Game Recaps: Saturday 5/9
The Clippers snapped a six game losing streak with a 7-2 defeat of the Pawtucket Red Sox. Clippers starter Kirk Saarloos pitched seven strong innings and Columbus scored six runs in the sixth inning to get the win.
Saarloos allowed only two hits, including a Paul McAnulty solo home run off the scoreboard in right center in the fourth inning to tie the game at 1-1. The Clippers starter walked four and struck out five in the win. The first run of the game came in the third inning when Wilson Valdez raced around the bases and scored from first after a throwing error by catcher Carlos Maldonado.
The first six batters scored off Sox starter Kris Johnson in the sixth inning. Michael Brantley walked, Jamey Carroll bunted for a single, and Trevor Crowe bunted and reached on an error to load the bases. Michael Aubrey and Chris Gimenez followed with RBI singles, and Jordan Brown highlighted the inning with a two run double off the wall in right field. Singles by Andy Marte and Michael Brantley brought in two more runs before the inning came to a close. The Clippers sent eleven batters to the plate in six run frame.
The defensive highlight of the game was a homer-robbing catch made by Michael Brantley in center field. Brantley reached his glove over the wall and snatched a ball hit by Carlos Maldonado. At the end of the inning, Brantley returned to the dugout and received a standing ovation from the capacity crowd of 10,100.
Rafael Perez made his first appearance for the Clippers this season, walking one and striking out one in a scoreless eighth. Greg Aquino made the crowd a bit antsy in the ninth, walking the first three batters he faced. A sacrifice fly by Angel Chavez brought in one run, but Aquino retired the next two batters to finish the victory for Columbus.
The win ended a seven game winning streak for Pawtucket, whose pitchers had only allowed six earned runs, eight total, during the winning streak. Game three of the four-game series is scheduled to start Sunday at 1:05 pm. LHP Zach Jackson (0-2, 8.59) will take the mound for the Clippers as Boston Red Sox ace Daisuke Matsuzaka makes a rehab start for Pawtucket.
Gomez Stars as Aeros Shutout Senators 6-0
AKRON, OH – Jeanmar Gomez delivered a sensational start for the Aeros as they defeated the Harrisburg Senators for the seventh consecutive time this season by a final of 6-0 in front of 2,249 fans at Canal Park Saturday night. The Aeros improved to 21-5 with the victory, and currently own the best winning percentage (.808) in all of minor league baseball. Harrisburg fell to 6-20 with the loss as Aeros pitchers blanked the Senators for the second time in seven match-ups.
A single by Armando Camacaro and a double by John Drennen got Akron off to a quick start in the bottom of the third inning. The Aeros were able to score both runners without a hit, as an error by third baseman Joel Guzman scored Camacaro and a fielder’s choice from Jose Constanza plated Drennen. Carlos Rivero then followed with a single as Constanza moved to third to put runners on the corners, and Beau Mills delivered the second RBI fielder’s choice of the inning to bring the score to 3-0.
Akron manufactured one more run in the fifth when the red-hot Constanza led off the frame with a walk and immediately swiped second base. Rivero advanced him to third with a groundout to second, and Constanza came home on an error by Harrisburg first baseman Bill Rhinehart.
The two final runs came around in the seventh and eighth innings for Akron. Clean-up hitter Carlos Santana hit into an RBI ground out in the seventh, driving in his team-leading 22nd RBI of the season. Then in the eighth inning, Drennen picked up the third RBI on a fielder’s choice for the night, scoring Weglarz after the Canadian reached on another leadoff walk.
In just his second start at the double-A level, Gomez (2-0) was nearly perfect as he pitched seven innings, limiting Harrisburg to just three hits while striking out five. He pounded the strike zone all evening, delivering first-pitch strikes to 21 of the 26 batters he faced. In addition, Gomez never allowed a runner to advance past second base, and in fact allowed only three runners to get into scoring position. He lowered his ERA to 0.75 in 12 innings with Akron, and has now permitted only three earned runs and 15 hits in his past 30 innings of work between Akron and Class A Kinston combined.
Senators starter Justin Jones (1-4) suffered the loss, allowing four runs (two earned) and four hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out one. Newcomer Zach Putnam relieved Gomez in the eighth and recorded the final six outs in perfect fashion in his first appearance for the Aeros. The three hits allowed by Gomez and Putnam matched a season-low for Akron. Offensively, seldom-used Armando Camacaro collected a pair of hits while also drawing a walk and scoring a run, and while Constanza saw his hitting streak end at seven games he still drew two walks, stole two bases, and scored three times from the top spot in the order. He now has 13 steals on the season, tops in the Eastern League.
The Aeros will look for the three-game sweep Sunday afternoon at Canal Park with a 1:35 p.m. start time. Left-hander Chuck Lofgren (1-0, 1.29 ERA) will be back on the mound for Akron against Harrisburg’s Zach Segovia (0-1, 4.50 ERA).
Kinston Wins Fourth Straight Game, Beats Myrtle Beach 5-4
Former UNC Tar Heel Tim Fedroff drove in Alex Castillo in the bottom of the seventh inning giving Kinston a 5-4 lead and eventual win over Myrtle Beach Saturday night at Historic Grainger Stadium. The K-Tribe captured their season high fourth straight win, taking the game and series from the Pelicans.
Kinston took an early 2-0 lead on an RBI double by Matt Brown in the first inning. Myrtle Beach came back to take a lead of their own, scoring four runs on three singles, a walk, an error and a hit batter in the top of the fourth inning. The Indians chipped away in the bottom of the fourth as Roman Pena drove in Brown with an RBI single. Matt McBride would extend his hitting streak to a Minor League Baseball leading 23 games with a double to lead off the sixth inning. After advancing to third base on a wild pitch, McBride would score on a balk by Pelicans starting pitcher Richard Sullivan tying the score at four. Alex Castillo led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a walk and advanced to third base on an error by Pelicans shortstop Chad Lundahl. Fedroff gave Kinston the lead on a sharply hit ground ball that Myrtle Beach first baseman Freddie Freeman made a diving stop for, allowing Castillo to score.
Kinston starter Ryan Miller left the game after two innings, giving up three hits a walk and three strikeouts. Jonathan Holt pitched a season high four innings of relief for Kinston, giving up four hits and three earned runs. Matt Meyer (1-0) got the win for Kinston, pitching two scoreless innings of two hit ball. He struck out two and did not walk a batter. Dallas Cawiezell picked up his fourth save of the season as Myrtle Beach left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning.
The K-Tribe (17-13) goes for the sweep of Myrtle Beach Sunday afternoon at Historic Grainger Stadium. Charlotte native Ryan Morris gets the start for Kinston, game time 2pm.
Captains Double Up Kannapolis 10-5
Donnie Webb had three RBI’s and the Captains scored double digit runs for the second time in four games on their way to a 10-3 win over the Kannapolis Intimidators on Saturday. All but one Captain in the line up reached base.
The Captains jumped out to an early lead in the first inning when two runs scored on a throwing error by Kannapolis third baseman Jon Gilmore. The Captains returned the favor in the top of third when a Karexon Sanchez error allowed two Intimidator runs to score to tie the game at 2-2. The Captains made it 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning when Chris Nash singled home Abner Abreu and Adam White’s sacrifice fly scored Nash.
The Captains added four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning when White walked with the bases loaded and Webb hit a bases loaded triple to give the Captains an 8-2 lead. The Intimidators scored their third unearned run of the game when Sergio Morales scored on an errant throw by Walter Diaz and it was 8-3. Sanchez singled home two more runs for the Captains in the bottom of the eighth inning to make it 10-3. The Intimidators added two runs in the ninth inning to close the scoring at 10-5.
Captain’s starter Alexander Perez got the win (2-0) going 6.1 innings and allowing three unearned runs on five hits, striking out three. Charlie Leesman took the loss (3-2) lasting five innings and allowing seven runs, four earned on seven hits, walking one and striking out five.
The Captains and Intimidators play game two of the series on Sunday at 1:00 PM. The Captains will have LHP T.J. McFarland (0-2, 5.96) on the mound taking on LHP Dexter Carter (1-0, 1.98) for the Intimidators.