Worcester: L, 5-6
A disheartening way to end a 3-3 series split in Scranton against the Rail Riders (Yankees AAA.) This game was closer than it seemed, as Brian Van Belle got tagged for six runs in 4 2⁄3 innings, including five that scored via home runs, two from Everson Pereira. The WooSox rallied in the fourth, sending eight men to the plate, including a hard grounder into the outfield by Daniel Palka with the bases loaded, which scored two, but Worcester had just that and a Fitzgerald single to score Nick Sogard (who’s an infielder who has really looked good) runs to show for it, and fell just short of making this an interesting one again in the eighth. The bullpen held their ground, but Scranton’s closer Greg Weissert held his, as well, and the game ended 6-5.
Portland: W, 6-2 (BOX SCORE)
Despite the lack of a shutout, this game against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays AA) was Portland’s second no-hitter of the season! It was a combined effort between Wikelman Gonzalez, Brendan Cillucci and Luis Guerrero. Gonzalez drove the ship through six in just his second Double-A start, striking out ten while walking four. Gonzalez, who threw 91 pitches and despite carrying the no-no had a 1-run deficit, has three straight Portland hits to thank for the win, in an inning that saw 11 batters come to the plate started by a Trevor Story walk. If you’re here for Story time, by the way, he also got a single in the first inning, and his lead-off walk helped his pinch-runner Chase Meidroth score and spark that gargantuan sixth that kept morale - and the score - up for that no-hitter through the bullpen.
Greenville: W, 4-3 (10) (BOX SCORE)
You just read about a game that no hits were given up but two runs were yielded, now let’s talk about Greenville not scoring any runs until a 2-out ninth inning rally despite, building up eight hits. It was not Roman Anthony’s day, as, although he did get a hit, he struck out three times, and earned himself an ejection, to join teammate Bryan Gonzalez, hitting coach Chris Hess and manager Iggy Suarez in the locker room. The Drive struck out 15 times. Also not great.
But here’s the kicker: they won. They had that ninth inning rally that consisted of contributions by Kier Meredith and Eduardo Lopez. Following the Tourists’ blown save, Allan Castro advanced Lopez to third on a single, and would have won had Brainer Bonaci managed a hit. The tenth inning started with a masterful Eddinson Paulino fielder’s choice to nab the Manfred runner at third, and Brock Bell crafted his way out of the tenth. Following an Asheville error that advanced Bonaci, Paulino would have some heroics in both half of the tenth, driving in the winning run. The rally caps worked!
Salem: W, 6-4 (BOX SCORE)
Yet another rough outing in terms of runs for Noah Dean, although he did tally nine Ks on the day, but the bats pulled through and again capitalized off of Down East’s (Rangers A) four defensive errors. The play of the game, a Jhonstynxon Garcia 3-run double that not only cleared the bases but also probed an ugly throw, advancing Garcia to 3rd, sealed this one, as there was no more scoring after the top of the third. Also notable: the Sox struck out sixteen Wood Ducks in this one, and after earning a callup to Salem 14 games into the Florida League, outfielder Albertson Asigen accumulated three hits, raising his average to .325.
Have a happy Monday, everyone, and try not to think about which of these mentioned names will no longer be a part of the organization next week, because it’s an almost impossible guessing game!