Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders: L 1-5 vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs
It was a dismal night for the Scranton offense, as they were held to just four hits by the Lehigh Valley pitching staff, never recording more than one in any inning. The hits mostly came from familiar sources: Aaron Judge, Nick Swisher, Slade Heathcott, and Chris Parmelee (Rob Refsnyder had the night off). Judge probably had the best night, as he added in a walk and an outfield assist in his 1-for-3 effort. Scranton's lone run came in the first inning, when after a leadoff walk by Donovan Solano, Heathcott bounced into a fielder's choice, moved to second on a pickoff error, and scored on Swisher's single.
While Scranton was held scoreless for the rest of the night, the IronPigs had no problems handling Scranton starter Anthony Swarzak. He gave up four runs on nine hits and a walk in just five innings, only managing to strike out two batters. All four runs came in the fourth and fifth, when they peppered Swarzak with singles and doubles. Tyler Webb pitched three innings of relief and looked good, striking out five batters while allowing one run on three hits. Perhaps he should have been recalled over Phil Coke, but oh well.
Double-A Trenton Thunder: W 5-4 vs. Harrisburg Senators
The Thunder built a 5-1 but almost blew it late, just managing to hang on for a one-run victory. Tyler Austin provided the first highlight of the night by smacking a two-run homer in the first inning off old teammate Jaron Long shortly after Jake Cave reached on a single. Austin added a pair of walks on his 1-for-2 night and Cave went 2-for-5 with a double as well. Trenton scored again in the third on a rally sparked by a leadoff single from the light-hitting Cito Culver of all people. The Cito Show continued in his next at bat when he stunned with a two-run home run, his first of 2016. Cito was the star of the night, going 3-for-3 with a walk. Meanwhile, top prospects Dustin Fowler and Tyler Wade combined to go 0-for-9. Go figure.
Jordan Montgomery pitched five innings of three-hit, one-run ball, impressing with nine strikeouts in the somewhat brief effort. He did allow three walks and uncork a wild pitch, but he still lowered his ERA to 2.67 in five starts. After an up-and-down 2 1/3 innings by Daniel Camarena that saw two runs score, Jonathan Holder covered the last inning and a third, allowing a solo homer to make it a one-run game in the ninth before escaping with the victory.
Leadoff man Jorge Mateo went 2-for-4 with a run scored but there wasn't much else working for the T-Yanks. Although Miguel Andujar, Abiatal Avelino, Francisco Diaz, and Jake Skole registered the other hits (Andujar's was a double), they couldn't get rhythm working in a disappointing loss. Mark Payton left early for unknown reasons, departing in favor of the recently-promoted 20-year-old outfielder Carlos Vidal, one of more notable names from the 2014 international spending spree. Just one week after his first appearance in Low-A, Vidal went 0-for-2 in his abbreviated High-A debut.
Ian Clarkin had a sluggish day on the mound, only pitching four innings while surrendering eight hits, two walks, and five runs, inflating his 2016 ERA to 4.70 in six starts. The lefty only managed to get four strikeouts and just didn't really have much working for him on this night (Avelino's first inning error didn't exactly help either). The bright side for the pitching came from relievers Dillon McNamara and Matt Marsh, who dominated the last five innings by combining to allow a mere two baserunners, on a hit and a walk. They struck out six and each lowered his ERA to below 1.50.
Low-A Charleston RiverDogs: W 4-3 vs. West Virginia Power
Christian Morris turned in another tidy outing in his second career start at full-season ball. He pitched shutout ball again, albeit in a shortened game, going five innings and surrendering just three hits, a walk, and a hit by pitch. Jose Mesa Jr. was touched up for a pair of runs and had to be pulled with no one out in the eighth, but closer Andrew Schwaab was solid, pitching the final two innings for the save while allowing just one hit, one walk, and an unearned run (courtesy of an error by shortstop Hoy Jun Park).
The offense came courtesy of three main sources, all oh whom took West Virginia deep. Jeff Hendrix led off the game with a solo homer (his first of 2016) and after Park singled and stole second, Chris Gittens got in on the fun with a two-run bomb. It was 3-0 before one out was even recorded. Jhalan Jackson added what turned out to be the decisive blow with a solo shot of his own in the fourth. No one in the lineup had more than one hit, but it was still enough for a 4-3 win. The other hits came courtesy of Angel Aguilar and Kyle Holder, with Aguilar and Hendrix each stealing bases as well (though both were also later caught stealing with Hendrix getting cut down on a pickoff). Thairo Estrada also made two errors in the field. It was not the tidiest effort from Charleston, but it was enough.