Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders: L 4-9 vs. Syracuse Chiefs
A pretty tight contest led by pitchers Kyle Haynes and Austin Voth turned messy late on Saturday afternoon. Gary Sanchez first had the RailRiders in front when he doubled to kick off a multi-hit game, stole third (!) on the shift, and scored on a passed ball. Sloppy defense by Scranton allowed Syracuse to counter with two runs thanks a bunt single in front of Rob Refsnyder at third (one of two such hits on the day) and an error in the field by Nick Swisher at first that let a run score. Another single made it 2-1, Syracuse.
Sanchez briefly tied the game again in the eighth with his second hit, an RBI single. Scranton Shuttle member Tyler Olson put the game out of reach when he was blasted for five hits and six runs (all earned) in the eighth, dooming Scranton to a loss. Aaron Judge went hitless with a pair of strikeouts. On the positive side, Ben Gamel had three hits and a steal, Hayes threw 6 2/3 innings without allowing any earned runs, and Chris Parmelee (off to an awful start) made the final score a little better by hitting a two-run homer in the ninth.
Double-A Trenton Thunder: W 6-1 vs. Akron RubberDucks
Jordan Montgomery pitches six scoreless innings, allowing just five hits and a walk while striking out five and impressing scouts in the stands with his solid approach. It was simply a good day on the mound, as relievers Matt Wotherspoon and Giovanny Gallegos combined to give up one hit and one unearned run, walking no one and striking out six of the nine batters. All three pitchers have ERAs under 1.60 early on in 2016.
The offense was led by catcher Sebastian Valle, who notched three hits and crushed a three-run homer in the eighth to give Trenton a more comfortable 6-1 lead. Second baseman Dan Fiorito also hit a two-run blast of his own earlier in the game. Jake Cave went 2-for-4, and each of Tyler Wade and Dustin Fowler registered hits as well.
Ian Clarkin had the finest outing of his professional career, proving that he had no issues pitching deep into ballgames after missing the entire 2015 season with elbow problems. The top lefty pitching prospect went 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball, giving up six hits and two walks but striking out four and inducing 13 groundouts. He threw 108 pitches and kept Daytona mostly silent, a game that had to be encouraging for Yankees evaluators in the stands at Steinbrenner Field
The only runs of the day were scored in the second inning. Two hits, a stolen base, and a walk led to the run off Clarkin, but he got a ground ball from Blake Trahan to end the threat. Tampa countered in a more decisive manner, as Austin Aune worked a walk, catcher Santiago Nessy grounded a single through the left side, and Mark Payton blasted a three-run homer to deep right. They never scored again, but that was all they needed. Miguel Andujar went hitless, but each of Jorge Mateo and Abiatal Avelino had singles. Mateo is hitting .300/.377/.450 over 15 games on the young campaign.
A doubleheader of sorts was played yesterday in Charleston, as the two teams first completed the last six innings of Friday's suspended game before playing the regularly scheduled contest (shortened to seven innings). Friday's game saw standout starter Domingo Acevedo pitch three shutout innings with four strikeouts before the rain cut his outing short. The bullpen allowed only two runs, and Charleston scored four times in the bottom of the sixth thanks to three hits, a walk, a hit by pitch, a wild pitch, a stolen base, and an error. (Somehow, there was no catcher's interference involved in all this.) There were only four Charleston hits in the opener, but speed played a big role--Hoy Jun Park swiped a pair of bags and each of Trey Amburgey and Thairo Estrada had steals as well.
The second game had more fireworks, as the RiverDogs peppered 11 hits in the victory, led by a two-run homer from first baseman Connor Spencer. Park, Estrada, Jhalan Jackson, and Kendall Coleman all had multi-hit games in the nightcap, making up for the mostly quiet first game. Starting pitcher Anyelo Gomez surprisingly struck out 11 GreenJackets in just 5 1/3 innings (only five of his outs weren't strikeouts), but he and reliever Andrew Schwaab did let Augusta tie it up at 4-4 in the sixth. Singles by Park and Estrada led to Jackson at the plate with a chance to walk it off. The outfielder came through with a game-winning single to left that sent the Charleston fans home happy.