I'm going to open things up with a bit of a rarity: A run NOT scoring in Salt Lake against Sacramento, thanks to some defense by Gorkys Hernandez.
|3B||Grant Green||5||2||3||4||1||0||0||0||0||.264||1 E (2)|
|Phil McCormick, BS (1)||1.0||2||1||1||2||0||0||0||0||3.00||30||16|
|Jake Dunning, L (0-1)||1.0||3||3||3||0||1||1||0||0||6.97||14||12|
The offense had a great day in the thin Utah air, and by offense, I mean both teams.
— River Cats (@RiverCats) April 29, 2016
I'd recount the scoring of this game, but it would take far too much energy. Sacramento's biggest inning came in the 5th, when 11 batters came to the plate, and collected five hits, two doubles, a pair of walks and an error, scoring five runs.
Among the offensive winners was Mac Williamson, who continued his hot hitting after a game off with an extra bye day. In five games back, Williamson has had four multi-hit games, and is batting .375 in Sacramento. Meanwhile, Darren Ford led the team with four hits and got on base five times in six plate appearances. The former Giant has had rough days in Sacramento until today's four-hit game, although he's managed only two extra-base hits out of 14. Grant Green, who was over at third, led the team with four RBI and had one of the team's four doubles. Green had gone just 2-for-18 over his past five games. And speaking of players who had struggled, Jarrett Parker had only his second multi-hit game and second multi-walk game all in one.
However, for every offensive hotspot, there's a pitching staff in shambles. Clayton Blackburn had his shortest start of the year and probably can't wait to be done with Salt Lake City. He has a 5.84 ERA over three starts (12.1 innings) against Salt Lake, especially after this game. He has one start and a relief stint otherwise (both against Las Vegas), and has a 0.96 ERA there. For this game, however, being removed after three was probably a blessing, giving up a season-high 11 hits. Austin Fleet came in for relief and was none, not even getting out of the inning, and giving up three. Fleet has given up five runs, all in his last two outings, and has giving up six walks and struck out three in 5.2 innings. Meanwhile, Jake Dunning was also victimized in the thin air. The reliever's ERA jumped from 2.08 to 4.82 after giving up three runs on three hits and a walk, including an RBI double and a two-run home run.
|SS||C.J. Hinojosa||5||2||3||1||0||0||1||0||1||.354||1 E (6)|
|Rodolfo Martinez, W (1-1)||1.0||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||1.08||15||7|
Second straight start for Andrew Suarez establishing a new career-high in strikeouts. Today: 10 K's in 6 2/3 IP w/1 run allowed (5 H, 0 BB).— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) April 28, 2016
Suarez in his last two starts: 19 K's and no walks over 13 2/3 innings (two runs allowed). Now leads the Cal League with 30 K's (2.78 ERA).— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) April 28, 2016
The only thing missing was a win. San Jose's offense had left Suarez behind when he was removed in the seventh, down 1-0. Promptly thereafter, C.J. Hinojosa got Suarez off the hook for the loss with his first home run of the season, tying the game at one. Who knew it would take extra innings to break out the scoring?
Jose Reyes went for his season-high in innings, but the 25-year old seemed to run out of gas. He led off the inning with a walk, and a pair of singles let Stockton score the go-ahead run with two outs. After loading the bases by hitting a batter with two outs, Reyes got out of the inning with a strikeout. However, the Giants offense scratched out a run to tie the game again. Jonah Arenado led off the inning on a single, was bunted to second and went to third on a wild pitch. He'd finally come home on another productive out, with Brandon Bender's sacrifice fly.
Rodolfo Martinez had a quiet 11th, giving up a two-out walk before getting out of the inning on a strikeout, and it was back to the red-hot C.J. Hinojosa. Hinojosa led off the inning on a single, and went to second with a Jose Vizcaino Jr. walk. With two out, Jonah Arenado hit the ball to right, but the Ports right fielder Seth Brown dropped the ball, allowing Hinojosa to score the winning run.
The win might have been ugly, but the 21-year old Hinojosa continues to put together a great April. Hinojosa had his second multi-hit game in the last four, raising his batting average to .354. That gives Hinojosa the fourth-best batting average in the California League. But it's not all hitting. He's also walked 10 times to just 11 strikeouts. The shortstop is adding a bit of complications to the Giants' very crowded middle infield situation in A-Ball.
Steven Duggar has cooled off a bit over the last week, with three hitless games in the last five. His batting average has dipped under .300 since the start of the season. However, he's still taking walks, and has a .408 on-base percentage on the year, with 12 walks against 17 strikeouts. Rodolfo Martinez is pretty entrenched in the team's closer role, but he picked up the closer's win. He had his third straight scoreless outing, lowering his ERA to 1.08 after giving up his first earned run of the season last Thursday.
|SS||Lucius Fox||2||1||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||.200||1 SB (6)|
|3B||Kelvin Beltre||4||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||2||.206||2 E (4)|
|Logan Webb, W (1-0)||5.1||4||2||2||2||6||1||0||0||3.26||72||44|
|Jake McCasland, H (1)||2.2||2||0||0||2||3||0||0||1||1.23||33||21|
|Caleb Smith, S (2)||1.0||0||0||0||1||2||0||0||0||4.26||17||11|
Let's not bury the lead here: Lucius Fox had his best game of his young career so far. Fox got on base for each of his plate appearances, raising his on-base percentage to .310, and, as Krukow would say, hitting his way off the interstate to an even .200 batting average, his first moment off the interstate since peaking at .207 a little over a week ago. Fox also added his team-leading sixth stolen base. But this was seriously a big game for Fox. It was only his second multi-hit game of the season, first with multiple walks, and was a big part of a rare Augusta win. One can only hope that this will start a turn around for the very young prospect after a rough couple of first weeks.
Meanwhile, the wins have been hard to come by for Augusta, and Logan Webb finally picked one up. The 4th rounder from 2014 marked a season-high with six strikeouts en route to this win. Overall, this wasn't the best or cleanest start for a pitcher, but he kept his team in the game, and the bullpen came through. Jack McCasland is repeating Augusta, and covered most of the rest of the game. McCasland has been the a long man behind the Augusta starters, while Augusta brings them along with shorter starts. Each of his three stints has been at least two innings. However, McCasland was extremely efficient with his pitching. He faced 12 batters, and threw 12 balls total. So, taking out the two walks he delivered, he threw only four balls to the 10 other batters he faced.
Meanwhile, Caleb Smith picked up one of Augusta's rare saves. Over 21 games, Augusta has 9 wins, and yet the bullpen has picked up only three saves. Smith, with his 4.26 ERA, has two of them. (Ryan Halstead has the other.) Smith collected 9 saves in 2015 between the AZL and Salem-Keizer.
On the offensive side, Fox's supporting cast provided just enough offense to help the win. Dillon Dobson broke out of his little slump. After hitting 5 home runs in his first two weeks, Dobson picked up his first in a week. Dobson has also been battling some strikeout issues. Every one of his non-home run at-bats ended in a strikeout, giving him 25 in 88 plate appearances. That math means he strikes out once every 3.52 times he comes up to the plate. But still, one of Augusta's most impressive prospects is one of its least likely.
Augusta's Dillon Dobson continues to impress. Shows over-the-fence power to all fields from left side, produces backspin, good bat path.— David Lee (@David11Lee) April 29, 2016
Dillon Dobson was a 23rd-rd pick last year and it's looking like a solid grab for the Giants. Guy can swing it.— David Lee (@David11Lee) April 29, 2016
Meanwhile, Kelvin Beltre picked up his first hit in last three games, and added two errors at third base. Beltre is flirting with that interstate Fox just got off of. With Tyler Brown out with injury, it would seem that Beltre has third base nailed down through his struggles...
C/3B Miguel Gomez assigned to Augusta. Gomez was a NWL All-Star in 2015. Hit, in 284PA, .319/.331/.442 24K/5BB. Was DSL MVP in 2014.— GiantsProspectTalk (@giantsprospects) April 28, 2016
...or, not. Gomez had been working a lot on the catcher position in the spring, but would he be doing that in Augusta?
C Matt Winn assigned to Augusta from Richmond. Confused by this. Winn was doing ok in AA, 59PA .250/.288/.411 2HR. Four C in Augusta now.— GiantsProspectTalk (@giantsprospects) April 28, 2016
Those four catchers do not include Gomez. Winn, Matt Pare, Zack Bowers, and Adam Sonabend are all there, and it's not like any of them are inactive; Pare, Bowers and Sonabend have each caught a game over the last three games. Hm. I think, at least, the GreenJackets won't use Gomez at the backstop.
One other note, prospect-wise. Gustavo Cabrera's return to health remains...complicated.
Official word from Augusta is that Gustavo Cabrera had a "skin reaction" over the weekend, and thus the DL placement. Seems precautionary— GIANT Potential (@giant_potential) April 27, 2016
I think "Skin Reaction" and I think allergies, but there aren't many skin allergies that would necessitate a DL placement. One would have to think his skin grafts on his hand might be what's happening.
That's it for your recap of Thursday's games. If you're in the bay and want something to do on your Friday night, go see some fireworks at San Jose...and maybe even the kind that Salt Lake keeps lighting against the River Cats.
#SJGiants now on the road for seven games in Visalia (3 games) & Stockton (4 games).Back home on Friday 5/6 for a fireworks night at Muni!— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) April 28, 2016
See you tomorrow!