The Red Sox and Yankees' Triple-A clubs played to a tight showdown last night in Scranton, as starter Kyle Davies was strong, giving up just on unearned run on three hits over seven fine innings of work. The RailRiders should really have won this game earlier; they went just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and blew a bases-loaded, none out opportunity in the second by only scoring one run (Gary Sanchez on a Cole Figueroa sacrifice fly). Davies was at fault for the tying run because after allowing a leadoff double in the sixth to Jonathan Roof, he threw away a Jeff Bianchi bunt, which let the PawSox knot it up at one run apiece.
Of the main Yankees prospects, Greg Bird continued to be the hottest, as he registered another multi-hit game with a 2-for-4 night that improved his Triple-A batting line over .300 to .302/357/.516 in 32 games. While Aaron Judge had the day off and both Rob Refsnyder and Slade Heathcott went hitless with a walk apiece, Sanchez was on base twice with a hit and a walk, though he did have a throwing error mixed in there as well. Jose Pirela went 2-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, but the unsung Baby Bomber of the night was outfielder Ben Gamel, who had already doubled once. After Caleb Cotham preserved the tie with two scoreless innings, Gamel led off the bottom of the ninth with a line drive toward Roof, who tried to make a sliding catch in right field. He missed, and it was off to the races for Gamel:
Just like Ken Griffey Jr. did a little over a decade ago with the Reds, Gamel walked it off with an insider-the-parker. The RailRiders went crazy, mobbing him at home plate, with Refsnyder (#27), Pirela (#37), and a bit overenthusiastic Heathcott (#10) leading the way:
...maybe don't do that next time, Slade. Regardless, Gamel's walk-off was thrilling enough to crack SportsCenter's Top 10 plays of the night, so kudos to the RailRiders! That doesn't happen very often for a minor league team, but then again, endings like the one above don't happen very often, either. Remarkable.
Double-A Trenton Thunder: Off-day
High-A Tampa Yankees: W 4-2 vs. Brevard County Manatees
I think recent call-up Jorge Mateo is acclimating quite smoothly to the Florida State League. The Yankees' top shortstop prospect amazingly registered his fourth multi-hit game already out of just six played since his promotion. That seems... adequate. The one downside to his Monday was that he was picked off first base after his second hit, so no stolen bases for him. Not to be outdone, four other T-Yanks matched Mateo with multi-hit games of their own: second baseman Abiatal Avelino, third baseman Miguel Andujar, first baseman Mike Ford, and DH Michael O'Neill. Of the more well-known players on the team, only Dustin Fowler went hitless. Both Andujar and Avelino have had positive scouting reports in the past, so it's good to see them working to overcome some of their A-ball struggles this year (Andujar had a .613 OPS & 86 wRC+ while Avelino was at .582 and 79) with productive nights.
Starter Jordan Montgomery wasn't flashy, but he got the job done with six innings of six-hit two-run ball, fanning seven batters along the way with two walks. The second run wasn't even earned, as it was partially the result of a fielding error by Andujar. Fortunately for Montgomery, left fielder Ericson Leonora smacked a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth and Andujar atoned for his error with an RBI ground-rule double in the sixth that scored Ford (who had somehow tripled) to give Tampa the lead. O'Neill scored Andujar on the single, and that was enough for the T-Yanks' bullpen to preserve the victory.
Low-A Charleston RiverDogs: Off-day
Short Season-A Staten Island Yankees: L 0-7 vs. Brooklyn Cyclones
It was a Monday to forget for the Staten Island Yankees, who registered just three hits in a shutout loss to the rival Cyclones. Yoel Espinal was torched for five runs in just four innings, skyrocketing his New York-Penn League ERA to an unsightly 8.91 in 32 1/3 innings. The offense was dismal--through eight innings, Brooklyn starter Gaby Almonte had a one-hit shutout. The only blemishes on his record were a Zack Zehner walk and a Kevin Cornelius double.
Staten Island did load the bases with no one out in the ninth, as they finally showed signs of life thanks to singles by Drew Bridges and Kyle Holder (who made a throwing error earlier) and a walk to Jeff Hendrix. Since this was the night where nothing went right though, Zehner took called strike three and Brandon Wagner bounced into a 6-4-3 double play to completely waste the scoring opportunity and end the game.
Rookie Advanced Pulaski Yankees: Postponed (rain)
Notable GCL Yankees
DH Cesar Diaz 1-3, 2 BB, RBI, 3 SB (1 PO) - 19-for-21 in steals over 30 games
LF Trey Amburgey 3-5, double, K, 2 SB (1 CS) - 13-for-16 in steals over 32 games
C-1B Victor Rey 1-2, 3 BB - passed ball but on base in 4 of 5 PA
RF Leonardo Molina 2-4, two-run homer, outfield assist - 1st GCL HR of 2015
DH/1B Pedro Urena 4-6, double
1B/3B Renzo Martini 2-4, double, 3 BB, 3 RBI - fielding error
SS Yancarlos Baez 2-5, 2 BB, 1 K
CF Andy Diaz 1-3, two-run homer, BB, 2 RBI, K - 2nd homer of season, fielding error
SP Jeff Degano 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
RP Paddy O'Brien 3 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
RP Hobie Harris 1 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Additionally, while the Yankees' top 2015 high school pick Drew Finley did not pitch yesterday, Baseball America's Josh Norris shared an elusive glimpse of recent GCL action featuring Finley's curveball:
Drew Finley's curveball dot GIF pic.twitter.com/PJdDfo04sm— Josh Norris (@jnorris427) August 10, 2015