It was a relatively quiet night in Scranton, as the RailRiders managed to scratch out only five hits against some great PawSox pitching led by seven innings of one-run ball from 23-year-old lefty Edwin Escobar. It didn't help that Scranton was thrown out on the bases to end innings three frames in a row from the second through the fourth--Austin Romine was gunned down trying to stretch a single into a double, and both Rico Noel and Jose Pirela were caught stealing to close the third and the fourth, respectively.
Scranton never had more than one baserunner on in any inning during the entire game, and Aaron Judge and Rob Refsnyder combined to go 0-for-7. They did have one highlight when Gary Sanchez led off the fifth by obliterating a bad Escobar pitch to deep left for his 18th homer of the year. It didn't make much of a difference though, since Eric Wooten and Chris Martin allowed five runs on nine hits with three walks over their 6 1/3 innings of work. Nick Goody stemmed the tide and demonstrated why he'll be back with the Yankees in September with 1 2/3 scoreless innings to finish off the game, striking out two while facing just one batter over the minimum.
Double-A Trenton Thunder: W 3-1 vs. Akron RubberDucks
Starters Eric Ruth and Mike Clevinger dueled with shutout ball over the game's first four innings, and after another zero from Ruth in the fifth, Clevinger blinked. Trenton left fielder Danny Oh led off the fifth with a booming triple to deep right off the wall. Clevinger almost worked out of it by getting a pop-up from Dante Bichette, Jr. and striking out Tyler Wade, but Francisco Arcia walked to bring up DH Cito Culver. (What a world.) Culver beat expectations with line drive to right that went for a single, scoring both baserunners when right fielder Jordan Smith misplayed it.
Although he didn't last deep into the game, Ruth made the lead stand up prior to departing in the sixth inning. Over 5 2/3 innings and 106 pitches, he struck out seven Akron batters, though he did allow four hits and three walks. Matt Tracy picked him up by retiring the last hitter in the sixth with the bases loaded and leaving with 2 1/3 solid innings of his own. One unearned scored thanks to a Tyler Austin error in right field, but the Thunder made up for it by tacking on a third run in the eighth with a bottom-of-the-order rally. The more highly regarded prospects Wade (.107/.153/.143 in 15 Trenton games, yikes) and the scuffling Jake Cave (.656 season OPS) might have gone hitless, but Culver, Oh, and Ali Castillo all had multi-hit nights. Go figure.
It turns out the Yanks and Jays can have intense showdowns below the major league level as well. Dietrich Enns and Derek Blacksher each tossed six scoreless innings before turning it over to the bullpen (Enns was particularly strong with eight strikeouts and just one walk). Reliever Angel Rincon almost immediately caused problems when he allowed a double and a two-run homer in the seventh, giving Dunedin a 2-0 lead. Fortunately for him, the Tampa offense had been hard at work all night, notching a ton of hits but failing to break through. All of Dan Fiorito, Dustin Fowler, Mike Ford, Kyle Higashioka, Jake Skole, and Michael O'Neill had multi-hit games, giving Tampa 15 hits on the night. They were bound to run into a rally eventually.
O'Neill led off the home half of the seventh with a double, then came around to score on a Fiorito smash to right field. Then in the eighth, Higashioka lined a one-out single to left, and Miguel Andujar came off the bench to pinch-run for him (somewhat oddly, Jorge Mateo was given the full day off). He stole second on a strikeout and scored the tying run on a Skole single to center. Tampa nearly took the lead a couple times in the next couple innings before finally winning it in the 10th. O'Neill walked and stole second, and then on an 0-2 pitch, Abiatal Avelino became the hero of the night with a walk-off single to left, scoring O'Neill to give the T-Yanks a 3-2 victory.
Low-A Charleston RiverDogs: Off-day.
Short Season-A Staten Island Yankees: L 3-4 (12) vs. Aberdeen IronBirds
The SI Yanks played a tight New York-Penn League matchup against Aberdeen last night with some big offense, as the teams combined for 25 hits and everyone in the Staten Island lineup registered at least one except for Jeff Hendrix and Zack Zehner. Ryan Kril and Trey Amburgey (red hot at .565 in six NYPL games) crushed back-to-back doubles to lead off the second, and singles by Eduardo de Oleo and Drew Bridges gave them a 2-0 lead. They then squandered a bases loaded, no outs opportunity before adding a third run in the third thanks to a Kevin Cornelius double. Despite 13 hits in the game and four from Amburgey alone, that was all the Staten Island offense for the game.
Luis Cedeno held the IronBirds at bay with six scoreless innings, but reliever Mark Seyler melted down and blew the 3-0 lead with two outs in the seventh. Aberdeen then hit for the cycle over its next four batters with a homer, triple, double, and single all coming consecutively to tie it up at 3-3. Travis Hissong settled it down with 3 1/3 innings of no-hit shutout ball and Andre Del Bosque threw a scoreless inning of his own, but in the end, they were pitching in hopes of a walk-off win that never arrived. Jake Hernandez allowed the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by the Orioles' top draft pick from this year, D.J. Stewart, and that was enough to secure the win for Aberdeen.
Rookie Advanced Pulaski Yankees: W 12-3 vs. Bluefield Blue Jays
In another Yankees/Blue Jays minor league game, Bluefield was no match for high-powered Pulaski. Jhon Morban and Cody Hamlin did their jobs by allowing just one earned run the entire the game, allowing the Pulaski lineup to run roughshod over Bluefield pitching. Pulaski stormed out to a 5-0 lead in the first, and that was not even their only five-run inning of the game. At one point, they even led 11-0 on the strength of a three-run homer by top shortstop Hoy Jun Park and a two-run dinger from third baseman Allen Valerio.
Everyone in the Pulaski lineup got a hit except for DH Matthew Duran, and most of their 11 hits didn't even go for extra bases. They reached base on eight singles, seven walks, and a hit by pitch, which led to them amusingly finishing the game with more runs than hits. This is a very talented group, and they are just about running away with the Appy League title by virtue of a terrific 38-22 record that leads all teams by at least five games. Not bad.