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SF Giants Minor Lines 6/14/19: Gregory Santos returns!

And a crazy finish in Sally gives Augusta control of destiny.

minor lines

Another affiliate season starts, and that means that one of the youngest phenoms in the organization has started their pro career:

Hey let’s face it....the Giants are going to need some young talent coming up in the announcer’s booth sometime too!

HIGHLIGHTS: Gregory Santos pitched 4 scoreless innings. Diego Rincones went 3 for 3 with a double; Ricardo Genoves had 4 hits in season debut.

Sacramento lost to Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals), 7-1
winning their series, 2-1

Sacramento’s four-game win streak came to a halt in undramatic fashion, as Omaha jumped all over starter Ty Blach and the Sacramento bats were silenced. Blach has had a rough 2019. He’s yet to have a scoreless outing on the year, and he’s allowed at least 4 earned runs now in half of his 12 starts.

The game included a scary moment as well.

Green, who’s been one of the best hitters in the RiverCats lineup, missed most of May with a concussion.

Chris Shaw extended his hitting streak to 8 games with a 1 for 3. He’s hitting .293/.396/.512 since coming up to AAA.

Not particularly an honor most minor leaguers would wish for, but Steven Okert appeared in his 174th game with the RiverCats last night. He’s 10 away from tying the franchise’s all time record for appearances.

Richmond lost to New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays), 4-2

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish as the saying goes. Richmond — in their Friday night Ardilla Voladoras incarnation — got off to a promising start last night. Caleb Baragar gave them a strong five inning start and Gio Brusa staked them to an early lead with his 4th AA HR (7th overall).

But the offense withered a bit from there. They had opportunities aplenty, with 8 hits, including three doubles, three walks and a HB. But they managed to go just 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position — and that one hit didn’t score anybody. A Jalen Miller ground out brought their only other run home on the night.

That put a lot of pressure on the pitching and in the 9th inning it cracked. Caleb Simpson walked the first batter of the inning and surrendered a double to the second. An IBB set up a tough bases loaded, one-out situation for Frank Rubio to make his AA debut. Rubio allowed just 1 run this year in 31.1 innings with San Jose, but it was too much to ask to escape this mess. With two outs a clean line drive single brought in the game winners.

San Jose lost to Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks), 10-5

No matter how many pieces the Giants have in place, if they’re going to make a second half run they’re going to have to figure out a way to beat Visalia, who just continues to kick sand in San Jose’s face with victory after victory. The Rawhide dispatched with Jake Wong quickly last night — Wong’s shortest outing since a near-identical 1.2 IP start in his season debut with Augusta. And they would pound erstwhile starter Aaron Phillips to put the game out of reach.

On the other hand, Visalia pitching struck out a whopping 17 Giants on the night, including a Sombrero for leadoff hitter Bryce Johnson and a Hat Trick for Joey Bart. It was a rough night for Bart on his commemorative bobblehead night, picking up three Ks and a PB on D. Bart is in a 2 for 14 stretch with 6 Ks to 1 BB over the last four nights. Since his return from the IL he’s gone 8 for 35 (.228) with 9 Ks, 3 BBs, and 3 HRs. Hopefully just getting back into game speed and we’ll see a little more consistency and a little less “boom or bust” going forward.

David Villar had three RBIs for the Giants with a single and a Sac Fly. Villar also drew a walk. After a slow start Villar has been starting to show adjustments to the Cal League since he, too, returned in mid-May from injury.

On the whole though, it was a the type of night that might drive fans to provide their own entertainment.

Augusta beat Rome Braves, 6-5 in 10 inn

Buckle your seat belts, because this was a WILD night of baseball! Good news came early and late for the Augusta in their pursuit of the figurative Green Jacket. The best — and most significant — news came before the game even started.

The long-awaited return of possibly the highest upside pitching prospect in the system, 19 year old Gregory Santos who had been nursing a rotator cuff strain since early April. The Giants #7 prospect stepped into the big moment with Augusta really needing a solid start, and he showed no rust at all going 4 scoreless innings — pounding the strikezone with his signature big, sinking fastball.

With Jesus Ozoria piggy-backing Santos effectively, the Greenjackets took a 3-1 lead into the 9th inning, putting them on the verge of a desperately needed win to keep pace with Charleston (who was locked in a taut 5-5 battle at the same time).

But with All Star closer Jesus Tona apparently unavailable (not clear why — he had pitched only once in the last week), the team tabbed Ryan Walker to try to close things out and disaster struck. Rome reached him for five singles in the inning, evaporating the lead. When Ben Madison came in to relieve Walker and wild pitched in a 5th Rome run, an absolutely gutting 5-3 loss seemed inevitable. On the scoreboard, Charleston had taken a 6-5 lead in the 8th. Elimination was closing in.

And then — Rome began to unravel! Ismael Munguia opened the 9th reaching on a fielding error. But a Mikey Edie tailor-made double play quickly eliminated the leadoff threat leaving bases empty with two outs. Diego Rincones — who was perfect from the plate on the night — hit a booming double and Frankie Tostado followed with a 20 foot dribbler up the 3b line that he just beat out.

That brought Jacob Gonzalez to the plate. Gonzalez smoked a grounder right to 3b for what appeared to be a game-ending 5-3. Except things got wild...

Perfect symmetry as both teams scored their 5th run on a two-out Wild Pitch. In Charleston, Greenville scored in the 9th to send their game to extra innings and then pushed across a 7th run in the top of the 10th. With Ben Madison pitching a scoreless top of the 10th with two Ks, Augusta suddenly had a chance to climb back into a tie for first place.

Andres Angulo was asked to sacrifice the free runner to 3b, even after going to two strikes. It turns out — that was a good strategy!

WHEW! Just an insane Friday night at the ballyard. With Charleston dropping their third one-run game in their last four, Augusta climbed into a tie for the lead in the division standings with just two games to go. And now destiny is in their hands. WIth a 5-2 head to head record over Charleston, Augusta owns the tie-breaker. Two more games.

Salem-Keizer beat Boise Hawks (Rockies), 7-6 in 11 inn

Opening night in the NWL! The Volcanoes got big nights from 4 and 5 hitters Ricardo Genoves and Franklin Labour in winning a wild extra innings affair of their own. The pair combined for 7 of the team’s 16 hits, including teaming up for the winning rally in the bottom of the 12th. After Genoves opened the 12th with his fourth hit of the night, Labour came up with the big blow, doubling in the tying run and setting Genoves up at 3b with the winner. Genoves would come in to score the game winning run on a wild pitch to send the opening night crowd home happy.

As with the Greenjackets game, sloppy play abounded. Israel Cruz also wild pitched in a run in extra innings for Boise, and the Volcanoes came back to tie the game when a sac bunt was thrown away. Boise helped Salem-Keizer’s cause immensely by having three runners thrown out on the bases — in a statistical oddity each of the Volcanoes starting OFs was credited with an assist in the game.

These early games — before the new draft picks start arriving — are a crucial opportunity for the kids from XST to impress the coaching staff. This is when they can make the impressions that keep them in the lineup after the college kids start showing up.

Kervin Castro, the converted Catcher who underwent TJ in 2017, made the start and was hitless the first time through the order. He was a little loose with his control, walking three batters and hitting two more, but turned in a strong opening night start regardless. Friend of Minor Lines Jason Pennini got a couple of looks at in XST and had him touching 98 with his fastball. You can read Jason’s writeup here:

DSL Giants beat DSL Coloardo, 6-5

The giants won their third in a row and 9th of 12 overall. Seventeen year old CF Alex Suarez led the way with his second three-hit game in his last three. In those three games, Suarez has two doubles and a HR. Yesterday, he also added his first SB of the season and knocked in two.

The Giants also got multi-hit efforts from 17 year old Catcher Eduardo Jamarillo and 19 year old infielder Omar Medina. Medina is in his third season in the DSL. He raised his OPS from .545 to .707 in his first two seasons and currently boasts a .946 OPS this year.

Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Conner Menez) vs. Iowa (Matt Warmer)
Richmond (Brandon Beachy) vs. New Hampshire (Nate Pearson)
San Jose (Casey Meisner) vs. Visalia (TBD)
Augusta (Adam Oller) vs. Rome (Alan Rangel)
Salem-Keizer (TBD) vs. Boise (TBD)
DSL Giants (TBD) vs. DSL Royals2 (TBD)

Richmond gets their second consecutive look at Blue Jays top pitching prospect, the flamethrowing Nate Pearson. In his last start, Pearson limited Richmond to just 1 hit over 5 innings. Toronto has been limiting Pearson’s innings with a unique approach, alternating between 5-inning and 2-inning starts, so look for him to go just the first two tonight. Augusta has a sticky widget to cross through tonight with Adam Oller, who has been something of a weak link in their rotation, heading to the mound.

And with that, let’s call it a Friday night, Fun night, and light the fireworks. Have a great weekend everybody!