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SF Giants Minor Lines 4/12/18: A new home for Augusta

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Hard not to feel a little anti-climatic after yesterday’s bi-cycle. But we’ll try to find some excitement for the day after.

HIGHLIGHTS: Steven Okert struck out 3 in 2 perfect innings; Jacob Gonzalez doubled twice.

Sacramento lost to Reno Aces (Diamondbacks), 5-4
losing their three game series, 1-2

The day after collecting 19 hits with 10 extra base hits, the RiverCats went a little power starved with just five hits, two for extra bases. Tyler Beede and Andrew Suarez’ major league time this week caused starting pitching ripples throughout the system. Conner Menez was called up from San Jose to replace Suarez’s turn in the Sacramento rotation and he was rudely greeted to AAA with a 3-run top of the 1st. The big blow was a two-run double by former D’back (and former bonus baby) Yasmany Tomas. Menez recovered his footing enough to go 4 IP and only allow one more run. But on the whole it was a bumpy elevation to AAA, with 4 walks and 5 hits to just 1 K.

The RiverCats two extra base hits in the game came back to back in the first inning. Austin Slater’s 4th double of the year was followed by this majestic blast from Chris Shaw.

Pitchers probably want to stay away from that happy zone. The past two games explosion for Shaw boosted him up to a healthy 1.008 OPS after the first week of the season. In addition to his HR, Shaw drew his second walk of the year, one of just two Sacramento hitters to reach base safely twice in the game.

The other was SS Chase D’Arnaud, who also was following up a huge game on Wednesday. D’Arnaud singled and walked in this game and he also flashed some fine leather.

D’Arnaud’s single was a two-out 9th inning RBI that briefly gave the team hopes of a comeback, but Trevor Brown’s slicing liner to right was caught to end the threat and the series.

Steven Duggar picked up his 3rd SB of the year (though also his 1st CS). It feels like the decision to let him get more ABs in AAA was a solid one for the young CF who still has just 300 PA above A ball. Duggar struck out twice more in this game to push his K rate on the young season to 35%. Chris Shaw might be able to get away with that, but combined with an .042 Iso there’s probably an indication that more seasoning is needed.

Steven Okert definitely returned revitalized with his day of major league meal money. Okert pitched two perfect innings and struck out three.

Okert’s time in the game did include an incredible baseball oddity though. With two outs in the 8th, the Aces batted out of order, sending the #9 hitter Marcus Littlewood (who had double switched into the game earlier) to the plate rather than #8 hitter Kristopher Negron. That in itself was strange, but hardly unheard of. What made the situation truly odd was that nobody — not the Rivercats staff and certainly not play by play man Johnny Doskow — ever noticed.

Richmond had an off day

They have their home opener tonight.

San Jose lost to Stockton Ports (A’s), 4-1

Like their AAA brethren, the San Jose hitters also suffered a massive decline in offensive performance from Wednesday to Thursday, dropping from 25 hits in their Lancaster finale to 3 hits in their San Jose opener (unlike Sacramento, of course, San Jose hitters had a six hour bus ride in between which helps explain things). Jacob Heyward’s double was the only really loud contact they managed on the night.

With Conner Menez running up to Sacramento for the night, San Jose reached into the XST camp for a replacement starter, bringing up University of Indiana lefty Caleb Baragar for the start. But it was the second pitcher of the night who probably bears focussing on. Here’s a good sight to see!

Will Smith saw game action for the first time since an ill-fated October 2016 night, working one inning in the official start of his rehab. His return to SF is now on the clock, and a welcome one it will be!

Pat Ruotolo made his second appearance of the year in the 9th and it was more of a return to form for the right-hander. He did allow a walk and a double to the first two batters he faced, but he shut it down from there with a comebacker and two Ks to strand both runners.

Not quite the home opener the fans were hoping for I’m sure, after Wednesday’s night for the history books. Speaking of which, Joe Ritzo has had an eventful year at the mic already!

Augusta lost to Lexington Legends (Royals), 5-4

Gorgeous night to open a new stadium:

Let’s catalogue the historic moments:

That’s right! Manny Geraldo christened the stadium with it’s first HR. He’s my sleeper guy on the roster!

Jacob Gonzalez was the offensive star of the night, collecting two doubles and two rbis (though he also mixed in a hat trick). With four doubles and a HR on the season, the 19 year old is slugging .471. Not half bad!

Heliot had a little landmark of sorts, with his first multi-hit game of the year. He was also quite close to his first game of the year without a strikeout, until he went down swinging to end the 8th in his 5th and final AB. Ramos also picked up his first SB of the year, albeit with his 2nd CS mixed in as well.

On the mound, John Gavin dominated the first half of the game, throwing 5 hitless innings. He did allow a spectacularly unearned run in the 5th, made up of a leadoff walk, a WP, a PB, and a two-out throwing error by Gavin on a comebacker. THAT’S an unearned run!

The home crowd was buzzing and happy with a 5-2 lead going into the 7th inning, but the continuing travails of Camilo Doval turned the game. Doval is finding the Sally a bit of a struggle so far on the young year. Actually, he’s finding the strike zone a bit of a struggle. The young righty walked two more and had another WP, and once again couldn’t get out of his inning. That’s now 8 BB and 4 WP in 1.1 IP so far in 2018 for Doval.

Manny Geraldo contributed to the messy inning with a crucial error on a dropped throw. And CJ Gettman, who relieved Doval with the bases loaded and outs, made a messy situation much worse when he first threw away a pickoff throw and then unleashed his own WP. Gettman retired the batter he was brought in to face, but before he’d done so all three inherited runners had scored.

So, we had a lot of firsts in SRP Park last night, but we’ll have to wait at least another day for the first W.

Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Tyler Herb vs. Rob Whalen
Richmond: Jordan Johnson vs. JoJo Romero
San Jose: Mac Marshall vs. Brian Howard
Augusta: Jose Marte vs. Collin Snider

For the second time in three series, Sacramento goes up against the Tacoma Rainiers. Both they and San Jose need wins tonight to keep the whole system at .500 or better. How about a Friday night sweep? Let’s hope for a nice night at the ballyard.