Farm Report: Buffalo, St. Lucie & Savannah All Win On Saturday!

MMO's Minor League Staff

 Buffalo 8, SWB 7

By Pete Shapiro

The Bisons squandered a 6-0 lead in this game and fell behind SWB 7-6 before rallying for two runs in the eighth inning to hand the Yankees an 8-7 defeat on Saturday. Jordany Valdespin tied the game 7-7 in the eighth, when he singled in Josh Satin from third with the tying run. Moments later with Pascucci on third and ‘Spin on first, Valdespin was caught trying to steal second-base and while in a rundown, Poppa Val was able to scoot home with the winning run.

LHP Garrett Olson started the game for the Herd, and was terrific through four innings, with four hits given up, and four strikeouts. But the wheels came off in the fifth inning when he gave up a lead-off home run to C Gustavo Molina, his first of the year making it 6-1. That was followed by a Matt Antonelli two-run home-run three batters later, his second of the year making it 6-3. Then after a 1B Steve Pearce single, DH Jack Cust went yard, his sixth, for two more runs that brought the score to 6-5 in favor of the Bisons.

Righty reliever Elvin Ramirez pitched a scoreless sixth before giving way to LHP Justin Hampson (3-1, 2.36) in the seventh. With one out, Jack Cust stepped to the plate and went deep again, this time off Hampson, for his second home run in as many at-bats and his seventh round-tripper of the season, which tied the score at 7-7, and set the stage for the game-winning rally in the Bison eighth.

The Herd scored early in this one. CF Corey Wimberly led off the first with a walk. Then with two out, DH Valentino Pascucci singled him home to make it 1-0. They kept it going in the second inning when with two-out, RF Dustin Martin drew a walk, and then stole second. SS Omar Quintanilla then pounded a run-scoring double ahead of a walk to Corey Wimberly.

That brought up LF Fred Lewis, who started the year homer-less in his first 95 AB’s. On Friday night, in the seventh inning he hit his first homer of the year, a solo-shot in his 96th AB. Three AB’s later (his second time up on Saturday, 99th AB of the season) he crushed a three-run homer to make the score 5-0. Bison 3B Matt Tuiasosopo would drive in Pascucci from second-base in the third inning, with a run-scoring single which made the score 6-0. Scooch went 3-for-3 on the day, while Quintanilla went 2-for-4.

The win goes to Hampson, who blew the save. RHP Fernando Cabrera who has been outstanding in relief for the Herd this season, came on in the eighth and went the distance for a six-out save, his 10th of the season.

Herd Rumblings: The Bisons (28-21) are in a flat-footed tie with Lehigh Valley for second place in the division, 2.5 GB the Pawtucket Red Sox. The Herd looks to take the four-game series 3-games-to-one, with a victory today against the Yankees. Game time is 1:05 for Sunday with RHP Chris Schwinden (3-3, 2.72) making the start for Buffalo, against veteran righty Ramon Ortiz (2-3, 3.86) for SWB.

New Hampshire 8, Binghamton 2

By Joe D

It was another agonizing loss for starting pitcher Greg Peavey and the Binghamton Mets last night as the New Hampshire Fisher Cats pounded them 8-2 for their third straight loss.

Peavey has struggled mightily all season long and this night was no different as the righty allowed five runs on seven hits, while walking one and striking out three in his seven innings of work. The loss brings his record to 3-2 for the season with a very unimpressive 5.59 ERA to go with it. I’m sure Peavey will figure it our soon as his stuff is just too good for him not to bounce back. He has been victimized by the longball this season. Erik Turgeon relieved Peavey and tossed the final two frames of the game, but allowed the Fisher Cats to score three more times in the ninth inning to put the game away.

The B-Mets offense was held in check once again as they were only able to muster a pair of runs in this contest. Their first run came early when Jefry Marte plated home Sean Kazmar with an RBI single in the bottom of the first. Their second run of the game came in the seventh inning when designated hitter Reese Havens walked to start the inning and came around to score courtesy of Juan Lagares who had scorched a double into left field.

B-Mets Buzz: Reese Havens failed to get a hit and is now batting .149 since his return from the disabled list. Erik Turgeon was activated from the DL before the game and looked a little rusty. Binghamton pitchers just couldn’t close the deal last night as all eight runs for the Fisher Cats came with two outs.The B-Mets continue their four-game series against the Fisher Cats tonight at 6:35 pm. Right-hander Fernando Hernandez (0-1, 2.49) makes his first start for New Hampshire, and lefty Mark Cohoon will try to end Binghamton’s three game slide.

St. Lucie 5, Charlotte 4

By Clayton Collier

Overcoming a shaky outing from their starter Angel Cuan, the St. Lucie Mets were able to come from behind yet again and win in walk-off fashion against the Charlotte Stonecrabs by a score of 5-4.

Cuan got the nod for St. Lucie and had one of his worst starts on the year. Cuan went only 4.2 innings, and allowed four runs (3 earned) on nine hits, to put St. Lucie at an early 4-1 deficit.

But that fighting spirit is one of the many reasons why these St. Lucie Mets sit at 38-11 in 2012. To lead off the bottom of the fifth, the Mets loaded up the bases on three consecutive singles by C Blake Forsythe, 1B Richard Lucas and SS Wilfredo Tovar. 2B Robbie Shields and 3B Wilmer Flores would walk to force in two runs and pull within a one. The game would stay that way until the bottom of the eighth, when the Mets loaded the bases yet again, and tied up the game on a wild pitch by Chris Rearick to score DH Rylan Sandoval.

LHP Jack Leathersich and RHP John Church held the fort down, handing the Mets a combined 4.1 one-hit innings, surrendering no runs and punching out five. Leathersich rebounded from a rough St. Lucie debut to deliver 2.1 hitless innings while Church covered the latter two, picking up his first win of the year.

Then came the bottom of the ninth. Robbie Shields led off the inning with a double, followed by a CF Darrell Ceciliani knock and an intentional walk to Wilmer Flores. RF Cory Vaughn then stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and nobody out. Vaughn was able to work out a walk to score Shields, and win the ballgame by a final of 5-4.

Lucie Logistics: Robbie Shields went 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and an RBI. Blake Forsythe continues to stay hot, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a double. He has now has raised his average to .271 after batting under .200 for a good chunk of the year. Richard Lucas went 2-for-3 including a solo shot in the bottom of the third, his third of the year. Despite going 0-for-3, Cory Vaughn had two walks and now has 19 on the year. The Mets announced that outfielder Cesar Puello has been put on the DL with a broken left hamate bone (wrist), and will be out for an extended period of time. It is the same injury that has shelved Buffalo 3B Zach Lutz. The Mets go for the sweep today against the Stone Crabs at 1:10 pm. Left-hander Braulio Lara (3-3, 6.17) will take the hill for Charlotte, while righty Erik Goeddel (2-1, 1.29) will throw for Lucie.

Savannah 7, Augusta 4 

By Joe Di’Orio (Fonzie 13)

In front of Augusta’s largest audience of the season, the Savannah Sand Gnats struggling offense pounded out 15 hits and toppled the Augusta Green Jackets 7-4 ending a two game skid.

The Sand Gnats (29-19) hopped on the board first for the third straight night, scoring a run in the top of the second on a 3B Aderlin Rodriguez sac-fly. The GreenJackets (SFG)(21-26) wasted no time answering back for two runs of their own in their half of the second.

A single by Augusta 2B Mark Minicozzi and a double by RF Brett Krill put runners on second and third to open the frame. A subsequent wild-pitch by Rafael Montero scored Minicozzi, and an error by Gnats 2B Brandon Brown scored Krill to give the GreenJackets a 2-1 lead.

Savannah jumped right back on the board in the third for three runs. A single by C Cam Maron and a one out double by LF Dustin Lawley put runners on second and third. A walk to Aderlin Rodriguez loaded them up for RF Charley Thurber who doubled home two runs to put the Gnats up 3-2.

With runners again on second and third, Brandon Brown redeemed himself for his error by singling home Rodriguez but GreenJackets LF Elliot Blair nailed Charley Thurber at home trying to score the innings fourth run to end the inning with the score 4-2 Gnats.

Augusta cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fifth, after two quick outs, LF Elliot Blair and CF Jesus Galindo hit back-to-back singles putting runners on the corners with two outs. Galindo stole second putting both runners in scoring position for SS Alberto Robles, who singled to LF scoring Blair but Lawley gunned down Galindo at the plate with what would’ve been the tying run.

Each team traded runs in their halves of the eighth inning. Sand Gnats DH Gilbert Gomez with a big two out hit scoring Charley Thurber who hit a one-out double to get the inning going. Augusta answered right back in the bottom half of the eighth with a Mark Minicozzi sac-fly scoring Jesus Galindo who opened the bottom half with a walk.

Leading 5-4 going into the ninth, Savannah added some insurance runs. Gnats SS T.J. Rivera led off with a single, Dustin Lawley triples home Rivera and Travis Taijeron doubles home Lawley to finish up the soring for the night. The GreenJackets went quietly in the bottom of the ninth, set down in order by Sand Gnats closer T.J. Chism, striking out one, for his seventh save of the season.

Savannah RHP Rafael Montero won his second straight start to improve to 4-2, with a 2.81 ERA. Raffy had his longest outting of the season going seven innings, allowing three ER on seven hits, did not walk a batter, and struck out four. Montero was a ground-ball machine Saturday night retiring 12 batters on the ground and only two in the air. LHP Carlos Vazquez followed Montero, pitching the eighth inning and allowing an earned run on one hit, and one walk while fanning two.

Augusta starter Kevin Couture (2-3, 2.53) making only his third start after appearing in 11 games as a reliever did not fair well, lasting only four innings, allowing four runs all earned, on nine hits and two walks, and did not strike out a batter. LHP Adalberto Mejia took over for Couture in the fifth and pitched two perfect frames with one strikeout.

LHP Steven Neff followed with two innings of work allowing a run on three hits and a walk, but did punch out five of the six batters he retired. RHP Keith Bilodeau got touched up in the ninth for two runs on three hits.

Gnats Gnotes: The Sand Gnats (29-19) were unable to pick up ground on 2nd place Charleston (NYY) (31-17) and 1st place Asheville (COL)(33-16) in the Southern Division of the S.A.L. Trailing Charleston by 1.5 games and Asheville by 3.5 games.
Red hot 3B/1B Brian Harrison who was tearing it up to the tune of a .350 BA over his last 10 games coming up big in the clutch for Savannah was placed on the 7-day DL and 1B Cole Frenzel was called up from extended spring training to take his place on the roster. Ice cold Travis Taijeron three for his last 35, broke out Saturday night going 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. RHP Tyler Pill continues to dazzle in his first full year in pro ball. Pill is 3-3 with a 1.93 ERA over eight starts, pitching 46.2 giving up 48 hits, 12 runs, 10 earned, one HR, seven BB’s, and 47 K’s. Sunday afternoon Savannah looks to even up the four-game series with Augusta for the second straight week of deja vu all over again, sending fireballing RHP Jacob Degrom (1-0 0.98) to the rubber opposite Augusta LHP Edwin Escobar (2-3 2.86).

MMO Minor League Staff Relaxes After Filing Their Daily Reports