Worcester: W, 13-4 (BOX SCORE)
35 — guess what that number represented in Sunday afternoon’s game against the Buffalo Bisons (Blue Jays AAA).
No, it’s not the number of Table Talk Pies advertisements Polar Park ran, it’s the number of total bases accrued by the WooSox, who never let their feet off the gas. When people think of the return on investment for Christian Vazqueza\ at the deadline last year, most point to Enmanuel Valdez, who has gained Major League experience, but Wilyer Abreu is changing that narrative this week. Abreu cranked three home runs and was maybe 30 feet or so from picking up a fourth, accounting for 5 RBIs. Bobby Dalbec, not to be quite outdone, had two of his own (he’s now up to 30!!!) and Stephen Scott chipped in with a long ball, contributing to a back-to-back with Dalbec. Christian Arroyo, settling in in the bottom of this AAA lineup, gassed an RBI double himself.
But, back to Abreu for a second. Our outfielder position is obviously log-jammed for the time being, but Abreu could find himself with a roster spot somewhere next year, provided he continues to hit for power. He had six home runs in this series with Buffalo, five in the last three games alone. The Bisons will be glad to be on the turnpike/thruway heading westbound away from Worcester, and they’ll probably be seeing Wilyer in their nightmares.
Portland: L, 3-4 (BOX SCORE)
Portland has not looked great in this homestand against the Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies AA) and it didn’t have much to do with the pitching yeasterday, as Wikelman Gonzalez went 5 2⁄3 of this extra-innings bout and had a decent performance, and the bullpen was almost lockdown. Ultimtaely, it was the team’s failure to capitalize on the Manfred runner the way the Yard Goats did that did them in. After all, the team was 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
But it certainly was not all bad. Brainier Bonaci is right at home in Portland, going 2-for-4 with a walk, Blaze Jordan smacked a line drive RBI double, and Elih Marrero continued his hot streak with an RBI double of his own. This AA team is full of fresh faces adjusting to upper minors pitching, so it would be unfair to expect results right away; instead, I’m optimistic that so many players are finding their groove sooner than anticipated.
Greenville: W, 2-11 (BOX SCORE)
This Noah Song opener experiment worked quite well for Greenville against the Greensboro Grasshoppers (Pirates High-A) as he struck three out in 2 innings. He pitched to Kyle Teel which is an exciting combination, and thanks to the Greensboro staff walking the first two runs of the game in, he left the mound with a 4-0 lead that only grew. Teel, by the way, got an RBI and even scored a run of his own, and Bryan Gonzalez and Roman Anthony continue to rake (the latter of whom fell off in recent week,s but still maintains an OPS firmly over 1.000, thanks to the 2-RBI double he clipped.) The Drive used six pitchers, but all of them were able to relax due to this offensive onslaught that was compounded by their patience at the plate and willingness to take ball four.
Salem: L, 3-5 (BOX SCORE)
The Salem Red Sox may finally have a solution for what to do with Noah Dean: low leverage innings out of the bullpen. He’s been eaten up all year, but today he allowed just one hit in four innings of relief work. Unfortunately, Jedixson Paez gave up ten hits in the first five innings which resulted in all of the Augusta Green Jackets’ (Braves A) offense, and the strikeout bug continued to bite Salem, as they got fanned 13 times. The damage was done, and it was written in the stores. You don’t suppose Wilyer Abreu could hop a flight to sprinkle some magic for Salem’s next series, do you?
Have a happy Monday, everyone!