Minor League Roundup: Richmond breaks skid, ‘Cats, Sox win
Squirrels get W to break losing skid The Richmond Flying Squirrels (21-24) snapped a four-game losing streak behind eight strong innings from right-hander Chris Heston on Tuesday night at Prince George’s Stadium.
Richmond prevailed, 3-1, over the Bowie Baysox (18-26) as Heston took over the league ERA lead, departing with a mark of just 0.61. Heston has not allowed an earned run in the month of May, and has allowed just one over his last six starts.
For the second straight night, the Squirrels got out to a fast start in the first inning. Gary Brown led off against Bowie right-hander Oliver Drake and sent a routine groundball to the shortstop Manny Machado. Machado fumbled the ball, allowing Brown to reach. Ryan Cavan immediately made the error sting, doubling down the left-field line to plate Brown for a 1-0 lead. Daniel Mayora followed with a single and Chris Dominguez grounded out to bring in Cavan for a 2-0 advantage. One of the two runs charged to Drake was unearned due to the Machado error.
The Baysox cut the Squirrels lead in half in the second with their own unearned run against Heston. Machado singled on the infield with one out. Heston struck out Caleb Joseph for the second out and then fanned Zelous Wheeler. However, strike three eluded Richmond catcher Johnny Monell to the backstop. The passed ball allowed Wheeler to reach and Machado take third base. Kipp Schutz followed and cracked a single into center field. Machado scored the unearned run, bringing Bowie to within a run, 2-1.
Richmond got the run back in the fourth with a quick two-out uprising against Drake. Ehire Adrianza got it started with a single back through the middle. He promptly stole second and scored for a 3-1 cushion when Joel Weeks sent a carbon-copy single to center.
Drake (0-1) called it a night after six innings, having conceded three runs – two earned – on five hits. He walked one, struck out six and took the loss despite turning in a quality-start.
Heston (4-2) allowed one run – unearned – over eight innings. He conceded six hits, all singles, walked none and matched his career-high with nine strikeouts.
Right-hander Brett Bochy nailed down the win and earned his fifth save with a perfect ninth. The Bowie bullpen turned in three scoreless innings in defeat.
Game three of the four-game series is scheduled for 7:05 PM on Tuesday night at Prince George’s Stadium. Richmond LHP Mike Kickham (2-4, 4.04) will make the start against Bowie RHP Zach Clark (3-3, 3.55). Pregame coverage will begin at 6:35 PM on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com.
‘Cats win nailbiter Clutch hitting and fantastic pitching led the Hillcats to their second consecutive win, 3-2. It was a combined effort with Nick Ahmed and Chris Garcia leading the offense, while Dimasther Delgado led the pitching staff in a close game.
The Latino swag was in full swing as Dimasther Delgado and Wilmer Font went pitch-for-pitch in the series opener. Font was the leader in the clubhouse in dazzling fashion. He went 5.0+ innings of no-hit ball. He mixed in his plus fastball with a devastating slider for six strikeouts through those five innings.
Dimasther Delgado was clutch in his first four innings of work. He mixed a fastball and a solid curveball to keep the Pelicans off-balance at the plate and induce several grounders, including two double play ground balls.
It wasn’t until the fifth inning that a run would be scored. Vinny DiFazio lined a double down the left field line to start the inning. Odubel Herrera hit a low liner to shortstop Nick Ahmed, it seemed like an easy play for Ahmed, but he picked his head up and the ball went off his glove. Runners would be safe at the corners with no outs. It would be Santiago Chirino coming through with a long fly out to left that Mycal Jones caught on the run. Tagging and scoring was DiFazio for the first run of the game. The Pelicans offense would stall afterwards.
The Hillcats would answer back immediately. Robby Hefflinger walked his second walk of the day off of Font to start the top of the sixth. Chad Comer came to the plate for the first time after he replaced an injured Braeden Schlehuber, who was hit by a Font fastball in the third. Comer worked a full count but went down swinging, however, Hefflinger stole second on the play to trade a base for the out. Matt Lipka would line a single between the first and second basemen for his first hit of the day; Hefflinger was stopped a third. With Nick Ahmed at the plate, Font threw a sharp splitter that went off and under the glove of Tomas Telis behind the plate. Hefflinger wouldn’t chance the play at the plate, but Lipka would scamper to second. Then, with two strikes on him, Ahmed came up with the clutch hit to left-center. Hefflinger and Lipka scored to give the ‘Cats the 2-1 lead. The hit would end Font’s day.
The scoring didn’t stop for the Pelicans, but it would start with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Christian Villanueva got his second hit of the day by lining a ball in nearly the same spot as DiFazio an inning earlier. Then, Brett Nicholas would hit a fastball back up the middle, Lipka threw home from center, but it was not in time. The score was 2-2.
The top of the seventh would belong to the Hillcats and Chris Garcia. With two outs, Garcia would unload on a Joe Van Meter pitch that cut through the thick air on a rainy night a ricochet off the scoreboard. That would be all the Hillcats would need.
The bullpen would come through for Dimasther Delgado (2-1) and preserve the win. He went 6.0 innings, struck out three and didn’t walk a batter while spraying seven hits. Joe Van Meter (1-3) would pick up the loss thanks to the solo blast off Garcia’s bat. Juan Jamie got his seventh save of the season.
Game two is set for 7:05pm tomorrow. J.R. Graham (4-0, 2.50) will try to stay perfect for the Hillcats. Cody Buckel (3-1, 1.14) look to continue to dominate the Carolina League for the Pelicans.. Tune in and listen live to all the action on 105.5 FM KD Country and online at lynchburg-hillcats.com starting with the Hillcats On-Deck Show coming on the air at 6:40pm with Erik Wilson and Mike Viso.
Salem takes over first Three Salem pitchers combined to hold Winston’s top-ranked offense to just three hits and every member of the Sox lineup reached base at least once as the Red Sox rose into first place with a 3-1 victory on Tuesday night at LewisGale Field. Miguel Celestino limited the Dash to one run on three hits over six innings, preceding Salem’s perfect pen duo of Jeremiah Bayer and Mike Olmstead. The trio united to set down the final 13 Dash batters, preventing Winston from having a baserunner after the fifth inning.
Offensively, the Sox overcame an early 1-0 deficit, discovering the equalizer in the fourth before scoring a pair in the last of the seventh. Travis Shaw led off the last of the fourth with his 50th hit of the season, a bullet blasted down the right field line for his 15th double. A grounder from Xander Bogaerts moved Shaw to third, and Christian Vazquez singled him home to even the score at one.
Three innings later, a leadoff double sparked the game-winning rally, with Michael Almanzar reaching second on his liner to left-center. A sacrifice bunt from Adalberto Ibarra moved Almanzar to third, and Felix Sanchez’ slow chopper to short brought him home to give the Sox a 2-1 lead. Although the bases were empty with two outs, the Sox were not done, as Jackie Bradley, Jr. worked his third walk of the night to prolong the frame for Sean Coyle. Despite falling behind in the count 0-2, Coyle fouled off numerous two-strike tosses before smashing a deep liner off the fence in left. Bradley scored from first on Coyle’s first Carolina League triple, lifting the Sox to a 3-1 advantage.
The cushion was more than enough for the Red Sox relievers, as Jeremiah Bayer, after striking out the side in the seventh, induced three consecutive ground outs in the eighth. Olmsted arrived for the ninth to set down the Dash in order, punching out the final two batters of the game to complete the victory.
Bogaerts and Vazquez each had two hits to lead the Sox, who outhit the Dash 8-3. The victory moved the Red Sox 24-17, a half-game ahead of the Dash, who fell to 24-18.
Salem and Winston will reunite on Wednesday at 11 AM for some brunch baseball with a pair of righthanded guys named Ryan on the mound. Ryan Pressly will take the ball for the Sox opposite Ryan Buch for the Dash, with first place on the line again.