I wrote this blog piece live, as it was happening, and constantly updated those who were interested in Minor League goings on. Is this a format that you would like to follow? Let me know. In the meantime, Miami’s minor league affiliates went 2-1 in action on Tuesday night.
Pacific Coast League
New Orleans Baby Cakes 5, Iowa Cubs 3
Prior to the game, Isaac Galloway was assigned to the Cakes from the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, who were otherwise idle for the day. In addition to that, centerfielder Matt den Dekker elected to file for free agency, and is no longer part of the club.
Justin Nicolino took the hill at home in front of 2,494 at Shrine on Airline in Metairie, Louisiana (8-16) against the Iowa Cubs (11-12). It didn’t take long for the I-Cubs to take advantage of the recent ex-major leaguer, scoring a run on a Chris Dominguez RBI-groundout in the top part of the first inning. Jeimer Candelario scored later on a Victor Caratini single to third base. Enemy starter Seth Frankoff pitched a 1-2-3 inning to start things off for the bad guys. Nicolino held the Cubs scoreless with a 1-2-3 inning of his own in the top half of the second.
Frankoff threw another perfect inning in the second, inducing groundouts from Moises Sierra, J.T. Riddle, and Isaac Galloway. Nicolino allowed a single to right before getting Candelario to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. Chris Dominguez hit a two-out double, then Caratini grounded out 5-3 to end the frame.
Frankoff lost his perfect game by allowing a Peter Mooney walk to open the third, but retained his no-hitter (for the time being at least), by inducing a Carlos Paulino whiff, a Nicolino sacrifice bunt, and a Steve Lombardozzi line out. Nicolino allowed a leadoff double to open the fourth, but stranded him there while he collected three outs from three other Cubbies.
Tomas Telis opened the scoring for New Orleans with a leadoff homer in the fourth, his first of the campaign. It also broke up Frankoff’s no hitter before he struck out Brandon Barnes, Moises Sierra, and J.T. Riddle.
Nicolino worked a 1-2-3 fifth, then was answered in turn by yet another perfect inning from Frankoff. The Cubs made it 3-1 on a Todd Glaesmann RBI-groundout in the sixth inning, then the Cakes got it back in the bottom of the inning on Tyler Moore’s first home run of the season. He was the first batter that reliever Rob Zastryzny faced. The Baby Cakes scored one-out runs on RBI-singles from Barnes and Sierra to take a 4-3 lead. Matt Juengel added a run on a Zastryzny wild pitch with two out in the seventh to make it 5-3.
Brian Ellington entered to shut the door on Iowa in the ninth, and didn’t disappoint the home fans in attendance. He allowed a leadoff single to Ozzie Martinez, then struck out the next three batters he faced for his second save of the season.
Although he didn’t start out that good, Nicolino ended up earning the win after giving up three runs on nine hits and a walk over six innings. He got 61-of-94 pitches into the strike zone, earning a GameScore of 50. Frankoff ended with a 63, allowing just the solo homer and whiffing six in five frames.
Florida State League
Jupiter Hammerheads 2, Clearwater Threshers 0
Hammerheads’ pitching tossed a combined shutout with 3,772 in attendance at Spectrum Field earlier tonight. Trevor Richards got the win by allowing four hits over six shutout innings. He struck out nine and gave up two walks, getting 51-of-80 balls over the plate. His GameScore of 73 was just one worse than opposing starter Jose Taveras’ 74. Taveras struck out eight over 7.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits and three walks.
It was a scoreless tie in Clearwater (17-9) going into the top of the sixth, and Hammerheads’ (12-14) starter Richards was tossing a four-hit shutout, whiffing seven. Opposing starter Jose Tavares, however was tossing a no-hit shutout. Tavares had struck out five and allowed three walks.
All that changed in the top half of the sixth inning. J.J. Gould broke up the no-hitter with a double, moving a runner to third, then Kyle Barrett broke up the shutout, scoring two runs on an RBI-single. They’ve since then added a Corey Bass single to bring Jupiters’ hit total to three. Richards finished the sixth frame, leaving the game with a two-run lead as the pitcher of record, with nine strikeouts and only four hits allowed.
Jeff Kinley came on to pitch the seventh, and threw a perfect frame with a strikeout. Tavares was finally lifted in favor of Ranfi Casimiro with one out and a runner on in the eighth inning. Casimaro got the final two outs without disturbance.
Clearwater’s half of the eighth would see the club come up empty despite Kinley allowing a leadoff single to Mark Laird. Kinley induced a line out and a strikeout following that, then Andy Beltre got Damek Tomscha to wave at strike three to end the inning. Camisaro pitched the top half of the ninth without incident, getting Stone Garrett, Angel Reyes, and John Silviano to ground out.
Andy Beltre earned a save by pitching the ninth inning, keeping the Threshers scoreless on a single from Deivi Grullon.
South Atlantic League
Greensboro Grasshoppers 4, Lexington Legends 8
The Lexington Legends defeated the Greensboro Grasshoppers by an 8-4 final in front of 3,490 at First National Bank Field.
Lexington (10-16) scored in six of the nine innings played, getting six runs on nine hits off Grasshoppers’ (12-13) starter Dylan Lee (0-3, 5.87). Lexington’s Nolan Watson (1-4, 4.85) earned his first win of the season. Lee got 54-of-73 pitches in the strike zone, earning a 25 GameScore.
Greensboro scored their first few runs in the second frame, on a Boo Vazquez RBI-single and a Jarett Rindfleisch groundout. They added another in the third on a James Nelson sacrifice fly. Greensboro had a total of only two hits through four innings, but scored a run on a James Nelson single to bring Greensboro closer, 6-4.
Nick Dini hit his second round tripper of the season off new Grasshoppers’ pitcher Alejandro Mateo to extend Lexington’s lead back to three runs to lead off the sixth. Mateo went on to strike out the next three batters to give Greensboro another turn at the plate.
The Grasshoppers got a two-out single from Justin Twine followed by a Rindfleisch base-on-balls, but Luis Pintor grounded out to end the bottom of the sixth. Greensboro reliever Ryley MacEachern allowed a Legends’ run in the eighth on a wild pitch to make it 8-4, and that’s where it ended.
Earlier in the day, 17-year-old right handed pitcher Yoilan Quinonez was assigned to the Batavia Muckdogs staff. The Marlins signed him through free agency a week ago.
#8 Stone Garrett went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
#10 James Nelson had two RBI and went two-for-four, raising his average to .242.
#12 J.T. Riddle went 0-for-4 for the game, dropping his batting average to .288 for New Orleans.
#24 Andy Beltre earned his second save of the campaign, striking out one and allowing one hit in 1.1 innings for the Hammerheads.
#26 Justin Twine went two-for-four with a strikeout, raising his average to .127.
#28 Tomas Telis hit a solo homer in four at bats for the Baby Cakes.
The Baby Cakes host game two of their four game set with the Iowa Cubs starting at 8PM. Stephen Fife (1-1, 5.03) will start against Iowa’s Jake Buchanan (0-2, 7.23).
The Shrimp will start a five-game series on the road against another of the Chicago Cubs’ affiliates, the Tennessee Smokies. First pitch is set for 7PM, with Severino Gonzalez (0-0, 3.55) getting the start opposite Trevor Clifton (2-1, 3.10).
After splitting the first two games of their current four game series with the Clearwater Threshers, the Hammerheads will get an early start against the Philadelphia Phillies affiliate (aphillyate). Cody Poteet (2-0, 1.33) will look to continue his impressive start to the season against Clearwater’s Franklyn Kilome (2-1, 2.28).
After losing game one earlier today, the Grasshoppers will host game two of their three game series with the Lexington Legends. Michael King (2-1, 3.00) will face Jace Vines (1-2, 2.66). This game has a start time of just 10:45 AM.