Norfolk Tides 2, Lehigh Valley IronPigs 0 (F/11)
This game was scoreless heading into the bottom of the 11th, thanks to a pitchers’ duel between Jayson Aquino and Lehigh’s Tom Eschelman. Aquino went six strong innings, allowing just three hits and no walks while striking out five.
Jimmy Yacabonis and Donnie Hart combined for three shutout innings, and Stefan Crichton pitched the final two innings of the game. In the bottom of the 11th, with Chris Dickerson on first base after a walk, Chris Johnson went deep off of Pat Venditte to win the game for Norfolk.
Johnson was the only Tide with multiple hits, going 2-5 with a double and the walk-off homer. He’s now hitting .318/.348/.547 at the triple-A level this year and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him in Baltimore as a bench bat against left-handed pitching once the rosters expand in September.
Bowie Baysox 4, Reading Fightin’ Phils 3
The Baysox had sort of an odd gameplan for the pitching staff in this one. Jesus Liranzo got the start and pitched three innings, which was expected since he’s one of Bowie’s “bullpen game” guys, but then he was replaced by starter John Means.
Means, making just his second relief outing of the season, went five innings and was terrific, allowing one run on three hits and two walks while striking out three, but he exited the game in the eighth with the Baysox facing a 3-2 deficit.
The Bowie lineup wasn’t able to do much against Reading starter Franklyn Kilome, managing a pair of runs on solo homers by Aderlin Rodriguez and Jeff Kemp. They had better luck in the ninth against old friend Garrett Cleavinger, who was sent to Philly in the Jeremy Hellickson trade.
Rodriguez led off the ninth with a single, and D.J. Stewart followed with a double. After a Cleavinger wild pitch scored Rodriguez, Ryan Mountcastle singled to bring home Stewart and give Bowie the lead. Scott McGough came on for the ninth and held on for the save.
Rodriguez was 2-3 with the solo homer, while Cedric Mullins and D.J. Stewart were each 2-3 with a double. Austin Hays was 0-4, which was only his second hitless game in August.
Wilmington Blue Rocks 10, Frederick Keys 3 (F/7)
In game one of a doubleheader after a rainout Tuesday, the entire Frederick pitching staff was ineffective against a hot Blue Rocks lineup. Ofelky Peralta, Mitch Horacek, and Jon Keller each gave up at least three runs.
Jomar Reyes, back in action after an injury kept him out until late July, had the only multi-hit game of the night for the Keys. Reyes is having a weird season; he’s hitting .291, which should be excellent for someone with his power, but he’s somehow slugging only .385 with one home run in 123 plate appearances.
Wilmington Blue Rocks 4, Frederick Keys 1 (F/7)
Frederick dropped the back end of the doubleheader too, after Wilmington jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead off of Cristin Alvarado. The Keys’ starter would settle down after the first few innings, and ended up pitching the full six, but the Baysox were completely shut down by Wilmington starter Jace Vines.
Frederick scored in the third on a Ricardo Andujar single after Drew Turbin led off the inning with a triple. Unfortunately, those were two-thirds of the hits that the Keys were able to muster in the game.
Greensboro Grasshoppers 3, Delmarva Shorebirds 2 (F/10)
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Alex Wells was effective, going five innings and allowing just one earned run. That’s the seventh time in his last eight games that opponents have scored one or less earned runs off of Wells.
Unfortunately there was an unearned run in there too, so Wells left with the Shorebirds trailing 2-0. Delmarva cut the lead in half on a Jake Ring solo shot in the sixth, and tied the game on a manufactured run in the seventh. The score stayed that way until the tenth, when Matt Trowbridge allowed a single and an RBI double to walk it off for Greensboro.
Kory Groves was excellent with three scoreless innings of relief, lowering his ERA to 2.74. Alejandro Juvier was the only Shorebird with multiple hits, going 2-3 on the day with a run scored.
Jake Ring was 1-4 with the aforementioned solo homer, his 13th longball of the season. The 2016 31st round pick is having a nice year, hitting .280/.336/.471 with sixteen stolen bases.
Aberdeen Ironbirds 6, Brooklyn Cyclones 2
The Ironbirds had a bit of a tough draw in this one, facing Matt Harvey on a rehab assignment. Meanwhile, Aberdeen sent a Harvey of their own to take the hill, as Hunter Harvey made his fifth appearance for the Ironbirds.
He was, in a word, dominant. Harvey struck out seven and allowed just one baserunner over three innings, lowering his ERA to...oh wait, sorry, maintaining his ERA of 0.00. Don’t get excited yet. Just don’t. If we start to get excited, bad things will happen.
Both starters left after the third, and as the old saying goes, “when the Harveys are away, the offenses will play.” Aberdeen sent nine batters to the plate in a five-run fourth, which may or may not be considered “batting around” depending on your opinion (it’s obviously not).
Scott Burke, this year’s 20th round pick out of UCLA, gave up a run in his first inning but settled down nicely after that. Burke went four innings and gave up just the one run. He’s rocking a 1.44 ERA with 24 strikeouts through his first 25 professional innings.
Third baseman Trevor Craport, this year’s 11th round pick out of Georgia Tech, had two RBI in the game. He too is having a solid start to his career, batting .314/.414/.458.
It’s also worth noting that Josh Hart started the game in the leadoff position but was replaced in the bottom of the first. I’m having trouble finding any information on why this happened, but since he’s recently back from a DL stint, let’s hope it wasn’t a reinjury.
Today’s matchups and probable starters
Lehigh Valley @ Norfolk, 12:05 PM (Tyler Wilson)
Bowie @ Reading, 7:05 PM (Yefry Ramirez)
Frederick @ Wilmington, 6:35 PM (Matthew Grimes)
Delmarva @ Greensboro, 7:00 PM (Lucas Humpal)
Aberdeen @ Brooklyn, 7:00 PM (TBD)