Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders 6, Norfolk Tides 3
Starter Jason Wheeler, one of the pitchers acquired for international bonus money a few weeks ago, got through two scoreless innings before the wheels fell off (no pun intended) in the third. By the time he left with two outs in the fourth, Norfolk was looking at a 6-1 deficit.
The Tides’ bullpen duo of Matt Wotherspoon and Paul Fry did a nice job of putting up zeros the rest of the way, but Norfolk couldn’t close the gap. An RBI double off the bat of Chris Johnson in the sixth cut the lead to 6-2, and Pedro Alvarez’s 19th home run of the season made it 6-3 in the ninth.
Johnson has been hitting well since his return from injury and had his third consecutive two-hit game yesterday. One wonders if the anemic offensive performance from the Orioles’ stopgap infielders might result in some playing time at third base for Johnson while J.J. Hardy is on the sidelines.
Hartford Yard Goats 12, Bowie Baysox 8
It wasn’t the best day for starter John Means, who allowed four runs in the first inning, then settled down after that. He ended up finishing six innings with six earned on eight hits and two walks, while striking out just two.
Means actually left with an 8-6 lead, thanks to an offensive outburst from the Baysox, who had thirteen hits in the first six innings. Mike Yastrzemski had four of them, including two doubles, and Garabez Rosa continued his strong season with a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth.
Unfortunately, the Baysox bats went cold the rest of the way, with just one hit in the final three innings. Meanwhile, Jason Garcia came in, allowed two homers and six total runs, and that was that.
Delmarva Shorebirds 3, Augusta GreenJackets 1
The Shorebirds got an excellent start from Lucas Humpal, last year’s 9th round pick out of Texas State, who pitched seven innings and struck out five while allowing just one run on three hits.
Humpal was pitching very well for about a month before getting knocked around in his last two starts, so it was nice to see him get back on track. This was the fourth time in his last five starts that he’s gone seven innings.
While Humpal didn’t get much help from his offense, it was just enough. Ryan McKenna was 3-4 with a double and drove in all three Delmarva runs, while Collin Woody was 2-4.
Aberdeen Ironbirds 5, Lowell Spinners 2
Jimmy Murphy got the start for the Ironbirds and pitched four innings with one earned run. Murphy was this year’s eighth round pick out of Fordham, and rocks one hell of a pair of rec specs.
You know you’re having a good start to the season when a one-run outing makes your ERA go up, and that’s exactly what happened with Murphy, who had a perfect 0.00 ERA through his first three professional appearances.
Aberdeen jumped on the board quickly with a two-run first inning and never trailed in the game. Shortstop Mason McCoy (this year’s sixth round pick out of Iowa) was 1-4 with an RBI double, and Tristan Graham was 2-4 with a double.
Catcher Ben Breazeale was the DH in this game and went 0-3, dropping his batting line to a mere .425/.510/.613 this season. Unbelievably, this was only the second time he’s been held hitless out of 22 games this year.
Today's matchups and probable starters
Norfolk @ Pawtucket, 7:05 PM (Jayson Aquino)
Altoona @ Bowie, 7:05 PM (Jesus Liranzo)
Wilmington @ Frederick, 7:00 PM (Cristian Alvarado)
Delmarva @ Augusta, 7:05 PM (Zach Muckenhirn)
Vermont @ Aberdeen, 7:05 PM (TBD)