Don’t worry, these fireworks weren’t waking anyone up near midnight like last night in Keizer, Oregon…well, maybe they woke someone up. But a couple of nice extra-inning wins today for the system.
Highlights: Connor Menez struck out 10 for Sacramento; Jacob Lopez threw five perfect innings for S-K; San Jose scored 10 runs in an easy win.
It was an exciting game in Sacramento today, with a late comeback and lead changes in the 10th inning.
Sacramento was down 5-4 in the eighth inning with two out when Abiatal Avelino hit his 14th double of the season to get into scoring position. The next batter, Levi Michael, singled him home to tie the game.
The game went into the 10th inning, and Jandel Gustave came in to pitch for Sacramento. The first batter he faced, Robel Garcia, doubled to scored the placed runner, and put Iowa back ahead, 6-5. Gustave got through the rest of the inning, with a two-out walk between a pair of strikeouts. In the bottom of the 10th, Francisco Pena started the inning on second, and the first batter Aramis Garcia walked. Ryan Howard came up next, and he doubled into left field to score both runners and win the game.
Avelino’s 2-hit day broke a 4-game hitless streak, and pushed his batting average back up to .286 (it had been .300 at the start of the streak). Ryan Howard’s double was his only hit of the game, and fifth for him with the River Cats. (He’d had only one double in 28 games in Richmond.) Although he didn’t come up in the game-deciding moments, Chris Shaw had a big day, giving him three hits, his most in twelve games since getting the call to Sacramento. His Triple-A batting average jumped from .293 to .326.
On the mound, Connor Menez had the start. On one hand, he gave up three earned runs in six innings, which isn’t great (aside from the state of the PCL). On the other hand, he set a new season-high with 10 strikeouts (breaking the previous total of nine, which he’d done four times before this year. In two starts at Sacramento, he has 19 strikeouts in 11 innings, with four walks allowed.
Travis Bergen, he of the Rule 5 draft, made his second rehab appearance in Sacramento and fourth overall, and got hit around a bit. He came in with a tie game, and gave up one-out double. After a passed ball, he walked the next batter, and after a fly ball, gave up a 2-out double that gave Iowa a brief lead. On the other hand, Ray Black got in after the River Cats tied it up and, dudes, he is on fire. He mowed down the ninth inning, striking out the side, one swinging and two looking. I’m not sure what the third batter of the inning, Mark Zagunis was doing, but his bat never left his shoulder with a pitch-tracker that looked like this.
The Flying Squirrels were very competitive in this game, but ultimately fell short.
Richmond was led by Johneshwy Fargas, one of two players on the team with two hits. His 3-run home run, his third of the season, got Richmond back into the game after falling behind 5-0 after three innings. Surprisingly, Fargas was not leading the team on the basepaths as usual, but he led the team with three RBI from the leadoff spot. Even with that, Fargas was second on the team with runner left on base with five (only the #9 hitter Brandon Van Horn had more, with six).
Zach Houchins also had two hits, his second game in a row with a pair of hits. Brusa added his eighth double in his 37th game at the Double-A level.
Brandon Beachy got the start, and the 32-year old struggled with his worst game of the season. He gave up a season-high in hits (nine) and earned runs (six), although he also had a season-high in strikeouts with eight. Beachy, who has only gotten into six games this season after missing a month an a half with injury, saw his ERA jump from 3.20 to 4.56 in the one game. He’s got 26 strikeouts and eight walks in 25.2 innings this season.
Notable among relievers was Raffi Vizcaino, who came in and faced just one batter, getting an out as he continues to rehab his ERA after a bad stretch early in the month. His ERA dropped from 4.30 to 4.20 with the out.
It was a pretty good day for San Jose, who pretty much dominated this day.
The Giants pounded out 14 hits, only two of which came from the big prospects. And they did it without a home run at all. Courtney Hawkins was the top hitter of the day, with a 3-hit game that included two doubles. The 25-year old now has five doubles in 23 games at San Jose.
The other two hitters who collected three hits came from guys who both finished the day batting .192. Manuel Geraldo’s 3-hit day was his second in his last five games played. Over that span, he’s 8-for-18 (.444) with one walk and three strikeouts. Zander Clarke had the other 3-hit day, breaking a 6-for-44 (.136) run since his last multi-hit game on May 26th. Bryce Johnson also had two hits, including his sixth triple of the year. Johnson has a .364 slugging percentage, a .105 ISO, over 64 games. He has eight doubles, six triples and two home runs over 64 games.
As for the big prospects, Joey Bart did not start, but got into the game in the 7th inning for undisclosed reasons (he came in to replace Fabian Pena, who grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the previous inning). Bart had a single in his only at-bat. Heliot Ramos was 1-for-5 for the second straight day, although he picked up a sacrifice fly as well.
Casey Meisner had the solid start for San Jose. The 24-year old held his opponents scoreless for the second straight game, this time working around five hits and three walks. In six games with San Jose, he has 20 strikeouts and 12 walks in 26.2 innings.
Casey Meisner works 5 1/3 innings without allowing a run in his start for the #SJGiants tonight. Pitched around five hits and struck out a season-high six. Meisner 10 1/3 scoreless innings in two starts since coming off the IL.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) June 16, 2019
Augusta’s first half championship hopes are in doubt after a tough loss.
Augusta just had a punchless offense, and this game was close more from the help Rome gave them. The GreenJackets loaded the bases in the third after collecting two outs, with a Mikey Edie single, and walks by Diego Rincones and Frankie Tostado. Jacob Gonzalez then hit a ground ball to shortstop that wasn’t fielded cleanly, leading to both Augusta runs.
Adam Oller had the start for Augusta, and it was a rough one. He gave up a season high three earned runs, with three hits and one strikeout in four innings, off of six hits. The 24-year old Oller has given up 25 hits in 13.2 IP, to the tune of a .431 batting average allowed. He has just eight strikeouts and five walks. Keith Weisenberg came in for relief, and ended up pitching the other five innings, giving up just two hits and a walk. The 23-year old Weisenberg, who signed with the Giants as a minor league free agent on May 23rd, has a 3.86 ERA in five games with Augusta, with 19 strikeouts in 18.2 IP but also 15 walks.
The first half ends with tomorrow’s game, and Augusta is 0.5 games behind Lexington for the Southern Division title. Augusta will need to win, with a Lexington loss against Columbia (who is 24-41 this season) to take the first half title and ensure a spot in the playoffs at the end of the year.
Salem-Keizer must be excited for baseball season to have begun. They’re giving away a bunch of free baseball so far this season.
The Volcanoes went to extra-innings for the second straight game in the two-day-old season, and came away with another win. The winning play in the 10th was a 2-out single by Sean Roby, to score the placed runner Kwan Adkins. It was Roby’s only hit of the game, but his second RBI after also hitting a sacrifice fly. The 20-year old Roby, hitting third in the lineup, is 2-for-10 so far this season.
Before we get into the hitters, let’s talk about 21-year old Jacob Lopez. The 26th rounder for the 2018 draft threw five perfect innings in his first start of the year, striking out four. You couldn’t ask for a much better first start. Last season, Lopez had a 1.42 in nine games in the AZL (four starts), with 34 strikeouts and six walks in 25.1 IP, and just 18 hits allowed. I think we have someone whose name we’ll want to remember to follow this season.
That's all for Jacob Lopez, as the Volcanoes manager sends out a new pitcher to start the 6th inning. Lopez couldn't have been much more impressive in his 2019 debut, as he retired all 15 hitters he faced, only allowing 1 ball to leave the infield.— Darryl Zero (@Darryl_Zero) June 16, 2019
Shout out to Bryce Tucker, 14th round draft pick last season who made his professional debut, pitching the 10th inning and striking out the side.
At the plate, Yale Captain Simon Whiteman got into his first pro game and went 2-for-5 with two strikeouts and a caught stealing. He hit leadoff and the 9th rounder is leading the string of likely 2019 draftees who will trickle into Keizer over the next few weeks. Franklin Labour followed up his big day yesterday with just one hit, but it was his first home run of the season. Labour had only one in 37 games in the AZL last year. Kwan Adkins (30th round pick in 2018) showed off some speed, picking up a pair of steals off of one hit, stealing both second and third. Adkins had just six steals on eight attempts last season. And 19-year old Yorlis Rodriguez hit a triple, following up his double (as his only hit from yesterday).
Yorlis Rodriguez with a 1-out, opposite field triple down the RF line. He really showed off his wheels going around the bases. Beicker Mendoza promptly drives Yorlis in on a groundout to SS. @jeffhoughtby ends the inning with a hard groundout to 3B in his 1st pro PA.— Darryl Zero (@Darryl_Zero) June 16, 2019
One big inning derailed the game for the Giants.
Starter Luis Castillo went four shutout innings in a solid but quiet start. Out of his three starts, Castillo has faced the Royals 2 twice, and shut them out for a combined seven innings. But 17-year old Odue Civada came in and worked a scoreless fifth inning. Civada hadn’t given up an earned run, but got into big trouble in the sixth inning, giving up six hits and a walk, and all seven of those base runners would score on his record. Willian Suarez came in and gave up a run of his own, unable to stem the bleeding.
The offense was quiet, collecting just five hits. Luis Matos led the way with two of the hits, getting his batting average to a season-high .325. Matos has had a pair of hits in five of his last six games as the 17-year old has been turning it on. He has a .325/.408/.575 batting line with five doubles, a triple and a home run. 17-year old Ronaldo Flores had the team’s only extra-base hit, and his first one of the season. He’s batting .333/.379/.370 after getting into seven games.
Today’s Scheduled Starters
Sacramento (Andrew Suarez) vs Iowa (Alec Mills), 1:05 PM PDT
Richmond (Alfred Gutierrez) vs. New Hampshire (Yennsy Diaz), 1:35 PM EDT
San Jose (Sean Hjelle) vs. Visalia (TBD), 1:00 PM PDT
Augusta (Keaton Winn) vs. Rome (Gabriel Nogeura), 2:05 PM EDT
Salem-Keizer (TBD) vs. Boise (Jeffri Ocando), 5:05 PM PDT
Everyone, please drive safely out there. Please.