Buffalo, Binghamton, St. Lucie – All Winners On Thursday

On behalf of Joe D, and the rest of the staff at MMO, I would like to welcome aboard our newest member of the writing staff. It’s real nice when we can bring one of the readers onboard and this guy is going to bring a lot of passion and insights to the table. Most of you know him already, and he will be starting out as one of the minor league staff, so lets make it official and give a big MMO welcome to Fonzie13. Welcome Fonz!

Buffalo 4, Gwinnett 2

By Andrew O’Brien

After falling behind by two runs early, the Bisons scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning and added another two runs in the bottom of the second en route to a 4-2 win Thursday night over the Gwinnett Braves.

Outfielder Vinny Rottino plated two runs with a single in th second, extending his hitting streak to 20 games. He finished the game 1-for-4 and his hitting .317 this season

Chris Schwinden (3-2) was on the hill for the Bisons and earned the win, scattering six hits and two runs over six innings while walking two and striking out four. He now has a 2.54 ERA in Triple-A this season.

The Bisons (24-17) got three scoreless innings in relief by the bullpen. Elvin Ramirez, Josh Edgin and Fernando Cabrera (ninth save) allowed a combined four hits and no walks while striking out three.

Atop the Bisons order, Corey Wimberly went 2-for-3 with one walk. Fred Lewis and Brad Emaus both went 1-for-3.

Braves starter Julio Teheran (3-2) lasted only 2.2 innings. He gave up seven hits, four runs and walked five. His ERA is 3.31.

That’s two games in a row that Buffalo has knocked off two top Atlanta Braves pitchers.

Buffalo has now won two straight games over Gwinnett and five of the seven contests this season.

The Bisons look to capture the series victory when the four-game series concludes at 7:05 p.m. Friday. After this series, the Indianapolis Indians come to town to continue the Bisons’ 16-game home stand.

Herd Rumblings: Bisons starter Chris Schwinden went 2-for-2 in the batter’s box with a run scored to back up his duties on the mound. Outfielder Corey Wimberly had his first stolen base of the season and first as a Bison. The Bisons as a team stole four bases Thursday night. It is the first time since Aug. 3, 2007, at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre that Buffalo has stolen four bases in a game. League leaders: Fernando Cabrera’s nine saves (T-1st), Chris Schwinden 2.54 ERA (8th), Vinny Rottino .317 BA (8th), team batting average .274 (1st), team ERA 3.30 (5th). Friday night’s starters are, for the Braves, Eric Junge (3-3, 3.07) who matches up against Matt Harvey (3-1, 4.29) for the Herd.

Binghamton 12, Trenton 3

By Tim Burns

Behind a 15 hit explosion by the Binghamton Mets offense, and some stellar pitching by starter Zack Wheeler, the B-Mets defeated the Trenton Thunder on Thursday night at NYSEG Stadium by a score of 12-3. With the win, the B-Mets won the three game series against the AA Yankees two games to one. 

Wheeler improved his record to 3-2 with an impressive performance. Many of his pitches were in excess of 90 MPH, and even well into the fifth – where he struck out the Thunder’s final batter with a 98 MPH fastball – his velocity was consistent. In 93 pitches thrown by Wheeler, 62 of them were for strikes. Final line for Wheeler on the night was seven innings pitched, two runs scored on two hits allowed, striking out eight and walking four. His one blemish on the evening came in the top of the first when it appeared as though he hung a fastball high in the zone which Trenton left fielder Cody Johnson hit off of the batters eye in center field for a two run homerun.

Edgar Ramirez came on in relief of Wheeler in the eighth, striking out one and holding the Thunder hitless. To finish off the ninth, manager Pedro Lopez called upon Jeff Kaplan. In the final frame, Kaplan allowed one run on one hit, while striking out two.

The B-Mets bats were active on the night, pounding out a total of 15 hits and 12 runs. Multiple players had two hits in the game, including third baseman Jefry Marte – the hero of Wednesday night’s game with his walk off hit – who went 2/4 with a double and home run and three runs scored. Juan Lagares and Travis Ozga both went 2/5 with two runs scored a piece. Ozga hit his third home run of the season in the second off of Trenton starter Cory Arbiso. Sean Kazmar and Kai Gronauer were both 2/4 in the game. Matt den Dekker was 2/4 as well, hitting two doubles and earning two RBI’s.

Second baseman Reese Havens was ejected in the second inning after being called out on strikes. Havens argued the called third strike, which prompted plate umpire Brian De Brauwere to send him to the showers early. Havens slammed his bat off of the ground in the argument, but no contact with the umpire was observed from the stands. Rylan Sandoval replaced Havens at second base.

B-Mets Buzz: It’s off to Maine for the B-Mets now, with a three game set on tap for the weekend. After that, they will travel to Connecticut to play the New Britain Rock Cats, AA affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. Previous reports had Jenrry Mejia pitching for the B-Mets on Saturday afternoon in Portland against the Sea Dogs. Friday night’s starter for the B-Mets has not been announced yet but should be either Gonzalez Germen (1-1, 5.54) or Darin Gorski (2-2, 4.04). Portland sends Billy Buckner (1-3, 4.10) to the mound.

St. Lucie 6, Lakeland 5

By Clayton Collier

Overcoming a lackluster start by Cory Mazzoni, the St. Lucie Mets rallied to win their 32nd game of the year by a score of 6-5.

Mazzoni took the hill coming off a dominant scoreless performance in his last go-around, but did not enjoy the same level of success in this one, surrendering seven hits and four runs over five frames. Mazzoni raised his ERA to 3.12 on the year but was happy to take a no-decision this time around.

The big story of the ballgame was Blake Forsythe, who accounted for every single run batted in for the Mets. He started off by launching a solo shot in the third, giving St. Lucie the lead and being the first to draw blood. Then, Forsythe broke up the 1-1 tie with a grand salami in the top of the fourth to make it a 5-1 ball game. Finally, with the game yet again tied at five a piece, Forsythe delivered a fly ball to centerfielder Luis Castillo (no, not that one) that went for a sac-fly, scoring Cesar Puello to put the Mets on top for good 6-5.

After a shaky outing from Ryan Fraser, Hamilton Bennett and Adrian Rosario came on and slammed the door, hurling 2 1/3 innings of one-hit relief to hand St. Lucie a hard earned “W”.

Lucie Logistics: Forsythe had a great day in the field as well as the backstop threw out two potential base stealers, now throwing out runners at 29% in 2012. Wilmer Flores continues to hit as he went 2-5 in the effort. Richard Lucas went 0-1 but had three walks and a stolen base. Cory Vaughn went 1-5 with a double, hopefully starting to break out of his slump. Alonzo Harris took an 0-4 but had two stolen bases in the ballgame. The Mets continue their series with the Lakeland Flying Tigers tonight at 7:11pm. Lefty Chase Huchingson (4-3, 2.80) takes the turn for St. Lucie while Lakeland sends port-sider Alex Burgos (2-4, 5.40) to the hill.

Augusta 3, Savannah 2

By Fonzie13

The Augusta GreenJackets came out of the gate with two quick runs in the top of the first en route to a 3-2 victory over the Savannah Sand Gnats Thursday night at historic Grayson Stadium. Young fire-balling Domingo Tapia took the rubber for Savannah and did not have his best stuff, lasting only four innings giving three runs on five hits and two walks while striking five.

The pesky Gnats who fell to 24-15 maintaining their hold on 2nd place dropping a game in the standings to first place Charleston to 2.5 back, could only manage single runs in their half of the third and fourth innings. An RBI single Travis Taijeron who’s leading the team with 8 HR’s and 27 RBI’s on the season and an RBI triple by Greg Pron in the fourth, would be all Savannah could muster, going down in order in each of the next four innings and 13 straight, following Pron’s triple in the fourth.

The Gnats wouldn’t see another baserunner until Aderlin Rodriguez led off the 9th with a single only to be stranded by Augusta closer Cody Hall who picked up his league leading 9th save. 19-year-old Augusta right hander Clayton Blackburn fanned career high 10 batters in his best effort of the season scattering seven hits, and two runs, across six frames.

Following Blackburn’s excellent work, Derek Law pitched two perfect innings, cleaning up the 7th and 8th with two strikeouts, before Hall shut the door in the 9th. Friday night’s game-two matchup of the four-game set will be 21-year-old RHP Tyler Pill (3-2, 1.89) pitching for Savannah, going up against 22-year-old RHP Chris Marlow (1-1, 2.63).

Gnats Gnotes: 21-year-old Marcos Camarena continues his impressive season by striking out three in the fifth, in relief of Tapia sandwiched around a single. He now has struckout 11 hitters over his last three outtings covering 5.1 innings of work. His stellar season includes a 2-0 record with a 1.33 as a long man out of the pen and one start to date. He’s pitched 27 innings over 10 appearances allowing 17 hits, four runs, two earned, 0 HR’s, 5 BB’s and 25 K’s, holding opponents to a .181 batting average.

Jack “The Rocket” Leathersich continues to dominate Sally League hitters pitching three innings tonight following Camarena’s three strikeout fifth inning, by blowing away all 3 batters he faced in the 6th. He finished with 3 innings pitched 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 BB’s and six K’s all swinging, dropping his ERA to a paultry 0.75. South Atlantic League hitters can’t wait until The Rocket gets promoted to Advanced-A St Lucie.

So far this season Jack has picked up where he left off in the NY Penn League last year, pitching making 12 appearances pitching 24 innings allowing only 10 hits, four runs, two earned, walking eight and an insane 37 strikeouts, holding opposing batters to a .132 batting average. Combined with last year, his first in pro ball, Jack has appeared in 21 games covering 36 innings, yielding 16 hits, five runs three earned 11 walks and 63 strikeouts. Jack’s continued dominance should have him in St Lucie by the mid season break along with slugging CF Travis Taijeron who’s 2nd in the league in HR’s and a team leading 27 RBI’s (9th in the league) and 8th in the league in OPS at .935.