Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders: W 2-1 vs. Syracuse Chiefs
Luis Cessa might have made a stronger impression in spring training than the other pitcher acquired from the Tigers in the Justin Wilson trade, Chad Green. Fortunately, Green has gotten off to a hot start down in Scranton at the outset of 2016. He threw six scoreless innings yesterday, striking out five batters while allowing six hits and a walk. Through three starts, his ERA stands at a minuscule 1.32, seemingly granting the Yankees another nice backup rotation option.
The RailRiders offense was actually out-hit on Sunday 12-4, but they made sure their scant singles counted. Aaron Judge roped a one-out single in the first, moved to second on a passed ball, and scored on a knock by Rob Refsnyder. Syracuse tied the game in the seventh on back-to-back extra base hits against Cessa, on in relief of Green. A single from Lane Adams sparked a bases loaded rally in the bottom of the eighth, which ended up with Scranton in front thanks to Judge's sacrifice fly. Refsnyder narrowly missed a three-run homer on a leaping catch at the wall. Nick Goody slammed the door in the ninth for the save.
Double-A Trenton Thunder: W 9-4 vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats
It was an uncharacteristic slugfest in Eastern League action on Sunday. Everyone in the Trenton lineup had a hit, and each of Tyler Wade, Tyler Austin, Jared Mitchell, and Jose Rosario registered multi-hit games. One of Wade's hits was his first homer of the 2016 season, a solo blast, while both of Austin's hits were doubles. Wade and Rosario tacked on stolen bases as well while the Thunder connected for 13 hits overall. The game didn't get out of hand until the ninth, when Trenton's lead surged to 9-2 in a four-run rally keyed by extra base hits from Mitchell and Cito Culver (!).
In his second start at the Double-A level, Jordan Montgomery looked better than he did in his first outing. The 6'6" lefty twirled six scoreless innings, allowing just five hits and two walks. Although he only struck out a pair of batters, he was able to get the job done through a mix of grounders and flyouts. Evan Rutckyj continued his rocky start to the season since being returned from the Braves, failing to record even one out while allowing two hits, two walks, and two runs. Caleb Smith cleaned up the damage with a three-inning save to close out the game.
High-A Tampa Yankees: L 1-4 vs. Charlotte Stone Crabs
The T-Yanks did not have an especially sharp afternoon in Charlotte, as they were doomed by shaky days from their best players. Jorge Mateo went 1-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, a throwing error, and a rare caught stealing (just his second of 2016). Meanwhile, five T-Yanks went hitless entirely, most notably Miguel Andujar and Mark Payton. Billy Flemming had three hits and Zack Zehner had two, but it just wasn't enough for the mostly punchless lineup. In fact, the only run scored on a "little league homer" by Abiatal Avelino, who doubled in the seventh and scored on the play thanks to an error by the left fielder. Avelino didn't even start the game; he only entered because first baseman Mike Ford hurt his wrist and had to depart (Flemming shifted from second to first).
Vicente Campos continued his up-and-down April with another middling start. He went 6 1/3 innings on 81 pitches, striking out four batters and allowing only one walk, but five hits and three runs did him in. He doomed himself with a run-scoring balk (his fourth already on the young season) and a key error on a sacrifice bunt attempt in the seventh that led to the last two runs. Tampa brought the tying run to the plate with two outs in the top of the ninth, but Wes Wilson struck out to end it.
Low-A Charleston RiverDogs: W 2-1 vs. Augusta GreenJackets
Much like Scranton, Charleston only notched five hits yesterday, but they made them count. Their first run didn't even need a hit. Jeff Hendrix began the game with a leadoff walk, stole second, moved to third on a pickoff error, and scored on a sacrifice fly. Augusta tied it in the fourth, but more sloppiness allowed the RiverDogs to score again in the sixth. Shortstop Hoy Jun Park singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. Two groundouts had the GreenJackets one out away from snuffing out the rally, but Jhalan Jackson was drilled and Thairo Estrada followed with an RBI single. Park and third baseman Angel Aguilar had two hits apiece and other than Estrada's key single, everyone else was hitless.
The one-run advantage was all that pitching prospect Domingo Acevedo needed. He faced the minimum through three innings and went seven innings on 84 pitches. He limited the damage to four hits and a run, striking out six batters along the way. Through three starts, his ERA is only 2.60, and he seems to just be getting sharper every time. Don't be surprised if the Yankees bump him up to Tampa before too long. Reliever Andrew Schwaab earned the save with two scoreless frames, striking out three.