Woo Sox vs. Louisville Bats
Adam Duvall’s return to the field will leave us all hoping for a slow burn instead of a fast start. We have no other choice, as he went 0-3 with two strikeouts in his return to action. He was the DH for the Sox and left the game in the eighth inning. The game was also notable for the appearance of another major leaguer — Kaleb Ort, who blew a save (but not the first of the game!) and took the loss. Ort faced only three batters, but gave up 1 HR and 2 ER in 0.1 inning. Hmph.
The offense came in blasts and involved several lead changes, but overall the Woo Sox were 1-12 with runners in scoring position. Shane Drohan had an E (throwing error — so did David Hamilton) but no ER. Ryan Fitzgerald got caught stealing. During the seventh, we saw an error, a hit batsman, two walks (including one that brought in a run) and a sacrifice fly, all leading to a tied game and a blown save courtesy of AJ Politi. There would be two more lead changes, but ultimately it didn’t go our way.
On the positive side, Wilyer Abreu and Bobby Dalbec hit one home run apiece. Dalbec has been crushing it and has an 11-game hitting streak. Nick Sogard, Bobby Dalbec and Ryan Fitzgerald all went 2-4 on the night. Drohan struck out three and gave up only one run (unearned) in six innings. He walked six and struck out three (we want it to be the other way around, of course, but overall, this line is not too shabby). Oh, and David Hamilton stole a base and was also alert enough to score on a wild pitch.
This game was won on a walk-off homer given up by Ort. It’s the first game of a six-game (?!) series, so there’s time to recoup. And seek vengeance.
Portland Sea Dogs vs. Somerset Patriots
The thought that had us holding our breath: Ceddanne Rafaela played shortstop tonight. Marcelo Mayer was not in the lineup but is joining the team during this series in Somerset.
In other news, prospect-heavy Portland took on several of the MLB Yankees, with Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Donaldson and Tommy Kahnle all rehabbing with Somerset.
Nick Yorke hit a triple right away to get Portland on the board. He went 2-4 on the night. Nathan Hickey was 3-4, and Chase Meidroth was 2-3. Ceddanne Rafaela was 1-3. Alex Binelas and Niko Kavadas were hitless on the night.
Grant Gambrell earned his first Double-A win. His line: six innings pitched, 1 ER, 3H, 4BB, 3 SO. Not bad at all. We’re watching this guy.
In case you’re wondering (and who thought I’d be writing up the Yankees tonight?), Donaldson went 1-4, while Stanton was hitless with a walk. Kahnle fared much worse: he faced five batters, gave up two walks, a hit and an earned run before he got out of the inning with a 9.00 ERA. Oops!
Greenville Drive vs. Hickory Crawdads
Brainer Bonaci, the Drive’s new shortstop, had a multi-hit game, going 2-4. So did Blaze Jordan, in fact. But this wasn’t enough as the team overall was 0-8 with runners in scoring position, but not for lack of trying. Several hard-hit balls seemed to find their way directly into fielders’ gloves. Sometimes it’s like that.
Salem Red Sox vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Allan Castro, who just had a birthday this week, was 3-5 with a double and a triple — good for six total bases. I’ve suddenly grown very fond of him. Luis Ravelo was 2-5, so there was some offensive excitement tonight, even though the Sox were 1-13 with runners in scoring position, and Miguel Bleis went 0-4.