kingsport Knews: At 22-11, Elizabethton has the second-best record in the Appalachian League and is in first-place in the West Division. Kingsport at 9-20 is sitting in fourth-place in the West Division, a half-game ahead of the last place Bristol White Sox. Game two is set for tonight between these two teams with 6’3″ right-hander Chris Flexen (0-0, 32.40) making his first professional start for Kingsport as they try for two-in-a-row. Game time is 7:00 PM.