Gwinnett Braves 5, Norfolk Tides 2
The Tides got a nice six-inning, one-run start from Gabriel Ynoa (5 K, 1 BB, 3 H), but Logan Verrett came on for the seventh and promptly allowed three runs on four hits to take the loss.
On the offensive side, the top four hitters had seven of Norfolk’s nine hits. Chris Johnson was 2-3 with a walk, Francisco Pena was 2-4 with a double, and Pedro Alvarez was 2-4 with two doubles.
Norfolk’s two runs were scored seven innings apart, but in the exact same fashion: Chris Johnson crossing the plate on a Pedro Alvarez RBI double. Alvarez’s OPS is now creeping up toward .800 after a rough start to the season.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats 4, Bowie Baysox 3
Jordan Kipper made his first start for Bowie since being demoted from triple-A about a week ago, and it was a good one. He was working on a two-hit shutout through six, but he ran out of gas in the seventh.
After allowing a pair of runs on a walk and two doubles, Kipper was yanked and replaced by Scott McGough. McGough got out of the seventh, but gave up two runs in the eighth, which was enough to give New Hampshire the lead. Bowie went down quietly in the top of the ninth.
All three Baysox runs were scored on a three-run bomb by Cedric Mullins in the fifth. In the eight games since his return from a short DL stint, Mullins has picked up right where he left off with four multi-hit games and just one hitless game. He’s now hitting .327/.365/.564 in 202 plate appearances.
Anthony Santander was 1-3 with a double, keeping his average above .600 on his rehab stint. Austin Hays had a double as well and continues to make his case for a September call-up, hitting .336 in 34 games since his promotion to double-A.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans 6, Frederick Keys 1
Frederick actually hit pretty well in this game, scattering eleven hits, but they just couldn’t string any together. After Jay Gonzalez scored on an Ademar Rifaela RBI single in the first, the Keys were shut out the rest of the way despite having at least one baserunner in all but one inning.
Franderlin Romero got the start in a bullpen game for the Keys, and pitched very well (4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 6 K), but it all fell apart in a three-run sixth when Jon Keller allowed three “unearned” runs.
I put quotes around unearned because Keller allowed three hits and a walk after the leadoff hitter reached base on a throwing error, but they’e unearned nonetheless since all three runs scored with two outs.
Jay Gonzalez and Chris Clare each had two hits for the Keys, as did Ryan Flaherty, who’s seven games into his rehab assignment and should be close to reuniting with the big club.
Kannapolis Intimidators 3, Delmarva Shorebirds 2
Matthias Dietz tossed five shutout innings, but his counterpart was just as effective. Kannapolis drew first blood in the bottom of the sixth on a solo shot, which was the only hit Kory Groves allowed in two innings of work.
The Intimidators were able to widen the lead in the eighth with two unearned runs after a throwing error at third base by Collin Woody. That error turned out to be the dagger, because Delmarva was able to score twice in the top of the ninth. The game ended with the tying run on second.
Ryan McKenna was 2-3 with a double and two walks. Alejandro Juvier and Tanner Kirk each had a pair of base hits. The Delmarva lineup combined for twelve strikeouts, and every starter struck out at least once.
Aberdeen IronBirds 7, Staten Island Yankees 3
Michael Baumann threw five great innings for Aberdeen, allowing just one unearned run and lowering his ERA to 1.45 through four starts. Baumann was this year’s third round pick out of Jacksonville University.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because Austin Hays was last year’s third round pick, also out of Jacksonville University. That’s a pretty weird coincidence considering the university has sent only eight players to MLB in its history, and only one of them is remotely notable - Daniel Murphy of the Nats.
Baumann was relieved by Nick Vespi, who went the distance for a four-inning save. Vespi allowed a pair of runs on a two-run homer, but was otherwise excellent, striking out five and giving up just one other hit.
Aberdeen jumped on the board quickly with a four-hit, three-walk first inning that resulted in a 3-0 lead. The Ironbirds lineup never let up, finishing with sixteen total hits.
Everyone in the starting lineup except backup catcher Luke Ringhofer had at least one hit, and six players had at least two. Ryan Ripken was 3-4 with a double, and Trevor Craport was 3-5 with a double. Catcher Ben Breazeale, who was the DH on this day, was 1-4 with two walks. Breazeale is hitting .392/.481/.562 to start his young career.
Today’s matchups and probable starters
Bowie @ New Hampshire, 7:05 PM (David Hess)
Frederick @ Wilmington, 6:35 PM (Cody Sedlock)
Delmarva @ West Virginia, 7:05 PM (Jhon Peluffo)
Aberdeen @ Staten Island, 7:00 PM (TBD)